Chocolate Brandy Cupcakes

Prep time:
45 min, plus time for soaking
Cook time:
30 min
makes 12 cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

225 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ground cinnamon
125 g butter, cubed and soft
130 g dark brown sugar
50 g caster sugar
2 tbsp dark rum
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
65 g currants, soaked in boiling water overnight
65 g sultanas, soaked in boiling water overnight
65 g dried cranberries, soaked in boiling water overnight

For the chocolate brandy buttercream:

70 g butter, cubed and soft
200 g icing sugar
3 tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp brandy
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp chocolate coated raisins, to decorate
2 tbsp dried cranberries, to decorate


1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon in a bowl. Put the butter, sugars, rum and vanilla in a separate bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until pale and fluffy. Stop occasionally to scrape down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after every addition. Gently fold the sifted dry ingredients and add the dried fruit and the milk.

2. Divide the mixture between the muffin cases. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until well risen and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.

3. For the chocolate brandy buttercream While the cupcakes are cooling down, put the butter in a bowl and beat with an electric hand mixer until very soft and smooth. Sift half the icing sugar and half the cocoa powder into the bowl, beating until incorporated. Add the second half of the sugar and cocoa and beat on low speed. Add the brandy. Slowly pour in the milk and when it is mixed in, beat for 3-5 minutes on a higher speed.

4. Spread the frosting over the cold cupcakes using a spatula, or spoon the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle tip and pipe it on top of the cupcakes. Top with a cluster of dried cranberries and chocolate-coated raisins.

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