Ginger Cupcakes

I've had a sweet tooth recently. Correction - I always have a sweet tooth, but I'm actually giving in since I've been on a regular workout schedule. Instead of munching on lots of Girl Scout cookies, I've opted to make some homemade desserts so that I know what's going in them, and also because I know I will only eat one cupcake. As far as the Girl Scout cookies, well - let's just say I have to hide the box from myself.

Ginger Cupcakes
Source: Vegetarian Times, February 2011 Edition
Makes a dozen large cupcakes, or 2 dozen mini cupcakes

1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses
5 tbs margarine or unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1/2 cup skim buttermilk
1 large egg
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt

4 oz. low-fat cream cheese or mascarpone, softened
2 tablespoon honey
1/2 teaspoon grated orange zest
2 teaspoon finely chopped crystallized ginger, optional SS: I did not use this

  1. Preheat oven 350 F. Coat 2 12-cup mini-muffin pans with cooking spray.
  2. To make Cupcakes: Combine sugar, molasses, and margarine in saucepan. Heat over medium-ow heat 3 to 4 minutes, or until margarine is melted and mixture is smooth. Remove from heat, and cool 15 minutes.
  3. Whisk together buttermilk and egg in bowl. Whisk in molasses mixture.
  4. Whisk together flour, cinnamon, ginger, cocoa, baking soda, and salt in separate bowl. Whisk buttermilk mixture into flour mixture.
  5. Fill muffin cups to within 1/8 inch of rims. Bake 12 minutes, SS: I baked them for about 22 minutes, or until cupcakes are puffed and set. Cool in pan 10 minutes, then turn out onto wire rack.
  6. To make Topping: whip cream cheese, honey, and orange zest with fork in bowl until smooth. Dollop 1 teaspoon, SS: More like a tablespoon for the regular-sized cupcakes, topping mixture onto cupcakes, and sprinkle with crystallized ginger, if using.
The first batch of cupcakes was an aesthetic failure. They were not pretty AT ALL, and hopefully this picture doesn't reflect it too much. My mom finished the last half dozen for me, and they came out much more pretty, but I was in the bed by the time they were done, and my family devoured them quickly so I couldn't recover a nicer picture. Speaking of my family devouring these 'cakes, how about I only ate one - that's family for ya! Regardless, this is a great weekday dessert - it took me all of 30 minutes to whip these up, and they were ready to serve!

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