Growing up in Bermuda for 32 lovely years of my life - every year we traditionally had Hot Cross Buns for Good Friday and Easter feasting celebrations. We normally split them apart and slap a delicious Fish Cake in the middle.
Of course my three kids enjoy Bermuda fish cakes and hot cross buns..but I wanted to do something fun for Easter. Something fun yet traditional. Something fun yet familiar. And something that screams fun to my kids are cupcakes.
This house is full of cake and most recently cupcakes. I found a new love for them. How fun is it to enjoy cakes of all different flavors in a 4 bite or more, or less ... sweet sensation? Thrilling. So, Hot Cross Buns..as cake? No..better yet..as a cupcake?? I couldn't wait to try this!
Digging through old Bermuda recipe cookbooks I came across a great base for the cupcakes. With some tweaking I can turn a delicious Raisin Cupcake into something that tasted like that bread bun of joy I bake each Easter. But sweeter.
I hope you enjoy making...and eating these as much as we did!
Hot Cross Cupcakes
adapted from: Kathleen Mayor's Raisin Cupcakes
source: Traditional Bermuda Recipes Cookbook
1 1/4 cup raisins - the sweeter the better
2 cups Barritt's Bermuda Ginger Beer (about a can and some) - feel free to add the remaining ginger beer to some Goslings Black Rum and sip while baking :)
1/2 cup unsalted butter - 1 stick
3/4 cup brown sugar - I used light but feel free to use dark
1 egg - remember to use room temperature eggs when baking
1 1/2 cup of flour
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
- Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
- Sift the flour with nutmeg, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt then set aside.
- Place the ginger beer in a small pot and add raisins - bring to a boil for 20 minutes. Reserve the liquid.
- While raisins are boiling cream the butter and sugar with your mixer for 5 minutes.
- Add the dry ingredients to the creamed mixture. Mix on medium speed for 2 minutes.
- Stop mixer and slowly pour in 1/2 cup of the boiled reserved ginger beer and raisin liquid. I let mine cool for about 5 minutes prior to adding. Mix till combined - about 30 seconds.
- Stir in the raisins that have been boiled in the ginger beer. Try not to eat them all while adding them :)
- In a lined cupcake pan dollop the cupcake batter to fill the liner about 1/2 to 2/3rd's full.
- Bake for 18 to 20 minutes.
The surviving cooled Hot Cross Cupcakes had the pleasure of being glazed with a simple powdered sugar and vanilla glaze. I took about 4 tablespoons of powdered sugar and added 1/4 cup of water and a teaspoon of vanilla. This created a watery sugar glaze in which I brushed each cupcake with. I wanted a touch more sweetness on the top of the cupcake since I wasn't covering them completely with buttercream. In addition to that, it gives a nice shine that is familiar with Hot Cross Buns.
To create the cross on top of the Hot Cross Cupcakes I used my go to recipe for Italian Meringue Buttercream which you will find at the bottom of this recipe post here :) and applied with a piping bag using a medium round tip. Too keep things simple you can put the frosting of your choice in a piping bag or Ziploc baggie and scissor snip the corner. Voila..
Do remember to have fun with this! You can use a jam glaze on top of the cupcakes to add some other flavor variation.. you can even use ginger beer instead of water to mix with the powdered sugar glaze. Next time I make these, which will be soon, I am going to add a cinnamon sugar topping. Oh boy! But for now.. let's just enjoy these as a dessert treat at Easter Brunch.