Tag Archives: cupcake

MALTED MOCHA CUPCAKES

Malted mocha cupcakes

These yummy treats have a lovely rich, slightly sticky, moist sponge sitting underneath that swirl of thick, creamy, fluffy buttercream.
I’m a sucker for malt and chocolate together and the subtle background of coffee really brings them together nicely. Because the sponge is made with malt extract rather than powder, it has a lovely rich texture, a bit like a golden syrup sponge. It’s slightly more dense (but not heavy) and sticky than a classic cupcake sponge. In general, I’d say that these lovelies have a bit more going on than your average sponge and frosting affair…

Malted mocha cupcakes

Ingredients
makes about 8 big cupcakes or 6 large and 6 mini

Sponge
40g butter
90g sugar
50g malt extract
100g plain flour
15g cocoa powder
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 egg
70ml milk
50ml of very, very strong coffee

Frosting
30g dark chocolate
140g unsalted butter
120g icing sugar
2 tbsp cream (or a splash of milk)
50g malt extract

melted white and dark chocolate and malteasers to decorate.

Malted mocha cupcakes

Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with wrappers.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a mixing bowl and then beat in the malt extract. Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder and beat it together with an electric hand or stand mixer until it looks like breadcrumbs.
Lightly beat together the coffee, milk and egg in a separate bowl or jug and then add it in two or three batches, to the dry ingredients and beat it well until you have a nice smooth batter.
Divide this evenly between the wrappers and pop them in the oven for about 20 minutes. They should be well risen and feel springy to the touch once they are done. Leave them to cool on a wire rack.

Malted mocha cupcakes
To make the frosting melt the chocolate and then set it aside to cool. Beat together the butter, icing sugar and cream until it is nice and fluffy. Mix in the malt extract and then divide the buttercream into two batches. Stir the melted chocolate into one of these.
Carefully spoon the two buttercreams into a piping bag fitted with a large star tip, so that they are side by side and both flavours will be squeezed out of the nozzle at the same time. Pipe the frosting onto the cooled cakes in pretty swirl and then decorate each one with the crushed malteasers and a little drizzle of melted chocolate.

Malted mocha cupcakes

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CARROT CUPCAKES WITH APRICOT CREAM CHEESE FROSTING

Carrot cupcakes with apricot frosting

Have we talked about how good my mums carrot cake is? She claims that she just slings all of the ingredients into her Kenwood chef and then tips the resulting batter into a tin before baking it but I’m sure that there must be more to it than that. It’s rich and moist and fragrant with just the right amount of sticky gooeyness. I love it. It doesn’t however, seem to lend itself very well to being baked into cupcakes, it’s more of a tray-bake kind of beast.

Carrot cupcakes with apricot frosting

I’ve had a bit of a play around with it and adapted it into these, slightly lighter, but no less yummy, cupcakes. I’ve used a mix of brown and white sugar for flavour and added in a little wholemeal flour for texture. If you want to toss in a handful of raisins and/or some chopped nuts then you absolutely can.
These little treats are light, fluffy and flavourful with a smooth, creamy tangy frosting. Enjoy!

Carrot cupcakes with apricot frosting

Ingredients
makes 12

Sponge
110g soft butter
60g white sugar
60g soft brown sugar
2 eggs
100g plain flour
50g whole-wheat flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
150g grated carrots
juice of 1 orange (keep the zest for decorating)

frosting
100g soft butter
100g icing sugar
200g cream cheese (room temperature)
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
3 tbsp good quality apricot jam

Carrot cupcakes with apricot frosting

Pre-heat your oven to 180°c and line a 12 hole muffin pan with cupcake wrappers.
Beat together the butter and both types of sugar in a large mixing bowl until they are nice and fluffy. Next beat in the eggs, one at a time.
Sift in the flours, along with the spices, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda, so that they are well combined. Beat the mixture so that you have a smooth thick batter.
Fold in the grated carrot and the orange juice, making sure that everything is evenly blended.
Divide the batter between the cupcake wrappers and smooth off the tops. Bake for around 30 minutes, until the cupcakes have risen and are golden and then leave them to cool on a wire rack.

