Lots of Little Cupcakes!

My regular posts on this blog have gone AWOL but I assure you that there has still been lots of baking going on when possible πŸ™‚ I have been so obsessed with mini cupcakes lately! Instead of a recipe I’ll just explain them because there are so many….!

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These babies above are plain vanilla with vanilla buttercream that I spread on lazily with a knife and sprinkled with confetti, and below are some chocolate ones with piped chocolate buttercream πŸ™‚ It’s the same batch but I added cocoa to half the mixture.

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The cuties above had some lemon zest and juice added to plain vanilla batter and I piped some buttercream flavoured with zest and juice on top, with a slice of more lemon zest.

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I got a bit extravagant when I photographed these ones and added some MAC… why not?! They are plan vanilla with soaked some Monin rose syrup and then some piped Rose Monin-flavoured buttercream and a dried rose petal.

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These ones are just vanilla cupcakes with cinnamon buttercream and a cute pink jellybean on top. And below are a cute mix of them!

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These ones weren’t as pretty as I expected 😦 But hey, they are all chocolate flavoured! I found those white chocolate disks with sprinkles on top at a pick’n’mix in a store close to where I work and I had to use them somehow….!

Anyway, that’s a small update on my baking adventures lately, I promise I have some recipes coming soon!

Happy Easter and happy baking!

Carrot Muffins with Apricot and Almond

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No cupcake wrappers in the house so no cupcakes today, just muffins instead! Carrot cake is delicious… everyone who doesn’t like it probably just hasn’t tried a good one yet….. πŸ˜‰

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My dad grew this rose in his glorious garden haha so I had to take a picture!

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(There are a few more of his flowers on my insta)

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Carrot Muffins with Apricot and Almond
Ingredients:
Muffins:
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
3/4 cup grated carrots
Topping:
3 apricots (quite ripe)
Flaked almonds
Icing:
30g butter
3/4 cup icing sugar
A little hot water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius. Grease a 12 hole muffin pan.

Whisk the eggs, oil, sugar and sour cream. Fold in the flour, baking soda and cinnamon. Fold in the carrots until just combined. Divide between the muffin holes (I only got 10 from mine). Bake for 20 minutes until the top springs back when pressed lightly.

Cool for a few mins then remove from the tin and cool completely. While they are cooling (or cooking, you can do this earlier), chop up the apricots and microwave for one minute on high, stir and then repeat. Cool completely then chill.

Soften the butter for the icing then mix in half the icing sugar and beat very well by hand. Add a few drops of water and add the rest of the icing sugar. Beat until thick and fluffy. Spread on top of the muffins then dollop on some apricot compote. Sprinkle the almonds on top. Chill until 5 mins before serving.

Makes 10 and they are just as delicious even three days later if kept chilled!

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes

Did you ever eat gingerbread men as a child, the ones with the chocolate coated hands and feet? Maybe that was just a New Zealand thing…. my friends and I would always save the chocolate pieces for last, prizing the sprinkle-coated pieces of chocolate which were already melting in ours hands….!

Anyway, I made cupcakes which remind me of those glory days:

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They look just like gingernut biscuits (which for those of you who don’t have these in your home country, are these). They look even more delicious when topped with a dark chocolate ganache πŸ˜€

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I decorated them with an almond sliver (you should avoid this if you have nut allergies to cater for!) and a sprinkle of cinnamon which just happened to be in a shaker at work πŸ™‚

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Vegan Gingerbread Chocolate Cupcakes:
Ingredients:
One batch of these cupcakes made without the nutmeg and cloves, half the cinnamon and twice the ginger!
For the ganache:
200g dark dairy free chocolate
150g coconut cream
To decorate (optional):
Almond slivers
Ground cinnamon

Instructions:
Bake the cupcakes and while they cool, work on the ganache.

Chop the chocolate finely and heat the coconut cream in a bowl in the microwave for 20 seconds on high, then repeat until warm but not boiled. Tip in the chocolate and whisk until combined. Heat for 10 seconds if all the chocolate doesn’t melt. Cool then chill until spreadable.

Ice the cupcakes however you wish (I didn’t have my piping bag at work so I just flat-top iced them) and decorate with the almond sliver and sprinkle with a touch of cinnamon.

Makes 12 and they are still delicious 2 days later. I kept mine chilled so the ganache didn’t melt and then let them come to room temperature before serving.

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Spring Cupcakes! Some sweet ways to add more flowers into your life :)

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These are just some old photos that it wasn’t worth posting the recipes for, but ended up looking a little pretty πŸ™‚ I made these about 5 years ago actually, some with fresh flowers and some with fondant. These ones above are mini cupcakes with different coloured icing (some have coconut on top to look like grass, like the ones below) with different flowers. There is Mexican Orange Blossom, Cherry blossom (for decoration, not to eat) and lavender and forget-me-not (edible).

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These ones above, I iced them with green coconut and made some fondant daisies and daffodils to decorate πŸ™‚

rose minicakes (3)

Annnnd here are the final ones, ribbon rose cupcakes (mini above and regular size far below). Here is a Wilton tutorial for them that I found helpful. I cut out fondant rounds to put on top of the cakes and made little green leaves too. I had just begun my phase of pastel loving at this time, hence the pastel yellow-green-blue-pink palette. Although this ‘phase’ hasn’t ended…..

