We dug up some of the following recipes from our archives that add sweetness to the Christmas feasts. Get baking and decorating some of the plain cupcakes to make that festive feast complete.
Lexie Morris, the owner of Lollipop Bakery, has spent the past year bringing cupcakes-as-they-should-be to Beijing’s community of sweet tooth traditionalists. Originally from London, Morris left her corporate life behind and now spends most of her days (and nights) in the kitchen, whipping up batches of earthly delights with flavors like Red Velvet, Spiced Carrot, and of course, her signature Earl Grey. "I absolutely love that my office is a bakery. The smells that waft out of our ovens every day are simply divine." So take a cue from Lollipop Bakery and spend a day baking with the kids.
Classic Vanilla Cupcakes
Makes 18 cupcakes
1¾ cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla
8 tbsp butter, room
1¼ cups white sugar
2 large eggs
In one bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and salt together and put aside. In a second bowl, mix the milk and vanilla together and put to one side. In a third bowl, use an electric beater and beat butter on high until it is white and creamy. Add sugar to the butter and beat until it’s well incorporated. Then add eggs one at a time, mixing slowly after each addition to make sure it doesn’t curdle. Slowly add one-third of the flour mixture to the butter mixture. Then gradually add one-third of the milk and vanilla mixture, beating until well incorporated. Add another third of the flour mixture, followed by another third of the milk mixture. Stop to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the remaining flour mixture, followed by the remaining milk mixture, and beat until combined. Fill cupcake cases until they’re two-thirds full. Bake in oven at 1800C for 20 minutes, or until a chopstick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Top with buttercrème frosting.
Tip: Don’t overbeat the mixture, it prevents the base from becoming light and fluffy.
2 tsp freshly ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly ground nutmeg
½ tsp allspice
½ tsp freshly ground cloves
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup white sugar
Use the Classic Vanilla Cupcake recipe above, but replace the 1¼ cups white sugar with ¾ cup brown sugar and ½ cup of white sugar. Follow the remaining steps of the Classic Vanilla recipe, and as a final step add the ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, allspice and ground cloves. Bake, frost and decorate as normal.
Tip: For added moisture, use buttermilk instead of milk.
Candy Cane Cupcakes
1½ tsps peppermint extract
2 tbsp red food colouring
Use the Classic Vanilla Cupcake recipe above. As a final step add the peppermint extract to the batter. Then, divide the batter into two equal batches, adding the red food colouring to one batch. When filling the cupcake cases, alternate with spoonfuls of red and white batter until they’re two-thirds full. Try to keep the amounts of batter as even as possible, and plop each alternating spoonful right in the center of the cupcake case. Bake, frost and decorate as normal.
Simple Buttercrème Frosting
Makes 3 cups of icing
1 cup butter or margarine, room temperature
1 tsp vanilla essence
4 cups sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
In large bowl, cream butter with electric mixer. Then add vanilla. Gradually add sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on a medium speed. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl often. When all of the sugar has been mixed in, the icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until the mixture is light and fluffy. Keep the bowl covered with a damp cloth until ready to use.
Spiced Apple Cupcakes
4 cups apple, peeled and finely diced
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp freshly grated ginger
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
sprinkle of freshly ground cloves
Use the Classic Vanilla Cupcake recipe above. As a final step, add the apple, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and cloves. Bake as normal. After the cupcakes have been frosted, sprinkle a couple teaspoons of cinnamon as a final flourish.
To place an order:
(135 5277 2683, firstname.lastname@example.org) www.lollipopbakery.cn
Lollipop Bakery cupcakes are also available at Crepanini and Fisheye Cafe in Sanlitun Village South, and Secrets From Africa in Shunyi District. See Directory for listings.
This post was first published in our December 2010 issue and appeared on our site on December 12.