This post first appeared on The Purple Pumpkin Blog in December 2011. I have updated this post (added Pinterest buttons)
Another cheat kit has been bought. This time from Tesco and by cook Mary Berry for Spiced Christmas Cupcakes. I’ve also provided the ingredients list and method for you to print/save!
At £2.50 for the kit which contains all the dry ingredients (and the splash of brandy needed for the frosting), plus instructions and cupcake cases to make 12 cupcakes, I’d say that this is a bargain!
Here’s the kit in a handy carry bag…
Cutting across the top of the package reveals all the things you need to make these cupcakes (with a few additions from your own store cupboard)
Flour, sugar, spices, mixed fruit, icing sugar, brandy, cupcake cases and of course, instructions.
In addition, you also need 3 eggs, an orange, unsalted butter and silver balls to decorate with (optional).
Unlike Delia’s Christmas cake kit which I tried out a few weeks ago, the instructions give you the weights of the ingredients, which means I will be able to share them if you would like to try them yourself.
For the cupcakes:
- 200g dark brown sugar
- 225g self raising flour
- 6g mixed spice
- 190g mixed fruit (sultanas, candied mixed peel, currants and raisins)
- 150g unsalted butter (softened)
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 orange
- 12 cupcake cases
- Silver balls to decorate (optional)
For the brandy butter frosting:
- 225g icing sugar
- 100g unsalted butter (softened)
- 35ml brandy
As always I preheat the oven…I set mine at 150C as I’ve got a rather hot oven, but the instructions say 180C (160C fan)/350F/Gas 4. I also lined my cupcake tin with the cases.
Place the butter and sugar into a bowl and with an electric whisk or wooden spoon beat together.
Next fold in the flour and mixed spice until evenly blended. I always sieve flour first to make it a bit lighter. I thought this step was weird in that it made the mixture really dry and hard to combine. I would normally either mix everything together, or put the wet ingredients to the sugar and butter mix first and then fold in the flour, but that’s just me and I will probably do that next time I make these (I’ve got another kit in the kitchen waiting to be prepped!)
Next, crack in the eggs. One…
Then zest the orange and squeeze in the orange juice. I’ve managed to lose my citrus squeezer so had to use my hands >_<
And give it a good beating until evenly blended.
Then stir in the dried fruit mix. The fruits that came with the kit were not soaked in alcohol, but it’s something you could do a few hours in advance by spooning over a couple of tablespoons of brandy or rum or whisky to make the cakes boozy as well…it is Christmas after all!
All that’s left to do is to divide the mixture between the twelve cupcake cases. I started with a heaped dessert spoon in each case and kept going until all the mixture was gone!
Into the oven they go for 30-35 minutes until well risen and golden brown. You leave the cakes in the tin to cool for 15 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
Once cooled it was time to make the brandy butter frosting.
The instruction leaflet tells me to gradually beat the icing sugr into the butter until smooth. (I normally whizz it altogether in the electric mixer!) Then to add the brandy until light and creamy.
With a palette knife I spread the frosting on top of each cupcake. Then sprinkled silver balls on top for decoration.
Some went into individual cupcake boxes, and some went into a box that holds six and were given as gifts.
And there were some left over for us to try! They were delicious! A lot lighter than I was expecting them to be and the brandy butter frosting gives a nice boozy backnote