Christmas Cupcakes & Cinnamon Butter Fudge //
It’s the most wonderful time of the year, and to celebrate I’m bringing a double whammy post of recipes – cinnamon Christmas cupcakes and cinnamon and nutmeg butter fudge! The latter I’m handing out as little gift favours, the former I baked for a Christmas party!
Fudge is quite simple to make, though time consuming, and can be a little frustrating if it doesn’t set! The trick is to really beat it at the end, to get a lot of cold air in quickly. If it does go wrong and doesn’t set, you can always throw it back in the pan, re-boil, re-beat and try again! (That’s what I had to do with this batch – practice doesn’t always make perfect!)
350g golden caster sugar
100g unsalted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract/vanilla paste
. Butter a cake tin, approx. 18cm width
. Put the butter, milk and sugar into a heavy-based pan and melt together slowly, until all the sugar crystals have dissolved.
. Bring to the boil and and boil for 15-20 minutes, stirring all the time (be careful not to get splashed!)
. The fudge is ready when it reaches ‘soft ball’ consistency, keep a bowl of cold water next to you as you cook. After 20 minutes drop a little into the water. If it easily molds into a ball, it’s ready. If not, leave another few minutes. Alternatively if you have a sugar thermometer, its 115 degrees.
. Remove from the heat and add the vanilla, and other flavourings. This time I am using half a teaspoon of cinnamon and a pinch of nutmeg. Leave to cool for 5 minutes.
. Beat with a wooden spoon for a few minutes, until the mixture starts to thicken, and it loses it’s gloss. The thickening will be quite noticeable.
. Pour/scrape into the prepared pan and pat down into a smooth shape. Once cooled, cut into squares and eat. Yum!
As for the cupcakes, they’re similarly cinnamon scented, with an adorable little Christmas tree on top. I had some sprinkles that were perfect for the job! I was very pleased with how these turned out, my boyfriend even commented that they’re my most professional looking creation to date, which I was very flattered by.
150g unsalted butter
150g light muscovado sugar
150g self raising flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
pinch of nutmeg
1 tbsp milk
. Pre-heat oven to Gas Mark 4, (180c). Line a cupcake tray with cases.
. Cream together butter & sugar. Sift flour with spices. Whisk the eggs briefly with a fork.
. Alternate add the eggs with adding flour to the mixture until all is combined. Finally, add the milk.
. Fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full and bake for 15 – 20 minutes, or until the sponge springs back to the touch.
250g icing sugar
80g unsalted butter, softened
food colouring of choice (in this case, green)
. Combine the icing sugar and butter together.
. Combine the milk and vanilla together in a small bowl, and add slowly to the icing sugar.
. Add the food colouring, slowly, as depending on the type it could be very strong. I used some Tesco own brand for mine and used almost the whole bottle!
. If using a machine, leave to whip for about 5 minutes, until lovely and frothy. If beating by hand, keep going until the buttercream is quite sturdy and remains on your spoon when held up.
. Once your cupcakes are cooled, put your buttercream in a piping bag with a large nozzle.
. Starting from the middle, create a round base, then go up in a circle so there is a solid base to make your Christmas tree.
. Decorate with sprinkles, glitter, stars, etc! Whatever you have that feels festive.
Happy Christmas everyone! xx