Category Archives: Cupcakes

Oreo Cupcakes

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I had seen a number of posts online where people had used mini Oreos on various cakes and thought they looked incredibly cute. I came across them in a shop the other day and instantly knew I wanted to make Oreo cupcakes with a mini Oreo on top. You could use a normal sized Oreo, but it doesn’t look as cute.

There are quite a few different recipes online for Oreo cupcakes so it was a case of looking around and finding the one I liked the sound of. I decided to make the recipe by Good Food Channel (http://uktv.co.uk/food/recipe/aid/657083). A few of the other recipes I had looked at said the cupcakes were too sweet or they hadn’t come out right. All of the recipes used cream cheese in the frosting which I thought sounded a little strange – cheese and chocolate, but it really works!

The original recipe said to use half an Oreo, but why would you use half when you can use the whole thing?! Yes I was feeling greedy, but I thought it would look better when you saw the inside of the cupcake.

For the cupcakes
11 large Oreo cookies
115g unsalted butter, softened
115g caster sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
100g self raising flour
20g cocoa powder
2 large eggs
1 tsp milk

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/160°C fan/gas 4. Line a muffin tin with 11 paper cases and put an Oreo in the bottom of each case

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  1. Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla extract together until  pale and fluffy
  2. Sift the flour and cocoa powder and add to the mixture along with the eggs. Mix until all ingredients are combined. Add the milk and mix to combine
  3. Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 mins or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

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For the frosting
50g butter, softened
80g full fat cream cheese
175g icing sugar
6 large Oreo cookies
11 mini Oreos to decorate

  1. If you have a food processor, whizz the large Oreos into fine crumbs. If like me you don’t have a food processor, but them in a sealed sandwich bag and bash them with a rolling pin. Make sure the crumbs are quite fine or else they will get stuck in the nozzle when you are piping
  2. Beat the butter, cream cheese and icing sugar together. Gently fold in the Oreo crumbs, be careful to not over mix. If the frosting is a little runny, put it in the fridge to chill for 15 mins or so

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  1. After you have piped the frosting onto the cupcakes, decorate each with a mini Oreo

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If you are making them in advanced, wait until you are about to serve them before you decorate with the mini Oreo as it can become a bit soft if you do this in advanced.

These cupcakes went down really well and are a must if you are an Oreo fan!

 

Honey , Fig & Mascarpone Cupcakes

Cat Cupcake(photo by me)

This is the second recipe I made for my photography session with @GreedyBetty. As soon as I saw this recipe I thought it looked beautiful, and to me it sounded more sophisticated and unusual compared to a lot of cupcakes. When I told people I was making these cupcakes, some people weren’t instantly excited by the idea. To my surprise this was because they hadn’t actually tried a fig before! These cupcakes managed to convert them – not only did they like the honey cupcake with the mascarpone, but they really liked the fig!

They also photographed beautifully – obviously with the help of Betty and her fantastic photography skills!

For the cupcakes
1 3/4 cups plain flour 
½ cup honey
½ cup unsalted butter
1/3 cup soured cream
2/3 whole milk
2 eggs
1 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
1 tbsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC and line 2 cupcake tins with 16 cupcake cases and set aside
  2. Mix together the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt and set aside
  3. In a different bowl, beat together the butter, honey, soured cream, vanilla paste and extract
  4. Add one egg at a time, mixing after each addition. With the mixing speed on low, alternate between adding the dry ingredients and the milk and beat until just combined
  5. Spoon the batter into the cases filling them 2/3 of the way

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  1. Bake for 15 – 18 minutes or until a cocktail stick comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in their tin for 5 minutes and then allow to cool completely on a wire rack

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For the frosting
8oz mascarpone cheese
1 cup double cream
¼ cup granulated sugar
1 tbsp vanilla extract

  1. Whisk the mascarpone cheese with the double cream, granulated sugar and vanilla extract on a low speed
  2. Beat for 2-3 minutes gradually increasing the speed to medium-high until it forms soft peaks. Be careful to not mix too much or the mix will curdle
  3. Frost the cooled cupcakes

You can either simply decorate the cupcake with half a fig like I did, or do as the original recipe suggested and caramelize the figs. The original recipe can be found at http://www.stylemepretty.com/living/2012/10/28/fall-recipe-honey-cupcakes-w-marscarpone-frosting-carmelized-figs/

These cupcakes are the perfect combination of sweet, followed by a slight savoury flavour from the frosting and the burst of freshness from the fig. They really were delicious and I was so proud of how the photographs turned out.

Cat Fig 1

(photo by me)

Fig Cupcake 1 copy

(photo by Betty)

Cupcake B

(photo by Betty)

Cupcake A

(photo by Betty)

2014-08-09 12.23.51

Pimm’s Cupcakes

What is the British summer without a glass (or two) or Pimm’s?! And what better way to enjoy it than in a tasty cupcake?

