Tag Archives: frosting

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

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Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake

October has been a month full of birthdays and for me this has meant a month of baking lots and lots of cakes and lots of present buying! It was has also been the month for the ‘Half a Sixpence’ show week, which was a very busy week and lots of fun doing a fabulous show. It has also been the month for the final of GBBO, and what a show, well done John! And now, with October coming to an end….begins the run up to Christmas! Well, with Halloween, Fireworks Night and a couple more birthdays along the way!

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This Salted Caramel Chocolate Cake was one of this month’s birthday cakes. My boyfriend and his mother share the same birthday, this is the cake I made for them and it is a beauty of cake. The recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery’s book ‘Cake Days‘, a beautiful book in which I have many recipes bookmarked for making. This was one of them. In the book it is called ‘Sweet and Salty Chocolate Cake’ and however strange that may sound it really does work. The recipe involves a lot of ingredients and does take time to make but the end result is a huge, impressive and gorgeous cake. The cake itself is lovely, chocolately and moist and the frosting is a delicious mix of chocolate and caramel. There is however quite an obscene amount of butter and cream used in this recipe, it is rather indulgent. The saltiness of the cake is only from the caramel and is just the right amount. The caramel is used in between the 3 layers and I also used it on the top of the cake. This cake will feed lots of people!

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For the cake you will need:

300g unsalted butter
300g caster sugar
140g soft light brown sugar
3 eggs
100g cocoa powder
160ml buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla essence
330g  plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
½ tsp salt

Start by beating together the butter and the sugars. Add the eggs next one at a time, incorporating all the mixture together.

In a jug mix the buttermilk, cocoa and vanilla essence with 60ml of water to form a thick paste. In another bowl sift together the dry sponge ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt).

Alternately add the chocolate paste and the flour to the cake mixture a little bit at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Divide the cake mix between 3 greased and lined cake tins. I found this was about 500g in each tin. Bake in a preheated oven at 170C for about 25 minutes. When they are done leave them to cool in the tins for a while before turning out on to wire racks to fully cool.

To make the salted caramel:

200g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
120ml double cream
60ml soured cream
1 tsp fine sea salt

In a small saucepan bring the sugar and golden syrup to boil along with 60ml water. Leave it to boil for about 10 minutes, it should change to a caramel colour. In a separate pan bring the double cream, soured cream and salt to the boil. Remove from the heat. When they are both done carefully add the hot cream to the sugar syrup. I loved this bit because it all bubbles up as you pour the cream in and looks great. It does smooth out again afterwards and will be creamy and golden. Set aside to cool.

To make the frosting:

200g caster sugar
2 tbsp golden syrup
360 ml double cream
450g dark chocolate (chopped)
450g unsalted butter

Start as you did with the salty caramel by bringing the caster sugar and golden syrup to the boil with 60ml water. Again leave it for 10 minutes to boil. In another pan bring the double cream to the boil and then pour into the caramel as before. Set aside to cool.

Once slightly cooled add the chocolate, stirring until it melts. Use an electric whisk to beat the frosting for about 10 minutes. Next add the butter (should be softened) to the frosting and whisk until it is slightly whipped. Leave to cool in the fridge.

Now it is time to put the cake together!

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Cover the first layer of sponge with about 2 tablespoons of caramel, top this with caramel frosting. Add another layer of sponge and do the same. Coat the sides and the top of the cake with the frosting, drizzle the top with the remaining caramel and crumble chocolate over the top. Tada! Finished and time to enjoy!

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Don’t forget that until the end of the month you can still enter the Bake Off Challenge for all of those bakes inspired by the Great British Bake Off. Entry instructions are here and here you can find the most recent round up of entries! Get your entries in soon!

Happy October everybody.

Lottie xx

I am entering this into November’s Tea Time Treats, the theme is cake! It is hosted byLavender and Lovage and What Kate Baked.

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