Good old-fashioned spice cupcakes seem to have gotten lost among the chocolate and red velvet… I love a simple spiced cupcake, particularly at this time of year – and nothing makes the house smell better as it bakes. These cupcakes are spiked with cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and allspice, and are topped with a caramelly brown sugar frosting – deliciously different yet comfortingly familiar.
To add a swirly top to your cupcakes, spoon the frosting into a zip-lock baggie, seal and snip off a corner, then squeeze the frosting out onto the cupcakes.
Birthday Spice Cupcakes with Creamy Brown Sugar Frosting
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. nutmeg and/or allspice
1/4 tsp. salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1 1/4 cups packed brown sugar
3 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups milk
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 2 dozen muffin tins with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, spices, and salt. In a larger bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer for about half a minute, until it’s pale and creamy. Pour in the sugar and continue to beat for 3-4 minutes, until the mixture is light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Scrape down the sides of the bowl whenever it needs it.
Stir the vanilla into the milk. Add about one-third 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 the prepared tins, filling them about 3/4 full, and bake for 20-25 minutes until the cupcakes are golden and tops are springy to the touch. Cool completely before frosting.
Makes 1 1/2 dozen cupcakes.
Creamy Brown Sugar Frosting
Adapted from Kitchen Confidante.
1 – 8 oz. (250 g) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
3/4 cup brown sugar
2 cups powdered sugar, plus extra as needed
1 tsp. vanilla
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and butter until fluffy; add brown sugar and beat until well blended. Gradually beat in the powdered sugar and vanilla until you have a spreadable frosting. Frost cupcakes once they have cooled completely.