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Here in Britian we aren’t lucky when it comes to weather. Our ‘summer’ usually consists of a few days where it stops raining and it gets a bit warmer. Having said that some years we haven’t even managed to get that, or so it feels. So for us Brits, when the sun does come out, we make the most of it with some Pimm’s! I have just Googled to see how to describe Pimm’s for those of you that haven’t heard of it – it is a gin based liqueur with subtle tastes of spices and citrus; so there you go!

I found this recipe via one of the people I follow on twitter – @becsj76. She posted her recipe of Pimm’s cupcakes as well as a lovely photo. As soon as I saw this I knew I had to try them.  If you would like to see more of Bec’s recipes follow her on Twitter or like her Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Aunties.Cupcakes1

The recipe was really simple and quick which is always a plus if you want to bake but not spend hours in the kitchen on a hot sunny day! For this recipe, I used Aldi’s version of Pimm’s; Austin’s. It is more than half the price and in my opinion tastes nicer. I am all for paying more for quality ingredients, but I don’t like buying things just for the name, especially when a substitute is nicer! You may ask why have I still called these Pimm’s Cupcakes and not Austin’s Cupcakes? Well I already thought that enough people outside of Britain might not know what Pimm’s was without complicating the situation further and naming them after the supermarket own version!

Enjoy these cupcakes with a glass of Pimm’s watching Wimbledon and it won’t matter (as much) if the sun isn’t shining!

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For the cupcakes
100g margarine
150g caster sugar 
150g self raising flour
3 tbsp Pimm’s
2 eggs

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC
  2. Mix the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and Pimm’s and mix again and then add the flour
  3. When combined, divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases
  4. Bake for 20 mins or until a cocktail stick comes out clean

For the buttercream
100g butter
225g icing sugar
2 – 3 tbsp Pimm’s

  1. Mix the butter and icing sugar together until combined
  2. Add the Pimm’s one tablespoon at a time until you get the correct consistency for piping
  3. Pipe onto the cupcakes and decorate; I kept it simple with a slice of strawberry

 

 

Nutella Buttercream

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Deliciously smooth buttercream with the fantastic flavour of Nutella – the perfect topping for any cupcake!

It is no secret that I am a Nutella fan. I came to the obvious conclusion that adding Nutella to buttercream could never be a bad thing! One of the reasons I don’t like normal buttercream that much is because to me it can taste a lot like sweetened butter. Now I realise I am in the minority here as most people love buttercream, but this Nutella buttercream is my kind of buttercream! The chocolate hazelnut taste compliments the buttercream and is delicious.

The recipe I used was from a blog called Cooking Classy (http://www.cookingclassy.com/2013/09/banana-cupcakes-nutella-buttercream-frosting/). Their recipe used a banana cupcake, but I decided to use a simple vanilla cupcake.

This recipe makes enough buttercream for roughly 12 cupcakes. However if you like buttercream piled high on your cupcake, the recipe says to make 1 1/2 the amount below.

1/4 cup unsalted butter
1/4 cup salted butter
1/4 cup Nutella
2 1/2 tsp cocoa powder
2 cups icing sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract  
3-4 tsp double cream

  1. Beat together the butter until pale and fluffy
  2. Add the Nutella and cocoa powder and beat again to combine
  3. Add the vanilla extract and icing sugar and mix slowly until combined
  4. Finish by adding enough cream until the buttercream is the right consistency – it should be firm enough to hold its shape when piped. Mix one last time and then it is ready to pipe onto your cupcakes

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Vanilla & Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

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For around 5 years, my parent’s have had chickens which are great egg-layers. On Good Friday we all went to choose a few more to add to the coop which was quite fitting for Easter. I always thought one egg was similar to another but after trying the eggs my parent’s chickens’ lay, there really is no comparison. It really is worth buying free range eggs – you will notice the difference!

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 This is the original chicken I chose – the Ginger Ninga; Mamma Bimbawaki or Bimbles for short.

Like I said before, Easter is definitely the time to do lots of baking which is exactly what I did. I spent 4 days in a row baking one thing or another to give as presents. Rien’s family love cupcakes so I decided to do two variations for them; chocolate chip and vanilla.

For the vanilla cupcakes, I used the recipe I have previously posted. For the chocolate chips cupcakes I used a recipe I found on a woman called Eileen Goodall’s blog (http://eileengoodall.hubpages.com/hub/Chocolate-Chip-Cupcake-Recipe). The only change I made was to use milk chocolate chips instead of plain. They turned out really well and I will definitely be using the recipe again!

