Ginger is a great flavoring to use in baking anytime of the year, but fall and winter seem to be the best time. The spiciness of the ginger provides a little bit of heat that is welcomed during the colder months. This cupcake contains three forms of ginger: ground ginger, fresh ginger and Australian crystallized ginger. I considered adding ginger a fourth way by soaking the baked cupcake with a ginger infused simple syrup, but the cupcakes were moist enough without it.
I love the base recipe for this cupcake. The cake flour and sour cream keep the cake tender. And although butter based cakes don’t take to refrigeration as well as an oil based cake, this cupcake was still moist the next day.
Triple Ginger Cupcakes
(from Fine Cooking issue #64)
4 ounces (1 cup + 3 tbsp) sifted cake flour
1 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp baking powder
6 tbsp (3 ounces) unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
2/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1-inch cube fresh ginger, finely grated (plus any juice)
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 large egg
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup crystallized ginger, finely chopped
Preheat oven to 350F. Line 30 wells of a miniature cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners.
Sift together cake flour, ground ginger, nutmeg, salt, baking soda and baking powder. Set aside dry ingredients.
In the bowl of a stand mixer, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon zest, grated fresh ginger, and vanilla extract and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the egg and beat until smooth, about 1 minute.
Using a rubber spatula, fold in one-third of the flour mixture. Fold in half of the sour cream. Repeat ending with the last third of the flour mixture. Fold in the chopped crystallized ginger.
Fill the prepared wells of the mini muffin pan approximately three-quarters full. Bake until light golden brown and cupcake springs back when lightly pressed, about 16-20 minutes. Cool in pan for 5 minutes, then transfer to cooling rack. Allow cupcakes to cool completely before frosting.
Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
6 ounces Philly cream cheese, softened at room temp.
2 tbsp unsalted butter, softened at room temp.
2 tbsp finely grated lemon zest
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 1/2 cups confectioners’ sugar
With a mixer or by hand, beat cream cheese and butter until smooth. Mix in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Gradually mix in the confectioners’ sugar. Continue to beat until frosting is smooth and fluffy.