Gingerbread Cottage Cupcakes

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

3 eggs

1 tbsp milk

For the Gingerbread cottages

500g plain flour

200g golden syrup

120g caster sugar

120g butter, softened

1 egg

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.

Ginger and Cinnamon Biscuits

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It’s amazing how your taste buds change. There was a time when I hated ginger, the smell, the taste, the burn it left on your tongue. Fast forward two years since our return from Asia and it’s all I can talk about. I find myself adding it to almost every meal I cook, I mix it with hot water just so I can feel the burn on my tongue that I once despised, and I even use it with boiling water and lemon to steam my face. I’ve become borderline obsessed. It’s such a versatile ingredient and better still the health benefits are endless.

Unfortunately these Ginger and Cinnamon Biscuits don’t exactly scream healthy, but we are all allowed a little treat from time to time and at teatime these are one hell of a treat. You’ll need some self-restraint though if you’re making these as one is never enough, they have been such a hit with my friends and family that I needed to make a second batch the same day. Luckily they are quick to prepare, so quick that I was taking them out of the oven less than half an hour after I’d started making them.

The distinctive crackle top is all down to the bicarbonate of soda, the more you add the more crackle you get, so add as much as you prefer, or if you want to make them without then just simply omit this from your ingredients.

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Makes 24

Prep time: 15 minutes

Baking time: 10 minutes


200g plain flour

½ tsp salt

1 tsp baking power

1 ½ bicarbonate of soda

2 tsp fresh grated ginger

1 tsp ground cinnamon

100g unsalted butter

100g caster sugar

4 tbsp honey

1 tbsp milk


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees/Gas 4 and line two baking trays with baking parchment.

Combine the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, fresh ginger and ground cinnamon together in a large bowl. Add the butter and rub together with your fingers to form what resembles breadcrumbs, then stir in the sugar.

In a separate bowl mix the honey and milk and wait for the honey to dissolve. Stir this liquid into the breadcrumbs mixture then bring it all together with your hands to make a dough.

Break off small bits of dough and roll them into small balls roughly 20g in weight. Space 12 balls out onto each baking tray, ensuring you leave enough room for them to spread during baking.

Bake for 10 minutes until amber, but keep your eyes on them towards the end of baking as they can darken very quickly.

Once out of the oven, leave them on the tray for a few minutes to firm up, then transfer to a wire rack to cool.