Two weeks today and I’ll be basting the turkey, criss-crossing the sprouts, and getting drunk on festive spirit at the first ever hosted Christmas in our new house. I’m giddy in anticipation but need to be escorted away from my credit card and every Christmas Homeware department pronto – I’m out of control. Technically it’s an investment as we’ll be using it all for years to come, but we all know I’ll be “refreshing” with new themes next year as “Nordic Hygge” is going to be so 2016.
Gingerbread houses have adorned my Instagram and Pinterest feed over these leading weeks and I’m completely obsessed, so instead of bringing wine and flowers to a recent party, I bought Gingerbread Cottages on cupcakes.
Now don’t judge me, but although I have made these cupcakes with the real homemade gingerbread, the images seen attached are made using Lakeland’s amazing Make Your Own Gingerbread Cottage kit. It’s a long story but I needed these cupcakes baked and out for the party pronto and completely ran out of time to cut out my own templates. With no printer or cardboard at home I turned to my hero of the hour Lakeland who completely saved my bacon.
I will disclaim however how easy making your own gingerbread is, so if you fancy giving the real deal a go then see my recipe below with details on where to find a super straight forward template.
There’s no shying from the ginger with these ones so you need to be fan, however even loathers of ginger can make these and get “almost” as big a kick from the beauty of their Bavarian Cupcake village….what? I said “almost”
Makes | 12 cupcakes
Preparation time | 3 hours
Baking time | 1 hour
For the cupcakes
200g self-raising flour
200g butter, softened
200g caster sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
5 drops Foodie Flavours Ginger flavouring
1 tbsp milk
For the Gingerbread cottages
500g plain flour
200g golden syrup
120g caster sugar
120g butter, softened
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and line a cupcake tray.
Cream together the butter and sugar until fluffy then add the eggs one at a time.
Drop in the ginger flavouring and in a separate bowl combine the flour, baking soda and spices.
Add the flour to the wet ingredients and mix until just combined, then add the milk and stir through.
Divide the batter between all cupcake cases and bake for 30 – 35 minutes, or until a cake tester (a tooth pick will also do) comes out clean.
Leave to cool and start on your vanilla buttercream.
Mix your butter and icing sugar together with the vanilla and mix until soft and fluffy.
Pour the buttercream into a piping bag with a swirl nozzle then pipe buttercream mounds onto each cupcake.
To make the cottages:
Begin by mixing the flour with the baking soda and leave to one side.
Heat the golden syrup, sugar and spices until melted, then add the butter and let it melt slowly into the hot mixture.
Create a well in the centre of the flour mix and pour in the warm mixture, combining it all together with your hands.
Knead the dough together to create a smooth dough then shape into a ball and wrap into cling film. Cool in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While your dough is chilling draw and cut out your templates. I found an amazing template from Sainsburys which you may also find useful.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees and take your chilled dough and roll out onto a floured surface until 5mm thick.
For each cottage you need 2x Front panels, 2x side and 2 x roof. Cut round your template and lay them out onto a lined baking tray.
Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until slightly browned at the edges, then use a palette knife to lift from the baking tray and onto the cooling rack.
Once cooled assemble your houses with royal icing and decorate as you wish.
Leave to one side for the icing to set then place a cottage on top of each cupcake with a dusting of icing sugar for good measure.