Tag: mini cupcakes

Oh hey honey

October 31st. 19C in London, beautiful sunshine.

November 1st. Fog, cold, winter has arrived.

Don’t you just love the British weather?! Its unpredictability is a constant irritation to me but I do adore the seasons. I’m very glad I don’t live somewhere that’s variations on one temperature all year round.

It’s starting to feel a little festive this week at Fabrefaction HQ. It’s bonfire night on Thursday, and we are having a housewarming party this weekend to welcome the new housies. It would be rude not to provide our guests with some treats, and even ruder not to acknowledge the approach of Mr Frost.

So here we are, the perfect recipe to bridge autumn and winter, mini gingerbread and honey cupcakes. If you don’t fancy the hassle you could always make this as a traybake, perhaps doubling the recipe (I halved it).


You will need

For the cake:

250g/9 oz plain flour

100g/3.5 oz golden syrup

75g/2.5 oz light soft brown sugar

75g/2.5 oz lard (yes, lard)

40g/1.5 oz treacle

140ml/4.5 fl oz milk

1 egg

1 tsp ground ginger (feel free to add more)

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

For the icing:

300g/10.5 oz icing sugar

150g/5.25 oz unsalted butter

6 tbsp runny honey

For the sugar shards:

100g/3.5 oz caster sugar

(makes 35 mini cakes)


Step one

Melt the lard, golden syrup and treacle over a low heat.

Yes the lard will separate and create a glossy sheen on the surface, and yes you will think how unappetising it looks, but trust me on this one…it’s one of those recipes passed from generation to generation in my family, I’m just giving it a little facelift and daren’t replace the lard, just in case somehow Grandma is watching.


Step two

Combine the sugar, ginger, flour and bicarbonate of soda.

Make a well in the middle and start to whisk in the egg. Stop when you get to the consistency in the third picture down because otherwise you risk making lumps you won’t be able to get out.

Step three

Pop the milk in the microwave to heat for 30 seconds to a minute until warm. Add to the centre of the mixture and continue to whisk gently until the milk and the egg are combined, but again don’t try and mix in all the flour.


Step four

Pour in the melted treacle, golden syrup and lard mix and stir until it’s all mixed together.


Step five

Spoon the mixture into your cases. I got a bulk order of these paper condiment cups last year for the hot chocolate stirrers I made for Christmas. I will NEVER find a way to use them all up.

If you have normal mini cupcake/muffin cases the same rules apply, about a teaspoon and a half of mixture in each. You will probably need to put them in a muffin tin though. These little cases had enough of their own structure so I put them on a baking tray.

Bake for 15 minutes on 180C/gas mark 4/350F.


Step six

Whisk together the icing/frosting ingredients, make sure to cover your bowl with a tea towel; icing sugar will make your kitchen sticky for weeks otherwise.

Step seven

Confession time. I didn’t photograph this stage. Partly because I was a bit grumpy, partly because my camera was running out of battery and partly because my level of clumsiness, hot sugar and baking selfies are not a strong combination. Forgive me.

All you need to do to make the decorative caramel shards is gently heat the caster sugar in a saucepan until the vast majority has melted and turned caramel in colour. Don’t stir, don’t swish, just wait.

Remove from heat and lay out a sheet of greaseproof paper. With a fork trail the caramel back and forth across the paper. It will need to cool a little until it is stringy enough to do this, but it will get there. You don’t have to make individual cake toppers, just criss cross to make one massive one and break it up to get the shards.

It’s waaaaaay easier than you’d think and super effective looking.

(If you aren’t eating your cakes that day I recommend saving this step until the day of. I’m freeing most of mine bare and decorating them on party day)


Step eight

Ice your cakes however you please, I’m a diehard fan of the piping bag. I sprinkled a little bit of cinnamon on mine before adding the caramel shards.





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.