Christmas in a cupcake. A fluffy, moist spiced cupcake topped with spicy-sweet cream cheese frosting combines the best flavours of the season all in each festive bite! I think I’ve found my favourite gluten free cupcake for the holiday season!
This year I am ready for Christmas. I am ready for the time off to spend with my family, ready for the carols that I can’t help but sing along to, ready for the long hot summer days at the beach, and ready for all the tasty treats this season brings. For me, Christmas means bringing out all the spiced baked goods – I’m talking cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, all spice, nutmeg – bring on the dusky coloured jewels of the earth and tree and sprinkle them with abandon. Christmas time is here. So let’s get your baking season started with a heavenly pairing of fluffy cupcake and creamy frosting!
We didn’t make gingerbread in my house growing up, but my Mum makes beautiful spice cut-out cookies instead (coming soon!). As an adult though, I have grown to love gingerbread, and it’s all the better in cupcake form.
My Gingerbread Cupcakes are the perfect combination of tongue-tingling spices and deep sweetness contributed by honey, golden syrup, and brown sugar. These sweeteners, with the addition of thick Greek yoghurt and eggs, make the crumb of the cupcakes extra moist with an almost caramelised sweetness. The fluffy cream cheese frosting echoes the spices in the cupcakes – this is my favourite frosting, and I would be lying if I didn’t tell you that while making these cupcakes I danced around the kitchen to ‘All I Want For Christmas is You‘ (by the one and only Mariah, of course) with a frosting-spoon microphone and a sticky grin. Do try it at least once this season.
The cupcake representation here on the blog has expanded over the past few months and I can attribute that to finding the secret to a moist, non-crumbly gluten free cupcake: ground chia seeds. These little gems, once ground up in a coffee or spice grinder and mixed with the liquid being used in your cupcake mixture give the crumb wonderful structure. Chia seeds provide the elasticity that is missing when you take gluten away from your baking. This simple addition means your gluten free baked goods feel more like ‘gluten-full’ baked goods! Goodbye crumbly cupcakes; hello fluffy, frosted gems!
Luckily, I sent these cupcakes to work with Chris after treating myself to one that was greedily gobbled down in a post-baking, pre-dinner frenzy. I think they will be making another appearance at our family Christmas celebrations though – these would be a perfect contribution to a Christmas Day feast! I also have a feeling that these would be popular with workmates, or as a neighbourly Christmas offering!
Gingerbread Cupcakes with Spiced Cream Cheese Frosting
Gluten free | Makes 20-22 large cupcakes | Leftovers will keep stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three days
Note: If you do not require these cupcakes to be gluten free you can replace the buckwheat flour, brown rice flour, and white rice flour with a total of 280 grams (~ 2 cups) plain flour.
- 125 grams butter
- 1/4 cup honey
- 1/4 cup golden syrup
- 100 grams buckwheat flour
- 90 grams brown rice flour
- 90 grams white rice flour
- 1/2 cup almond meal
- ¾ teaspoon bicarbonate soda
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 2 ½ teaspoons ground ginger
- 2 teaspoons cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon finally ground chia seeds (use a coffee or spice grinder)
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup plain Greek/natural yoghurt
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line 2 12-hole muffin tins with baking cups.
- Place butter, honey, and golden syrup in a medium saucepan and melt over a medium heat. Set aside to cool.
- In a large mixing bowl whisk together buckwheat flour, white rice flour, brown rice flour, almond meal, bicarbonate soda, baking powder, and spices.
- In a separate bowl whisk together finely ground chia seeds, milk, sour cream, eggs, brown sugar, and vanilla.
- Add melted butter mixture to flour mix and whisk until smooth. Then add milk mix to the batter and stir gently with a wooden spoon. It may look like it won’t combine but just be a little patient and keep stirring.
- Divide mixture evenly between baking cups and slide into the oven.
- Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the tops bounce back when lightly pressed. Swap trays over halfway through baking time.
- Allow to cool completely before frosting and decorating as desired.
For the frosting
- 250 grams cream cheese (full fat is best), softened
- 4-5 cups icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 tablespoons milk
- Sprinkles for decorating (optional)
- To make frosting: beat together cream cheese and butter until light and fluffy. Add 4 cups of icing sugar, spices, vanilla and milk. Beat until combined. You want a slightly stiff mixture. If frosting is too loose add extra cup of icing sugar.
- Spoon frosting into a piping bag fitted with your choice of tip. Decorate cupcakes as desired and then sprinkle with decorations (if using). You could alternately use a knife to frost the cupcakes.
These ones are Rudy Approved!
Tell me dear reader, what are your favourite seasonal cupcake flavours? What are your baking plans, or sweet-eating plans for that matter? Anyone else love some seasonal Mariah guilty pleasures?