As a step mom, there’s a lot of things I haven’t experienced, parenting-wise. I’ve never carried a child in my womb and given birth, or nursed and cuddled and bonded with the baby (although, I have cuddled and bonded with my nephews). I’ve never debated regular diapers vs. cloth, or worried about the first hair cut that would cut away those baby curls, and watched the first tooth come and go.
I’ve also never been grabbed onto and cried on because of some fear, real or imagined, in the night that makes a big comfy bed necessary for little bodies to squeeze into. Sure, we’ve always had the big, comfy bed, but never any of the littles wanting to hide out in there until the fear passed, or the sun rose…whichever came first.
Last night, Littlest Nephew came down to tell me that he was missing his momma and daddy, who are traveling for a week while I party on with the nephews. He climbed into my bed for a little while.
Like I could turn away that little round face with the chin all dimpled and shivering because he didn’t want to cry.
If you can do that, you’re made of steel.
Seeing as how I’m made of silk and lace, cotton candy, marshmallows, and other sugary, soft stuff, I had Littlest in my bed until about 11:00 pm.
As I sat working last night, while Littlest fidgeted and eventually dozed, I realized that in all the years that I’ve been step momming, our boy never once had an “I can’t sleep” night. He never woke up and needed comforting from a bad dream, or missed his mom (or his dad when the Hubster was deployed), he never even woke up with a sick tummy. Off to bed he went, and off to bed he stayed…by choice.
For almost 10 years now, I’ve told people how lucky I’ve been in the step son lottery. I hit the jackpot. Now, after having spent time with Littlest needing comfort again at 5:45 this morning, I realize just how great our boy is. He never deprived us of any sleep…
…I sure wish he had. How sweet and cozy it was to be needed like that. And how comforting that I could make the little guy feel safe again.
You know what, though? I didn’t get those things with my boy, but I did get to give him his first real bike and help him learn to ride it. I helped him learn to tie his shoes and button real buttons. I got to take him on his first real camping trip and help him discover how much he loves hiking. First team sport (hockey), first day of middle school. I was there for eighth grade graduation and the first day of high school (*sob*). I get to teach him to drive, and I got to watch him have his first girlfriend experience. I’m still the step mom lottery winner. In fact, if you want to know how I really feel, I’m the “real” mom lottery winner, too. And the things awaiting us are endless.
One of my favorite things is that I get to be the one who makes him yummy treats that he agonizes over at birthday time because he can’t decide which one he wants each year.
I have a feeling these cinnamon roll cupcakes might be added to the list for next year. Which is fine and dandy with me, because they are incredible (and incredibly easy)! Plus, there’s just about nothing I wouldn’t make for his birthday.
When I decided to make these, I wanted them to taste like a cinnamon roll, but a cupcake, too. In other words, I didn’t want it to just be a real cinnamon roll in a cupcake paper. I wanted a real cupcake with all the deliciousness of cinnamon rolls.
I decided the only way to do that was to start with a real cupcake recipe, so I went with a basic, easy yellow cake.It’s the most like a cinnamon roll flavor, but sweeter…and less bread-y. Next I had to add the cinnamon sugary goodness that is the filling of a cinnamon roll. But how? Easy…I used real cinnamon roll filling. And I swirled it int he cupcake…and it was amazing.
Wait…not quite the end yet. You probably want to see how to make these…
It’s super simple to make, too. Just mix, mix, mix, and spread some (about one to two teaspoons) on each cupcake. Now, You can totally stop here and devour these in all their yumminess, or while the icing sets up…
I went with both, cause really…what’s a cinnamon roll without yummy cream cheese frosting?
My cream cheese frosting is pretty simple and only has cream cheese (duh), confectioners’ sugar, unsalted butter (or margarine), and vanilla extract.
I kept the frosting on the softer side, so it doesn’t hold much shape when piped, but I didn’t want to overpower the cream cheese with lots of sugar. Plus, I think these look more “cinnamon roll-y” with the flatter, not so stiff frosting. And the sprinkling of cinnamon is the perfect final touch.
When everyone walked into the house the day I made these, they said, “Ooooo! It smells so good in here! Did you get Cinnabon today?”
Whether you make these sans icing/frosting, with just the coffee icing, or the whole kit and kaboodle, you won’t be sorry. Every single component and step to these cupcakes is simple, fast, and delicious! Enjoy!
Cinnamon Roll Cupcakes [Printable Version]
Makes 12 cupcakes
FOR THE SWIRL
1/4 cup (1/2 stick or 56.5 grams) unsalted butter (melted)
1/3 cup (85 grams) brown sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
FOR THE CUPCAKES
1 1/2 cups (190 grams) all-purpose flour
1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup (1 stick or 113 grams) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1/2 cup (113 grams) sour cream
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Coffee Icing [Printable Version]
2 tablespoons (28 grams) unsalted butter, softened
1 cup (125 grams) confectioner’s sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 to 2 tablespoons (15 to 30 ml) brewed coffee
1/2 recipe of Cream Cheese Frosting
To make the filling: In a small bowl, stir all of the ingredients together until combined. Set aside until ready for use.
To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 350 degrees (180 C). Line a muffin pan with cupcake papers; set aside.
In a large bowl, or the bowl of a standing mixer, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Add the butter, sour cream, eggs, and vanilla and beat until smooth. Scrape the bowl, making sure there are no streaks of flour remaining (do not over mix).
Place 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter in each of the paper liners in the prepared muffin pan. Make a small well in the middle of each cup of batter with a toothpick, Stir the filling to make sure the butter is combined, then spoon a scant 1 teaspoon of the filling into each cup. Use a toothpick to swirl the filling and batter together.
Add another 1 1/2 tablespoons of batter to each cup and repeat the filling/swirling process.
Bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Transfer to a wire cooling rack and allow to cool completely before frosting.
To make the icing: In a medium bowl, beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Stir in the vanilla until combined. Add the coffee until desired consistency is reached (I only used 1 tablespoon). For more coffee flavor, add more coffee, but you may need to add additional confectioners’ sugar to keep a good consistency.
Ice the cooled cupcakes with the coffee icing. Allow to sit for 15 to 20 minutes, then top with cream cheese frosting.
Recipe by Darla