Nigella Lawson's Christmas cupcakes


  • Prep Time10 mins
  • Total Time10 mins
  • Makes12 Cupcakes
*PLUS Baking Time: 15 minutes

This recipe is from Nigella Lawson’s new cookbook, Nigella Christmas. The recipe has not been tested by the Chatelaine Test Kitchen.


  • 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp (140 mL) butter, at room temperature

  • 2/3 cup (175 mL) sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 cup (250 mL) all-purpose flour

  • 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda

  • 2 tsp (10 mL) baking powder

  • 2 tsp (10 mL) vanilla

  • 2 to 3 tbsp (30 to 45 mL) homogenized milk


  • 1/2 500-g packet instant royal icing

  • Christmassy sprinkles

  • Red and green ready-made roll-out icing, or gum paste (optional)

  • Seasonal sugar decorations, optional


  • Take everything you need out of the fridge in time to come to room temperature — this makes a huge difference to the lightness of the cupcakes later — and preheat the oven to 400F (200C). Fill a muffin tin with paper cases.

  • Put all the ingredients for the cupcakes except the milk into a food processor and blitz until smooth.

  • Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel — try one tablespoonful (15 mL) at a time — to make a smooth dropping consistency.

  • Divide the mixture in your prepared muffin tin, and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top.

  • Let them cool a little in their tins on a rack, and then carefully take them out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.

  • To ice, make up the royal icing as directed on the packet and, using a tablespoon, dollop over the cupcakes, so that each one is thickly covered.

  • Adorn with sprinkles (don’t let the icing dry before scattering) or sugar decorations, or roll out the fondant icing or gum paste and cut out Christmassy shapes of your choice to go on top.