Tag: Frosting

Stickeh toffeh

There’s no way I could sleep at night if I didn’t include this next dessert in my British Favourites series.

I mean, I could probably sleep at night, I sleep like a baby, but sticky toffee pudding is one of the best puds Britain has produced. It wouldn’t be right not to feature it here.

So without further ado, here’s the recipe for sticky toffee cupcakes, enjoy my friends.


You will need

For the cakes:

200g/7 oz plain flour

160g/5.5 oz soft brown sugar

100g/3.5 oz unsalted butter/margarine (I use Stork for cakes)

150g/5 oz dates (medjool)

2 eggs

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the toffee filling:

200g/7 oz sweetened condensed milk (half a tin)

100g/3.5 oz soft brown sugar

100g/3.5 oz unsalted butter (used salted if you prefer salted caramel to a more dulce de leche/toffee flavour)

50ml/1.75 fl oz double cream

For the toffee frosting/icing:

400g/14 oz of the toffee filling

100g/3.5 oz unsalted butter

100g/3.5 oz icing sugar

Dairy fudge pieces for decoration

(makes 12)


Step one

Cakes first chaps.

Whisk together the sugar and butter until smooth. Add the eggs and whisk again until the mix is fully combined.


Step two

Add the flour and bicarbonate of soda and whisk again. The batter should be light and fluffy.


Step three

Chop the dates up into the mixture. I just used scissors for this.

Stir in so they are evenly distributed.


Step four

Spoon the mixture into cupcake cases. Two dessert spoons in each should do the trick.

Bake on gas mark 4/180C/350F for 20-25 minutes. I overdid mine a bit so perhaps closer to the 20 minute end is better.


Step five

Place all of the filling ingredients into a saucepan and put on a low-medium heat until all are melted.

Turn the heat up until the mix reaches a gentle boil. Cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat, pour into a heatproof bowl and leave to cool, you can pop in in the fridge after about half an hour to speed up the process.


Step six

For the toffee frosting add 400g of the toffee mix to 100g of butter and 100g of icing sugar. The butter and toffee should be at room temperature.


Step seven

Cut a hole in the middle of the cupcakes and remove the sponge bit, keeping the top. Fill with the remaining toffee and replace the cake lid. Pipe on the frosting and sprinkle with dairy fudge pieces. You can buy these in the home baking section but I prefer to buy the big bags of individually wrapped ones and chop them into smaller pieces myself. You get WAY more for your money that way.





The only good thing to come from Eton*

Eton Mess. One of the best summer puds going. You might disagree with me, but you would be wrong. There’s nothing quite like strawberries and meringue where this person is concerned. I’ll even put down my chocolate for it. Though, most likely, if I’m at a barbecue, I’m just skipping the savoury to make way for the chocolate option and the Eton Mess.

Enough of my complete incapacity to avoid sweet things. Onto this week’s British favourites cupcake instead. Probably unsurprisingly given my rambling introduction it’s the recipe for Eton Mess cupcakes.

This recipe uses seven minute swiss meringue frosting. It’s the first time I’ve made it and it was pretty darn easy, so definitely give it a bash. I did notice that over a couple of days it hardens and basically becomes a meringue, and mine was a touch gritty. I think the best thing to do is make them and allow to sit out for a couple of hours so the outside hardens a little but the inside is still fluffy and smooth. A make on the day jobby if you can I reckon.

*Any association to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.


You will need

For the cake:

185g/6.5 oz self raising flour

185g/6.5 oz butter/margarine (I use Stork)

185g/6.5 oz caster sugar

3 eggs

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp vanilla extract/paste

For the centre:

Strawberry jam (yeah, I cheated. feel 100% free to make your own, I tip my hat to you)

For the frosting/icing:

2 egg whites

225g/8oz caster sugar

1/2 tsp cream of tartar

75ml/2.5 fl oz water

If you’re fancy like me then some freeze dried strawberries to sprinkle wouldn’t go amiss.