For the cake
100g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
100g self raising flour
100g milk chocolate chips
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract

  1. Preheat your oven to 190ºC
  2. Cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy and then add the vanilla extract
  3. Add the eggs one at a time mixing thoroughly in-between
  4. Add the flour and when completely incorporated, add the chocolate chips

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  1. Spoon the mix into 8 large cupcake cases, I use an ice cream scoop to get even amounts in each case and I find it easier. Bake in the oven for 15-20 mins. When a toothpick comes out clean they are done

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  1. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack

For the buttercream
I used half the quantity of icing I used in the vanilla cupcake post. I used a green gel colour because I wanted to create a grass effect which I acheived by using a Wilton 233 tip. I then finished them with a Malteasers bunny and a few Mini Eggs.

I decorated the vanilla cupcakes with a large star nozzle tip to give a grooved affect to the butter cream. I then finished them off with a Mini Egg. You can’t really see from the photo, but I used Easter egg printed cupcake cases.

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Everyone seemed to really like the cakes and I think it is sometimes nice to have a cupcake to break up all of the chocolate that gets eaten over Easter!

Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Super moist carrot cupcakes with deliciously smooth cream cheese frosting. There is a reason these Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are my most popular cupcakes!

These are hands down my most popular cupcake recipe. I am repeatedly asked to make these Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting by family and friends. 

I thought for many years that I didn’t like carrot cake. It was the walnuts that a lot of people put in their carrot cake that was putting me off. But when a friend brought in their carrot cake, I finally tried it and realised what I have been missing out on all of these years!

Like I said, the majority of recipes have walnuts and raisins in them, but this is where I am controversial – I don’t include either of these in my recipe. I know some carrot cake purists may think this is awful and all carrot cakes should have walnuts and raisins, but I don’t really like walnuts. I also know a lot of people aren’t keen on raisins so I leave these out too. That’s the great thing about recipes, you can adapt them to your taste.  

These Carrot Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting also keep really well due to the oil keeping them moist. Unlike other cupcakes, these will keep really well for at least 4 days. You can also freeze them before they are frosted wrapped up tightly in cling film. Just defrost them thoroughly before adding the frosting. 

Cream cheese frosting is my favourite type of frosting. I find buttercream to be quite sweet and taste too buttery for me (yes I realise I am strange). Cream cheese frosting is so delicious and creamy I could eat it straight from the bowl! 

This is not a recipe where you can look to reduce the calories and use low fat cream cheese. You need the fat in the cream cheese to help create the thickness in the frosting. If you were to use low fat cream cheese, the frosting would be too runny and you wouldn’t be able to pipe it onto the cupcakes at all. 

This frosting is a runnier than others like buttercream, so because of this it is slightly harder to pipe. Therefore I always use a large round nozzle instead of trying to pipe with any type of patterned nozzle because there is always the risk that it will spread slightly and lose any distinction there may have been in the pattern in the first place. 

For a gluten free version, check out my Gluten Free Carrot Sheet Cake

5 from 3 votes
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Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting

Super moist carrot cupcakes with deliciously smooth cream cheese frosting. There is a reason these Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting are my most popular cupcakes!
Course Cupcakes
Cuisine American
Keyword Carrot, Cupcakes, Cream Cheese, Frosting, Vegetables
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 18 cupcakes
Calories 444 kcal

Ingredients

  • 150 g light brown sugar
  • 150 g dark brown sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • 300 ml sunflower oil
  • 300 g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon heaped
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 300 g carrot grated

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 75 g unsalted butter softened
  • 200 g cream cheese full fat
  • 450 g icing sugar

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC (fan assisted, 190ºC non fan). Line cupcake tins with cupcake cases
  2. Mix together the sugar, eggs, oil and vanilla extract. I like to do this in a large jug
  3. In another bowl, mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda, baking powder, cinnamon and salt together
  4. Gradually add the dry mix to the wet mix stirring as you go. Add the carrots and keep stirring until thoroughly mixed. Don’t worry, the mix will be quite wet
  5. Fill each cupcake case two-thirds full and bake for 20 mins or until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack
  6. Once completely cool, make the frosting. Beat the softened butter until smooth
  7. Add the cream cheese and icing sugar and mix until completely combined and smooth
  8. Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and decorate each cupcake. Add any sprinkles or decorations you want

Recipe Notes

Break up any lumps that may have formed in the sugar before adding the rest of the ingredients. 

Nutrition Facts
Carrot Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
Amount Per Serving
Calories 444 Calories from Fat 216
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 24g 37%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Polyunsaturated Fat 11g
Monounsaturated Fat 5g
Cholesterol 21mg 7%
Sodium 207mg 9%
Potassium 86mg 2%
Total Carbohydrates 56g 19%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 42g
Protein 3g 6%
Vitamin A 61%
Vitamin C 2%
Calcium 3%
Iron 6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Lemon & Blueberry Cupcakes

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I made these cupcakes for Mother’s Day for my Mum and my boyfriend’s Mum. I’ve been looking for tasty sounding cake recipes that aren’t chocolate because my boyfriend and I (Rien for those of you that don’t know him) have given up chocolate for lent. I have a rule that when I can’t eat chocolate, no one can – well not that I bake anyway!

