Bake Christmas Cupcakes

Not everyone likes mince pies at Christmas – so bake these handheld cupcakes to keep them happy. Mind you, we can’t promise that the mince-pie-eaters won’t help themselves, too!

Make It Yours!

It’s really easy to adapt this recipe without affecting the Culinary Chemistry that makes the cupcakes rise. Have a rummage in your cupboards and see what you can find for inspiration! Change the cinnamon for ground ginger or cloves and nutmeg; exchange 2tbsp flour for 2tbsp cocoa powder, and you’ve got a light Chocolate Cupcake.

The liquid is another ingredient that’s open to interpretation, according to your likes or dislikes: swap the Clementine juice for lemon, milk and vanilla, or lime. Want something a little different? Incorporate some ground chilli flakes into the batter, remove some flour and replace with the same amount of good cocoa, and top with a zesty lime icing! If you’re baking for grown-ups, you could swap the fruit juice for Tia Maria – or an equal amount of Tequila and Lime, to make Margarita Cupcakes! We hope this has given you some ideas to get started. So come on, let’s bake!

Christmas Clementine Cupcakes With Cinnamon Icing

These Christmas cupcakes are made special with two wintry ingredients – the juice of seasonal Clementines and a touch of warming cinnamon. Decorating them is up to you: you could get the children to create their own mini masterpieces, or sprinkle elegantly with gold edible balls. However you serve them up, we think these will go down beautifully while you’re gift-wrapping!

To bake 12 small cupcakes or 6-8 large (muffin-sized) cakes, you will need:
  • 110g (4oz) self-raising flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 110g (4oz) margarine
  • 110g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 150ml (5fl oz) Clementine juice (3-4 fruits) and zest of 1 (try to use organic, if you’re grating the zest)
  • 1tsp cinnamon
  • Juice of ½ lemon (or 1 clementine)
  • 200g (7oz) (approx) icing sugar

Using a food processor for this recipe isn’t just easy, it also ensures a smooth, light result. Let the batter whip up well and you’ll get a lovely light sponge. However, if you’re baking with children, they’ll probably prefer to get their hands messy! And that’s fine too – this recipe is pretty foolproof.

If making by hand: Cream the sugar and butter in a large bowl, beating thoroughly until the mixture is pale and whippy. Beat the eggs in a cup and stir them in with the orange juice – don’t worry if the mixture looks a bit lumpy to start with – just keep beating until it’s smooth. Sift in the flour and baking powder, and fold together until well combined. Proceed to fill the cupcake cases and bake as below.

If making in a processor: blitz all the ingredients at once until you have a smooth batter. Spoon into cupcake cases and bake at 180 degrees C for about 15-20 minutes, or until light gold and risen.

To make the icing, squeeze the citrus juice into a bowl and add the cinnamon. Put a sieve over the bowl and sift in most of the icing sugar, stopping when you reach a thick but spreadable consistency. Spoon over the cool cupcakes and leave to set. To serve, sprinkle with extra cinnamon and icing sugar if you like.

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