21⁄4 cups self-raising flour
2 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup vegetable oil
1 cup lightly-packed brown sugar
4 free-range eggs
1⁄2 cup golden syrup
2 tbsp vanilla essence
50g crystallised ginger
2 cups icing sugar
1 tbsp vanilla paste
Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease a 12-hole shallow, rounded cupcake pan, or grease and line a baking tray with baking paper.
Sift together the flour, spices and baking soda in a large bowl and make a well in the centre. Whisk together the oil, sugar, eggs, golden syrup and vanilla in a jug or bowl, pour into the well, then fold in until well-combined.
Cooking kisses in 3 batches, evenly spoon batter into prepared pan holes till holes are half-filled. Alternatively, spoon or pipe batter onto the baking tray, leaving enough room for spreading.
Bake for 18 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centres comes out clean.
Allow to cool in pan or on tray for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
To make the vanilla buttercream, soak the crystallised ginger in 1⁄4 cup boiling water for 10-20 minutes, then finely chop the flesh, reserving water.
Using electric hand beaters or an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth, pale and fluffy.
Gradually add the icing sugar, 1⁄2 cup at a time, beating between additions, then beat in the cream and vanilla paste. Add the ginger with enough of the reserved water to make a creamy mixture, beating until fluffy.
Spread buttercream onto one side of half the cooled cakes and sandwich with the remaining cakes. Sprinkle with icing sugar to serve.