Make the frosting by beating together the butter and icing sugar and then combining this with the cream cheese. Finally mix through the apricot jam. Pipe or spread the frosting generously onto the cooled cupcakes and then scatter the tops with a little of the reserved orange zest.

Carrot cupcakes with apricot frosting

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MATCHA COCONUT CUPCAKES

matcha coconut cupcake

I was looking back through some of my older recipes recently and came across my yummy green tea and lemon Swiss roll, https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2014/01/17/green-tea-and-lemon-swiss-roll/. I’ve been seeing matcha used in a lot of recipes of late so I though I might have another bash at baking with it.
I’ll be honest, I only really chose to pair coconut with the matcha because I had half a can of coconut milk sitting in my fridge left over from the previous nights laksa. I’m really pleased that I did though because the creamy coconut goes so well with the sweet, slightly earthy taste of the fluffy matcha sponge cake. They’re so pretty too, the pure white frosting looks great against the almost avocado coloured sponge.

matcha coconut cupcake

Ingredients
Makes 12 fairy cake size cupcakes or probably about 8 big ones

Matcha sponge
40g butter
100g sugar
120g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
1 egg
120ml coconut milk
pinch of salt
1 tsp matcha powder

Coconut frosting
2 tbsp coconut cream (you can also use the thickened part that rises to the top of canned coconut milk)
70g softened butter
135g icing sugar

toasted coconut flakes to decorate

matcha coconut cupcake

Preheat the oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with wrappers.
Sift together the flour and baking powder into a large mixing bowl. Add the sugar, salt and butter and beat it all together until it looks like bread crumbs.
Use a tablespoon of the coconut milk to make the matcha powder into a paste and set this aside for a moment. Whisk together the remaining coconut milk and the egg in a separate jug and then incorporate the paste into this. Make sure that it is really well blended.
Gradually beat this into the dry ingredients using an electric mixer and then continue to beat for a further minute or two.

matcha coconut cupcake
Divide the cake batter evenly between the cupcake wrappers and bake the cupcakes for about 20 minutes.
Once they are well risen, cooked through and lightly browned you can leave them to cool on a wire rack.

To make the coconut frosting simply beat together all of the ingredients until you have a thick fluffy frosting. Pipe or spread this on top of the cupcakes before finishing them with a sprinkle of toasted coconut shavings.

matcha coconut cupcake

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HAZELNUT NUTELLA CUPCAKES

Nutella cupcake

It’s my Birthday at the weekend, which of course means that there will be cake! Now I’m sure that if I asked nicely Mr Colonial Cravings would no doubt have a stab at making me a birthday cake but, judging by the turmoil that always greets me in the kitchen after he’s made pizza, it would not be worth the clean-up!
So instead of donning a pair of marigolds I’ve donned my apron and come up with these little beauties. Indulgent, creamy Nutella flavoured Swiss meringue buttercream smothering fluffy hazelnut sponge. Just wonderful. The cakes develop a lovely slighty crisp chewy crust and the Nutella buttercream is absolutely sublime. But you didn’t need me to tell you that.

Nutella cupcake
I know that making Swiss meringue buttercream takes a bit more effort than just beating together butter and icing sugar but I promise you it’s totally worth it. It’s also very forgiving so you shouldn’t feel daunted by it. The first time I tried this particular one my butter was a bit too soft when I added it so the buttercream ended up too runny to pipe. I just shoved it in the fridge for 15 minutes and then whipped it again and it was perfect.
If you’re feeling especially extravagant then you could even top them with Ferrero Rocher…just a suggestion.

Nutella cupcake

Ingredients
Makes 12

Sponge
40g butter
130g sugar
70g plain flour
1/2 tbsp baking powder
60g toasted hazelnuts, finely ground
pinch of salt
120ml milk
1 egg

Buttercream
2 egg whites
100g sugar
140g butter
3 tbsp Nutella
1 tbsp Frangelico (optional but it’ll really boost the hazelnut flavour)

Pre-heat the oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with pretty wrappers.
Put the butter, salt and sugar in a large mixing bowl and then sift in the flour and baking powder. Beat this together so that it resembles breadcrumbs. Mix in the ground hazelnuts.
In a separate jug whisk together the egg and milk before gradually adding this to the dry mixture. Beat the batter for few minutes, so that it becomes quite fluffy. Divide this mixture evenly between the cupcake wrappers and bake the cupcakes for 18-20 minutes.
Once they are cooked and nicely browned leave them to cool on a wire rack whilst you make the frosting.

