Monday 28 December 2009

Christmas Gingerbread Cupcakes

Gingerbread cupcake cream cheese frostingI have been going fairly cupcake crazy since my course last month but I've been struggling to find events to bake for. With my family coming for Christmas I had the perfect excuse to bake some Christmas Cupcakes. I had previously made some for Miss O's party that were like little mini Christmas cakes topped with fondant icing and florist paste Holly leaves, as well as some double chocolate ones decorated with stars, but this time I thought I'd try something different.

My Dad doesn't eat chocolate (!) so I looked for a festive recipe that would suit us all and stumbled across a Martha Stewart Gingerbread Cupcake recipe that I adapted and topped with a cream cheese frosting. Finally I made some Christmas trees out of florist paste and covered them in edible glitter. They went down a treat with the whole family - and I thought they looked really cute. Anyway, here is the recipe

Gingerbread Cupcakes - Makes about 10
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
160 gm (6 oz) Plain flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
3/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
60 gm (2 oz) butter
40 gm (1 1/2 oz) dark brown sugar
160 gm (6 oz) of treacle
1 large egg, lightly beaten

Cream Cheese Frosting
225 gm (8oz) cream cheese
60 gm (2 oz) butter
130 gm (4.5 oz) icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Mix bicarbonate of soda with 125 ml of boiling water and stir well. Put to one side
  • Sift flour, salt, spices and baking powder together
  • Cream the butter then beat in the sugar until light and fluffy - an electric whisk is best for this (I recently bought a Kenwood one for £18, it was well worth it)
  • Beat in the treacle, the bicarbonate of soda mixture and the flour mixture until well combined
  • Beat in the egg
  • Line a muffin tin with muffin cases and pipe or spoon the mixture in (no more than half full)
  • Bake at 180ºC/350ºF/165ºFan/Gas Mark 4 for 15 minutes. Turn the tray 180 degrees and bake for another 15 minutes. Check that the sponge springs back when poked and that a skewer/toothpick comes out of the cakes clean. Cool for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely
  • While the cakes are baking mix the frosting. Blend the cream cheese and butter - again, best with an electric whisk - then add the vanilla extract. Finally stir in the sieved icing sugar
  • Store in the fridge until ready to use
  • Pipe onto the top of the cupcakes just before serving
Gingerbread cupcake cream cheese frosting Christmas trees
If you want to learn by my mistakes here are a few tips: don't forget to sieve the icing sugar - this resulted in my Mum, my sister and I all struggling to sieve the cream cheese mixture through a pair of tights (not easy and very messy); keep each part of the cupcake in a separate place - the cakes themselves and any decorations in a non-airtight container (i.e. a cardboard cake box) and the cream cheese frosting covered in the fridge; assemble a little while before serving - this may sound a bit of a pain but this is quite a wet frosting that combines well with the gingerbread and as such will start to dissolve decorations. If you were thinking of assembling in advance I would recommend removing the cupcakes from the fridge around an hour before serving and then decorating: but in truth I don't find the fridge to be a friend to cupcakes and I would therefore advise against it.

Happy baking - and eating!


  1. I think your cupcakes are really cute too. I haven't yet sussed what exactly edible glitter is yet or even where you get it, but it looks good. Glad to hear afternoon tea is your thing - I'm always having fantasies of setting up a teashop or writing a guide to the best teashops.

  2. These look great - so stylish!

  3. Thanks to you both. I'm a newbie when it comes to making cupcakes so any praise is very welcome!

  4. Can I just say as someone who worships at the altar of cupcakes the ones that Natalie brought round for Christmas were absolutely delicious. I was not organised enough to take any pictorial evidence but for those of you not lucky enough to see or scoff as many as I did the least I can do is share. There were two types: A deliciously spiced fruited cupcake topped with white fondant icing and decorated with holly leaves & berries; and a decadent chocolate cupcake swirled with chocolate frosting and topped with glittery stars. Utterly festive and scrumptious. I hope Natalie will post the recipes up at some point, especially the chocolate ones which were as divine as any I have tasted in the best cupcakeries.

  5. Miss O - you're making me blush! Coming from you with your amazing culinary skills that is praise indeed. I think I took a picture of them so I will post the recipes when I get back to Blighty.

  6. Considering you say you are a newbie to cupcakes, these look jolly nice. I have had similar problems with cream cheese icing myself and it's such a bore pushing it through a metal sieve only find there are still clumps of butter after you have finished.

    Thanks for following my blog and introducing me to yours!