We went to Rien’s parent’s house on Saturday and I had decided to take everything I needed to make the cupcakes with me as I didn’t have time to make them before we went. I couldn’t get the blueberries when I did my weekly shop so we were going to stop and get them on the way. After we’d got the blueberries I realised I’d forgotten the lemons and my ice cream scoop I use to fill the cases with so we had to stop at another shop. It was then a few hours later when I came to ice the cupcakes when I realised I was 50g short of icing sugar so had to go out again! I don’t think I’ll be baking somewhere other than my own kitchen for a while!

All the messing around was worth it though, these cupcakes are really tasty. I think it must be the soured cream in the mix that makes the texture of the cupcake different to normal cakes. However the icing does have a strong lemon flavour  – if you like lemon you will love them; if lemon isn’t really your thing you might want to tweak the butter cream slightly (details below).

For the cupcakes:

500g plain flour
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/2 tsp salt
225g butter or margarine
200g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
Zest of 1 lemon
490g soured cream
120g fresh blueberries

  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Mix the flour, bicarbonate of soda and salt in a bowl and leave to one side
  2. Cream the butter and sugar in a bowl until light and fluffy
  3. Add the eggs 1 at a time mixing after each then add the vanilla and lemon zest
  4. Add the dry mix in 3 parts alternating with the soured cream making sure you end with the dry mix. Stir in the blueberries

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  1. Spoon mix into cases making sure they are two-thirds full. Bake for 16-20 mins – test with a cocktail stick to see when they are cooked The cupcakes will look quite pale so do not leave them in longer expecting them to turn light brown
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  1. Allow to cool completely on a wire rack

For the frosting:

225g unsalted butter
225g full fat cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
950g icing sugar
Yellow food colouring (optional)
Blueberries to decorate (optional)

  1. Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth
  2. Add the vanilla, lemon zest and juice and stir until combined
  3. Add the icing sugar a little at a time making sure all is combined before adding more
  4. Add yellow food colouring if you are using it. I wanted a pale yellow colour but this is up to you.

If you would prefer the icing to have a more subtle lemon taste, add just the lemon zest and not the juice. Instead add 1- 2 tbsp of milk until you get the right consistency – should be smooth and shouldn’t run off a spoon.

Original recipe can be found at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/lemon-blueberry-cupcakes-with-lemon-cream-cheese-frosting-recipe.html

Vanilla Cupcakes

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Fluffy cupcakes with a delicious vanilla flavour. A simple cupcake but one of the best!

This recipe is very simple and produces tasty cupcakes every time. As the recipe is easy to follow, it is great for baking beginners but they also make a perfect base cupcake to decorate and create something special. They are so versatile and you can create so many different fantastic looking cupcakes. With this recipe I have made jam filled vanilla cupcakes; pinata vanilla cupcakes and hidden heart vanilla cupcakes. You then have the buttercream which you can add other flavours to, use different piping nozzles and add colouring.

I have lost count of how many times I have made these cupcakes over the years as they are my go-to cupcake. I haven’t met anyone that doesn’t like a vanilla cupcake (even I like them and I’m not a fan of buttercream!).

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This recipe makes 12 large cupcakes, but you can obviously make more smaller cupcakes. Whatever size you use, make sure you don’t fill the cupcake case right to the top. You’re aiming to have cupcakes that are flat across the top of the cupcake case so you need to fill the cupcake case roughly 2/3 full. If you use smaller cupcake cases the cupcakes probably won’t need as long to bake so make sure you check then after 10-12 minutes.

You can use either vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste, depending on which you prefer. I really like the flavour vanilla bean paste gives the cupcake and I like the little black flecks it leaves in the cupcake. You can also add some vanilla to the buttercream for even more vanilla yummy-ness.2015-01-25 19.48.12

For the cupcakes:
175g softened butter
175g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
3 eggs
175g self-raising flour

  1. Preheat the oven to 170ºC
  2. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
  3. Add the vanilla extract and eggs (I always crack eggs into a different bowl so you can spot any shell in the egg and also if you have a bad egg it doesn’t ruin your whole mix)
  4. Add the flour and mix until it is combined. Spoon into cupcake cases filling each 2/3 full

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  1. Bake in the oven for 14 mins check they are cooked by piercing them with a cocktail stick, if the stick comes out clean they are cooked

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  1. Leave on a wire rack to cool completely

Once the cakes have cooled completely, make the buttercream

For the buttercream:
140g softened butter (has to be butter not margarine)
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk

  1. Beat softened butter and icing sugar together
  2. Gradually add the milk until it becomes smooth and quite thick – you may not need all of the milk
  3. Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe onto the cupcakes. Finish with any decorations

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