Nutella cupcake
Place the egg whites and sugar in a super-clean mixing bowl set over a pan of boiling water. Use a hand whisk and continually whip the meringue mixture as it heats. It needs to be quite warm and the sugar needs to have dissolved into the egg white. Just rub a little between your fingers to check the temperature and that it isn’t grainy. Remove the pan from the heat and then whisk the egg white until it is fluffy and cool (I switch to an electric whisk for this). Once you’re at this point you can slowly beat in the butter, one small piece at a time. Continue to whip the buttercream until it has emulsified and become smooth and creamy. Finally beat in the Nutella and Frangelico until is well blended. Resist the urge to eat it all now and transfer it to a piping bag, ready to decorate your cupcakes. Alternatively just use a pallet knife to appoint each cake with a generous splodge. Sprinkle with a few chopped hazelnuts or chocolate sprinkles…

Nutella cupcake

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GUINNESS CUPCAKES – with Irish cream frosting

guinness & chocolate cupcakes

I still can’t quite get on board with the St Patrick’s day festivities that occur on this side of the pond (so much green!) I think that I may have been scarred by my experiences back home in Cheltenham where it usually coincides with the biggest racing meet of the year. This generally means that most Cheltonians become hermits for the week rather than battle with the crowds and traffic in the town.
I do however like to have the excuse to make cupcakes, so here is my offering this year.
Don’t be put off making these if you aren’t the worlds biggest stout fan, you can’t really taste it. What it does do is add a real richness and depth to the chocolate sponge. It also makes them incredibly light and fluffy. At least I assume that it’s the Guinness because these are far lighter than any other sponge that I’ve made before and in case you couldn’t guess I’ve baked a lot of cake in my time! The butter-cream frosting is pretty much what you’d expect it to be, sweet, creamy and just a tiny bit boozy. Nothing wrong with that.

Ingredients
makes 18 ish (enough for everyone!)

80g butter (soft)
200g dark brown sugar
80g white sugar
200g flour
40g cocoa powder
1 tbsp baking powder
pinch of salt
180ml stout
60ml milk
2 eggs

Irish cream frosting
175g butter
400g icing sugar
100ml Irish cream liqueur (there’s no point being stingy is there?)

guinness & chocolate cupcakes

Pre-heat your oven to 190°c and line a cupcake tin with liners.
Beat together the sugars and butter in a large mixing bowl before sifting in the dry ingredients. Beat this again to ensure that everything is well combined. It will look very dry and a bit like bread crumbs at this point, don’t worry, it’s meant to look like that!
Whisk together the stout, milk and eggs in a jug and then add about 1/4 of it to the dry mixture and beat it in. Repeat this until all of the liquid has been incorporated and you have a smooth, well mixed batter.
Spoon the batter into the cupcake cases and bake for around 18 minutes. The little cakes should have risen and feel springy once they are done. They should also be wonderfully light. If you have to bake them in a couple of batches then keep any remaining batter cool in the fridge.
Remove them from the tin and leave the little sponges to cool on a wire rack whilst you whip up the butter-cream frosting.
Beat the butter until soft and creamy. Add in the icing sugar and the Irish cream. Stir a few times to prevent an icing sugar dust cloud forming and then beat with a hand-held electric mixture until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread this onto the cold cupcakes. Complete the cliché with green sprinkles if you like.

guinness & chocolate cupcakes

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GINGERBREAD LATTE CUPCAKES

ingerbread latte cupcakes

A great alternative to traditional Christmas cake, especially for parties, these offer a more subtle take on festive flavours.