(makes 12)


Step one

Whisk together the margarine and caster sugar until the mix is light and fluffy. If you are using butter then make sure it’s room temperature else the sugar will fly everywhere and you will just have a block of butter stuck in the middle of your whisk.

I used some strange hybrid which was Stork in a block form. Curious.

Step two

Add the eggs and whisk again until combined. Don’t worry if the mixture looks split, there’s just too much liquid at this stage. Time to add the flour.


Step three

Add the vanilla, flour and bicarbonate of soda and beat with your electric whisk until smooth as above.


Step four

Distribute the mixture evenly between 12 cupcake cases. Usually about two rounded dessert spoons into each case does the trick.

Bake on 180C/gas mark 4/350F for 25 minutes until golden and springy to the touch.


Step five

It’s seven minute frosting time.

Don’t get scared, I’ve been meaning to try this for ages but kept putting it off because I thought it looked like a pain. In fact, the hardest part was separating the eggs, and it’s so satisfying to pipe. I think I’m maybe a bit too into baking…

Anyway. Put the water, sugar, cream of tartar and egg whites into a heatproof bowl. This should be placed over a pan of simmering water. Don’t let the water touch the bottom of the bowl.

Whisk, for, you guessed it, seven minutes. It should be able to hold its own shape and not fall off the whisk when you lift it. If it’s not stiff enough just keep whisking for another minute or two.

I wouldn’t really recommend this if you don’t have an electric whisk.


Step six

Cut a hole in the middle of your cupcakes with a small sharp knife. Remove the pointy bit, just keeping the top. Place excess cake in mouth.

Fill the hole with jam and place the lid back on.

Fill a piping bag with the swiss meringue frosting and pipe on in your preferred way. I used a fairly standard star shaped nozzle for this.

Sprinkle with freeze dried strawberries, or maybe pop a fresh one on there if you have some going.




If you go down to the allotment today…

Hullo again, with Easter well and truly around the corner, here’s another cute bunny-themed bake for you.

I found an adorable mould for tiny carrots online when browsing for chocolate moulds, as you do on payday…right? I couldn’t resist pairing them with the gorgeous little flowerpot shaped cupcake cases my lovely pal Taylor bought me for my birthday a couple of years back.

Anyhoo, there was an obvious flavour choice for these and I pried myself away from my usual chocolate bakes to bring you carrot muffins/cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.

This makes 6 cupcakes, so you will want to double it for more or for a single cake.


You will need

100g/3.5 oz self-raising flour

100g/3.5 oz carrot

80g/2.5 oz soft light brown sugar

75ml/2.5 fl oz sunflower/vegetable oil

1 egg

1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

Zest of an orange

For the icing:

75g/2.5 oz soft cream cheese (full fat)

25g/1 oz unsalted butter

100g/3.5 oz icing sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

Green food colouring


Candy coating chips in orange (or yellow and red like me) and green

Carrot mould

Flower pot cupcake cases


Step one

Grate the carrot on the largest setting and the skin of the orange on the smallest setting on your grater.


Step two

Using a fork combine the oil and the egg in a small dish.


Step three

Combine the flour, sugar, spices and bicarb in a mixing bowl. Make a well in the middle and stir in the egg and oil mix. Do this in small circles to avoid lumps.

Add the carrot and orange zest (some raisins wouldn’t go amiss if you have some).

Let’s be honest. Not the most appetising looking mixture.


Step four

Distribute the mixture evenly between the pots.

Bake on gas mark 4/180C/350F for 20-25 minutes.


Step five

While the cakes are in the oven melt your candy chips in the microwave and fill the moulds using a piping bag. Make sure to look underneath your mould to check there’s no bubbles.

If mixing the orange from red and yellow like me I advise you to start with yellow and gradually add red to get the colour you want rather than the other way round.