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Anyway, just a little inspiration. I know that the Northern hemisphere is very much looking forward to fall/autumn right now, so I hope there are some bakers making the most of the season up there too!

Sam

Ginger Cupcakes with Peanut Butter Frosting and Blueberries {Vegan}

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I managed to lose the photos for these, you know how things just disappear into your laptop and phone and god knows what else? Anyway….. I managed to find these ones which I had sent to someone!

These are like a fancier PB+J flavour combination, with some ginger to warm up the smooth-ness of the peanut butter. They are vegan too! Enjoy πŸ™‚

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Ginger CupcakesΒ with Peanut Butter Frosting and Blueberries
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp ground ginger
1/3 cup golden syrup
1/2 cup canola or light oil
1 Tbsp vinegar
Dash vanilla essence
1 cup+ cold water
Icing:
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup icing sugar
2 Tbsp maple syrup
To top:
1/2 cup blueberries, fresh or frozen

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and grease a muffin tin (you will only be making 9 muffins).

Whisk the flour, baking soda, sugar and ginger together, then make a well in the centre and add in the golden syrup, canola oil, vinegar and vanilla. Pour the water on top and making a big mess, whisk until smooth. It should be quite runny, like a pancake batter almost, so add more water if needed. Divide evenly between the muffin tin holes and bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool in the tins.

For the frosting, mix all the ingredients until smooth. You may want to do the blueberry topping first, heat for about 2 minutes (30 seconds at a time) in the microwave on high then leave to cool/chill.

To finish, spread on the frosting and add the blueberries on top! It is just as delicious as a dessert with hot blueberries too πŸ™‚

Makes 9! It’s best to frost them right before serving because after a few hours, the frosting loses its shape πŸ™‚

Vegan Lemon-Banana Cupcakes


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As promised, more cupcakes! These ones are even vegan πŸ™‚ (Although if you want to put butter in your buttercream, then you do that, you are in charge here). The cupcakes themselves only take a few minutes to get into the oven, and are one bowl too.


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They are quite tropical, and if you want to make them more of a winter after-noon tea fix, then maybe take out the lemon in the cake and add some cocoa instead of zest and juice in the frosting. I’d recommend these if you are, or are baking with, someone who is quite new to all this mixing and measuring and pouring stuff. And if you are a beginner, welcome to the wonderful world of baking, please make yourself quite at home πŸ™‚

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Banana and Lemon Cupcakes with Lemon Frosting
Ingredients:
Banana and Lemon Cupcakes
1.5 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2/3 cup any sugar
Juice of 1.5 lemons
1 Tbsp white vinegar
2 mashed bananas
1/3 cup oil
About 3/4 cup water
Frosting:
3 TbspΒ vegan spread/butter alternative
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp lemon juice
1&1/3 cups icing sugar
1-2 tsp milk
To decorate:
Banana chips
Coconut shavings

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius and line a cupcake tin with patty cases.

In a large bowl, mix together the flour, baking soda and sugar. Make a well in the centre, pour in the lemon juice, vinegar, mashed bananas and oil. Pour over half the water and mix well, adding the rest of the water a bit at a time until you have quite a runny batter (don’t worry if you aren’t 100% sure about the consistency!).

Pour into the patty cases and bake for about 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool on a wire rack.

For the frosting, soften the butter/spread and mix with the lemon zest, lemon juice and icing sugar until thick and fluffy. This will probably take a few minutes. Add the milk if the frosting is getting a little too thick to mix.

Spoon into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto each of the cupcakes (I didn’t do very generous, rich ones, just enough to make them look pretty πŸ™‚ ) or spread the icing on with a knife; up to you!

Decorate each one with a banana chip and some coconut shavings if desired.

Makes 12, and tastes just as delicious the next day (some even say better…..)

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Have a good week everyone!

Chocolate Cupakes Two Ways; Chai and Berry/Coconut

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As promised, more cupcakes πŸ™‚ I hope you have been having a nice day, whatever the weather. New Zealand is finally warming up, which means fresh fruit, more ice cream and hopefully some road trips. Everyone’s goal seems to be to get a tan, so if this is yours; good luck!

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I baked cupcakes and sold them at my hall of residence to raise money for Syrian refugees. I got about $80, which is enough to buy both mats and blankets for a family according to the UN Charity. These coconut-berry ones (rather lamington-esque) sold the fastest, but I assure you the chai-frosted ones are just as delicious!

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My exams will be over in a week, and I already have a list of things to bake over summer. I hope you enjoy, and I have some more cupcakes coming up! πŸ™‚

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Chocolate Cupcakes Two Ways: with Chai or Berry Frosting
Ingredients:
Cupcakes:
2 cups flour
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 tsp baking soda
1 cup sugar
3 Tbsp cocoa
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup thick yogurt
2 eggs
1.5 cups hot-ish coffee

Icing (for the Chai):
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 tsp cinnamon
Pinch nutmeg/allspice/black pepper/cayenne or paprika
3/4 tsp ginger
1/4 tsp cardamom
1.5 cups icing sugar
(+extra cocoa or cinnamon to dust)

Icing (for the berry):
5 Tbsp butter, softened
1 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam (can just pass normal stuff through a sieve)
1.5 cups icing sugar
+coconut to roll in

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and line two cupcake tins with paper cases.

