Gingerbread Muffins with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

October is over, it is gone and this is very sad; it means that summer is a distant memory and not everything will be pumpkin flavoured. I puréed a large pumpkin today though, to freeze in portions to see me through the year. I also made a spiced pumpkin soup for work this week, which I’ll post soon. That being said, it is now November and that means that Christmas is almost here and that you should prepare for the onslaught of Christmas recipes, cinnamon and calories; a girl has to put on that protective layer for winter right?!

These muffins are quite versatile, they fit into Autumn perfectly but they transition into Winter fabulously. They are the muffin version of Julia Robert’s hair colour, they work whatever the season. When it gets really close to Christmas I like to top them with a slice of chocolate orange too. Lordy lordy that’s a great combination, I urge you to try it. These are one of my favourite muffins ever, so much flavour and deliciousness.

Gingerbread muffins

I made these to take into work, along with some vanilla cupcakes (which were supposed to be iced with spider webs but actually looked like snowflakes, so I’ll save that for nearer Christmas 😉 ), and they went down a treat. The recipe is from ‘The Hummingbird Bakery – Cake Days‘, with a slightly adapted frosting recipe.  The Hummingbird Bakery write exquisite cake recipes, I’ve never had one fail. I like to halve the icing quantities though as I always end up with loads left otherwise. I used wholegrain spelt flour to make these as I felt the flavours could handle it and spelt flour affects my blood sugar much less than normal flour but makes a much nicer sponge than gluten free flour.

Ingredients: (Makes 18 muffins)

Muffins:

  • 140 g of unsalted butter
  • 200 g of caster sugar
  • 60 g of black treacle
  • 60 g of golden syrup
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 310 g of wholegrain spelt flour/plain flour
  • 1 tbsp of unsweetened cocoa powder (I like to use Green & Black’s)
  • 1 tsp of ground ginger
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp of ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp of baking powder
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • 240 ml of hot milk

Frosting:

  • 300 g of icing sugar
  • 50 g of unsalted butter
  • 125 g of full fat cream chese
  • 1 tsp of ground cinnamon
  • A chocolate orange to decorate, optional and not used here

Method:

  1. Line two muffin tins with 18 cases and preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Using an electric whisk or mixer, cream the butter and sugar until pale fluffy.
  3. Add the treacle, syrup, eggs and yolks and mix until well combined.
  4. Sift in the flour, spices, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl and then add in batches, alternating with the hot milk, whilst mixing on a low speed. Mix until you have a smooth mixture.
  5. Divide between the muffin cases and bake for 18-20 minutes, until they spring back when lightly prodded. Remove from tin and leave to cool completely on a cooling rack.
  6. Whilst they are baking/cooling, make the frosting. Whisk together the butter and icing sugar together on a low speed and then add the cream cheese and cinnamon. Mix until smooth.
  7. Ice the muffins once they have cooled (if still warm, the frosting will melt) and then try not to scoff them all in one sitting.
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