Enough for 12 regular cupcakes
2 large eggs
200g soft brown sugar
100g corn oil (or any vegetable oil)
135ml soured cream
1 tsp vanilla
Grated zest of 1 orange
230g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp bicarb
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
140g fresh or frozen cranberries (not dried)
Brandy butter icing ingredients
115g unsalted butter, room temperature (few drops of food colouring optional)
30ml semi-skimmed milk, room temperature
2-3 big tbsp brandy butter
1 tsp good-quality vanilla extract
500g icing sugar, sifted, 30ml brandy (optional) or brandy essence
Cupcakes – method
Preheat oven to 140°C / 150°C (fan-assisted) / Gas mark 2 and line a 12-hole muffin tray with cases.
Mix the eggs and sugar together until light and fluffy, which should take 3-5 minutes using an electric hand mixer. Slowly pour in the oil a little at a time, mixing well after each addition. Repeat the process with the soured cream and vanilla, making sure everything is well combined. Add orange zest. Sift dry ingredients into a bowl, add to the batter and mix well. Finally, gently fold in the cranberries. Spoon into cases and bake for about 25 minutes until slightly raised and golden.
Brandy butter icing – method
Put the unsalted butter, semi-skimmed milk, 2 tbsp of the brandy butter, vanilla extract and 250g icing sugar (all at room temperature) in a large mixing bowl, and mix with an electric hand mixer until smooth.
Gradually add the other 250g icing sugar, mixing well until creamy and smooth.
Taste the buttercream to check if there is enough brandy butter for your liking. If not, add more. But go carefully – it’s quite rich!
Use to ice cupcakes. Otherwise, a 50/50 mixture of unsalted butter and brandy butter will crank up the festive factor too.
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