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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ginger cupcakes with chai icing

I know. The icing does look a little poo-like.

I decided to use my plain icing nozzle on a whim. Next time I'll only use it for icing that isn't any shade of brown, even if it does bear a resemblance to the Japanese golden poo good luck charm.

But the cupcakes were a hit anyway, a variation I made on Nigella's cupcake recipe. I've also started baking this recipe at a slightly lower temperature, making flatter cupcake tops.

These have a great spicy and warming ginger flavour. Most disturbing endorsement goes to M who said "I know it looks like poo, but somehow that makes me want to eat it even more!"

Ginger cupcakes with chai icing

125 grams butter, softened
125 grams plain flour
60g sugar
60g brown sugar
2 teaspoons ginger powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
2 eggs
2-3 tablespoons of milk

Chai icing
125g unsalted butter, softened
250g-300g pure icing sugar
2 teaspoons cinnamon
3 teaspoons chai syrup

Preheat oven to 190C, or 170C if using fan-forced.

Place all the cupcake ingredients except the milk into a food processor. Blitz in short bursts until the mixture is smooth and incorporated.

Whilst pulsing the mixture, gradually pour in the two tablespoons of milk through the food processor funnel. Blitz until the milk has been incoporated. The mixture should look smooth. Add another tablespoon of milk if necessary.

Divide the mixture across a patty-lined 12-muffin tin. A generous tablespoon should be sufficient, as the mixture should triple in size when baked.

Bake for 15-20min or until well-risen and the tops are a pale gold in colour. Ice when cool.

Chai Icing
Place softened butter in a large bowl and beat using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add 250g of the icing sugar and the cinnamon and beat until combined (start slowly or icing sugar will go everywhere).

Add the chai syrup and beat until combined. You may have to add more icing sugar if the mixture looks too soft.

Slather the icing onto cooled cupcakes with a palette knife, or use a piping bag to create decorative swirls.

And here are some more pics of random cupcakes that have been emerging from my kitchen. These were all iced by Veruca Salt, the ones with the yellow icing yet to be adorned with fresh passionfruit. I love the little penguins in the bottom photo. I found these in the confectionary section at Big W, labelled as baby ducks even though I'm sure they're dressed in penguin costumes!

Related GrabYourFork posts:
Cupcakes--vanilla by Nigella
19 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 1/11/2009 01:00:00 am


  • At 1/11/2009 7:51 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Oh those penguins are so cute! Sounds like an awesome flavour, I love cinnamon and ginger. The golden poo good luck charm is so strange and so very Japanese.

  • At 1/11/2009 12:39 pm, Blogger Kelly said…

    LOL @ the "Japanese golden poo good luck charm" :-)

    And I think you're right, those are penguins...

  • At 1/11/2009 4:39 pm, Blogger Miss Honey said…

    Haha it DOES look like the golden poo good luck charm! I was mortified the first time I ever saw it and had it explained to me lol. Great recipe, I appreciate ginger very much in sweet contexts:D

  • At 1/11/2009 8:21 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Chai icing is genius! I'm working on a chai flavoured recipe at the moment.. but I'm not giving it away just yet! :)

  • At 1/11/2009 10:42 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Hee hee you should have added faces onto them and they would have been sooo cute ^^! They look tasty either way tho hee hee

  • At 1/12/2009 1:50 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Arwen - It was a bit of creative inspiration using what I had in the cupboards. Nigella's recipe is great for flavour variation :) The golden poo charm is bizarre, but as you say, so very Japanese!

    Hi Kelly - It's so cute isn't it? I wonder if Tiffany's will make one in platinum!

    They also had alligators but the penguins were the cuter by far.

    Hi Miss Honey - lol. Perhaps I should have called these Golden Poo Cupcakes and pretended it was deliberate! I agree. I love sweet ginger, especially when it involves golden syrup :)

    Hi Christie - I probably could have done something more authentic with real chai spices but it was fast and convenient. You, on the other hand, I'm sure are concocting something very special and very photographically pleasing.

    Hi FFichiban - lol. Not sure about faces (plus the icing was kinda soft. The faces definitely would've started drooping!). They were quite a hit which was a relief. Ooh, that sounds kinda weird. lol!

  • At 1/12/2009 8:22 am, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Your piping looks great, Would be perfect on mini lemon meringue pies.

  • At 1/12/2009 1:59 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    these look yummy

  • At 1/12/2009 9:04 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Veruca Salt - That's a good idea :) yeah I think white icing is the way to go for the plain tip!

    Hi Lornsadaisy - Thanks! They were :)

  • At 1/12/2009 10:07 pm, Blogger Unknown said…

    These look gorgeous - what nozzle did you use for the "non poo" cupcakes (although I don't think that the first ones look like poo at all!)

  • At 1/12/2009 10:51 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Gourmet Chick - I usually use a star nozzle to pipe my icing. I also have plain tips but I haven't used them before. Now I know why :) I might only use them for white icing, and thanks, I think they looked more suggestive in person!

  • At 1/13/2009 9:35 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    RJ and AD would love the penguins

  • At 1/13/2009 10:44 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Divemummy - I still have half a jar of them. I'll have to garnish my next lot of cupcakes appropriately :)

  • At 1/14/2009 7:55 pm, Blogger Y said…

    Disturbing endorsement indeed! Hehe..
    Great choice of flavours by the way. I love anything gingery and spicy :)

  • At 1/15/2009 12:12 am, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Y - Thanks. Ain't nothing on your amazing creations though!

  • At 6/13/2011 6:08 pm, Blogger Adam said…

    I've tried to cook this recipe twice now with dismal results! The mixture doesn't rise properly - it rises to the top of the patty pans, spills out across the baking tray horizontally and then sinks in the middle. After 15 minutes in the oven the mixture is more liquid than it was when I put it in there. I didn't follow the recipe to the letter - I don't have a food processor so I mixed the mixture using electric beaters. Also I used cooking margarine instead of butter. My half cup measurement is 125mL, teaspoons are 5mL and tablespoons 20mL. I'm sure these muffins would be rad if I could actually make them, so if anyone has any ideas what I'm doing wrong I'd love to hear them.

  • At 6/13/2011 9:33 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Adam - I haven't tried making this recipe using electric beaters but it should still turn out the same as long as you've combined it sufficiently. Not sure about cooking margarine either - hopefully it's softened and not melted, as that will affect the rise of the batter.

  • At 6/13/2011 9:38 pm, Blogger Helen (Grab Your Fork) said…

    Hi Adam - I've just changed the sugar to a gram measurement. Hopefully this works now.

  • At 6/26/2011 3:33 pm, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Adam, Helen, I've also made these using electric beaters with no problems! As long as you cream the butter and sugar, then add eggs and beat to combine. Add the dry ingredients and beat again until combined, then slowly add the milk.
    I see what you mean about lower temp = flatter tops. I turned the heat up a little for my second batch and they have the funniest bumps in the middle!


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