I LOVE Christmas. It’s my favourite time of year. I love decorating the house, wrapping up presents, festive movies, even the cheesy Christmas music. Yes, I love it all and I’m not afraid to admit it.
These cupcakes are perfect for this time of year with a flavoured latte of your choice (gingerbread for me!) or a mug of tea. While baking they fill your home with the gorgeous, spiced smell of Christmas. Trust me, you don’t need scented candles if you make a batch of these babies!
Sticky Gingerbread Cupcakes from Christmas Cupcakes by Annie Rigg
175g unsalted butter, softened
125g dark muscavado sugar
50g golden syrup
3 eggs, beaten
175g plain flour
3 tsp baking powder
2 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
Pinch of salt
2-3 tbsp milk
Preheat oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Cream together the butter, sugar & golden syrup until light and fluffy. Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well between each addition.
Sift together the flour, baking powder, spices and salt. Gradually stir into the mixture with the milk, mixing until the batter is smooth. Divide the mixture between paper cases (no more than two-thirds full.)
Bake for about 20 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted into a cake comes out clean. Leave to cool in tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.
200g caster sugar
3 egg whites
250g unsalted butter, softened and cut into cubes
1 tsp vanilla extract
Put the sugar and egg whites in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until it reaches at least 60oC on a sugar thermometer. (I don’t own one so I didn’t do this – I just stirred carefully until it was extremely hot and bubbly. Maybe I should invest in a thermometer!) Pour into the bowl of a stand mixer or using an electric whisk, beat until the mixture has doubled in volume, cooled and will stand in stiff glossy peaks – this can take about 5-10 minutes. This is where my KA really comes into its own! Gradually add the soft butter to the cooled meringue mix, beating constantly until the frosting is smooth. If the mixture looks like it is curdling, don’t worry – keep beating and it will come together. This is why the texture of the butter is important – it must be soft but not at the point where it is nearly melting. Fold in the vanilla and use immediately.