white chocolate spiced cupcakes

March 21, 2011

I’m calling these “Farewell to Winter” cupcakes. Didn’t you hear? It’s Spring now. Yesterday, when I baked these, it was entirely my kind of Spring day. Rainy, grey, drizzly. That probably doesn’t sound too great to most of you but where I come from this time of year things get… damp. Of course I love sunny Spring days too – the ones when you can smell Summer coming – but the rain and cool (not freezing) temperature feels like home.

I baked these late in the afternoon after a wonderful time at a soup party. You heard. Our friends threw the party to thank friends for helping out/being friends as they’ve welcomed their daughter into the world the past couple months. I thought it was such a lovely idea. We ate so many kinds of soup and everyone brought bread and fixings to share. Perfect rainy day stuff.

I’ll never be sad to say goodbye to Winter (I’m such a Spring/Summer person) but I admit that I’ll miss some of Winter’s flavours. All that butternut squash to make bread with; all those soups were pretty neat too. And spices? Woo, Winter is the season of spiced lattes, spiced cookies, and now spiced cupcakes too.

Enjoy these cupcakes as a last Winter hoorah. They’re spiced with cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger. Molasses gives them that earthy, almost malty taste and the frosting is just the touch to sweeten them up.

White Chocolate Spice Cupcakes
from Candace Nelson via The New York Times


Spice Cupcakes:

  • 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/8 teaspoon ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup unsulfured molasses
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 stick of butter
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs

White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting:

  • 4 ounces (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, still firm but not cold
  • 8 ounces cold cream cheese
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 pound plus 2 teaspoons powdered sugar, sifted
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2 ounces white chocolate, melted plus more for shavings


1. Preheat oven to 350F. Line cupcake pan with 12 cupcake liners.

2. In a bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, spices and salt. In another bowl, combine molasses and milk.

3. Cream the butter for 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy in texture. Beat in the eggs, one at a time.

5. Slowly incorporate the flour mixture alternately with the molasses mixture, beating thoroughly after each addition and ending with dry ingredients.

6. Divide batter among the cupcake liners and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until top of cupcakes spring back when lightly touched. Cool thoroughly before frosting.

7. Prepare the frosting. Mix together butter, cream cheese and salt on for 3 to 5 minutes. Gradually add powdered sugar until incorporated. Gradually add vanilla and melted white chocolate until just blended. Do not overwhip the frosting; the consistency should be creamy and dense, like ice cream.

8. Frost cupcakes and grate white chocolate shavings over top.

Yield: 1 dozen cupcakes.

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