Gingerbread Cupcakes

Spiced gingerbread cupcakes with tangy and fluffy cream cheese frosting. A festive cupcake perfect for Christmas time!

DSC03220

It doesn’t really much more festive than these homemade gingerbread cupcakes! Lightly spiced with festive flavour packed into each bite, these cupcakes are just perfect for the season!

I’ve revamped a classic sponge recipe by adding light brown sugar for a delicious caramel taste, and festive spices for warmth. The frosting is my go-to cream cheese frosting. It’s completely fail-proof and works perfectly every single time I make it. I use mascarpone for a slightly creamier consistency and it also makes the frosting lighter. Together they are the perfect Christmas combination without being too sweet. A quick note: if you want you can half the frosting, as it makes an ample amount – but if you like a generous portion of frosting just make the whole recipe as I’ve written it.

DSC03237

When I first tested these cupcakes out we ate them warm with vanilla ice cream and drizzled with toffee sauce – sounds delicious, right? These cupcakes are very versatile, so you can serve them either warm or at room temperature. I personally think serving one of these warm with a generous scoop of ice cream on the side, whipped cream or custard would make a super indulgent dessert!

To decorate the cupcakes I used these adorable mini gingerbread men that I found at the supermarket. But feel free to decorate with your own homemade gingerbread, or simply with sprinkles. These are sure to be a hit with your family and friends at Christmas.

DSC03269

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Gingerbread Cupcakes:

150g unsalted butter, softened

150g dark or light brown sugar

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

150g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon ground cinnamom

1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon mixed spice

4 tablespoons (60ml) milk

Cream Cheese Frosting:

60g unsalted butter, softened

200g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

400g full-fat cream cheese, softened – I leave mine out at room temperature for an hour to soften

Method:

  1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat oven to 180 C /160 Fan. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with paper liners. Set aside.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix to incorporate. Sift together the flour and spices and add to the batter. Continue to beat until no lumps of flour remain, then finally stir through the milk.
  3. Equally distribute the cupcake batter between the paper liners. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until risen and when inserted into the centre a cake tester comes out clean. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.
  4.  To make the frosting: Cream the softened butter in a stand mixer on medium speed for about 2 minutes to soften. Now add the sifted icing sugar and vanilla and starting on a low speed mix to combine. Continue to cream for 5 minutes or until really pale in colour – stop the mixer halfway through to scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
  5. Once creamed add the softened cream cheese. Turn the mixer up and whisk on high speed for approximately 2-3 minutes or until the frosting is creamy, thick and smooth. You need to use an electric hand mixer or stand mixer with the a whisk attachment to make sure the frosting reaches the correct consistency.
  6. Pipe the cupcakes with the frosting and then decorate just before serving with mini gingerbread men, gingerbread sprinkles or any your other favourite sprinkles.

Enjoy!

jess

Keep up to date with me on:

Like my Facebook page here 

Instagram: @whatjessicabakednext

Twitter: @jessbakednext

Pinterest: @jessbakednext

Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Carrot layer cake decorated with the ultimate fluffy cream cheese frosting. A cake recipe perfect for any occasion! 

image

Admittedly, I have many favourite recipes. Carrot cake is one of my most beloved desserts. It’s moist, light, fluffy and each slice goes down a treat.

What I love most of all is how easy and simple this carrot cake recipe is to prepare. I also really adore the combination of spices, warming ground cinnamon, ginger and cloves work wonderfully, giving this cake its gorgeous unique flavour.

I think we can all agree that no other frosting suits carrot cake like a classic cream cheese frosting. So that’s what I went for to decorate my cake. Cream cheese frosting is usually my nemesis, as hard as I try I always seem to mess it up. Most of the time ending up with a runny and loose frosting with lumps of butter in! But I finally found a great cream cheese frosting, which has become my new go-to recipe! It’s ultra creamy and is made by simply whisking together cream cheese and mascarpone with icing sugar, vanilla and double cream. It turns out perfect each time.

image

This recipe makes a big cake, which will serve about 10-12. If preferred, you could bake a batch of 24 cupcakes instead. I haven’t tried this yet, but baking time will differ.

This recipe is exactly how me and my taste testers like carrot cake. Plain and simple, without too many nuts in the cake, or any raisins or dried fruit added. It’s a definite favourite, and I cannot wait to make it again soon! Plus, we found the cake got better with age (I preferred the taste on day 2 and day 3), the flavour getting even stronger and the frosting stayed super creamy and fluffy.

I hope you love baking and eating this cake as much as we did!

Ingredients:

Cake –

450g (1 pound) carrots, finely grated

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

200g (1 cup) caster sugar

200g (1 packed cup) light brown sugar

355ml (1 1/2 cups) vegetable oil (or other flavourless oil such as canola)

80ml (1/3 cup) buttermilk

1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract

240g (2 cups) plain flour (all-purpose)

150g (1 cup) wholemeal flour

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

Cream Cheese Frosting –

250g (8.8 ounces) full-fat cream cheese, softened

250g (8.8 ounces) mascarpone, softened

150g icing sugar, sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

225ml double cream, chilled

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C (160 Fan), 350 degrees. Line two 9 inch round cake tins with a circle of parchment paper in the bottom of each. Grease the sides of each tin with butter. Set to one side.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the grated carrot, eggs, sugars, oil, buttermilk and vanilla.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flours, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, salt and spices until combined.
  4. Add the dry ingredients to the wet, and fold until fully incorporated.
  5. Equally divide the cake batter between the cake tins. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean of any uncooked batter – cooking time will depend on your oven, so if in doubt, carry on baking the cake until the cake tester comes out clean. 
  6. Once the cakes are fully baked, allow to cool completely in the tins, then remove.
  7. For the frosting, in a large mixing bowl whisk the softened cream cheese and mascarpone until smooth. Add the vanilla extract and sifted icing sugar and whisk until combined. Now add the double cream bit by bit, and whisk the mixture until it has thickened – this will take approx. 1-2 minutes.
  8. To decorate, take one cake half and spread with a layer of the frosting. Place the second cake layer on top and sandwich the two halves together. Crumb coat the cake – this is done by using an off set palette knife to spread a very thin layer of the frosting around the cake. Chill the cake at this point for at least 30 minutes to allow the first layer of frosting to harden.
  9. Now using the remaining frosting, decorate and ice the cake. Finish decorating the cake with chopped pecans or walnuts, or your favourite sprinkles or sweets.
  10. Chill the cake until ready to serve. Then slice up and enjoy!

Carrot Cake recipe adapted very slightly from Faux Martha Frosting inspired by All Recipes UK 

Recipe Notes:

  • You can bake the cake, and wrap it in cling film and store for 2 days before you make the frosting and decorate it.
  • Keep the frosted cake covered in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

image

Enjoy!

jess

Keep up to date with me on:

Like my Facebook page here 

Instagram: @whatjessicabakednext

Twitter: @jessbakednext

Pinterest: @jessbakednext