Christmas Spiced Cupcakes

Posted by Cornel Schalkwyk on


Mmmm…what does Christmas smell like? Make these cupcakes and you will have the answer!  Cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves will make your kitchen smell like Christmas has well and truly arrived!  It’s warm and cosy and full of festive flavour!

Christmas Spiced Cupcakes

These cupcakes are based on my gingerbread biscuit recipe, with adjusted ratios to create a sponge rather than a biscuit.  It’s a lovely, light sponge, that you just can’t get enough of!  You have quite a few options for the buttercream flavour to complement the festive sponge… spiced orange, caramel, eggnog, or go for a double whammy of cinnamon!

The recipe is super easy to make and you don’t even need a stand mixer for this one.  You do need a hob though, as we’ll start with making a yummy syrup!

Top tips for this recipe:

  • The secret ingredient for these cupcakes is dark muscovado sugar! Trust me on this one and don’t be tempted to use normal brown sugar!

Muscovado sugar

  • Don’t be shy with the spices, and feel free to add more if you really like a particular flavour.
  • The spicy sponge goes very well with a buttery and/or creamy topping, so be adventurous and experiment with festive toppings.
  • If you have a mixing bowl with a pouring lip, use this for making the batter, as it will make it easier to pour the batter straight into your cupcake cases.


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 22 minutes

Servings: 12 cupcakes

Author: Cornel Schalkwyk



  • 100g butter
  • 100g dark muscovado sugar
  • 200g golden syrup
  • 140ml full fat milk
  • 1 egg
  • 200g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Heaped tsp ground cinnamon
  • Heaped tsp ground ginger
  • Sprinkle of ground nutmeg (¼ - ½ tsp depending on taste)
  • Sprinkle of ground cloves (¼ - ½ tsp depending on taste)

Watch the video here for a demonstration of how to make these cupcakes.

Frosted Christmas spiced cupcakes


  • Vanilla buttercream. You can add 1 – 2 tsp of water to this recipe if you are not planning on piping flowers, and simply want to do a normal cupcake swirl.
  • Add your preferred festive flavouring to your buttercream (Butterscotch, Creamy Caramel, Xmas pudding, etc)
  • Sprinkles (optional)



  1. Preheat the oven to 150°C fan assisted (302°F), or 160 – 170°C (320 – 338°F) for a conventional oven. Line a 12-cup muffin pan with muffin-sized cupcake cases and set aside.
  2. Weigh your syrup, sugar and butter and add to a saucepan.
  3. Stir over medium heat on the hob for about 5 minutes, or until the butter and sugar are completely melted. Set aside.
  4. In a separate mixing bowl, add your milk and egg and whisk together. You could use a stand mixer if you prefer but mixing by hand is absolutely fine for this recipe.
  5. Whilst whisking your milk and egg mixture, slowly pour in the warm syrup.
  6. Sift your flour into the mixture and add the salt and spices.
  7. Whisk all of the ingredients together until all dry ingredients are incorporated and you have a warm runny batter.
  8. Pour or spoon the batter into the cupcake cases to about ¾ full.
  9. Bake for 20 - 22 minutes, until a cake tester or cocktail stick comes out clean when inserted in the centre of the baked cupcake.
  10. Let them cool for a few minutes in the pan before taking them out and placing them onto a cooling rack.

Cooling rack

11. Once completely cooled, you can frost & decorate your cupcakes. I recommend using a Wilton 2D or Wilton 1M nozzle for a nice buttercream swirl.



  • If you are not using a stand mixer, it is good to sift your flour to ensure a smooth batter when whisking by hand.
  • If you don’t have self-raising flour, you can make your own by adding 2 tsp of baking powder for each 1 cup / 150g / 6oz of plain flour.
  • You can use any type of butter for this recipe, whether it’s a dairy-free alternative or not. I often use Stork for my cupcakes which is dairy-free, and it still tastes divine!
  • I always recommend making your cupcakes fresh on the day of serving. They cool quickly, so they’re easy to bake and decorate on the same day.  Fresh cupcakes are just so much nicer!  However, you can prepare your cupcakes 1 day in advance and keep them unfrosted in an airtight container in room temperature to decorate the next day.
  • The cupcakes will keep well in cool room temperature for up to 4 days. If you want to keep them for a week or longer, you should keep them in the fridge in an airtight container.
  • You can freeze your cupcakes in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to 2 months. Thaw them in the fridge overnight and bring them back to room temperature before frosting and consuming the cupcakes.


Have you used this recipe?  Tag me and hashtag your creations on social media:

Facebook @bloomingbakesbycornel

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