Christmas Cupcakes

so, the big day is fast approaching. 6 days worth of advent calender chocolates down and I am really starting to get into the festive spirit. So in this vein, I have found these gorgeously xmasy cupcakes online, the mincemeat, nutmeg and brandy combo is to die for! 🙂

Ingredients
115g butter, softened
230g caster sugar
2tsp vanilla bean paste or extract
230g plain flour
2tsp baking powder
3 eggs, large
140g mincemeat
½ tsp mixed spice
½ tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
1 tsp brandy, optional

Icing
3 oz/85g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp Cointreau, or preferred liqueur, or brandy

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C/Gas Mark 4
  2. In a large roomy baking bowl, place the butter and sugar and beat together until light and fluffy. Add the vanilla bean paste or extract and stir.
  3. One by one add the eggs beating really well after each addition.
  4. Sift the flour and baking powder together. Fold into the butter-sugar in three parts, making sure each is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  5. Finally stir in the mincemeat, spices and brandy if using.
  6. Place cupcake cases into a muffin tin. Fill each case 2/3 full and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the cakes are golden brown and well risen. Cool on a wire rack before icing.
  7. To make the icing: Combine the Cointreau or liqueur with the icing sugar Drizzle over the top of each cupcake and serve.


Deliciously Christmasy, Thanks to http://britishfood.about.com for the Fab recipe!

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Nutmeg Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting

Nutmeg is a fabulously christmasy flavour and when combined with lemon cream cheese frosting it is simply magical! Enjoy…

Ingredients
170g plain flour
50g whole wheat flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon, ground or 1/4 tsp freshly grated
1 tsp nutmeg, freshly ground
75g unsalted butter, softened
70ml apple sauce
225g granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
60ml yogurt, buttermilk or kefir (I tend to substitute buttermilk for sour cream)
1 cup ripe bananas, smashed (from about 2 bananas)
2 medium apples, peeled, cored and grated

Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
2 ounces unsalted butter, softened
2 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Zest of one lemon
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 190C/Gas Mark 4. Line a muffin pan with cupcake holders.
  2. Combine the dry ingredients & and set aside.
  3. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla, then beat the eggs in one at a time. Fold in the yoghurt, followed by the dry ingredients, mixing until just combined. Fold in the bananas and apples. Fill each cupcake cup about 2/3 full.
  4. Bake for about 20 minutes, checking every couple of minutes afterwards, until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer cupcakes to a wire rack to cool.
  5. For the frosting: With an electric mixer, cream together the butter and cream cheese.
  6. With the mixer on low speed, add the powdered sugar.
  7. Stir in the vanilla, lemon zest and lemon juice.Frost each cooled cupcake with a butter knife or piped through a frosting bag and grate a dusting of fresh nutmeg over the tops.

Yummy! Big thanks to Mother Earth News for the recipe.