Tag Archives: cream cheese

2 cupcakes

Chocolate and Vanilla Cupcakes

Someone asked me the other day as we were walking past The Hummingbird Bakery just why cupcakes are so popular. It’s true, we really do have an obsession with cupcakes. While macarons, whoopie pies and marshmallows have all had their go and tried to become the ‘new thing’, the cupcake always wins. There are small (well kind of) and everyone loves little individual cakes but I think the real win is in their variation. There is a cupcake to suit everybody. Whatever flavour you want be that lemon, carrot, chocolate, vanilla, the list goes on. Covered in whatever frosting you like …. ganache, cream cheese icing, buttercream. Then of course they can be decorated however you want, be it with a quick dash of sprinkles or more elaborately with little fondant figures. It is no wonder everybody loves a cupcake. And that’s why when we were walking past The Hummingbird Bakery we couldn’t help but be tempted inside by row upon row of absolutely perfect looking cupcakes and choose our individual, just what we want, cakes. Another thing…cupcakes are great fun to make at home and with a piping bag and a bit of simple decoration, very easy to make look professional.

vanilla and chocolate cupcakes

This recipe is for chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, for that time when you can’t decide which you want. The chocolate sponge is dark and moist and is covered with a swirl of vanilla cream cheese icing. I finished these cakes with simple pink daisy, made from fondant icing.

Cupcake

To make the chocolate sponge (12 cupcakes) you will need:

110g plain flour
50g soft brown sugar
125g caster sugar
45g cocoa powder
3/4 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 egg
125ml whole milk
65ml sunflower oil
125ml boiling water

Preheat the oven to 190C and line a muffin tray with 12 cupcake cases. Sift the flour and cocoa powder into a bowl, add the sugars, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda and mix well. In another bowl beat together the egg, milk and sunflower oil. Add this mixture to the dry ingredients and combine well. Finally add the boiling water and mix in. The cake mix will be very runny so pour it into a jug so you can pour it out into the baking cases. Divide the mixture evenly between the cases, filling each one half to two thirds full. Bake in a preheated oven at 190C for about 20 -25 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Chocolate cupcakes

Now to make the icing, you will need:

125g full fat cream cheese (cold)
175g unsalted butter (room temp)
450g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and mix with the butter. If you are using an electric whisk or stand mixer then you might want to cover the bowl and whisk with a tea towel while you do this bit to avoid getting icing sugar everywhere. Now add the cream cheese and vanilla extract and whisk again. You want to mix until the ingredients are just combined, if you whisk it too much then the icing will go runny and you won’t be able to pipe it. Fill a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choice (I used the Wilton 1M nozzle – my favourite as I’m sure you know by now!) and pipe big swirls of frosting on to your completely cooled cupcakes. Finish with whatever decoration you fancy!

Tray of cupcakes

2 cupcakes

And while we are on the topic of cupcakes here are a few cupcakes I came across recently:

How absolutely amazing are these gorgeous cupcakes that I found in the Whole Foods Market in Kensington!

Flower cupcakes

And have you ever seen so many red velvet cupcakes in one place as at The Hummingbird Bakery in Soho??

Hummingbird Red Velvet Cupcakes

Happy Cupcake Baking!

Lottie xx

Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes

Strawberry and Chocolate Cupcakes

Strawberries are everywhere at the moment, made famous by Wimbledon’s strawberries and cream, they are the perfect summer fruit. Therefore also the perfect fruit to use in your baking this summer! I can’t seem to get enough of strawberries right now but chocolate and strawberry are a perfect combination.

I finished University recently, finished 6 years of medical school and had a lovely graduation day (you can see a picture of me on my graduation day below) earlier this month at Royal Festival Hall as well as a graduation ball at the Tower of London. A fantastic end to an amazing 6 years! During my last placement I had promised my class that I would bake them something and bring it in, I made them 12 of these strawberry and chocolate cupcakes and 12 orange and lemon cupcakes and then transported them across London in my amazing 24 cupcake carrier! These cupcakes are chocolate sponge iced with a strawberry cream cheese frosting topped with a strawberry and a drizzle of melted chocolate.

Chocolate and Strawberry Cupcakes

For the cupcakes I based the chocolate cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook as I find this Hummingbird recipe works very well every time, it is also a lovely moist chocolate cake. I used it in my very first blog post – Black Forest Cupcakes and also for these Christmas cupcakes. This time I adjusted the measurements of the ingredients to give a slightly bigger cupcake.

Cupcakes

To make 12 cupcakes you will need:

150g plain flour
30g cocoa powder
210g caster sugar
2.5 tsps baking powder
pinch of salt
60g unsalted butter (softened slightly)
180ml whole milk
2 eggs
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180C. Put the flour, cocoa, baking powder, salt and butter in a bowl and beat slowly until the mixture looks sandy. You can do this with your fingers if you prefer, rubbing the butter into the dry ingredients. Whisk the milk, eggs and vanilla together and pour half of this into the flour mix in the bowl. Beat well before adding the remaining milk and egg mix and beating again until well combined. The mixture should be smooth. Pour or spoon the mixture into the prepared cupcake cakes until about two thirds full. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 180C. When they are done they should be bouncy to touch. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack before icing.

