Cupcakes

There’s 3 different flavours here Devils food cupcakes, Lemon & poppyseed and Vanilla and jam.

Devils food Cupcakes

Makes 16

Ingredients

50g / 2oz cocoa powder

2 large eggs , at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

175g / 6oz plain flour

½ tsp salt

½ tsp bicarbonate of soda

225g / 8oz caster sugar

175g / 6oz unsalted butter, softened

Frosting

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

200g / 7oz cream cheese, softened

1 tsp vanilla extract

400g / 14oz icing sugar , sifted

small handful silver balls, flakes or sprinkles , for decoration

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Line 2 muffin tins with 16 paper muffin cases. Whisk together 175ml boiling water with the cocoa powder in a medium-sized bowl until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool until it reaches room temperature (put it in the freezer to speed it up), then whisk it with the eggs and vanilla.

In an electric mixer, combine the flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda and sugar. Mix on a low speed for 30 secs, then add one-third of the cocoa liquid and softened butter. Keep mixing on a low speed, then turn up to medium high and beat for 1 min. Add the remaining liquid in 3 batches, beating each one for 30 secs. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl with a spatula and mix one more time. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full and bake for 20 mins, then remove and let them cool in the tin.

To make the frosting, beat the butter and cream cheese for 2-3 mins until creamy, then add the vanilla. While still mixing, pour in the sugar in 4 batches, beating each time to fully combine. Beat for a further min, then chill for 2 hrs.

Pipe the frosting over the cooled cupcakes and decorate with a grating of chocolate, chopped flake or whatever you like.

Lemon & Poppyseed Cupcakes

Makes 12

Ingredients

225g / 8oz self-raising flour

175g / 6oz golden caster sugar

zest 2 lemons

1 tbsp poppy seeds, toasted

3 large eggs

100ml / 3 1/2fl oz buttermilk or natural yogurt

175g / 6oz butter, melted and cooled a little

Buttercream

225g / 8oz butter, softened

400g / 14oz icing sugar, sifted

3 tbsp lemon curd

few drops yellow food colouring

icing flowers or yellow sprinkles, to decorate

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake or muffin cases. Mix the flour, sugar, lemon zest and poppy seeds together in a large mixing bowl. Beat the eggs into the buttermilk or yogurt, then tip this into the dry ingredients with the melted butter. Mix together with a wooden spoon or whisk until lump-free, then divide between the cases. Bake for 20-22 mins until a skewer poked in comes out clean – the cakes will be quite pale on top still. Cool for 5 mins in the tin, then carefully lift onto a wire rack to finish cooling.

To ice, beat the softened butter until really soft in a large bowl, then gradually beat in the icing sugar and lemon curd. Stir in enough food colouring for a pale lemon colour, then spoon the icing into a piping bag with a large star nozzle.

Ice one cake at a time, holding the piping bag almost upright with the nozzle about 1cm from the surface of the cake. Pipe one spiral of icing around the edge, then pause to break the flow before moving the nozzle towards the centre slightly and piping a second, smaller spiral that continues until there are no gaps in the centre. Slightly ‘dot’ the nozzle into the icing as you stop squeezing to finish neatly. Repeat to cover all the cakes, then top with sugar decorations or scatter with sprinkles.

Vanilla & Jam Cup Cakes

Makes 12

Ingredients

175g / 6oz Self-raising flour

Pinch of salt

125g / 4 ½ oz unsalted butter, softened

175g / 6oz caster sugar

2 large eggs

½ tsp vanilla extract

3 tbsp milk

For the filling and topping

4-6 tbsp raspberry jam

150g / 6oz butter, softened

300g / 10oz icing sugar, sifted

3tbsp milk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Tiny Jammy dodgers or small strawberries to decorate

Preheat the oven to 180 C / Fan 160C / Gas 4.  Sift the flour and sugar into a bowl.

Beat the butter in another bowl with an electric whisk until very pale.  Add the sugar and beat for about 4 minutes until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla extract.  Using a large metal spoon fold in the flour and milk.  When thoroughly combined spoon into the paper cases.

Bake for 20 minutes or until risen and firm to the touch.  Leave to cool for 2 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Using an apple corer, remove the centre from each cup cake, cutting only half way down.  Stir the jam until it is a little runny, then carefully spoon into the holes until the jam just reaches the top.

Beat the butter with an electric whisk until creamy.   Gradually beat in the icing sugar and milk (use low speed).  When the mixture is light and fluffy beat in flavouring.  Swirl or pipe on top of cupcakes, add any decorations and leave to firm up.