I’ve based these on the classic Starbucks holiday drink (in spite of the fact that I am very anti-Starbucks. I’d rather support smaller businesses) and they do taste surprisingly similar to it.
I haven’t used any black treacle or molasses in the sponge because I wanted them to be lighter than traditional gingerbread or parkin so they have more of a golden colour too. Feel free to adjust the spices to suit your own taste, you could even get away with adding a splash of spiced rum and if you’re a real coffee fiend then the frosting will easily take a little extra coffee in it.

ingerbread latte cupcakes

Ingredients
makes about 18

Sponge

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
2 tbsp hot water
100g butter
125g dark brown sugar
2 eggs
175g golden syrup
100ml warm milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste
275g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
pinch of ground allspice

Frosting
175g butter
350g icing sugar
50ml cream/milk
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

ingerbread latte cupcakes

Begin by preheating the oven to 180°c and lining your cupcake tins with suitably festive wrappers. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda in the hot water and set aside.
Cream together the butter and sugar until it is light and fluffy before beating in the eggs and then the syrup.
Stir in the warm milk, vanilla paste and the bicarbonate of soda mixture. Sift all of the dry ingredients into this wet mixture and stir it all together. Beat it for a few minutes with an electric mixer to make it as light as possible.
Spoon the sponge batter into the cupcake wrappers, so that they are about 1/2-3/4 full. Bake for around 20 minutes, until they are well risen, golden on top and your kitchen smells like Christmas.

Gingerbread latte cupcakes
Leave the cupcakes to cool on a wire rack whilst you make the frosting.
Warm the milk or cream a little and dissolve the coffee powder in it. Set aside to cool a bit. Beat the butter until soft and then stir the icing sugar into it along with the vanilla paste and the coffee-cream. Continue to beat until you have a light fluffy frosting. Pipe onto the cooled gingerbread sponges and decorate with a little dusting of nutmeg and cinnamon or festive sprinkles.

ingerbread latte cupcakes

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PEACH MELBA CUPCAKES

 

Peach melba cupcakes

The local peaches here are so tasty that they’re easing me over my fear of the fuzz. I’ve been eating them on and in everything so really it was only a matter of time until I put them in a cupcake.

The frosting on these is glorious! I did a bit of research into raspberry frosting and found that a lot of them use jam rather than fresh raspberries but I thought that might be a bit sweet for my palate. Most of them also use colouring, which as you can see from mine is a bit redundant, the fresh raspberries have enough beautiful colour of their own.
I love cupcakes with fillings (you may have noticed) it provides so much extra scope for playing with the flavours. I also like the extra texture that it offers.

Peach melba cupcakes

 

I already had some plain almond flavoured cupcakes in the freezer so I used them, but feel free to use any almond or vanilla sponge recipe that you like. The raspberry purée for the frosting is made by simply heating a big handful of raspberries (fresh or frozen) for a few minutes and then pushing them through a fine sieve. This should leave you with a thick juice, like an unsweetened coulis.

Peach melba cupcakes

 

Ingredients

Makes 12

12 vanilla or almond cupcakes (2/3 of the sponge mixture for my trifle cake will make about 12 cupcakes -https://colonialcravings.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/strawberry-trifle-cake/)

Frosting
100g butter (room temperature)
200g cream cheese
150g icing sugar
2 tbsp raspberry purée

Filling
1 ripe peach
2-3 tsp sugar (do this to taste depending on how sweet your peach is)
big squeeze of lemon juice

extra peach slices to garnish

Peach melba cupcakes

 

Start by making the filling so that it can cool down whilst you make the frosting.
Chop up the peach into fairly small pieces, not tiny, but so that you will be able to squeeze several into each cupcake. Mix the peach with lemon juice and sugar in a small pan and simmer this over a low heat until the peach has softened. Set this aside to cool.
Use a large mixing bowl and beat together the butter and cream cheese. I like to use a handheld mixer for this as it gets it really nice and fluffy. Add the icing sugar and cooled raspberry purée and stir together so that it’s just combined. Use the mixer to beat the frosting again for a few moments to ensure that everything is well blended and that the frosting has a nice light texture. Put the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a plain round nozzle.
To assemble the cupcakes cut a hole in the top of each one, about the size of a 10p/quarter. Try to remember which little plug of sponge comes from which cake, it’ll look neater when you replace them. Fill each cavity with a little of the peach mixture and then pop its little sponge lid back in place. Finally pipe on the frosting, making sure that you disguise the bit where the ‘lid’ is. Decorate with thick slices of fresh peach or fresh raspberries.

Peach melba cupcakes

 

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