Haymitch Chocolate Whiskey Hunger Games Cupcakes




“The Hunger Games” is a sensational trilogy about a dystopian United States that holds a gladiator-style fight to the death in a futuristic murder arena complete with hybrid creatures, force fields, and cameras to broadcast the carnage into every home with a television set.  The participants in those Games?  They’re children between 12 and 18.  This is teen reading at its finest: think Lord of the Flies meets Twilight meets Spartacus.

The story is awesome, and the characters even more so.  One of my favorites is the alcoholic ex-champion, Haymitch Abernathy, who won the 50th Hunger Games by using a force field to repel an axe thrown by the other remaining tribute.  To punish his unorthodox victory, his loved ones were murdered, and Haymitch became an alcoholic.  Haymitch is now a mentor to the new set of Hunger Games contestants.  And he drinks.  And manipulates the other characters. And is generally a bad-ass.

To show my appreciation of Haymitch, I decided to bake a themed cupcake in his honor.  An alcoholic cupcake.  A cupcake that intimidates all the other baked goods.  A cupcake that would scare the chocolate chips out of a cookie.  A cupcake that could growl slightly and cause a souffle to collapse.  A cupcake so hardcore it frightens the frosting off of lesser cupcakes.

Step 1: Ingredients

For the cake:

-  1 cup cocoa powder
-  1/4 cup espresso powder
-  1/2 cup whiskey (I used Maker's Mark and it worked REALLY well!)
-  2 sticks unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch pieces
-  2 cups sugar
-  2 cups all-purpose flour
-  1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
-  1/2 teaspoon salt
-  2 large eggs
-  1 teaspoon vanilla

For the frosting:

-  12 ounces cream cheese
-  1/2 stick butter, cut into pieces
-  1 3/4 cup icing (powdered) sugar, sifted
-  2 tablespoons whiskey, optional

Step 2:

-  Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
-  Melt butter in a saucepan over moderate heat. 
-  Mix whiskey, espresso powder, and cocoa powder in a small bowl and add to butter.  Mix until thoroughly incorporated. 
-  Add sugar and stir until dissolved.
-  Remove from heat and cool 10 minutes.

Step 3:

-  While chocolate mixture cools, sift together flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl.
-  Whisk together eggs and vanilla in a small bowl.

Step 4:

-  When chocolate mixture cools, transfer it to the bowl of a stand mixer.
-  Add egg mixture to the chocolate and mix until combined well.
-  Add flour mixture and mix until just combined. 

Step 5:

-  Divide batter into mini cupcake pans and bake for 15 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.
-  Let the cupcakes sit for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer them to cool on a rack.

This recipe makes about 57 mini cupcakes.

Step 6: Frosting

-  Beat the cream cheese and butter with a mixer until smooth.
-  Add the powdered sugar and whiskey.  Mix until light and fluffy.

Step 7:

-  Spread or pipe frosting over each cupcake.

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    17 Discussions


    5 years ago

    If this wasn't alcoholic I would make it any way could not have whiskey in it?


    6 years ago on Introduction

    The whiskey should cook out but the flavor remains. As long as you don't put it in the frosting it would basically be 'virgin'. Looks great, and way to get into the spirit! I love you, Haymitch!

    Dusk Shadows

    6 years ago on Introduction

    mm wisky... i'm not of age yet so i can't have this but i have been told wisky rocks!


    7 years ago on Introduction

    Your introductory story is so moving / awesome. What a great storyteller you are! Oh--I will try the recipe if only to give tribute to poor Haymitch. And last but not least: thanks for the picture of the ingredients all gathered together! Twenty gold stars to you; live long and prosper.

    This looks like the best cupcake of them all! Great color contrast, perfect balance of frosting to cupcake ratio, smooth texture of the frosting, and great use of whiskey to truly bring out the southern flare in this classy cupcake.

    If there was a cupcake to eat while staring at the bright moon on a cold, misty autumn night, this would be it. I would call this cupcake "New Moon"

    And who doesn't love a little whiskey to bring warmth to their body??


    7 years ago on Step 7

    Awesome looking cupcake!
    Love your detailed step by step instructions too!

    1 reply

    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    Unlikely. There's only a 1/2 cup of whiskey in the whole batch, AND it's heated twice. Most of the alcohol is likely gone.

    Even if it wasn't, you'd have to eat all 57 mini cupcakes to get a buzz...


    Reply 7 years ago on Introduction

    The cupcake itself won't have an effect on you because the alcohol is cooked off. The whiskey in the frosting isn't cooked off, but there probably isn't enough in there to do anything. You can also leave the whiskey out of the frosting if you want.