Martha Stewart Cupcake Calendar: Spiced Cupcake with Citrus Glaze

My lovely Godmother gave me a gorgeous Martha Stewart cupcake themed calendar for Christmas.  Each month features a different cupcake.  As a long time Martha fan, I have actually seen many of these cupcakes and flagged them to make, but lamely, haven’t gotten around to it.  This calendar has served as a little reminder and I plan to make each cupcake for each month it is themed.

January was the Spiced Cupcake with Citrus Glaze!  This cupcake made me a little nervous because there was no leavening, except for the 2 eggs. I am a Martha Stewart fan but sometimes her recipes have errors (after all, she is definitely NOT perfect). I did a little investigation on the internet and found one person who had made it with some success, so I proceeded. The result was a dense, nicely flavored cupcake. The glaze called for orange juice but since I was running out of time and had no oranges (the Super Bowl was starting soon), I used lemon juice instead. I think this probably overpowered the flavor of the cake overall and would like to try it again with the orange juice.  Either way, it was a nice change from the usual chocolate or other rich flavors. I tried to dye the icing royal blue (NY Giants) since we were taking them to a super bowl party but that was sort of a #fail and looked more like Carolina Panthers blue (ok by me – I am a North Carolina native)!

Spiced Cupcake with Citrus Glaze
by Martha Stewart

Ingrediants:
For the cupcakes:
1 cup unsalted butter, room temperature, plus more for pans
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk (I used 2%)

For the glaze:
4 tablespoons orange juice
1 3/4 cups confectioners’ sugar
Food Coloring (optional)

Directions
1. Make cupcakes: preheat oven to 350, with racks in upper and lower thirds. Lightly butter 48 mini-muffin cups. In a bowl, whisk together flour, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom.

2. In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat butter and brown sugar on medium-hgih until light and fluffy, 3 minutes. Beat in eggs, one at a time, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.  With mixer on low, add flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with 2 additions of milk and beating well after each addition.

3. Transfer batter by heaping tablespoons to cups. Bake until golden brown at edges and a toothpick inserted in center of cake comes out clean, about 15 minutes, rotating pans once. Let cakes cool in pans, 5 minutes, then transfer to wire racks to cool completely.

4. Make glaze: in a bowl, whisk together juice and confectioners’ sugar until smooth; add 1-2 drops of food coloring.

Unglazed cakes keep, tightly covered, at room temperature, for up to 5 days.

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