Step six

Make the icing by combining the cream cheese, icing sugar, butter and food colouring. Now, I won’t lie, you may need to add a little more icing sugar to the recipe, I’ve adjusted the quantities based on a slightly runny mix that I had, but they might not be totally perfect. My apologies chaps.

Add food colouring until you have a colour you like, I didn’t want to overdo it and overshadow the carrots.


Step seven

When the cakes are completely cool ice them just using a spoon. You can get more fancy if you want but personally I didn’t see the need to faff about.


Step eight

Pop the carrots in.


Soft on the inside

Hullo chums. Just a little heads up that this is my last post for a couple of weeks as I’m heading off on holiday and didn’t quite have the organisational skill to do enough to tide you over until I’m back. Something my new design guru seanwes would not be impressed with.

But anyway. This is a real good’un I’m leaving you with, there’s not much point making any of the rest of the afternoon tea series after you’ve done these. Your guests won’t look back. Partly because they will be bouncing around the room on a sugar high.


You will need

For the cakes:

200g/7 oz Plain flour

200g/7 oz Caster sugar

30g/1 oz Cocoa powder

250ml/8.5 fl oz Water

5 tbsp Vegetable oil

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

1 tsp Cider vinegar

1 tsp Vanilla extract


For the ganache filling:

100g/3.5 oz Dark chocolate

100g/3.5 oz Milk chocolate

200ml/6.5 fl oz Double cream


For the salted caramel frosting:

300g/10.5 oz Icing sugar

250g/9 oz Butter

80g/3 oz Soft brown sugar

100ml/3.5 fl oz Double cream

2 tbsp Golden syrup

2 tsp Salt

(Makes 48)


Step one

Combine all the cake ingredients into one bowl and whisk until there are no lumps. This makes quite a thin batter that you will find a bit disturbing if you are used to putting egg and butter in cakes.

This recipe is great for vegans (as long as you don’t add the icing or filling – use substitutes instead perhaps). It’s my favourite recipe for chocolate cupcakes now, I originally found it when baking for a lactose intolerant friend.


Step two

Spoon into mini cupcake/muffin cases. I filled mine about halfway and could have gone to two thirds. There’s not a huge amount of rise in this mixture, perfect for cupcakes because they are nice and flat for icing onto.

Step three

Bake in the oven at gas mark 4/180C/350F for around 40 minutes or until springy to the touch.


Step three

Whilst the cakes are in the oven, make the ganache. Chop the chocolate finely; I always use a bread knife for this and recommend you do too, you’ll never go back.

Place chocolate pieces in a small mixing bowl.


Step five

Gently heat 200ml double cream in a small saucepan. Let it get to the point where there is steam sort of dancing across the top and it’s beginning to simmer/bubble at the edges. You don’t need to wait longer than this, it doesn’t need to be piping hot – as Mary Berry always says in her wonderfully whimsical way – chocolate can melt in a child’s pocket.

Pour the cream over the chocolate and whisk until smooth. Set to one side.


Step six

Once the cakes have completely cooled use a small vegetable knife to cut a hole in the centre. Yes you can eat the bit that pops out.

I found it was easiest to put the ganache into a piping bag as the cakes are quite small. Fill the gap entirely until the ganache is level with the top of the cake.


Step seven

Just keep filling, filling, filling, what do we do? We fill.

Leave them to set.


Step eight

Melt together 100g of the butter, the brown sugar, golden syrup and salt. Do this slowly and then bring the heat up to a simmer.

Simmer for 10 minutes. Stir regularly so that it doesn’t catch and burn. Leave to cool down for about half an hour or so.


Step nine

Once the caramel has cooled down a bit, stir in the 100ml of cream. This will bizarrely make the caramel darker. Maybe a scientist can tell me why? Answers on a postcard please.

It will also get much runnier, I understand that bit.

Allow to cool to room temperature.


