Sunday, 16 December 2012

Spiced Chocolate Cupcakes with Gingerbread Buttercream

Who has started their Christmas baking test-runs yet? Does anybody even do tests for such things? If you’re an inexperienced cook and you’re having the ol’ lot over, I’m guessing you’ve currently got a test-run turkey in the oven. That’s perfect because it’s a Sunday as well, just replacin’ the chicken for a turk really.  Here are my Christmas test run cupcakes, in unnecessarily copious amounts of pictures that I wish to share with you. Yes. You obviously wanted to look at every single picture I took that day. Obviously.
I’d otherwise slate the test-runner…what’s the point? Do you not have anything better to do with your time? Just chance it! But alas, I have become one of those weird test-run people. And boy, AM I GLAD. This chocolate cupcake slightly resembled a brownie (now would be a good time to mention that it was still delicious)! It was by no stretch of the word a light and fluffy cupcake, but a  kind of dense and dry topped brownie! Crossing THAT one off my Christmas baking list… next time I’ll go for a bitta stout in my liner, maybe even a bitta treacle, plus A LOT more spice in the batter. Don’t be afraid to be generous with the festive spices in a chocolate cake, it has a tendency to be masked by the intense flavours of chocolate you see.
Some good news - the buttercream was lovely, spicy and not too sweet. Rich, coming from a crusting buttercream recipe aye. But with a distinct lack of vanilla extract, and TONS of cinnamon and ginger, there is just this amazing balance of sweetness. The spices really do cut through all of that icing sugar! Still, I’ve got my eye on a mascarpone frosting, who knows how many more test-run’s my kitchen will see before the big day! 
The Recipe:                                   Makes aproximately 16 cupcakes 
The Cakes
100g dark chocolate, minimum 50%
4 eggs
100g self raising flour
2 and a half tsp cocoa powder
pinch of salt
225g caster sugar
175g soft butter
1 tsp vanilla extract 
Quertar tsp cinnamon
Quarter tsp ginger (optional)
The Buttercream
300g icing sugar
150g unsalted butter, soft
1 and a half tsp ginger 
2 tsp ground cinnamon 
1 tsp milk
The Method:

Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tray.

Over a ban-marie, heat the butter and chocolate together till melted.

Take off the heat, add all of the sugar, mix together and then set aside to cool.

With a whisk, mix for 3 minutes until slightly fluffy, add the eggs in one at a time.

Fold all of the dry ingredients (including the spices if you wish) until just incorporated.

Lastly fold in the vanilla. Fill the cupcake liners two thirds full and bake for 25 minutes.

For the frosting, beat the butter in the bowl of a freestanding mixer for half a minute.

Add the icing sugar bit by bit, lastly the spices until well incorporated.

Pipe and frost. I used a small french tip for these cupcakes.  
Expect a *possible* birthday cake  on the blog this week, as I'll be turning the big 20 on Wednesday. But let's not mention that again, just comment below and make me feel sane by telling me you also had a Christmas baking test-run today, please! Love Em xx


  1. The Caked Crusader16 December 2012 18:33

    Love your piping. I too am thinking chocolate cupcake for christmas - hope to post on my site next week!

    1. I will be looking forward to it!

  2. Yum, the buttercream sound amazing!

  3. These look great - and the pictures look fab. Happy Birthday for this week! :) x

    1. Thank you thank you thank you Susie! the cake might be shop bought..who knows!

  4. The frosting looks amazing. I'd have to do a few test runs to get that right!

  5. It's a good job you tested the recipes before you shared on Christmas day. I like your piping too x

  6. I loved christmas-y spices in anything. cinnamon and ginger are my favourite. i love the piping, it looks really pretty. i like to do a test run of any bake i'm worried won't come out right. your photos look gorgeous. x

  7. Happy Birthday for Wednesday! I love your fancy piping, a nice change from the traditional swirl.

    I generally try to test run recipes if the bake is a gift. Everything I've made so far, except the chutney, I've baked before. Otherwise I panic that it won't taste good and will disappoint somebody!

    1. Thank you jo!!! you would be surprised how simple it is to do this kind of piping, i was expecting a horrific disaster but it was so quick and simple! happy to hear you also test run :)

  8. These cupcakes are simply darling!!! I love that beautiful piping on the tops.

  9. These look absolutely beautiful and the piping is perfect. Enjoy your birthday!

  10. Your pictures always look amazing! And happy birthday for Wednesday :)

    1. Thanks kat! as you can see i literally couldnt make a decision on which pictures to upload! hope this didnt freeze your web page! x

  11. It look so delicious.Love it very much.Perfect for the holidays!!!


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