Happy First Sunday of Advent!
In Norway, the four Sundays of Advent are marked, if not celebrated. Most homes has a wreath with four candles, or a modernised version of it, and often, a poem will accompany the lighting of the first candle. I tried to find a translation of the most popular one, by Norwegian poet Inger Hagerup, but I couldn’t find one, please let me know if you know of a source.
So, it being already almost December and Christmas is a month away, I thought it would be appropriate to whip out the Christmas recipes. I will share some Christmas Cookies recipes over the next weeks, I will focus on some Swiss Christmas Cookies this year, to change things up a bit – but first these Christmas Cupcakes.
I usually make these to have for parties closer to Christmas, but I was in the mood to share them today. They are based on a recipe by Nigella Lawson, slightly adapted to make them my own.
Recipe Christmas Cupcakes
- 100g butter, softened
- 150g light brown sugar
- 2 eggs
- 150g flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ½ teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon mixed Christmas spices *
- 3 tablespoons plain or greek yoghurt
- 125ml boiling water
- 75g dark chocolate
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee
For the Christmas spices:
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- ¼ teaspoon cardamom
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- ¼ teaspoon allspice
- pinch of ground cloves
For the icing and decoration:
- 200 g powdered sugar
- a couple of tablespoons water or milk to desired consistency
- festive cupcake decorations
Preheat the oven to 200° C.
Prepare a cupcake/muffin pan with paper liners, this recipe will give 12 regular sized cupcakes or 24 minis.
First, mix together the ingredients of the spice mix in a small bowl.
Then, prepare the chocolate mixture by breaking the chocolate into small pieces and placing them in a bowl. Add the instant coffee. Cover with the boiling water and let it sit for a few minutes until the chocolate is soft and stir until smooth.
In the bowl of your stand mixer, cream the sugar and the butter until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well in between. Mix the flour with the baking powder, baking soda and spices and add to the batter, alternating with the yoghurt. Fold the chocolate mixture into the batter with a rubber spatula.
The cupcake batter will be very thin, so I find it best to transfer it to a measuring jug to pour it into the cupcake pan. Divide the batter between the cases and bake for about 20 minutes. If you are unsure (as I often am with my oven), you can test with a cake tester to see if it’s cooked through.
Let the cupcakes cool in the pan first, then on a wire rack.
Mix together the powdered sugar and the milk/water to make the icing. The consistency should be quite sturdy, just runny enough that it will spread on the cupcakes. Ice the cupcakes with as much icing as you’d like and top with cupcake decorations.
These cupcakes are also delicious with a simple vanilla buttercream frosting, as seen here.