Winter Spiced Cupcakes

This week has just gone so quick...I feel like I say that every week but as I've gotten older time really seems to fly by. I finished work today so I'm now off for 11 days. It's these 11 days that I want to go as slow as possible. January 2nd can stay away thank you very much. I just want to enjoy not setting my alarm and being able to take blog photos in the middle of the day and not at 8am before running out to the bus. It's the little things that make time off so enjoyable. 

We are putting off the Christmas food shop until Sunday morning but I think we will regret it when Sainsbury's is rammed with crazed shoppers hunting down the last turkey. We usually have ever wants chicken at Christmas...but this year we are having Christmas lunch at a friends and doing our own lunch on Boxing day. Then another lunch on the 27th with my family in Chesterfield. So many Christmas lunches!

These cupcakes would be really nice with the traditional Boxing Day buffet. Love Baking magazine got in touch with me and asked if I'd like to have a go at one of the recipes from their latest issue. There were so many gorgeous recipes in the issue, it took me ages to pick just one. The cookies and cream fudge looks amazing! I ended up picking out the winter spiced cupcakes recipe. I loved the idea of cardamom in it and it gave me a good excuse to use the big tub of ground cardamom I picked up at the Scandinavian Kitchen in London. 

The cupcakes are so rich and warm from the spices. I added some lemon icing which goes really well with the dark brown sugar and molasses. Of course, you can just add a sprinkling of icing sugar, in the magazine they used a snowflake stencil to make patterns on top of the buns which looked really pretty. 

Winter Spiced Cupcakes

makes 18 

for the cupcakes:
100g unsalted butter, at room temp
350g black treacle/molasses
75g brown sugar
2 large eggs
240ml boiling water
37g plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cardamom
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground coriander
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon lemon zest

for the icing:
juice of 1 lemon
170g icing sugar

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 C/350 F and line two muffin trays with cases.
  2. Sift together the flour, baking powder, spices, salt and lemon zest. Press the zest through the sieve with the back of a spoon.
  3. In a large bowl, cream the butter and then add the sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and molasses and beat well. Slowly pour in the boiling water and mix until smooth.
  4. Gradually add the dry ingredients until completely incorporated. 
  5. Fill the muffin cases 3/4 full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Leave to cool completely.
  6. To make the icing, mix together the lemon juice and icing sugar until smooth and drizzle over the muffins.