Chocolate spice cupcakes: Baking for Christmas with Pastry Chef Andreja Juknevicius

Andreja Jukneviciute
Andreja Jukneviciute

Celebrate Christmas with special seasonal cupcakes!  The addition of spices give familiar chocolate cupcakes depth and warmth for the colder weather and browning the butter first for the icing lends a rich nutty flavour.  If you’ve never tried brown butter icing, I assure you the extra step is worth it. 

Not only do these two recipes pair to make a delicious cupcake, they look like little snowy mountains with the help of a dusting of icing sugar before presenting them to your guests.



(Skaityti šį receptą lietuviškai)

Brown butter Icing

½ cup butter
3 cups icing sugar
3-4 Tbsp milk
2 Tbsp sour cream

  1. Melt butter over medium heat in small saucepan.
  2. Once melted, lower temperature to low heat and let the butter “brown” (5-7 min). When the butter is browned and ready, it will turn a golden brown colour and have little fleks of brown that collect at the bottom of the saucepan. If the butter starts to turn black, the butter has burned.  A low temperature for slow browning and keeping an eye on your butter will give you the best results.
  3. Pour browned butter into a dish, preferably something wide so that it can spread out and cool faster.
  4. Place in freezer until it becomes firm, then take out and let it sit out at room temperature while you prepare the cupcakes.
  5. Once the butter is room temperature again, whip it in a stand mixer with the paddle whisk attachment or using a hand mixer until it is lighter and smooth.
  6. Whisk in icing sugar, milk and sour cream. Whip until smooth.  Cover with plastic and set aside until ready to use.

Chocolate spice cupcakes

Makes about 48 mini cupcakes or 12-15 regular sized cupcakes.

¾ cups softened butter
¾ cups granulated sugar
¼ cups brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 ½ cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda

⅓ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp cinammon
¼ tsp ground ginger
⅛ tsp groun cloves
⅔ cups sour cream

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F and line cupcake tray with festive cupcake liners.
  2. In large bowl, cream butter until light and fluffly.
  3. Add granulated and brown sugars and beat for 2 min.
  4. Add eggs and vanilla and mix until combined and smooth.
  5. In separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, cocoa powder, cinnamon, ginger and cloves then stir together until mixed.
  6. Add the sour cream to the butter mixture.
  7. Add all of the dry ingredients to the butter mixture and stir just until combined
  8. Spoon the batter evenly into the lined cupcake tray.
  9. Bakes mini cupcakes for about 10-12 minutes and regular sized cupcakes for 15-18 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean from the centre and the cupcake is spongey and “bounces back” when pressed.
  10. Decorate cooled cupcakes with the brown butter icing. Simply use a small spoon or spatula and spread the icing over top or use a round piping tip and piping bag for a different look.


About Andreja

Andreja Juknevicius is a Pastry Chef based in Toronto. After graduating from University, she followed her passion for baking and studied at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, France. Her experience includes working at a top pastry boutique in Paris, as well as creating dessert menus for some of the finest restaurants in the city.