So here it is, my first recipe of 2018 and I’ve decided on some spice-filled, super indulgent, ginger and cinnamon cupcakes.
A little twist on many of the gingerbread cupcake recipes I tend to come across online, I’ve decided to add more spices and top these beauties off with the creamiest vanilla buttercream (courtesy of Cupcake Jemma’s buttercream masterclass).
And I didn’t stop there. I have also added a miniature (although I struggle with miniature anything so they’re kind of normal size) gingerbread cookies. These are loaded full of even more spices and currants – because I’m all about that healthy lifestyle balance.
If any of you have read my previous cupcake recipes, you may have noticed the absence of an electric mixer. This meant everything was mixed and whisked by hand and it made the entire process a lot longer. Over Christmas though, I was treated to a snazzy new stand mixer that has completely revolutionised my baking – seriously how did I ever cope before?!
I have the Kenwood Stand Mixer KM240 900W and it is just fabulous. I know many of you may have or will definitely have heard of the Kitchen Aid mixers (it’s what they use on Great British Bake Off and you see them popping up on all those beautiful baking feeds on insta) but they are pretty pricey. This Prospero Stand Mixer has everything you need to mix up your masterpieces and whip up your favourite buttercreams. It just makes everything an absolute doddle and if you are currently on the search for a cake mixer, I would definitely recommend this one.
There are three different elements to this cupcake and at first glance, it may seem like you have to invest in a lot of ingredients. However, the ingredients are very similar in both the cupcakes and the cookies so it’s more about having the right amount of ingredients for both elements rather than a large variety of different things.
For the vanilla buttercream though, I followed Cupcake Jemma’s recommendation and opted for Lescure Unsalted French Butter. I found some at my local Waitrose, it is pricey but it makes a massive difference to the overall creaminess and whippy texture of the buttercream.
I had many compliments about it with these cupcakes and everyone commented on how white the buttercream was – almost like whipped cream. So if you’re wanting to go all out and be showered with the same praise…it’s definitely the one to go for and I will be using this in all my future recipes.
And finally, the Gingerbread Cookie Recipe actually makes around 10 large cookies so you will probably have a lot of mixture left over. I just made another batch of larger rock cakes with the remaining mixture which also went down a treat. I bake these all the time at home and they’re so quick and easy to bake and perfect if you’re having guests over for a brew (or if you get peckish).
For the Ginger and Cinnamon Cupcakes –
- 150g Unsalted Butter (I use Stork)
- 150g Light Muscovado Sugar
- 150g Self-Raising Flour
- 2 tsp Ground Ginger
- 1 tsp Cinnamon
- 2 tsp Mixed Spice
- 3 Medium Eggs
- 1 tbsp Whole Milk
For the Vanilla Buttercream –
- 150g Unsalted Butter (I use Lescure)
- 340g Sifted Icing Sugar
- 3 tbsp Whole Milk
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
For the Miniature Gingerbread Cookies –
- 200g Self-Raising Flour
- 1tsp Baking Powder
- 2 tsp Mixed Spice
- 100g Unsalted Butter (I use Stork)
- 85g Light Muscovado Sugar
- 100g Currants, Raisins or Mixed Dried Fruit
(whatever you want to bang in there really)
- 1 Egg
- 2 tbsp Whole Milk
- Demerara Sugar (for sprinkling)
1. Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4. Line your 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
2. Cream together the butter and sugar. Using a sifter, put the flour and spices into a separate mixing bowl. Add the beaten eggs into the creamed butter and sugar with the mixer on a low speed, alternating with the flour/spices until fully combined. Add in the milk and then continue to mix well.
3. Spoon the mixture evenly into each cupcake case and bake for around 25 mins (it will differ with every oven and how much mixture you have placed in each case so check to see if a knife comes out clean, if it doesn’t, they may need an extra 5 mins). Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool completely before piping the vanilla buttercream on top.
4. Whilst your cupcakes are baking in the oven it’s time to get started on your mini gingerbread cookies. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Sift the flour, baking powder and spices into a large mixing bowl. Add the butter (cut into small pieces). Rub the butter with your fingertips gently until the mixture forms fine crumbs (or you can do this using a food processor if you have one).
5. Add the sugar and fruit and mix together until combined, finally add the egg and milk. Mix to a firm and sticky dough. Spoon twelve rough blobs onto the baking sheet, leaving some space for the cookies to spread out. Mix together the demerara sugar and some extra mixed spice and sprinkle over each blob before placing them in the oven. Bake for 20-25 mins or until golden brown on 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4.
6. Finally it’s time to make the buttercream. Pop your butter into the mixer and beat on high speed for 5 minutes until it goes really smooth and pale. Add the sifted icing sugar into the bowl in two stages, beating for 5 minutes between each addition. Remember to start the mixing on a low speed to avoid your icing sugar going everywhere!
7. Next, add the whole milk and vanilla extract (I pre-mix these liquids in a bowl to help the wet mixture combine with the buttercream better). Speed up the mixer for one last time on high for another 5 minutes.
8. Once your cupcakes and cookies are cooled, it’s time to put it all together! Place the vanilla buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a generous swirl on top (I have used an open star nozzle for my cakes), place your gingerbread cookie on top and there you have it!
Stick with it, it seems like a lot of baking, ingredients and know-how goes into these cupcakes but really, it’s just a few simple recipes bashed together to make something really impressive.
I hope you like them as much as I do, check out my latest cupcake recipes on my blog and please let me know if you have any cupcake flavours you’d like me to whip up for my next bake!