Chocolate cupcakes

To make the strawberry cream cheese frosting (I used this recently without the strawberry on some vanilla and raspberry cupcakes) you will need:

200g unsalted butter (softened)
200g cream cheese
500g icing sugar (sifted)
3 tbsp strawberry purée (made from fresh strawberries)
pink food colouring (I use the Sugarflair pastes)

Start by making the strawberry purée with a handful of fresh strawberries. There is no need to cook the strawberries first, using a food processor purée the strawberries. If you don’t have a food processor or blender just use an electric hand whisk. Once you have made a purée push it through a fine sieve to remove the little strawberry seeds that coat the strawberries on the outside.

Beat together the butter and icing sugar until well combined and then add the cream cheese and beat well. Finally add the strawberry puree and pink food colouring until you get your desired colour. If you are using the pastes, a little goes a long way. Beat well but don’t over mix or the frosting will go runny. If this happens you can add more icing sugar or you can leave the frosting in the fridge to firm up so that you can pipe it.

Strawberry frosting

Now it is time to assemble the cupcakes! Use a piping bag fitted with your favourite nozzle (I used the Wilton 1M to create a Mr Whippy style swirl) to pipe the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes. Top each cake with half a strawberry and drizzle with melted chocolate. Leave the chocolate to set before serving. Enjoy some lovely fruity, summery cupcakes!

Cupcakes on stand

And here is a picture of me with my siblings on my graduation day, it was such a lovely day and a great way to end 6 years. Hope you like the shoes! On to the next chapter!

GraduationLottie xx

PS. I am entering these fruity cupcakes into this month’s Tea Time Treats and this month’s Calendar Cakes as theme for both is fruit! Tea Time Treats is hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked. Calendar Cakes is hosted by Laura Loves Cakes and Dolly Bakes.

calendar-cakes

tea time treats

 

Butterfly cupcakes

Raspberry and Vanilla Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting and Butterflies

I have this thing for butterflies, I love them. In fact our whole flat is decorated with butterflies, my boyfriend doesn’t seem to mind, he must have a secret love for butterflies too. It is a bit like hide and seek but with butterflies, they are dotted around everywhere!  At the moment you seem to be able to buy butterfly stickers and feather butterflies everywhere, perfect for making the flat prettier. I like to use butterflies to decorate my cakes too, one of my very first posts back in 2011 was in fact some pretty butterfly cupcakes and I adorned this ruffled pink chocolate cake with butterflies too. Recently I came across these wafer paper butterflies on Amazon from Eshack, colourful and realistic looking butterflies that are just perfect for cupcakes! These raspberry and vanilla cupcakes are vanilla sponge cupcakes with a raspberry jam swirl, decorated with two tone cream cheese vanilla frosting.

Butterfly cupcakes

 

To make the cupcakes you will need:

170g butter or margarine (I use Stork)
170g golden caster sugar
170g self raising flour
3 eggs
splash of milk
1tsp vanilla extract
raspberry jam

Start by preheating the oven to 180C and lining a muffin tray with cupcake cases. In a bowl beat together the butter and the sugar until creamy then add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the milk and vanilla and mix well. Add the flour to the cake mixture and gently fold in using a metal spoon or a spatula until it is all combined. In a small saucepan gently eat a few tablespoons of the raspberry jam until it is runny. Now spoon the cake mix into the cases until they are half full. Drizzle a spoonful of jam over each cake and top with the rest of the cake mix so that each case is about 3/4 full. Now use a skewer to give each one a swirl. Bake at 180C for about 20 minutes or until they are golden and springy to touch. Take out of the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Jam

Jam swirling

 

 

To make the cream cheese frosting you will need:

200g unsalted butter (softened)
200g cream cheese (I used Philidelphia)
500g icing sugar (sifted)
1 tbsp milk
1tsp vanilla extract

Beat together the butter and icing sugar in a bowl until well combined, trying not to get icing sugar everywhere like I do! Now add the cream cheese and vanilla and beat in well. Add the milk if you need to loosen up the mixture a bit. Beat the frosting so that it is light and creamy and keep in the fridge to set until needed.

Icing the cupcakes

To ice my cupcakes I used a Wilton 1M nozzle (my favourite!). To do the two tone icing you need to paint a stripe of food colouring down the inside of the nozzle and piping bag, I like to use the food colouring pastes as I find they work much better than liquid food colourings. I used Sugarflair pastes in pink and tangerine, putting a stripe of each inside the bag. Once you have added the colour put the icing into your piping bag, squeezing it down to the end and pipe straight onto your cupcakes. To get this effect I have used pipe from the outside in. Piping from inside out will give you a pretty rose effect. You will find that the first few cupcakes have a very bright colour with diminishes the more you pipe, so to keep your colour bright you might want to use a couple of piping bags and do half of your cupcakes with each.

