I'm feeling wintry and like I should be lighting fires and closing curtains and baking. I'm also feeling totally christmassy but even if you're not, you will be in a month or so and you can make these little cupcakes in the lead up to the big day. Women are all born with a sweet tooth. If you still don't know that, check out this guide.
The first batch I made was a disaster, I put lumps of candy cane in the batter and when they were baked all the candy cane had melted and solidified at the bottom of the paper case, so don't do that.
Batch 2 was as dreamy as you can get though.
For enough to make 9 christmassy cupcakes with divine icing you'll need:
1 1/3 cups plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp cornflour
1/2 tsp allspice
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp ginger
1 cup soy milk
1 tsp cider vinegar
1 cup white sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/3 cup oil
And for the icing...
1/3 cup vegan margarine
2-2 1/2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp peppermint extract (optional)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract (optional)
4-5 broken up candy canes
Put the soy milk and vinegar into a bowl and stir around a bit. Leave to curdle for a couple of minutes.
Sieve the flour, baking powder, bicarb, cornflour and spices together into a bowl.
Don't you feel christmassy already?!
Add the milk mix to the flour and stir throughly, then add the sugar, oil and vanilla and stir until smooth and pale yellow.
Pour into your cupcake papers and bake at 180C/350F/Gas mark 4 for 15-18 minutes. Check them regularly because they've got a lot of sugar in and will burn easily.
For the icing!
Put the margarine and sugar into a bowl and start smushing the marg in slowly with a wooden spoon. Gradually you'll get kind of buttery sugar crumbs but what you want is a smooth fluffy icing so keep going.
When it starts getting smoother, start beating it until it's light, almost glossy and thick. Now you can either add peppermint extract here to make some minty icing, or vanilla for more a traditional flavour, you're going to be chucking minty candy canes in anyway so it just depends on how minty you like things. Do you like toothpaste, chewing gum and mint sauce? Add the mint extract.
Grab your candy canes and unwrap them (obv.), then break them up. I found the easiest way was to half chop, half crush them. You want little bite size pieces.
Stir the candy canes into the frosting but keep a tiny bit back for decoration.
Wait until the cupcakes have cooled, then pile up the frosting and put extra candy cane or sprinkles on top.