Fail-safe cupcakes in any flavour

I love baking and trying new recipes. I also love those use-things-from-the-cupboard-and-fridge-and-see-what-happens dishes where they always seem to come together and taste amazing.

Over the past week, I have been playing around with cupcake recipes. There’s something about the smell of baking (or the smell I imagine emanates from my oven when I have a cold and can’t smell a thing) that soothes me when I am unwell. I found this (http://www.thecakerecipe.co.uk/easy-chocolate-cupcakes/) chocolate cupcake recipe and adapted it slightly to create the tastiest spongiest, fluffiest cupcakes I have ever made. Let’s be clear. I have tried making cakes and loaves before. There was always something slightly too dense about my cakes in the past though and I don’t know if it is the quantities of fat to eggs that was different, or the method I used but it just seemed to click.

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I have made three batches in the past 2 weeks. One of them was incredibly fluffy and soft with a slightly crispy top and was slathered with a generous helping of Betty Crocker frosting. Now now, I know I cheated a little but here is a little disclaimer. I have made my own icings and frostings in the past. I simply wanted to taste what a commercially produced frosting tasted like so that I could compare the textures and flavours.

Here is the recipe I used (from the link above)

Ingredients:

  • 4oz (125g) butter
  • 4oz (125g) caster sugar
  • 3oz (100g) self raising flour
  • 1oz (25g) cocoa
  • 2 medium eggs (beaten)
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon milk

Buttercream Topping/ Frosting:

  • 5oz (125g) unsalted butter
  • 10oz (250g) icing sugar
  • 2 tablespoons of cocoa mixed with a little hot water or, 100g (4oz) melted chocolate

Method:

  • Pre-heat the oven to 160° C fan , 180°C , 350°F/ gas mark 4.
  • Put 12 muffin cases into a muffin/ bun tray
  • Cream together the butter and sugar using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer (this should only take approx 3 minutes using an electric hand mixer)
  • Gradually add the eggs, about a tablespoon at a time and beat after each addition
  • Mix in the vanilla extract. Using a large metal sieve sift the flour/ cocoa into the bowl
  • Gently fold the flour/ cocoa into the mixture until thoroughly mixed
  • Add the milk and mix gently
  • Carefully spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full
  • Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the cupcakes are golden and slightly raised
  • To check they are cooked insert a skewer into the centre of one of the cakes – it should come out clean. If the mixture is stuck to the skewer return the cakes to the oven and cook for a further 5 minutes or until the skewer comes out clean.
  • Remove from the oven and leave in the tins to cool for approx 10 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool.

Topping

Chocolate Butter Cream/ Frosting

  • Place butter  in a large mixing bowl, and beat using a wooden spoon or an electric mixer until soft
  • Gradually sift in the icing sugar mixing well after each addition (the more you beat the lighter and fluffier the frosting will be)
  • Beat in the chocolate (add milk if necessary to give a softer consistency to allow for piping)

The Cake Recipe Team Comments:

  • If not using the chocolate butter cream/ chocolate frosting straight away it can be stored for up to a week if stored in the fridge. Once removed from the fridge it should be left for at least an hour to obtain room temperature

There was one occasion when I used a handful of chocolate chips to the recipe and left out the 25g of Cocoa powder and I had lovely vanilla choc chic cupcakes! I mixed everything by hand so I melted the butter into a soft paste by placing in the microwave for 20 seconds.

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I’m literally dribbling at the thought of all of the combinations of flavours of cake which could be made, simply by substituting a few flavours here and there.

Give it a try and let me know what you think of this simple recipe thanks to the lovely people at the Cake Recipe.

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