Spice Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Icing

We arrived home from Japan on Saturday. As soon as Sarah had caught up on sleep, she headed into the kitchen to bake some cupcakes. She missed her baking fix while we were away. I must say it was fabulous to have two weeks away from cooking and housework, but we did miss home cooked meals and treats.

These Spice Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Icing are delicious. They are lightly spiced, moist, light cupcake, that is covered with a brown sugar icing made using a brown sugar syrup. The recipe made up a big batch of 18 cupcakes. We froze most of them and they have been a welcome addition to our lunch boxes as we get back into the work and school routine.

Spice Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Icing

2 1/2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. mixes spice
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg and/or allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/4 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 175°C (350°F).

In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a larger bowl, beat the butter, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs and vanilla.

Add about 1/3 of the flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir it in by hand or with the electric mixer on low speed, just until it’s combined. Add about half the milk in the same manner, then another third of the flour, the rest of the milk, and the rest of the flour, mixing just until the batter is blended.

Divide the batter between paper-lined muffin tins and bake for 25 minutes, or until the tops are springy to the touch. Cool completely before frosting. Makes about 18 cupcakes.

Brown Sugar Icing

1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tsp. vanilla (optional)
1/3 cup butter, softened
3 cups  icing sugar (confectioners sugar)

In a small bowl or pot, stir together the brown sugar, water and vanilla. Heat to a simmer to dissolve the sugar, stirring occasionally until the sugar is dissolved. In a medium bowl, beat the butter until creamy; add the icing sugar and about 3/4 of the brown sugar syrup and beat until smooth. Add more sugar or syrup as needed until you have a soft, spreadable icing.
Recipe was adapted from Dinner with Julie.
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