For the cakes: In a large bowl, mix the flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and cocoa until combined. In another smaller bowl, mix the oil, yogurt and eggs. Make a well in the dry mixture and pour in the oil-batter and most of the coffee. Mix well, and add the rest of the coffee a bit at a time. The mixture will be quite runny, not like a butter cake or pound cake! Fill up the cupcake cases until 2/3 full and bake for 20 minutes, until a skewer comes out clean when inserted. Cool on a wire rack.

If you should decide to make CHAI frosting, simply mix all the frosting ingredients together until smooth and light. You can add the spices to taste, as yours could be stronger than mine! Spread the frosting onto the cupcakes. Dust with cinnamon, through a stencil if you have one!

For the BERRY frosting, again mix all the frosting ingredients until smooth and light. Frost the cupcakes and then dip the top in the coconut. All done!

You could make the cupcakes up to 2 days before, makes about 24!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Mini Cakes with Fresh Wild Mint Frosting

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The beginning of my cupcake mania, to raise money for Syrian Refugees; everyone seems to adore the chocolate and mint combination, and who can blame them? These cupcakes are divine, gluten free, almost dairy free and the perfect size.

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If you don’t feel like decorating with the crystallised mint leaves and having to do them the night before, I’m sure fresh ones will work just fine!Β 

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As the mint is fresh, the frosting does turn a little brown after a few hours so don’t panic; if you want it to be bright green then you could add some colouring or just make the frosting closer to serving πŸ™‚

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Anyway, enjoy and I have lots more cupcake/mini cake recipes coming!

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Gluten Free Chocolate Mini Cakes with Fresh Wild Mint Frosting
Ingredients:
Mini-Cakes:
2 Tbsp cocoa
3 Tbsp hot water
1 cup ground almonds
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 eggs
100ml oil
1/2 cup sugar
Frosting:
6 mint leaves
1 tbsp butter, softened (or vegan spread)
1 tsp milk
1/2 cup icing sugar
To decorate:
About 6 mint leaves
Egg white and caster sugar

Instructions:
The night before, coat the mint leaves in egg white and then sugar. Drape them on a whisk and dry overnight.

Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius and line or grease a 12-hole cupcake pan.

Mix together the cocoa and hot water. In another bowl, mix the ground almonds and the baking soda.

In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, oil and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the cocoa mixture, and gently follow with the ground almond mixture.

Spoon evenly in the cupcake tin and bake for 20 minutes until a skewer comes out with only a few crumbs. Leave to cool.

Now to frost, in a blender, whizz up all the ingredients! Annnd done, now spread some icing on the top of each cupcake and stack them, so you have 6. Add a crystallised mint leaf on top and enjoy πŸ™‚

Makes 6, and they last quite well!

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‘Artsy’ Cupcake Decorations AKA How to Use Up Leftover Royal Icing!

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Just a cupcake decorating idea πŸ™‚ I had lots of leftover coloured royal icing, so I made swirls and squiggles (plus some candy dots) on baking paper and let them dry over night. They are good to have on hand when you have some last minute baking and decorating to do, and are easy-as to make!

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They look really good on white icing/frosting (these cupcakes are banana, made with gluten free flour).

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I have more cupcakes and cakes to post soon, plus some recipes!
Have a good week everyone xx

Mini Raspberry Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

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Just a cute wee recipe from a few years ago. These adorable bites are simply a raspberry cupcake with 7-minute-esque frosting. The raspberry flavour comes from raspberry jam, which was the only thing on hand during winter (not even frozen berries, the price of those babies sky-rocketed…..!) but I am sure you could easily use any other jam or curd as long as it is smooth and seedless. This recipe easily translates into large cupcakes but I would double the recipe for 12, a full batch!
Enjoy tutti πŸ™‚

Mini Raspberry Cupcakes with Meringue Frosting

75 g butter
ΒΌ cup sugar
2 Tbsp oil
2 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam
1 ΒΌ cup flour
2 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp milk

To Frost:
1 egg white
ΒΌ tsp cream of tartar
1 Tbsp seedless raspberry jam
ΒΌ cup sugar
1 tsp water

Instructions:

Preheat the oven to 180Β°C and line 6 hole regular cupcake tin and a 6 hole mini cupcake tin.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Mix in the jam and oil. Sift together the flour and baking powder. Gradually add to the butter mixture. Mix in the milk. Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 10 minutes, for the mini ones and 15 minutes, for the regular ones, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean. Remove from the oven and cool on a wire wrack.

Lightly mix the egg white, cream of tartar, jam and sugar together in a small glass or ceramic bowl. Place the bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Whisk until the egg mix is white. Then add the water and continue to beat until the frosting reaches stiff peaks. Ice the cupcakes. Leave for the icing to set, then store in an airtight container.

Makes 24 mini cupcakes
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