Thursday, 5 November 2015

Ginger Bonfire Cupcakes

As promised I have a Bonfire Night recipe for you. Today is Guy Fawkes Night celebrated annually on November 5th to commemorate the failure of the Gunpowder Plot. The traditional cake eaten today is parkin cake which is a sticky gingerbread cake. I've taken inspiration and come up with a fun cupcake that has flavours of traditional parkin.

These cupcakes are perfect for the occasion and relatively simple to bake. I baked these twice as I had to experiment with the spice levels and different frosting and I think they are now almost perfect. It has a sticky gingerbread cake base topped with  lemon buttercream and orange matchmaker sticks. The flavours work well together as the sweet and zesty lemon frosting sets of the fiery, spiced cupcake. My initial trial I made a golden syrup cinnamon cream cheese frosting which was absolutely delicious but unfortunately the icing was too soft to pipe tall peaks required for the bonfire effect. The lemon frosting worked equally well in terms of flavour pairing and visually it looks much better. 

I'm sending this to a few blog challenges this month.

Treat Petite hosted by Kat from The Baking Explorer and Stuart fromCakeyboi. The theme this month is Autumn.

Recipe of the Week hosted by Emily from A Mummy Too.

#FoodYearLinkUp hosted by Charlotte from Charlotte's Lively Kitchen. Lots of foodies events in November and this is for Guy Fawkes Night.

 adding golden syrup to the cake batter 

 ready to go in the oven 

 I made 2 bags of frosting - 1 yellow and 1 orange and then placed them both in another piping bag with a 1M star tip to create the two tone piping effect.

 Pipe the frosting a high as you can

 Add orange matchmaker sticks so that it looks like a bonfire and add a sprinkling of orange sugar if you have it. 

 This is my initial failed attempt with the cream cheese frosting - absolutely delicious but less visually appealing! 

Makes 15cupcakes 

For the cupcakes
150g butter
130g soft brown sugar
3 eggs
150g self raising flour
60mls golden syrup
2.5 teaspoons ground ginger
1.5 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the frosting
110g butter
zest of 1 lemon
300g icing sugar, sifted
1-2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
food colouring - orange and yellow

For the decoration
Orange matchmaker sticks
Orange sanding sugar 

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
  • Add in the golden syrup.
  • Add in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition.
  • In a separate bowl, sift the flour and spices and add it to the butter mixture.
  • Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases - I use an ice cream scoop to get an even amount of cake batter per cupcake case.
  • Bake for approximately 16-18 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Allow to cool completely. 
  • I made a double batch of frosting and it's plenty to frost all the cupcakes - I didn't want to risk running out as it would be difficult to get the same colour again. If you have leftover frosting, you can use it to make cookies
  • To make the frosting, beat the butter and icing sugar for at least 5 minutes until smooth and fluffy. Add in the lemon zest and slowly add in the lemon juice until you get the required consistency. 
  • Add the food colouring and mix well - I use colour paste.
  • Repeat for the second batch.
  • As shown in the pictures, place each colour of icing in a disposable piping bag and snip the end of the bag off. 
  • Place both bags side by side into another piping bag fitted with a 1M star tip ensuring that the ends of the bags go into the piping nozzle.
  • Pipe the buttercream on a plate initially to get a good mix of colour then decorate the cupcakes as shown.


  1. These look amazing Ros. So effective :)

    1. Thanks I was really pleased with how they turned out!

  2. These are so cute and the dual icing colours work really well. Thanks for sharing the tip about setting up the piping bags to use two colours. I'd never have thought of trying that but it clearly works really well. I'm definitely going to have to give it a try.

    1. I'd read about it but not tried it until now and it really works!

  3. These are fantastic! I love the effect and flavours. Thanks for entering into Treat Petite.

  4. these are just brilliant and so clever and so tasty!... yes please!

  5. Now this is the kind of bonfire I like! Love your two-tone frosting; it's come out so well and looks like fire.


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