A few months ago my good friend Amanda told me that she was having a book published. So, of course, I immediately inquired as to what the book was about, and she responded, with an ample amount of glee: “LADY PIRATES!” I love an adventuresome tale, so when Lily and the Golden Lute came out this past month, Amanda gave me a copy which I read immediately, laughing hard and often. It’s not your typical pirate fare, The Revenge (the pirate ship the book follows) is owned by eccentric millionaire Lily, and her crew is entirely made up of strong, smart, and biting female pirates. They get into many hilarious misadventures and there’s tales of love along the way as well, but what I most loved and appreciated about the book was its wide variety of compelling female characters. They may not all be simultaneously athletic, smart, and talented, but every female character possesses at least one of those traits, usually two, which is fairly rare in adventurous fiction where males tend to take the lead roles and women the more subservient ones. Through their biting wit and saucy sword fights, the pirate crew of The Revenge really made these past couple weeks much happier for me, as work has been kind of stressful lately. So, in honor of Amanda’s book, I made these delicious cupcakes, which also helped to make my week better. I was very pleased with how easy they were to make, (I used Pillsbury buttermilk biscuits instead of making the dough from scratch), and the rum and butterrum sauce heated up and baked all together with the biscuits was amazing. I don’t know if it was the amount of rum in the cupcakes or how great they tasted that filled me with such joy, but I figured that as long as I was happy it didn’t really matter.

And to further celebrate the Lily and the Golden Lute’s release, Amanda is giving away a brand new autographed copy! To enter, please leave a comment below stating your favorite adventure story. For extra entries, you can:

Follow me on Twitter and leave a separate comment saying you did.
Like Adventures in Cooking on Facebook and leave a separate comment saying you did.
Follow me on Pinterest and leave a separate comment saying you did.

you already do any of those things, just leave a comment saying you do. The deadline for entries is 11:59 pm PST February 24th, the winner will be announced February 25th, and the giveaway is only open to
residents of the United States. Good luck, mates!

Buttered Rum Cupcakes

Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 50 minutes
Cooling Time 15 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
Author Eva Kosmas Flores


Butter-Rum Sauce

  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 1/3 Cup Heavy Cream
  • 3 Tablespoons Butter
  • 3 Tablespoons Spiced Rum
  • 2 Tablespoons Lyles Golden Syrup
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Rum Ball Cupcakes

  • 3 16.3 Ounce Cans Ready Made Buttermilk Biscuits, the non-flaky ones
  • 1/2 Cup Spiced Rum
  • 1/2 Cup Butter-Rum Sauce
  • 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Nutmeg
  • Toothpicks optional
  • Brown Paper optional
  • White Paper optional

Butter-Rum Ocean Frosting

  • 1 and 1/2 Cups Powdered Sugar
  • 3/4 Cup 1 and 1/2 sticks Butter, softened
  • 1/4 Cup Butter-Rum Sauce
  • 15 Drops Blue Food Coloring plus 5 more drops
  • 2 Drops Black Food Coloring


  1. Begin by making the Butter-Rum sauce. Heat the butter, cream, brown sugar, and golden syrup in a saucepan over medium high heat, stirring frequently, until the butter is melted and the ingredients are combined. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower the heat so that the mixture retains a slow but constant boil. Allow the mixture to simmer for 10 minutes, stirring every minute. The mixture should be thicker at the end. Remove the pan from the heat and whisk in the rum and the vanilla extract until completely blended, but be careful as the mixture will likely spatter a bit. Set the sauce aside to cool to room temperature.
  2. To make the cupcakes, preheat the oven to 35 degrees Fahrenheit. Mix 1/2 cup of the Butter-Rum sauce with the cinnamon, nutmeg, and rum in a large bowl until well blended. Set aside. Cut the biscuits into eighths and place them in the rum marinade, gently tossing them in the mixture with your hands to ensure that they are evenly coated.
  3. Allow them to soak in the mixture for 5 minutes, tossing with your hands every minute or so to prevent them from getting too stuck to one another.
  4. Line a muffin pan with cupcake liners. Fill each of the cupcake liners about 3/4 full with the rum balls. Spoon any sauce left at the bottom of the bowl over each of the cupcakes before placing the pan in the oven to bake for 30 minutes, or until the cupcakes are golden brown.
  5. While the cupcakes are baking make the frosting. Mix together the butter, Butter-Rum sauce, and powdered sugar with an electric mixer until a smooth frosting forms. Remove 1/3 of the frosting and set it aside. Add the black food coloring, and the 15 drops of blue food coloring to the larger amount fo frosting and mix until combined. Add the remaining 1/3 frosting back in and stir until partially blended, so that there are still a few lighter streaks in the frosting. Add 5 more drops of blue food coloring, placing each drop over a different area of the frosting, and stir with a large spoon or spatula a few times until there are bright blue streaks throughout. Set aside.
  6. Remove the cupcakes from the pan and allow the cupcakes to cool to room temperature before frosting. Drizzle 1/2 teaspoon of the remaining Butter-Rum sauce over each one. Then, using a spatula, smear the frosting on top of the cupcake to create an ocean wave.
  7. Cut out sail and boat shapes from the brown and white paper and attach them to the cupcakes using a toothpick. Now you have a handy little sea-faring cupcake! But make sure to remove the boat from the cupcake before eating, we don't want any losses at sea. Enjoy! Makes about 18 cupcakes.
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