WITH BUTTER CREAM FROSTING AND CANDIED GINGER
about 24 cupcakes
Sift together the flour and the next 6 ingredients; set aside. Combine molasses, sugar, and oil or melted butter in a saucepan and bring to a simmer over moderate heat, stirring several times. Cool to lukewarm. Stir cooled molasses mixture and buttermilk into dry ingredients. Add orange juice or brandy and eggs, stirring until smooth. Fill muffin pans, 2 3/4-inches in diameter, individually lined with paper or foil baking cups, two-thirds full. Bake in a preheated moderate oven (350 degrees F.) for about 25 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the center of cupcakes comes out clean. Remove and cool thoroughly on a wire rack. When cupcakes are thoroughly cooled, frost the top of each with Butter Cream Frosting. Garnish the top of each with chopped crystallized/candied ginger.
Note: May reduce oil or butter to ½ cup, if desired. May also use ½ to 2/3 cup Smucker's Shortening & Oil Baking Replacement in place of oil or butter, if desired.
Note: May omit eggs; use the equivalent of 2 eggs in egg substitute, IE Egg Beaters.
Butter Cream Frosting
enough for 24 cupcakes
In a deep medium bowl, cream butter thoroughly. Add 1 cup confectioners' sugar and salt, beating well. Add remaining sugar and 1 tablespoon half-and-half. Beat until smooth. Add vanilla and remaining half-and-half as needed to achieve correct spreading consistency. Beat in food coloring, if desired.
Variations: Add ¼ to ½ cup finely chopped crystallized ginger to the frosting in place of garnishing the tops of the cupcakes with ginger. Or garish cups with chopped nuts of choice.