Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

I just finished watching the semi-final of this year’s Great British Bake Off. In case you’re wondering, I’m team Sophie. I absolutely love watching this show, especially since they have the refrigerator of my dreams on set. Every week I’m astonished by how the producers can manage to make baking seem so extremely tense and suspenseful. It just makes me realize there’s no way I ever would or could put myself through that.

I love to bake, but I also love to keep it simple and need to keep it cheap. Most importantly, I need to keep it delicious. I think that’s one thing about Bake Off that makes it superior to other cooking competition shows like Cake Wars and such. They really focus on flavor, so even if your bake doesn’t look completely perfect, you still get credit for how it tastes, and sometimes, great flavors even win out over beautiful spectacle.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

All I’ve got for you are some humble Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting, and while they might not win any beauty contests, I assure you, the flavor is on point. Tons of spice comes through, heavy on the ginger and almost hot. And the cake itself is so tender. Then the maple frosting on top is sweet and deep and dreamy.

You could pipe your frosting to make them extra fancy, but I went with a scoop and swirl action, then added a hint of gold sprinkles for a bit of whimsy. It’s not a show stopper, but it’s absolutely awesome.

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are going to make all your Fall flavor dreams come true. 

Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting
Yields 15
Spice Cupcakes with Maple Frosting are full of gorgeous flavor and perfectly sweet.
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Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
Prep Time
20 min
Cook Time
25 min
For the cupcakes
  1. 2 cups cake flour
  2. 3/4 cup white sugar
  3. 3/4 cup brown sugar
  4. 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  5. 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  6. 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  7. 1/2 teaspoon ground clove
  8. 2 tablespoons ground ginger
  9. 3/4 teaspoon salt
  10. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  11. 3/4 cup buttermilk
  12. 2 eggs
For the frosting
  1. 4 ounces (1 stick) butter, room temperature
  2. 250 grams (2-1/2 cups) powdered sugar
  3. 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  4. 1/4 teaspoon salt
  5. 1/2 teaspoon maple extract
For the cupcakes
  1. Preheat oven to 350 and add 15 papers to your cupcake pan. You may yield a couple more or less. Be flexible.
  2. Add all dry ingredients, everything from flour to salt, into your mixing bowl and mix on low speed to incorporate all ingredients.
  3. Add butter and buttermilk and mix on medium until thick and incorporated.
  4. Add eggs one at a time and mix until incorporated.
  5. Scoop batter into cupcake pans, filling half full. This batter will rise quite a bit so don't overfill.
  6. Bake for 25 minutes or until a tooth pick comes out clean.
  7. Allow to cool in the pan for a few minutes and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.
For the frosting
  1. Beat butter and powdered sugar together until smooth.
  2. Add remaining ingredients and beat until light and fluffy.
  3. Dollop onto the nearest cupcake and dance with joy.
Adapted from How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
http://awesomeon20.com/
Lime Ginger & Lemongrass Infused Water | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lime Ginger & Lemongrass Infused Water

Lime Ginger & Lemongrass Infused Water | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Sorry guys, but I 100% don’t care about your January diet. I mean, you do what you gotta do, but I can’t get on board with that nonsense. Of course, you should in no way be looking to me as an eating role model. I have atrocious habits and indulgent taste, and I’ve given up on trying to deny them. I know you’ll all be saying I told you so when I get heart disease or diabetes, but I just can’t be happy and on a diet at the same time.

I am, however, on a constant quest to drink more water. It’s always been something I struggle with. I’ve learned a little flavor goes a long way toward getting those eight glasses down. Not that I’ve ever actually had eight glasses of water in one day in my life. It’s a journey.

Lime Ginger & Lemongrass Infused Water | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Lime Ginger and Lemongrass Infused Water makes me feel like I might be rehydrating in Thailand. That somehow makes it more exciting. I like playing tricks on my mind for health reasons.

I’m not claiming any magical properties with this infusion. It’s probably not going to detoxify you in any way. That is totally not a thing. It’s just going to make you feel fancy. Accept it and smile.

