Miranda Gore Browne's Halloween cupcakes

Serves 12, making time: 15 mins, baking time: 15-20 mins

For the cupcake mix
175g unsalted butter, softened
175g Fairtrade dark brown soft sugar
3 large eggs
1½ tsp baking powder
2 tsp Fairtrade ground ginger
1 tsp Fairtrade mixed spice
75ml semi-skimmed milk

For the cream cheese icing:
150g full fat cream cheese
40g unsalted butter, softened
1 tbsp Fairtrade orange juice
1 tsp Fairtrade vanilla extract
500g Fairtrade icing sugar

For the chocolate buttercream icing:
225g unsalted butter, softened
450g Fairtrade icing sugar, sifted
1½ tsp Fairtrade vanilla extract
4½ tbsp semi-skimmed milk
265g Fairtrade chocolate (65% cocoa solids)*

To decorate:
Fairtrade sugar paste and mini meringues

1. Preheat the oven to 180℃ (350℉/Gas 4) and line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cases.
2. Put all the cake ingredients into a large bowl or the bowl of an electric mixer and mix well to combine.
3. Spoon into the prepared cases and bake in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes, until dark golden and springy to the touch.
4. Once cooled, decorate with icing, mini meringues and cut-out halloween shapes using Fairtrade sugar paste.

Cream cheese icing
Put the cream cheese, butter, orange juice and vanilla into a bowl with half the icing sugar and beat well with an electric handheld whisk. Alternatively, whizz in a food processor. Add the remaining icing sugar and whisk or whizz until smooth and fluffy – this will take about 3 minutes.

Chocolate buttercream icing
Put the butter in a mixing bowl with the icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk. Beat very firmly – ideally with a handheld mixer or in a food processor. After about 2-3 minutes, the mixture should be smooth, creamy and quite fluffy.

Recipe from by Miranda Gore Browne's book Bake Me a Cake as Fast as You Can
* Adapted from original recipe

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