Have you ever had an Alfajor Cookie before? How about an Alfajor Cupcake?
Well today you will get to try both!
These fancy cupcakes are my newest creation. Alfajor Cupcakes.
Alfajores are these South American cookies, made out of cornstarch, and filled with dulce de leche. Alfajor Cookies can be dressed in many different ways. Some make them with dusted powdered sugar on top. And others might dunk the filled cookie in chocolate and have a chocolate covered alfajor cookie.
I made these Alfajor Cookies many times. And I always like to drizzle some chocolate on top of them. I just like the way it looks.
The Alfajor Cookie dough can be quite crumbly, and when baked, it’s flaky, light, and delicious. You can use any cookie cutter you would like. I like my flower cookie cutters for my alfajores.
After baked, simply fill the cookies with dulce de leche. I use a piping bag to make it easier to pipe a dollop of filling right in the middle of the cookie, so this way when you place the other cookie on top to form the sandwich, the filling will be evenly distributed.
And you can close them up.
YUM! Now get ready to pipe some melted chocolate over the cookies. That’s how I love my Alfajor Cookies.
How seriously amazing and delicious these alfajor cookies are!
After making your cookies, they are ready to be placed on top of your Alfajor Cupcakes.
Now, speaking of the Alfajor Cupcakes. Let’s get to how to make that swirl frosting.
First, before frosting the Alfajor Cupcakes, I felt like it would be fitting to fill them with dulce de leche. For obvious reasons.
Then, place the top of the cupcake back on.
Now you should be ready to pipe the frosting.
How to do the swirled frosting effect
- Start by spreading or piping some dulce de leche over a piece of plastic wrap.
- Spread some of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream on top.
- Roll plastic over to seal it.
- Place it inside of a piping bag fitted with the piping tip of your preference. (ps. I am using a Ateco 829)
- Pipe away.
And this is what it’s going to look like.
Hold on, there’s one thing missing.
Oh there it is. Perfect now!
Now I want to quickly talk about the dulce de leche. You can either use store-bought or homemade dulce de leche for the Alfajor Cupcakes.
HOW TO MAKE DULCE DE LECHE WITH CONDENSED MILK
Simply start with a can of condensed milk. Now, there are several options here.
- Making dulce de leche in the oven– Pour the inside of the condensed milk can in an oven-proof pan, and bake over a water bath for about 2-3 hours, stirring in between, covered with foil, at 350F.
- Making dulce de leche on the stove top– there are two ways to make dulce de leche on the stove top with a sealed can of condensed milk.
- First is to use a pressure cooker, which is the fastest way. Place sealed can in a pressure cooker full of water, covering the can by at least 2 inches. Cook under pressure for 30 minutes. Let pressure release naturally and let can and water both cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.
- If you just want to use a regular pot, make sure it’s a large pot of water, where the can will be submerged the whole time. Boil sealed can for about 2 1/2 hours. Let can and water cool down all the way before removing and opening the can.
Regardless of the method you choose to make your dulce de leche, make sure to always let it cool down before handling it. And leave it in the fridge for a few hours before piping so dulce de leche will be cold and have proper texture.
I hope you enjoyed today’s recipes and tips. These Alfajor Cupcakes seem to be a lot of work, but they were quite a fun project! And not to mention that they are show stopper cupcakes!
For more cupcake recipes, click here.
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- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour 190 grams 6.75 oz
- 1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 31 grams 1.125 oz
- 1 cup granulated sugar 200 grams 7 oz.
- 1 teaspoon espresso powder
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1 cup brewed coffee
- 1 tablespoon white vinegar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup canola oil
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- 3 egg whites
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar 150 grams, 5.3 oz
- 18 tablespoons unsalted butter 255 grams, 9 oz
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- Alfajores recipe below
- 1 cup dulce de leche store-bought or homemade (read post above for instructions on how to make dulce de leche)
- Pre-heat oven to 350F. Line a 12-cupcake pan with cupcake liners or grease it with butter and flour.
- Sift flour, cocoa powder, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, espresso powder, and salt together in a large bowl.
- In another bowl, mix coffee, vinegar, vanilla and oil. Pour dry mixture over wet ingredients. Whisk briefly, until incorporated. Be careful not to overmix. As soon as you see no more streaks of dry mixture, stop whisking.
