I met Josee of The Cakery Designer Cakes in September where we were both attending the Ottawa Cupcake Camp, a fund-raiser for local non-profit organizations. She was setting up her display of beautiful cupcakes (they won Best Overall ) right beside where I was assigned to set up mine. We chatted, both a little shy initially but we proceeded to spend an enjoyable afternoon together at this function. Upon departure, we exchanged business cards and when I checked out her site I was immediately impressed by her artistry with cake and cupcake decorating.
Josee’s specialty and passion is making and decorating wedding cakes but she will bake you up a batch of delicious cupcakes, a beautiful birthday cake or chocolate dipped pretzels just as easily. Her home-based business is just a stepping stone for the big plans this young lady has in store. I have admired Josee since I first met her and her lovely family that day back in September. Having four beautiful, young and extremely well-mannered children would seem to be enough on one’s plate but Josee thrives on raising a busy family right along with a busy and successful baking business! This past Christmas Josee was instrumental in spearheading a campaign to have volunteers bake over 2500 cupcakes for donation to The Ottawa Mission, a project called Cupcakes for Christmas. Where she finds the time to do it all leaves me stymied but I am thankful and delighted that she made the time to share her story and her recipes here with us today. You can follow Josee on Twitter @TheCakeryDC.
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I am honoured be a part of “Frosting for the Cause.” I have a lot of great recipes that I am always hesitant to give away, but for a cause like this, I couldn’t say no. In fact, I decided right away that I wanted to give the recipe for one of my absolute favourites – my Gingerbread Cupcakes. They might be more popular during the Holidays, but in my home, they’re popular all year round.
I am sad to say that cancer has touched my family in a very profound way. While our family is lucky enough to have a survivor in our family, we also have felt the loss that often comes with this horrible disease. My maternal grandmother was diagnosed with breast cancer almost ten years ago. I will never forget the helpless feeling I was struck with when I found out that this strong woman, who had done so much to take care of me over the years was now in need of help that I couldn’t give. The flip side, of course, is that I will never forget how thankful I was when we heard the words “cancer free.” I remember how thankful I felt to all the doctors and especially the nurses, who worked so hard for my grandma.
The other person in our family, who was affected by cancer, was actually someone that I never got to meet, but who still has a profound effect on my life. My husband’s mother, Sandra, lost her four year battle with Ovarian Cancer in January of 2005. My husband has shared with me many fond memories of his mother and I often find myself thinking about her. Because of cancer, our four children will never get to meet their grandmother. Even though my husband still feels great sadness from this loss, he too was thankful for the doctors and nurses who worked so hard to extend his mother’s life and care for her.
I am honoured to be donating my recipe for Gingerbread Cupcakes to “Frosting for the Cause.” In honour of my Grandma and her fight with cancer, I will be donating one dozen cupcakes to the woman herself, so she can share them with her friends at the retirement home. Additionally, in honour of my mother in-law, I am donating a dozen cupcakes to the hard working nurses on the cancer ward, in the Ottawa General Hospital.
Gingerbread Cupcake Recipe (makes 24 medium cupcakes)
5 Tbsp Unsalted butter, softened
½ cup White sugar
½ cup Molasses
11/4 cups All purpose flower
1 Tbsp Cocoa powder
11/4 Tsp Ground ginger
1 Tsp Ground cinnamon
½ Tsp All spice
½ Tsp Nutmeg
¼ Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Baking soda
½ Cup Hot milk
• Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Butter or line with paper liners a 12-cup muffin tin.
• Cream 5 tablespoons of the butter with the white sugar. Add the molasses and the eggs, one at a time
• Sift together the flour, cocoa powder, ginger, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and salt. Dissolve the baking soda in the hot milk. Add the flour mixture to the creamed mixture and stir until just combined. Stir in the hot milk mixture. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared tin.
• Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 20 minutes or until slightly springy to the touch. Allow to cool a few minutes in the pan and remove to a rack to cool.
A great compliment to these cupcakes is the cream cheese icing.
Cream Cheese Icing Recipe
8 Oz Cream Cheese
2 Cups Icing sugar
¼ Tsp Lemon Extract
To Make Frosting: Cream the 2 tablespoons butter and the cream cheese together. Beat in the confectioners’ sugar until fluffy. Add the lemon extract and beat. When the cupcakes are cool, frost the tops with the frosting and serve.