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Sue's snow people cupcakes

Serves   12
Prep time: 35 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins + 35 mins decorating

This gingerbread cup cake recipe is simply delicious and perfect for your Christmas baking tin. Perfect for afternoon tea. Make sure the kids are helping as you will need someone to lick out the bowl. Have fun decorating your snow people!

As seen on Great Kiwi Bake Off

Snow people cupcakes




  • 75g salted butter, room temperature
  • ½ cup of packed soft brown sugar
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten
  • ⅓ cup golden syrup
  • 1 ½ tsp ginger, peeled and finely grated
  • 165ml boiling water
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 ½ cup pure plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • ¾ tsp ground cinnamon
  • ¼ tsp ground cloves
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • ¼ tsp salt

Vanilla Butter Cream & Decorations

  • 110g unsalted butter -  room temperature
  • 500g icing sugar - sifted
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean extract
  • ¼  cup milk - room temperature
  • 1 liquorice strap
  • Food colour gel – red, green or blue
  • ¼ cup fine coconut to use as snow


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. No fan.
  2. Generously butter and flour a 12 cup muffin tray, shaking out  excess flour.
  3. Stir together the boiling water and the baking soda and set aside.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder, powdered spices and salt and set aside.
  5. Place the butter and brown sugar into the bowl of an electric mixer and beat till it is light and fluffy, approximately 3-5 minutes, scrape down the sides and beat for another minute.
  6. Add the egg and mix to combine.
  7. Add the golden syrup, fresh ginger, baking soda mixture and beat till combined. It may look curdled but don’t panic! The next step will help....
  8. Add the flour mixture and mix well till combined.
  9. Divide the mixture evenly between the muffin cups and place into your preheated oven for approximately 20 minutes. Depending on your oven, you may need to rotate your tray ½ way through cooking.
  10. Test your cakes are cooked using a skewer, that will come out clean if cooked.
  11. Leave to cool for a few minutes before turning out on to a cake rack to cool completely before decorating.

Vanilla Butter Cream & Decorations

  1. Combine the butter, icing sugar, vanilla and milk in the bowl of an electric mixer.
  2. Beat until light and fluffy, approximately 5 minutes.
  3. Scrape down your bowl during the mixing time to ensure everything is incorporated.
  4. Cover your cooled cup cakes with the butter cream.
  5. Pipe a body and a head for your ‘people’ on top of the cup cake.
  6. Colour a small amount of icing to decorate your little snow people and sprinkle around with coconut snow.
  7. Give them character and bring them to life!
Top Tip

The cupcakes can be made a day in advance as this recipe keeps for  3 days in an airtight container.

Skill level: Great for beginners