Monday, 2 December 2013

Christmas Spice Cupcakes

Yes, I know it's only December 2nd. Here at Oxford though, things started getting Christmassy a long time ago. We celebrate "Oxmas" on the 25th November every Michaelmas. A fair amount of outrageous Christmas jumpers can be spotted around college, we all exchange secret santa gifts, drink copious amounts of mulled wine and eat a beautiful Oxmas dinner in our stunning 15th century hall. All pretty picturesque, really.

Oxmas and Christmas are nothing however, without ridiculous amounts of cake! And so, on Saturday of 7th week I journeyed home, purely to spend a day in the kitchen baking everything Christmassy imaginable. What I made this term will come soon, however for now have these Christmas Spice Cupcakes!

.I made these at Christmas time last year (hence the lack of pictures; I wasn't a blogger then!) for my sister to take to a staff do - needless to say my parents watched her drive away with them with heavy hearts.

This recipe is one of my own (not Mary's, for once!) and I was super pleased with the way it turned out, so with Christmas just around the corner, why not whip up a batch for your family and friends to enjoy?

150g butter, softened
150g soft brown sugar
150g self raising flour
3 eggs
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground cinammon
1/2 tsp mixed spice
40g natural yoghurt (I use Yeo Valley)
150g butter (for icing)
300g icing sugar (for icing)
120g light brown sugar (for toffee sauce)
200ml double cream (for toffee sauce)
60g unsalted butter (for toffee sauce)
1 tbsp golden syrup (for toffee sauce)

Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (170 Fan) Line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.

Beat together the sugar and the butter. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. 

Sift together the flour, cinnamon, ginger, mixed and mixed spice. Sift into the butter and egg mixture and gently fold in until all is incorporated. Fold in the natural yogurt. 

Spoon into cupcake cases until they are 2/3 full - be careful not to over fill, you don't want the mixture to bubble over the edges and burn. Bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes.

Whilst the cupcakes are baking, make the toffee sauce. Heat the sugar, butter, cream and golden syrup in a medium pan over a medium heat until it is thick and dark brown colored. The sauce should be bubbling slightly but not boiling. Remove from the heat.

Next, make the icing. Beat together the butter and icing sugar. Beat in a little of the toffee sauce, but not so much that the icing becomes ready. It needs to be thick enough to pipe. 

When the cakes are golden brown and spring back to the touch, remove from the oven, transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely before icing. When ready to ice, spoon the butter icing into a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle and pipe in swirls on top of the cupcakes. Next, spoon the cooled toffee sauce into a piping bag, snip a small hole at the end, and drizzle over the cupcakes. 

Share with loved ones beside the Christmas tree :)

Christmas Pudding decoration and sprinkles from Lakeland.
I think its fair to say my blog has become rather cupcake dominated, I just gain immense satisfaction from making these pretty little beauties. I'll try and vary things up a little bit soon though; expect mince pies and christmassy cookies!

Oxmas/Christmas love to all x

PS These snickerdoodles are also pretty darn Christmassy, and perfect with a glass of spicy mulled wine.

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