Farmersgirl Kitchen

Gingerbread Cupcake Sparklers!

When I first spied this recipe in The Great British Bake Off  ‘How to Bake’ book, I knew right away that I had to make them.  I just love gingerbread and these little cakes do not disappoint, they are moist and rich with all the dark spicy flavours you expect from great gingerbread.  It’s also an incredibly easy recipe.
The other reason I chose this recipe was because ‘ginger and bonfire treats’ is the theme for the Teatime Treats challenge run by Karen, who is hosting for November at Lavender and Lovage and Kate at What Kate Baked .  Which might just explain why I called these ‘Sparklers’!!!

I have adapted the recipe a little as I didn’t have any stem ginger, also the GBBO version is not iced, but I wanted to try a little piping.  Depsite having been cooking and baking for around 40 years I’ve never really mastered piping, I think this isn’t bad for a first attempt but I need to get a bigger piping nozzle to make the squishy sort of toppings that go with cupcakes, any recommendations for which nozzles to get and where to get them, gratefully accepted.

Gingerbread Cupcake Sparklers

Makes 12 (I froze the other six un-iced)

175g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
1 teaspoon ginger
pinch of salt
100g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
2 tbsp treacle
100ml milk
100g muscovado sugar
1 egg beaten
1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4.  Sift flour, bicarb, spices and salt into a bowl.
2. Melt the butter with the syrup and treacle in a pan, when melted remove from the heat and allow to cool.
3. Warm the milk and sugar in another pan, stirring until the sugar has disolved. Remove from heat until the milk is lukewarm.
4. Pour the milk mixure onto the flour mixture, followed by the butter mixture and the beaten egg.  
5. Mix well to make a thick, sticky batter.
6. Spoon the mixture into 12 muffin cases.  
7. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until firm to the touch.
8. Remove from the oven and lift the gingerbread cupcakes onto a wire rack and leave to cool.
Butter Icing
Will ice 12 large cupcakes (I halved the quantities for 6 cupcakes)
125g unsalted butter, softened
400g icing sugar
3-4 tablespoons of milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Edible gold glitter (optional)
1. Put the butter into a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until pale and creamy.
2. Sift the icing sugar into the bowl.
3. Add the milk and vanilla extract.
4. Beat until smooth and thick.
5. Fill a piping back with a star nozzle and ice the cupcakes.
6. Sprinkle a little gold glitter over the cupcake before the icing sets.
As this was a recipe I had marked out to make, I am also entering this for Bookmarked Recipes run by Jacqueline at Tinned Tomatoes from an idea by Ruth at Ruth’s Kitchen Experiments.


  1. Leave a Reply

    November 6, 2011

    They look great, and it's good to hear a good review of the recipe – it's on my bookmarked list too.

    Your first attempt at piping looks better than mine did – I think I tried to use a writing icing nozzle – far too fine! I then bought this set from Lakeland:
    and have been much more successful since!

    I wanted to know how all the nozzles would come out so when I first bought them I made some melting moments with the different tips and you can see the results here:

    Hope that helps!

  2. Leave a Reply

    November 6, 2011

    Oh, Janice, these looks so good! What wonderful flavors and so cute too!

  3. Leave a Reply

    November 6, 2011

    These look great and just right for an autumnal treat. I too with all my years of baking am not at all versed in the art of piping. I think it just needs practice and I find it hard to knuckle down and practice. Like you, I'm also not sure about what equipment to use, so I'm just off to see what C has been using.

  4. Leave a Reply

    November 6, 2011

    They look yummy Janice, I might have to try these myself.

    A good nozzle for icing is a large or medium star – they can be used for loads of things. They're mainly what I use on my stuff. I'd also recommend disposable icing bags! I hate washing those nylony ones!

  5. Leave a Reply

    November 6, 2011

    Thank you ever so much for your really really scrummy entry- I've been searching for a ginger based cupcake recipe for a little while, and these look delicious. And I'm really impressed with your icing- its a skill I need to master, and I'm off to check out C's recommendation right now…

  6. Leave a Reply

    November 6, 2011

    I've found the Wilton 1M icing nozzle recommended by Holly Bell of GBBO on Amazon for £4.90 if anyone is looking for one!

  7. Leave a Reply

    Brownieville Girl
    November 6, 2011

    I just love ginger and these cupcakes really appeal to me – thanks for the recipe.

    Fantastic first attempt at icing – I can only imagine how great you'll be with plenty of practice!!!

  8. Leave a Reply

    Karen S Booth
    November 6, 2011

    What a GREAT tea time treats post Janice, lovely little ginger cakes and yes they DO sparkle too……I am rubbish at piping and your piping looks good to me!
    A really great ginger post and I have bookmarked this recipe!

  9. Leave a Reply

    November 6, 2011

    Ooh they look lovely and your piping is great for a first time!
    How well did the batter rise? I'm looking for a gingerbread cake type recipe that can rise well but they all seem quite heavy.

  10. Leave a Reply

    November 6, 2011

    Ooh I love the sound of these. I like gingery things, especially cakes! I admire your piping efforts, it is something I have yet to try.

  11. Leave a Reply

    Phil in the Kitchen
    November 6, 2011

    I love gingerbread and, of course, butter icing so these are just fine for me. No matter how many I buy I never seem to have the exact piping nozzle I need. I suppose that's life.

  12. Leave a Reply

    November 7, 2011

    I think your piping is lovely- and these look just gorgeous.

  13. Leave a Reply

    November 7, 2011

    Now they look the perfect kind of cupcake to be enjoying on a cold November night ;0)

  14. Leave a Reply

    November 11, 2011

    God these look good and I love gingerbread. Nice piping too and I can see the twirl of the sparkler in the shape. Clever!

    Oh nozzles! I got these, although I haven't tried them yet.

  15. Leave a Reply

    Baking Addict
    November 14, 2011

    Great job on the piping. I'm not a fan of ginger but the cupcakes look great! I have a piping set from Lakeland and another from Tala. I also have extra 1M tips which are the most versatile from a baking shop (cant remember where now)

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