Brown sugar and cinnamon cupcakes, filled with festive sprinkles, and topped with lashings of cinnamon cream cheese icing.
This will be, rather unbelievably, my last post from the road. In 5 days time we’ll get on the eurostar in Paris, and be back in London for lunchtime. It will be over 100 days since we left Hong Kong to fly to Singapore, and in that time we’ve made it all the way to Berlin overland. I can’t quite believe we’re in Berlin, a part of our trip that seemed so incredibly far away when I made these Christmas cakes way back in July!
Much as I’m not in the slightest bit ready for this trip to end, I’m incredibly excited to get back home to England, and back to the kitchen. It’ll be my mum’s very well stocked kitchen at that – hurrah! I’ve been making lists of all the Christmas bakes I want to squeeze into the few short days between getting back and Christmas day. Its lengthy, realistically I’ll be too busy unpacking, sifting through packing boxes to see what made it back to the UK in one piece, and celebrating our return with friends and family to do more than half of it, but hey, I can dream!
I’ve got Christmas spices on the brain, and my Pinterest Christmas board is a sea of gingerbread. Gingerbread cookies, gingerbread stars, iced gingerbread, gingerbread layer cakes, gingerbread cupcakes, gingerbread houses. Talking of which, did you see Molly Yeh’s epic gingerbread farm? Complete it with gingerbread horses, coconut snow, chocolate roofs and a little pink tractor, I want to move in and live there! Go and check it out.
These cupcakes may not be quite as epic as a full on gingerbread farm, but they are a really fun recipe for Christmas. They’re made with brown sugar and flavoured with that most festive of spices, cinnamon. I love the effect that brown sugar has on cupcakes, it makes them extra moist, and gives a richer, deeper flavour.
I swirled lots of sprinkles through to give them a pretty christmas pattern when you bite into them. Spots of festive colour running right through the cupcakes. A little Christmas surprise, if you will. The sugar dissolves into the cupcakes as they bake just leaving the colour behind. There’s no unpleasant crunch of sprinkles, just lovely tender spiced cake.
They’re topped with lashings of a delicious cream cheese icing, speckled with cinnamon. If you’d prefer the icing to be white simply leave the cinnamon out of the icing.
A little note on the Christmas coloured sprinkles; I bought my sprinkles in Hong Kong. But after a quick internet search I’ve also found similar ones here.
Cinnamon Christmas Cupcakes
for the cakes
70g butter, softened to room temperature
70g soft light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground all spice
1 large egg
70g plain flour (all purpose)
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons coloured sprinkles
for the icing
70g full fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
100g butter, softened to room temperature
100g icing sugar, sifted (confectioners’ sugar)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
additional sprinkles, to decorate
Preheat your oven to 180C/ 160 fan/ 350F.
Line a 6 hole cupcake pan with 6 paper cases.
In a large bowl, cream together your butter, sugar, cinnamon, and all spice, until the mixture is light and creamy.
Add you egg, flour and baking powder and mix until all the ingredients are evenly incorporated, and the mixture is smooth. If the mixture is very stiff you may need to add a small splash of milk to loosen it a little.
Very gently stir the sprinkles through the batter. You want to be careful not to over mix, as this will make the colour run into the batter and you won’t get nice dots of colour in the finished cupcakes.
Divide the batter evenly between your cupcake cases.
Bake for about 15 minutes, or until the cakes are golden, risen, and an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
Once cool, make your icing.
Beat together the cream cheese and butter until smooth and evenly mixed. This can take a bit of work, an electric beater will speed up the process.
Sift in the icing sugar and cinnamon. Mix slowly at first, then beat until evenly combined.
Pipe or spread onto your cupcakes. Decorate with extra sprinkles. I put a whole container of sprinkles into a deep bowl, then rolled the edge of the cupcakes in the sprinkles to create a pretty border.