Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes

Snips and snails and puppy dog tails,
that's what little boys are made of.
Sugar and spice and everything nice,
that's what little girls are made of.

One of my teammates at work just had her second precious little girl. Right before she left for her maternity leave, I made these adorable mini cupcakes, a delicious combination of spice cake and brown sugar buttercream, to celebrate her at our staff meeting. They were tiny, sweet, and full of sugar and spice, just like K's little girl will certainly be. Congratulations, K!

Sugar and Spice Cupcakes
cupcake recipe adapted from
frosting recipe from

For cupcakes:
2 c. all-purpose flour
1 c. whole-wheat flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
3/4 tsp. ground ginger
1/4 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1 1/4 c. milk
1 TBSP vanilla extract
16 TBSP (2 sticks) unsalted butter
1 2/3 c. granulated sugar
3/4 c. firmly packed dark brown sugar
4 eggs

For frosting:
4 large egg whites
1 c. packed dark brown sugar
1/4 tsp. salt
1 tsp. ground cinnamon (my addition)
1/2 tsp. freshly-ground nutmeg (my addition)
1 1/2 c. (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into tablespoons

For the cupcakes:**Note: Have all the ingredients at room temperature.

1. Position a rack in the lower third of an oven and preheat to 325°F. Line standard muffin tin or mini muffin tin with paper liners or spray with baking spray.

2. Over a sheet of waxed paper, sift together the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, nutmeg and salt.

3. In a small bowl, combine the milk and vanilla. Set aside.

4. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the flat beater, beat the butter on medium speed until creamy and smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Add the granulated sugar and brown sugar and continue beating until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

5. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

6. Reduce the speed to low and add the flour mixture in three additions, alternating with the milk mixture and beginning and ending with the flour. Beat each addition just until incorporated, stopping the mixer occasionally to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

7. Spoon the batter into the prepared pan, dividing it evenly. (I used a small scoop for mini cakes; I would use a standard scoop for standard-sized cupcakes.) Bake 13-16 minutes for mini cupcakes and 20-22 minutes for standard-sized cupcakes.

8. Let cool in the pan for five minutes, then turn out to cool completely. While cooling, prepare the frosting.

For the frosting:
1. In a heatproof bowl set over (not in) a pan of simmering water, whisk together egg whites, sugar, and salt. Cook, whisking constantly, until the sugar has dissolved and the mixture is warm to the touch.

2. Transfer to the clean bowl of an electric mixer. Beat on medium speed until fluffy and cooled, about 15 minutes.

3. Raise speed to high; beat until stiff peaks form. Reduce speed to medium-low. Add cinnamon and butter, 2 to 3 tablespoons at a time, until fully incorporated.

4. Pipe or spread on completely cooled cupcakes. Frosting may be easier to work with if refrigerated for 15-20 minutes before use.

One year ago: warm couscous salad


Chris said...

The ingredients in that frosting sound divine!

They turned out so cute too - fantastic job!

Joelen said...

Very cute and the recipe looks delicious!