January 01, 2012

Low-fat Christmas cupcakes

Me and my family have just finished devouring the last of these special Christmas cupcakes. Inspired from a Nigella recipe, these cupcakes have a slightly bready texture and a rich flavour of ginger and dark chocolate. With the Christmas gifts pouring in by the time I whipped up this batch, I used what I had started accumulating in my fridge to make these decorative cakes (bountiful quantities of Baci chocolates!).

The royal icing makes for a beautiful shiny finish with a delicate crunch and I topped mine with mini Santa Claus decorations I bought online. This icing will also keep your cakes fresher for longer as it adds a protective layer to the cake inside.

The Ultimate Christmas Cupcake


* 1 cup of plain flour (or gluten-free all purpose flour)
* 1 teaspoon baking powder
* 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
* 1 teaspoon ground ginger
* 60 grams of organic butter
* 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
* 2 large organic eggs
* 1/4 cup of sugar-free ginger ale
* 8 Baci chocolate crushed (substitute for whatever chocolate you prefer or have in the pantry - keeping in mind the darker chocolate flavour works best)

Royal Icing:

* 1 1/2 cups of icing sugar
* 1 egg white
* 1 teaspoon of lemon juice


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees and lightly grease 12 muffin cups. I like to use the silicone trays as the cakes pop out easily when cooked.

Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Sift the flour, baking powder and soda. Add half the flour mixture to the butter and sugar, beating consistently. Add one egg and ginger ale, then beat in remaining flour mixture. Beat in the last egg, then add the ground ginger. Finally, crush in the chocolates and mix thoroughly.

Bake for 30 minutes and when browned on top and cooked through, let rest for 5 minutes before flipping out onto a wire rack to cool.

While cooling, make the royal icing. To do this, simply sift the icing sugar into a large mixing bowl and whip in the egg white and lemon juice. Mix at a fast pace for 5 - 7 minutes, or until the icing is thick and fluffy.

When the cakes are cooled, cover the cakes with the luxurious royal icing. I like to cover mine thickly. Add any decoration you like - I used icing Santas. Gold or silver baubles would look great too. Leave the icing to dry for a few hours, until hard and shiny.

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