Iced Gingerbread Cupcakes

I made these gingerbread cupcakes for Christmas Eve last year as a alternative for Santa. They are an old Nigella recipe from her Feast book I have been using for years which works really well and gives really moist christmassy cupcake. I just added the icing and drizzled chocolate as an extra treat for the big man.

Here’s the recipe:

 

Gingerbread Muffins (Feast by Nigella Lawson)

  • 1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/4 teaspoon balsamic vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons vegetable or corn oil
  • 4 tablespoons dark corn syrup
  • 4 tablespoons molasses

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Grease or line a 12-cup muffin pan with paper muffin cups. Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and spices in a large bowl. Whisk the egg in another bowl, then add the brown sugars, making sure to break up any lumps.

Add the milk and vinegar to the egg-brown sugar mixture then measure in the oil with a tablespoon. Use the same oily spoon to add the corn syrup and molasses so they don’t stick to it. Whisk the mixture to combine and add to the flour and spices.

Stir until mixed but still fairly lumpy-the mixture may be more runny than you expect for muffins- but you need the dense stickiness of gingerbread, rather than a cakey crumb. Spoon or pour the mixture into the muffin cups and bake for about 20 minutes until the tops are dry.

Once they have cooled, top them with gloopy water icing and drizzle with melted chocolate once the icing has fully set.

Makes 12 Muffins.

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Chocolate Rudolph the Reindeer Cupcakes

Pure chocolate fun, these cupcake can make use of those leftover sweets you have lying around at this time year. Everyone gets given a box of matchmakers right?!

I used my basic chocolate cupcake mix, piped some chocolate butter cream for the frosting and topped with mint chocolate sticks for antlers, red jelly tots or red smarties for rudolph noses (the smarties worked best – the red jelly tots weren’t really bright enough) and some black sugar paste with white pearls for eyes.

Here’s the cupcake recipe:

150g Self raising flour

175g Castor sugar

30g Cocoa powder

175g Butter

3 large eggs

2 tbsp of milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients with a hand mixer or by hand. Bake at Gas Mark 3 or 170c for approx 20 mins.

Christmas Fayre Successes?

After visiting the Crafts for Christmas exhibition at the Birmingham NEC this year and stocking up with supplies, I was really excited to have a stall all of my own at a few Christmas Fayres on the run up to the festive season.  I’ve done two so far and have some pics below of my stall.

There are quite a few learns I took away with me after doing just these two but am really interested in your Christmas Fayre experiences, tips, pitfalls etc. I found that:

– Anything edible seems to go well – chocolate christmas pudding cupcakes sold out within about 20 mins

– People do not take huge amounts of money to Christmas Fayres (especially school ones) so have lots of cheaper items

– It is a good way to network and get possible future orders

– Make sure you have a good float with lots of change

– Oh and make sure you take sticky tape, blue tack, a pen, some bags for peoples purchases

– You can negotiate on stall prices (sometimes)

Would love to hear from others who have braved the Christmas Fayres this year and how you found it…… get in touch

 

Christmas pudding cupcakes

I guess these are child friendly Christmas pudding cupcakes as they are not actually Christmas pudding flavour or anything like it. They are chocolate. And last time I checked chocolate is generally more popular with the younger generations that Christmas pudding…. Well in my house anyway.

For these cupcakes you will need:

Buttercream
12 chocolate cupcakes cooled
White sugarpaste & small amounts of green & red sugarpaste
Small round scalloped or fluted cookie cutter
Small amout of white royal icing or writing icing

Roll out the white sugarpaste to approx 2-3mm thick. Cut out 12 rounds using your cookie cutter. With the red sugar paste make 36 small balls for the holly berries – 3 for each cake. To make the holly leaves, take a small amount of green sugarpaste and roll into a ball. Squish it into an oval shape and then make 5 or 6 pinches to make the points on the leaves. Repeat until you have 24 leaves – 2 for each cake. Stick the holly leaves and berries on to your white rounds using a small amount of piped royal icing.

Top each cupcake with a swirl of piped buttercream and a holly topper and your done!

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Star Christmas cupcakes

Some sparkly cupcakes for the holiday season! I took these to my sons school Christmas fayre yesterday and the went down a treat!

You will need:

12 or 24 cupcakes – I used 12 vanilla and 12 chocolate
Buttercream
Fondant or sugarpaste icing in pale blue & white & edible glitter.

Roll out the sugarpaste to approx 3mm and cut out 12 or 24 stars. Pipe the butter cream in swirls with a large nozzle onto each cupcake, top with a cut out star and sprinkle with a bit of Xmas spirit….er I mean edible glitter!

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Halloween Cupcakes & Cookies

I was asked to make these for my Hubby’s Halloween party at work (I say work, sounds like they do more eating than working!). So i made 12 vanilla cupcakes, 12 chocolate cupcakes and 24 cookies.


The Cupcakes were topped with a green vanilla frosting and sugarpaste pumpkin toppers.  These were made by cutting out 1.5″ circles of green sugar paste, adding a small amount of orange for the pumpkins by making a pea sized ball and pressing it into a pumpkin shape and then piping on the stork and face with a small amount of royal icing.

Half of the cookies were made into skeletons with piped royal icing and the other half turned into ghosts by piping an out line in the royal icing all the way around the cookie, then add some more water to the remainder of your royal icing to make a run out consistency  and fill in the outline.  Once set add spooky eyes and mouth.

I may try chocolate apples and lollipops later if I have time!

 

Happy Halloween!

Marble cupcakes with blue hydrangea butter icing


I love the marble cake I normally bake in a small loaf tin but hadn’t tried them as a cupcake so lets live a little! I used an 8oz vanilla sponge recipe but once I’d combined the ingredients I took half the mixture and added a couple of tablespoons of cocoa powder with some warm water to it to make the chocolate sponge. Layer the mixture randomly in the muffin cases to get the marbled effect and bake at approx 180c or gas mark 4 for about 15-20 mins. Once cooled I made up some butter icing with lots of blue and a couple of drops of red food colouring to give it a bit more of a wedgewood blue colour. Pipe the butter icing all over the top of the cupcake using a large star piping nozzle and place a white sugar pearl in the centre of each flower head. I’m sure there is a better nozzle that would give you an even more life like hydrangea type flower but I’m not sure what number it is and a large star does the job for quick cupcakes.

Do you think the blue icing will send the kids crazy?……hmmm not sure I thought this through!