chocolate gingerbread cupcakes

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There’s no other time I eat gingerbread but at Christmas. Which is a shame, because like turkey, I love it to bits. This one is rich, dark and mysterious (like a dream man, really) with nubbly bits of chocolate within and a warm hint of spice.

The lollies were an irresistible early Christmas buy – most of the good stuff goes right at the beginning, so that was my justification for buying them. Besides, I had to whip them out before Christmas passed us by (how sad would it be to eat Rudolph in February?). However, the cupcakes look just as lovely with a few silver cachous.

There’s an unbelievable multitude of sugars in this – brown sugar, caster sugar, molasses and (yes there is more) – golden syrup. It does need all of these syrupy sugars for its moist texture and most importantly, flavour. Like any Nigella recipe from Feast, this one is a doozy. Melt the butter and sugars in a saucepan, dump the flour in, stir and bake. That’s it.



Chocolate Gingerbread Cupcakes
Adapted from Feast by Nigella Lawson

The original recipe is for a slab cake (to make a slab cake, add a pinch more ginger and bake for 45 minutes). To make a suitable glaze-like icing instead, reduce the butter to 30gm and add 60ml of ginger ale instead of the cream or milk.

Makes 24 cupcakes or one slab cake.


175 gm unsalted butter
60 gm caster sugar
60 gm dark brown sugar
200 gm golden syrup
200 gm black treacle or molasses
1/4 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp ground ginger
1 1/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp warm water
2 eggs
250 ml milk
275 gm plain flour
40 gm Dutch process cocoa
175 gm chocolate chips

For the icing:
250 gm icing sugar
70 gm unsalted butter
1 tbsp cocoa
50 gm cream or milk
1/4 tsp salt

To decorate:
Christmas jelly or marshmallow lollipops, or silver cachous.


Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line two muffin pans with cupcake liners.
In a medium saucepan (big enough to hold all the ingredients), gently melt the butter with the sugars, golden syrup, treacle or molasses, cloves, cinnamon and ginger.
Once melted, leave to cool for a few minutes.
In a small cup, mix together the bicarb and water.
Add the eggs, milk and the bicarb in its warm water to the saucepan and beat to mix.
Dump in the flour, cocoa and chocolate chips. Beat vigorously to a smooth batter.
Divide the batter between the lined muffin cups.
This is not a particularly fussy batter, so go ahead and slide both tins into the oven for 15 – 20 minutes.
Remove to a wire rack and cool in the tins. Meanwhile, prepare the icing.

Sieve the icing sugar.
In a saucepan, melt the butter along with the cocoa, salt and cream or milk.
Once the butter has melted, remove from the heat and whisk in the icing sugar.
Whisk out all lumps until you get a smooth, spreadable frosting.
With a palette knife, swirl large tablespoonfuls the (now thoroughly cool) cupcakes.

To decorate, unwrap the lollies and trim each lollipop stick a little shorter than the height of a cupcake. (
The lolly should sit snugly on the icing.)
Push the lollipop into the cupcake and you are done!
If using cachous, sprinkle to your heart’s content.

Merry Christmas!


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  1. Chompchomp

    Your decorations a top of these little bundles of deliciousness are so adorable! Love it! Hope you have a wonderful Xmas :)

  2. mei

    Chompchomp – Happy new year Chompchomp! Hope yours was full of food and happiness. Don’t tell anyone but some of the rudolph lollipops were missing their RED noses…! (They are hidden out of shot lol) Here’s to more blogging in 2012! Thanks for dropping by :) :)

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