Angel cupcakes with brandy frosting
Skill level: Easy peasy
These tasty little cakes use angel cake batter to make delectably light treats, with all the flavours of a mince pie. They are spiced with cinnamon, rich with dried fruit and warming with brandy, but held together in a super-light sponge rather than heavy pastry. The frosting is the flavours of brandy butter but uses light cream cheese instead of butter for a lighter option without losing any of the flavour. Perfect as a weekend treat, make these cupcakes with the kids. They only take 12 mins to cook and cost hardly anything to make. Swap the brandy for orange juice for a non-alcoholic version.
IngredientsFor the sponge:
- 4 egg whites
- 1tsp lemon juice
- 70g caster sugar
- 50g icing sugar
- 60g plain flour
- ½tsp baking powder
- 2tsp cinnamon
- 2tsp vanilla essence
- 2tsp brandy
- Zest of an orange
- 80g of mixed dried fruit (soaked in 2tbsp brandy and 1tbsp hot water for 1hr)
For the frosting:
- 150g light cream cheese
- 4-5tbsp icing sugar
- 1tsp cinnamon
- 2tsp brandy
- Dried fruit to decorate (optional)
Use orange juice and extra cinnamon if you prefer not to cook with alcohol.
- To make this cupcake recipe, pre-heat the oven to 180ºC/160ºC Fan/350ºF/Gas Mark 4.
- Put the egg whites in a big bowl with the lemon juice. Whisk with an electric whisk for 3-4mins until they have doubled in volume and are very frothy.
- Add the caster sugar and whisk for a further 3-4mins until the mixture forms soft peaks.
- Fold in the flour, baking powder, icing sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, brandy and orange zest. Very gently, fold in the drained dried fruit. Taste the batter and add 2-3tsp of the soaking liquid if you like.
- Spoon into cupcake cases (about 2 dessert spoons per case) in a bun tin, and bake for 10-12mins until risen, golden brown and springy to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin.
- Put the cream cheese, 4tbsp of icing sugar, cinnamon and brandy (or orange juice) in a big bowl and beat until smooth. Taste, and add more icing sugar if you like. You want a thick icing but not so thick that it cannot be easily spooned over the cupcakes.
- Decorate each cupcake with candied peel and raisins, if you like.