Twas the night before the School Christmas Fayre and all through the house, not a creature was stirring…except mummy, who was stirring cake batter furiously while rifling through the spice cupboards in a panic. Yep, I somehow thought it was a good idea to volunteer to make four boxes of Christmas cupcakes.
This recipe was made with a good helping of guesswork but ended up making a really light, crisp, spiced sponge and a moreish white chocolate marzipan icing that pipes quite soft and sets quite firm.
Here’s what to do to make 12.
- 200g caster sugar
- 200g dark soft brown sugar
- 180g butter
- 1sp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 400g self-raising flour
- 1 tsp mixed spice
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 2-4 tbsp cold black tea
- 550g icing sugar
- 180g butter, softened
- 2 tsp almond extract
- 200g white chocolate
- Up to 2 tbsp water
- assorted toppers such as holly and silver sugar pearls
- Starting with the sponge, beat together the sugars and butter until pale and fluffy
- Beat in the eggs and vanilla
- Sieve in the flour, mixed spice and cinnamon and fold through
- Stir in 2 tbsp of cold black tea – if the batter seems to stiff, add up to 2 more tbsp of black tea
- Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases and divide the batter evenly between them
- Bake at 200C (180C fan assisted) 20-30 mins until softly browned and springy
- Cool completely on a wire rack
- Meanwhile, prepare the icing by gently melting the chocolate over a bowl of steam and then allowing to cool but not set
- Beat together the butter, icing sugar and almond extract by adding the sugar bit by bit until pale, smooth and fluffy, then beat in the white chocolate
- Beat in 1 tbsp of water – if the icing is still too thick to pipe, beat more water drop by drop
- Pipe the icing over the cupcakes and then top with festive decorations
I hear they went down pretty well at school, so that’s a relief!