Cupcakes

 

Inside the cupcakes

 

Hope you all enjoyed some bank holiday baking this weekend!

Lottie xx

Optimized-DSC_0703 (2)

Paralympics Cupcakes

Paralympics fever has started and I love it. I went to the athletics this weekend and it was fantastic, such a buzz in the stadium! There are some really inspirational athletes, I am loving watching it all. To celebrate the Paralympics I decided to make some Paralympic themed cupcakes! I made vanilla cupcakes with a jam filling and swirls of cream cheese icing. You can find the recipe for the cupcakes here, they are the same ones I made for the Diamond Jubilee.

The recipe for the cream cheese icing is here. I decorated half of them with cocktail umbrellas (which were quite hard to find!) because the umbrella was a very prominent object in the Paralympics Opening Ceremony and I also got to carry one around the stadium. The other half of the cupcakes I decorated with the agitos. The 3 agitos in red, green and blue are the Paralympic symbol. Agito is ‘I move’ in Latin and this symbol is representative of movement. The motto of the Paralympics is Spirit in Motion.

To fill the cupcakes with jam just cut away a little circle from the top of the cupcake, add a little spoonful of jam and replace the top of the cupcake.

To do the swirl on the cupcakes I used the Wilton 1M nozzle. I coloured the icing with red, blue and green to represent the colours of the agitos. To do this effect you paint stripes of colour inside the piping bag, then fill with icing and pipe.

I hope you like them!

Lottie xx

 

rose_swirl

Rose Swirl Vanilla Birthday Cake

My boyfriend performed in Titanic at Epsom Playhouse last week, he switched between being a 3rd class passenger and a card sharper in 1st class where he got to enjoy puffing away on fake cigars. It was a truly fantastic and very moving show, so congratulations to ELOC for such a success! My boyfriend is somewhat adored by some of the ladies in the company and he was asked if he would present one of the ladies with a birthday cake at the after show party, dressed in an Officer’s Uniform! He said yes and of course loved it, I was tasked with making the cake!

I only had a couple of hours in the morning to do it so it had to be something quick and easy. I opted for a simple vanilla sponge and made it special with some rose swirl piping and shimmer dust, enter my old favourite Wilton 1M nozzle to save the day.

Start by making a simple vanilla sponge:

Ingredients:

8oz margarine (I use stork)
8oz golden caster sugar
8oz self raising flour
4 eggs
splash of milk
2tsp vanilla essence

Grease and line 3 sandwich tins and preheat the oven to 180C. Cream together the margarine and caster sugar until smooth. Then beat in the eggs 1 at a time, trying to get air in the mixture. Add a splash of milk and the vanilla and beat in. Seive the flour into the mixture and gently fold in using a spatula. Pour the batter into the sandwich tins and bake in the oven, they should only take about 20 minutes. I had some mixture left over and used this to make some mini cupcakes.

Once the cakes are golden and cooked through leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Meanwhile, make the butter icing. I made cream cheese butter icing because I think it has a much nicer taste.

Ingredients:

200g cream cheese (cold)
250g unsalted butter (softened)
600g icing sugar (seived)
1tsp vanilla essence
2 tbsp milk
Food colouring

Beat together the icing sugar and butter until smooth. Then beat in the cream cheese, vanilla and milk but don’t overmix or the icing will go runny. Add more sugar/vanilla to taste and add as much milk as you need for the desired consistency. If you are piping you want it quite stiff. Add food colouring of your choice! I went for Sugarflair Paste in Tangerine and added just a tiny bit to get a lovely peachy colour.

Put a little icing on the board you will use for your cake to stick it down. Put down the first cake layer, spread with a thin layer of icing and sandwich the next layer on top, repeat and add the third layer. Now you need to cover the whole cake in a thin layer of icing to catch all the crumbs.

Fill a piping bag fitted with your nozzle and decorate the whole cake with Rose swirls, by swirling from the inside out. I started around the outside of the cake and then the top. Any gaps that are left just fill in as though it is still part of a swirl. This is the same icing technique used on cupcakes, you can see it here.

To finish I dusted the cake with some Rainbow Dust Comet White Dust from the Edible Silk Range to give it a bit of sparkle! (I only use glitters that are truly edible, the really glittery stuff is just labelled non toxic, not edible, so go for this edible silk range for a bit of sparkle, for more advice see here.)

And there you are, your rose swirled birthday cake is complete, simple, but effective!

 

 

 

Now please stop raining, I really want to get out on a bike ride, The London to Brighton is only 7 weeks away!

If you have enjoyed this post then please leave a comment, I appreciate every comment that is left!

And if you haven’t done so already then follow me on twitter @lotts_louise for blog updates!

Love, Lottie xx

I have entered this cake into Tea Time Treats hosted by Lavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked. The theme this month is Floral.