Is there anybody out there who doesn’t like fabulous cupcakes? From babies to pensioners there is a cupcake to suit your taste; from plain, simple fairy cakes to utterly decadent creations.
It is fair to say that I have sampled a lot of cupcakes in my quest to find my favourites! But after much digestion (sorry!) I would like to share my 2 best ever recipes. My mouth is watering just thinking about these!
The first one comes from Nigella Lawson’s book: “How to be a Domestic Goddess” (great title!) she is truly a magician in the kitchen.
Makes 12 large or 24 small cakes
Preheat the oven to 180C
200 g plain flour
250 g golden castersugar
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 large egg
125 ml buttermilk (or 30ml yogurt mixed with 100ml milk)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125 g unsalted butter
2 tbsp cocoa powder
175 ml Coca-cola
Prepare cake tin by lining with cupcake cases.
In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, bicarb and salt. Beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla in a measuring jug. In a heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and Coca-cola, heating it gently. Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon and then add the liquid ingredients from the jug, beating until it is well blended.
Pour into the 12/24 hole cake tin (take care not to overfill to leave space for icing) and bake for approx 15 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.
For the icing
225g icing sugar, 2 tbsp butter, 3 tbsp Coca Cola, 1 tbsp cocoa powder, 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
Sieve the icing sugar, then combine butter, Coca-Cola, and cocoa in a pan until melted. Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and beat in the icing sugar until smooth. Pour over cup cakes and leave to cool (you could decorate them with a gummy cola bottle) then enjoy! You could make this into one large cake- great for a party. In this case use a 22-23 cm cake tin and bake for 40 mins.
Second is from a dear friend who is also magical in the kitchen,
Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
Makes 12 cakes:
- 200g caster sugar
- 100g softened butter
- 2 eggs, plus 2 egg whites
- zest 2 of lemons, plus 2-3 tbsp lemon juice
- 100g self-raising flour
- 4 tbsp lemon curd
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
- Beat half the sugar and all the butter until pale and creamy, then add the whole eggs, one by one, beating in well each time. Stir in the zest and a squeeze of lemon juice, then fold in the flour. Add more lemon juice if it’s a bit stiff.
- Line a 12-hole cake tin with cake cases and put 1 large tbsp of the mix in each. Smooth then make a little dip in the centre. Spoon 1 tsp of lemon curd into each and cover with 1 tbsp of cake mix. Bake for 10 mins.
- Meanwhile, place the egg whites into a clean bowl, whisk until stiff peaks form, then whisk in the rest of the sugar a tbsp at a time. Keep whisking until the mixture looks glossy and has thickened a little, like shaving foam. Spoon the mixture into a freezer bag and snip off the end to leave a hole with a 1.5cm diameter.
- Take the cakes out of the oven, the tops should be pale and just firm, then pipe the meringue all over the cakes. Return to the oven for 10-15 mins until the cakes are cooked through and the meringue lightly browned.