- Distribute batter evenly in cupcake pans.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes.
- Remove and let it cool.
Swiss Meringue Buttercream
- About 30 minutes before you start to make your buttercream, remove butter from the fridge. Cut it into thin slices, about 1/4 inch thick. Set aside and let it come to room temperature. Depending on the temperature of your kitchen, you might need an hour or so to have the butter soften. Please note that you don’t want your butter to be too hot and melted either.
- Place egg whites and sugar in a heat-proof bowl or in a double boiler pan.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil, then reduce it to a simmer. Set bowl on top of the pan with simmering water.
- Whisk constantly until egg whites and sugar reach 138F temperature. This ensures that the egg whites will have reached a safe temperature. The temperature of pasteurized egg whites is actually 140F, however, if you bring it up to 138F, the temperature will raise a couple degrees even after you take it out of the heat source.
- Keep whisking mixture for about 30 seconds after you take it off the heat.
- Pour mixture into the bowl of a stand mixer. Be sure to wipe dry the bottom of the bowl to get rid of the condensation that formed before you transfer mixture. Because if a drop of water gets in contact with your egg white/sugar, it will ruin your meringue.
- With the whisk attachment, beat meringue on medium-high speed.
- You are going to beat the meringue until stiff peaks form. Now, this might take a while. Usually takes me about 10 minutes. The reason for that is that the egg whites have to cool down first and then they will be able to reach stiff peak.
- Just let the mixer do its job and cool down the meringue as it whisks it.
- Once your meringue has reached stiff peaks, start adding butter, with the mixer on medium-high speed.
- Add one slab of butter at a time. Waiting a few seconds before adding the next one.
- At times, you will question yourself if your meringue will ever form, the answer is mostly likely: yes it will form. Just be patient. Keep whisking it.
- Add vanilla once you’re done adding the butter.
- At this point, you should see your meringue having hardened up and formed into a smooth cream.
Use a spoon to remove the inside of each cupcake. Then fill cupcakes with dulce de leche. Place the top of the cupcake back to close it.
- Lay a piece of plastic wrap on the counter. Pipe or spread some dulce de leche over the plastic wrap (check pictures in the post above for reference), then spread some of the Swiss Meringue Buttercream on top of the dulce de leche.
- Roll the plastic wrap over to close.
- Place it inside a piping bag fitted with the piping tip of choice.
- Pipe swirled frosting over cupcakes. Place an Alfajor Cookie on top.
- Cupcakes will be fine in the fridge, covered in an air-tight container for up to 4 days.
- 1 cup cornstarch 120 grams, 4.2 oz
- 3/4 cups all-purpose flour 95 grams, 3.37 oz
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter at room temperature (113 grams, 4 oz)
- 1/3 cup granulated sugar 66 grams, 2.3 oz
- 3 large egg yolks
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon almond extract
- 3/4 cup dulce de leche store-bought or homemade (read post above for instructions on how to make dulce de leche)
- 2 oz chopped chocolate to drizzle on top of the cookies if you want to*
- Sift the cornstarch, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt together. Set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream the butter at medium high speed for 1 minute.
- Add granulated sugar. Cream for another 1-2 minutes until very fluffy and light in color.
- Add egg yolks one at a time, and mix until combined before adding the next one.
- Add vanilla and almond extract.
- Mix to combine.
- Add dry ingredients and mix until you form a dough.
- Dough should be soft and not too sticky.
- Wrap it in plastic or place it in a ziplock bag and chill it in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
- When it’s time to roll the cookies out, remove dough from the fridge and cut it into 4 pieces. Work with one piece at a time, while keeping the others covered.
- Pre-heat the oven to 350F.
- Roll it out until about 1/4 thick over a floured surface.
- Dough might be crumbly and breaking up, simply patch it back together.
- I used a 2.5 inch flower cutter to cut the cookies.
- Place cookies on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper or silicone mat.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes. Cookies should look set, but not browned.
- Let them cool down all the way before filling with the dulce de leche. I placed my dulce de leche in a piping bag to make it easier to fill the cookies.
- After filling the cookies, I melted some dark chocolate and drizzled it over the cookies.
- Keep cookies in the fridge for up to 5 days, in an air tight container.
*You can also dust the cookies with powdered sugar, or completely cover them with chocolate. There are many variations and different ways to present your Alfajor Cookies.