This mixture can get bitter after a while, so if you don’t drink it within the first two hours, strain it into some jars and toss away your fruits, roots, and herbs. 

We don’t really need to write out a recipe card, right? Slice up a lime and a one inch piece of peeled ginger root. Cut the ends off two stems of lemon grass and then cut them into two or three pieces. Put all of this in a pitcher and fill it up with cold water. Drink it within two hours or strain and stash in the fridge. Done.

Lime Ginger & Lemongrass Infused Water | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Let’s be more active, drink more water, and eat whatever the hell we want because nobody really knows how weight works anyway. Love you.

Risotto Bolognese | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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Gingerbread Dudes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Gingerbread Dudes

Gingerbread Dudes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Presumably, most of you spent yesterday overeating and napping to your heart’s content. Now that we’ve got all that turkey and thankfulness out of the way, we can start talking about the C word.

I’m getting the most outrageous birthday/Christmas present ever this year, our very own apartment. With us moving at Christmas, I doubt we’ll get to have a tree and all the decorations that make Christmas feel so special this year. Things could be much, much worse, I know. But there’s just something about the way the whole world seems to change at Christmas that makes it so magical. 

Gingerbread Dudes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

To kick of our Christmas cheer, I made us some fun and tasty Gingerbread Dudes. Often times, I don’t like gingerbread cookies because they’re made with molasses which I just can’t get into. These are made with brown sugar and golden syrup. 

Golden syrup is impossibly sweet and quite possibly the stickiest substance in the universe. I’ve just come to accept it as unavoidable, especially as it’s sold in a container similar to a paint can. If anybody knows any tips for measuring this stuff without making a huge mess, please share it in the comments. If you can’t get your hands on golden syrup, light corn syrup will work, too.

I like to let each person decorate their gingerbread dudes themselves. No matter your age, it’s impossible to decorate a cookie without getting a huge smile on your face. It’s instant happiness. I brought a tin full of these and some store bought tubes of writing icing to work, and I loved seeing everyone’s cookies. They loved making them. The joy was much needed.

Gingerbread Dudes | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day

Bring a smile to everyone’s face. Make some Gingerbread Dudes and share them with friends, family, and coworkers. Be merry.

Gingerbread Dudes
Yields 20
Gingerbread Dudes made with golden syrup are delicious and bring a smile to everyone's face.
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
12 min
Ingredients
  1. 350 grams all-purpose flour
  2. 1 teaspoon baking soda
  3. 2 teaspoons ground ginger
  4. 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  5. 125 grams butter
  6. 175 grams light brown sugar
  7. 1 egg, lightly beaten
  8. 1/4 cup golden syrup
Instructions
  1. Add the flour, baking soda, ginger, and cinnamon to the bowl of a food processor. Pulse a few times to combine.
  2. Add the butter and process to mix. You should have a mixture resembling wet sand. Add the sugar and pulse to combine.
  3. Add the beaten egg and golden syrup and process until the dough starts to clump together.
  4. Turn your dough out onto a clean surface and knead it two or three times just to bring everything together. Flatten your dough into a disc and wrap it in plastic wrap. Refrigerate the dough about 15 minutes.
  5. Preheat your oven to 180C (350F) and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  6. On a lightly floured surface, use a rolling pin to roll out your dough t about 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out your dough using a cookie cutter in your favorite shape and transfer the cut cookies to a cookie sheet. Give them a little space. They will spread a bit.
  7. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until lightly golden brown. These are crisp cookies, so you don't want them underbaked. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking sheet for about 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
  8. Once the cookies have totally cooled to room temperature, you can use writing icing and other decorations to create the gingerbread dude of your dreams.
Notes
  1. If your dough starts to get too soft and sticky as you're rolling and cutting, wrap it up and stash it back in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  2. If you're baking your cookies in batches, store the cut cookies in the fridge until they're ready to go into the oven. This will help keep them from spreading too much.
Adapted from BBC Food
Adapted from BBC Food
http://awesomeon20.com/
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Amaretto Sour | How to be Awesome on $20 a Day
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