Step ten

With an electric whisk beat together the rest of the butter and the icing sugar. Cover with a tea towel to begin with so you don’t choke on the clouds of icing sugar…

Once the mixture is well combined gradually mix in the caramel you made earlier. Set a bit of this aside (about 50-100ml or so) to decorate later on.


Step eleven

Pop the frosting into a piping bag and top off your little cakes with a drizzle of caramel once iced. I used a different nozzle than I usually do just because. Forgive me that some of them look a little wonky.

What’s that? I made another GIF?





Step twelve

Sink into sugar coma.

Seeing red

Right. I need to precursor this post with the fact I did not copy the Great British Bake Off, I promise! It just so happened that the mini cakes I had planned for my little afternoon tea series fell on the same week as the Bake Off did them. If anything, the BBC stole my idea.

Regardless of whether or not you believe me you should definitely try your hand at these little guys. We have a lot to thank North America for when it comes to the invention of red velvet. That is, provided you look the other way when adding the food colouring. There’s a whole lot of that…


You will need

For the cake:

150g/5 oz Butter (I use Stork margarine, and I don’t even feel guilty)

230g/8 oz Plain flour

230g/8 oz Caster sugar

170ml/5.5 fl oz Buttermilk

2 eggs

25g/1 oz Cocoa powder

1 bottle (38ml) Red food colouring (yup. that’s right. all of it)

1/2 tbsp Cider vinegar

1 tsp Bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:

100g/3.5 oz Butter (at room temperature)

150g/5.5 oz Cream cheese

200g/7 oz Icing sugar

1 or 2 tsp Vanilla extract

(Makes 15)

red-velvet-mini-cake-2Step one

Combine the buttermilk, cocoa powder and the bottle *covers eyes* of red colouring in a bowl and set to one side.

red-velvet-mini-cake-3Step two

Beat together the butter and sugar. As I said in the ingredients list, and probably will say countless more times, I use Stork marge in all my cakes. As well as being cheaper, you don’t have to wait for it to come to room temperature, and it’s easy to use straight from the fridge. I’m convinced it makes fluffier lovelier cakes too!

red-velvet-mini-cake-4Step two

Add the eggs, vinegar and bicarbonate of soda and beat again until well combined. I always advise an electric whisk for this, as it keeps the air in the cake.

red-velvet-mini-cake-5Step three

Add the buttermilk mixture and the flour in stages (halves or thirds) until you have a bowl full of red batter.

red-velvet-mini-cake-6Step four

Preheat the oven to gas mark 3/170C/325F.

Spread mixture evenly into two greased and lined tray bake tins.

Place on the middle shelf of the oven and cook for 30-40 minutes. The mixture should spring back a bit when touched.

red-velvet-mini-cake-7Step five

Whisk together the icing sugar, butter, cream cheese and vanilla extract. You’d do well to cover the bowl with a tea towel if using an electric whisk…otherwise prepare for a cloud of sweet dust and a coughing fit. Not hygenic.

red-velvet-mini-cake-8Step six

Once the cake has cooled completely use a round cutter to cut as many circles as you can. I used a 1 and 3/4″ cutter and made 30 discs, so those of you with a basic maths ability will know that’s 15 mini cakes.

Although the buttercream keeps these cakes nice and moist, it’s still best not to cut them out days in advance, and be sure to keep them in an airtight tub.

red-velvet-mini-cake-9Step six

Using a piping bag and a round nozzle fill and ice the little cakes. Point the bag straight down and squeeze, the icing will spread out from the middle. I used left over crumbs to decorate as I just love the ‘redness’ of it all, but feel free to use your imagination!

I made a GIF!

Except you have to click on it to make it work. I don’t know why. I’m too proud of myself to find out.



red-velvet-mini-cake-10Step seven

Add proudly to your afternoon tea repertoire.

p.s. why not turn your off cuts and any left over icing into cake pops? I know. I’m a genius.

(This one is for you Bonny, in your pursuit of the reddest velvets).