Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Broom Broom

Last week I had to make a birthday cake for a guy who loves the finer things in life - including his black Porsche. The brief was pretty relaxed but the client wanted his Porsche featured in the cake somehow and wanted cupcakes for his guests. Anyway, as I'm not a fan of making cakes shaped as things, I decided to make a little porsche cake topper to place on a 6-inch rectangular lemon drizzle cake covered in sugarpaste. I made 36 cupcakes decorated with black and white sugarpaste (to match the cake) and also some decorated with a chocolate mousse swirl. Here's how it turned out:

The cake was placed on a tiered stand with the cupcakes on the tiers beneath it but unfortunately I didn't get a photo of it all set up. You can get the general idea though....

Happy baking x

Friday, 17 September 2010

Chocolate Fudge Cupcakes

It's National Cupcake Week in the UK - what better excuse than to bake cupcakes!! Here's one of my favourite 'fail proof' cupcake recipes for chocolate fudge cupcakes.

Everytime I make these cakes they always turn out the same - fluffy and moist. Here's what you need:

Chocolate Cupcakes with Fudge  Buttercream Swirls


  • 1 cup plain flour
  • 1 cup dark brown sugar (golden caster sugar is also ok if you don't have dark brown sugar)
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 3/4 cup skimmed milk (I use 2% fat)
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa (I use Dutch processed cocoa)
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
Fudge Buttercream

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup double cream
  • 70g dark (bittersweet) chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 3/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 1/4 cups icing sugar

Preheat oven to 180C (or 160C if fan forced). Sift the flour into a large bowl, then stir in the sugar, baking soda and salt. In a medium-sized saucepan combine the milk, butter and cocoa powder over a medium heat. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly while the mixture is heating up. Once boiling, remove from heat and whisk in the flour mixture, until all the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth. Whisk in the egg and vanilla until blended. Spoon the mixture in cupcake cases in baking pan (fill no more than 1/2 of each liner as the mixture rises quite a bit during baking). Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Let the cupcakes cool in the baking tin for 5 minutes before transferring them onto a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the buttercream, combinine butter and cream in a small saucepan, then cook over medium high heat until the butter is melted. Whisk in chopped chocolate and continue whisking until smooth and all the chocolate is melted. Remove from heat and let the mixture cool to lukewarm (10-15 mins). Next whisk in the sour cream, and then the icing sugar until well combined. Let the frosting rest until thick enough to spread (only takes a few minutes). If it becomes too thick, heat it briefly and whisk again (you may need to do this a few times in order to frost all of your cupcakes). Pipe or spread the fbuttercream onto cooled cupcakes, then decorate as desired. I sprinkled edible gold glitter on my cupcakes for a bit of extra pizazz!

Happy baking!

Tuesday, 14 September 2010

National Cupcake Week

Happy National Cupcake Week everyone! From 13-19th September bakeries, shops, supermarkets and cafes across the UK are igniting the nation's fanaticism with cupcakes by offering many wonderful recipes and amazing flavours.

If you want some inspiration, check out Food Network's cupcake corner which has a great selection of wonderful cupcake recipes.  

Monday, 13 September 2010

Masquerade Cake

Here's my first tiered cake - a masquerade cake for a 30th birthday. I'm really pleased with how it turned out.

The bottom tier was made with four layers of vanilla sponge cake (10 inches in diameter) filled with lemon curd. The top tier was 2 layers of chocolate fudge cake filled with chocolate buttercream (8 inches in diameter). Each tier was covered with 2 layers of sugarpaste (client was allergic to nuts so I couldn't use marzipan as the first layer) then decorated with black and red sugarpaste decorations and gold glitter.The '30' was made with flower paste to give it enough rigidity to stand up without support.

I have a few more cake projects happening this week so stay tuned for more pics soon!

