I adore this time of year and there is something about the warmth of cinnamon spice wafting through the kitchen that adds to the anticipation of all the good things to come.
In essence, I am sharing a method with you rather than a recipe. This method for making Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes will work with any vanilla cupcake recipe so, if you have a tried and tested favourite, go with it! Failing all else, here is my favourite cupcake recipe to get you started.
Cream the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes - seriously, we need it to look pale as cream with all the sugar completely incorporated into the butter (trust me, the extra effort is worth it).
Add the eggs one at a time, adding a teaspoon of flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Add the vanilla and stir through.
Fold the flour and baking powder into the wet ingredients, being careful not to stir too hard or for too long - you need the dry ingredients mixed in completely and that is all. We do not need to beat this mixture at all.
Add enough milk to make an easy dropping consistency.
To turn these into Cinnamon Swirl Cupcakes start by stirring ground cinnamon into demerara sugar.
Pour a small amount of cupcake mixture into each cupcake case, just enough to cover the bottom of the case. You may find it easiest to transfer your cupcake mixture to a jug for this. You will now start layering up the cupcake mixture and cinnamon sugar. Add a teaspoon of cinnamon sugar to each cupcake case and then pour on enough cupcake mixture to just cover the sugar. Repeat this process with another teaspoon of cinnamon sugar and then finish with the remaining cupcake mixture.
Now for the fun bit... Take a cocktail stick and poke it down into the centre of each cupcake case. Swirl the stick around to stir up the cupcake mixture and cinnamon sugar. This is what creates that wonderful swirl of cinnamon within the cupcake.
Bake these in the oven at 180° for 20 minutes (or for as long as your cupcake recipe states). The cupcakes are done when they are beautifully risen, with some cinnamon sugar bubbling out from the top and sides. These rarely come out of the oven looking pretty but they will smell and taste amazing!
If you fancy topping the cupcakes off beautifully, add a teaspoon of mixed spice to some basic vanilla buttercream (250g icing sugar whipped into 250g unsalted butter) and pipe some wonderfully spiced swirls on top.
I recommend enjoying these in the glow of an open fire, with those who are dear to you.
Recipe courtesy of Charlotte White at Restoration Cake. Picture courtesy of Rockabetty Studios.