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

Marble cupcakes

What a perfect way to spend an afternoon sipping tea in the sunshine and eating girly cupcakes. Here's a quick recipe to make pink and brown marble cupcakes:

  • 180g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup skimmed milk
  • pink food colouring
  • 1 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
Preheat oven to 175C (fan forced). Beat butter, caster sugar and vanilla essence in electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes on a medium speed). Add eggs one at a time, making sure that they are mixed in well after each addition. Alternate folding in sifted flour then milk until all the ingredients are well combined. Divide mixture into 2 bowls. Tint one batch of mixture with pink food colouring. Add cocoa powder to the other batch and stir well. Drop a spoonful of each mixture into a cupcake case. Drag a skewer through the mixture to marblise the colours together. Bake for approximately 25 minutes until a skewer inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Once done, remove cupcakes from the oven and leave them to rest for about 5 minutes before turning them onto a wire rack to cool completely.

I made a glace icing to cover my cupcakes which is done by adding small amounts of hot water to icing sugar until the desired consistency is achieved. Colour your icing with food colouring then spread it onto the cupcake and allow it to harden slightly before eating! Remember to add any decorations before the icing dries so that they stick on!

Happy baking x

Giant Cupcake

I absolutely love the Wilton giant cupcake pan. Here's a giant cupcake I made with it on the weekend:

You can use any cake mixture you want. This cupcake was lemon flavoured - yum! I made a enough lemon sponge batter to fill 2 x 9-inch round tins - it was the perfect quantity to fill this pan. Here are a few tips to help you make the perfect giant cupcake:

  1. Grease the pan really well. Wilton cake release works wonders on this pan - my cupcake slid out of the pan when I turned it upside down - easy!
  2. The part of the pan for the top of the cupcake is not as deep as the cupcake base so you might find that the top part bakes faster. You can cover the top half with foil to slow down the baking and stop it from burning, or once the top half is finished, tip it onto a wire rack to cool then return the base of the cupcake back into the oven to finish baking.
  3. Make sure both halves of the cupcake are completely cool before joining them together or decorating them. You may need to level the top of the base (use a sharp knife) so that the top half can join to it evenly. Stick the halves together with buttercream or a frosting of your choice.
  4. The base of the cupcake looks nice un-decorated (as I have done) or you can decorate it with frosting or sugarpaste.
Hope you enjoy making giant cupcakes!

Friday, 3 September 2010

Pistachio, Lime & Coconut Cake

Last weekend I decided to experiment with flavours and baked a pistachio, lime and coconut cake. I made a lime butter cream to cover the cake - but as you can see from the picture I didn't make enough to cover the cake thickly - the sides could have done with another inch of frosting.

Here's the recipe:


  • 175g shelled, unsalted pistachios (if you need to shell the nuts yourself a 400g bag should be enough)
  • 75g desiccated coconut
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 125g plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 225g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 225g caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs (beaten)
  • 1 tsp rosewater
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes
  • 200g sifted icing sugar
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • Food colouring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C (or 170C with fan). Put pistachios into a food processor and grind until finely chopped. In a separate bowl, mix flour, baking powder and salt together. Cream butter and caster sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (the mixture will turn light yellow in colour after about 3 minutes). Gradually add the beaten eggs, mixing well after each addition. Next, mix in the rose water. Add the grounded pistachio nuts, coconut and lime zest and mix until smooth. Gradually mix in the dry ingredients, making sure they are all well combined. Lastly add the lime juice and stir through. Pour the mixture into a prepared cake pan (23cm), and bake on the middle shelf for about 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool in its tin for about 5 minutes, then carefully turn it onto a wire rack and leave it to cool completely. Once the cake is cooled, you can either cut it in half and put frosting in the middle (a layered effect) or you can put frosting on the top of the cake, or in my case - you can do both!

To make the frosting, mix butter and icing sugar on a low speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add lime zest and juice and mix well. If you wish to colour the frosting, add a liquid or gel paste colour to the frosting last and mix well.

To decorate, place the cake on a serving plate and spread the frosting on the top (and sides if desired) using a palette knife or spatula. I made little sugar paste flowers for the centre of the cake, but any decorations could be used. Perhaps try using crushed pistachios and rose petals.....

Happy baking!