Saturday, 24 September 2011

"Autumnal" Apple Crumble Cake

I found a great blog the other day called What Kate Baked... Kate is running an autumnal baking challenge and giveaway! As I am new to the blogging world I thought it would be good it get involved and use it as another excuse to bake something. The theme is anything autumny so I got out the apples!

The lovely Diana left work this week to go on maternity leave so I killed two birds with one stone and baked a autumnal apple crumble cake for her.

I absolutely love apple crumble so thought why not attempt a cake version. I think it turned out very nicely, I used a trusted sponge recipe from the Hummingbird bakery book and layered the two best parts of an apple crumble - tangy apple and crispy oats. I have increased the amount of apple puree in the recipe below as I would have liked a bit more in my cake, so it almost oozed out of the side. It seemed to go down well at work - let me know what you think.


250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
320g self raising flour
1 tbsp baking powder
200ml sour cream

1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
2. Whisk together the butter and sugar until fluffy, ideally with an electric whisk if you have one.
3. Whisk in the eggs and vanilla essence.
4. Sift in the flour and baking powder. Scrape down the sides to make sure everything is combined.
5. Fold in the sour cream.
6. Put in the oven, on the middle shelf, for 40 minutes until golden on top and when pierced with a skewer it comes out clean.
7. Leave to cool when removed from the oven.

Apple purée

5-6 large apples, peeled and diced
Sugar to taste ( I used sweet apples so I only added 1 tablespoon of sugar, if you are using cooking apples you will need 4 tablespoons of sugar)
150ml water

1. Put all the ingredients into a pan and simmer until it reaches the consistency you like. Stir and crush with a potato masher. Add extra water if it dries out. I like it mostly puréed but with the occasional chunk so I simmer it for 30mins.
2. Leave aside to cool.

Crumble filling

100g butter
150g rolled oats
2 tablespoons icing sugar

1. Melt the butter in a pan and mix in the sugar and oats.
2. Spread out on to a baking tray. I put them on foil. Bake in the oven on 170C for 8 mins.

Cinnamon Icing

50g unsalted butter (room temp)
300g icing sugar
125g cream cheese

1 heaped tsp cinnamon

1. Whisk the butter and cream cheese sugar together.
2. Whisk in the icing sugar and cinnamon and whisk until fluffy.

To assemble your cake

1. Slice the cake twice. I used a cake slicer like the one below. It's great! You line up the wire where you would like it to cut and drag across the cake. The "feet" touch the counter so the cake is cut straight. I usually try to not buy any "gadgetty" things but this was cheap and speeds up the whole process (also easy to store). Otherwise you could separate the batter in to two cakes tins and bake separately. This would give you a sandwich cake with one layer of apple puree and oats, which is also good.

2. Top the first layer with half the apple purée. Sprinkle half the crumble mixture over the apple purée.
3. Put the middle layer on top of this. Top with the rest of the apple purée. Sprinkle the rest of the crumble mixture over the apple purée.
4. Top with the final layer and cover this in the cinnamon buttercream.

Enjoy with friends!

Sunday, 18 September 2011

Raspberry and White Chocolate Cupcakes

I fell over!

So I'm walking to work clutching my cupcake box filled with 12 cupcakes for the brilliant Alva's birthday, and I trip and fall pretty much on my face. In slow motion the cupcake box flies out of my hand and skids along the pavement. I am about to leap up and rush to the beloved cupcakes when a (probably very sensible and I'm super grateful really) do gooder ambushes me. She tells me to sit down because she is sure I banged my head and I probably have concussion and I should keep still. I'm peering left and right around her and mumbling about the cupcakes when a nice man brings them over and says

"Here are your cakes, don't worry only three fell over"

In my head - Phew! what a relief

Women "I really don't think that's important now"

In my head "yes, yes it is!"

Thanks to the nice man my cupcakes were safe and transported the rest of the way to work (despite the women forcing me to stay with her for 20 mins and constantly barking at me "don't fall asleep!" - which would have been difficult as I was standing up!).

Alva loves white chocolate so I decided to make these cupcakes. I made two versions:

1) White cupcakes baked with raspberries, filled with white chocolate topped with raspberry buttercream (I took this recipe from EAT ME, but I changed the sponge and icing recipe)
2) White cupcakes filled with raspberry purée topped with white chocolate icing

White cupcake recipe with and without raspberries

This is again taken from joyofbaking (love this site!). I choose the white cupcake recipe.
If you are making the cakes with raspberries in, to ensure maximum raspberriness, after dividing the batter into cases push three raspberries into each cake.

Raspberry purée

200g raspberries
two tablespoons sugar
30ml water

1. Gently simmer in a pan together for 15 mins whilst stirring and crushing with the back of a fork or potato masher.
2. Leave aside to cool.

White chocolate filling

140g good quality white chocolate
60ml double cream

1. Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water.
2. Stir in the cream and leave to cool.

Raspberry buttercream

225g unsalted butter (room temp)
375g icing sugar
3 tablespoons raspberry purée (as above) or jam.

1. Smoosh icing sugar and butter together.
2. Whisk in the purée.

White Chocolate buttercream

225g unsalted butter (room temp)
375g icing sugar
3 tablespoons melted white chocolate (melt as above)
1 tablespoon milk (optional)

1. Smoosh icing sugar and butter together.
2. Whisk in white chocolate. If the icing is too think whisk in the milk.

Assemble version 1 as follows:

1. Cut a well out of the raspberry cupcakes with a sharp knife or apple corer.
2. Fill with white chocolate filling.
3. Top with raspberry buttercream

Assemble version 2 as follows:

1. Cut a well out of the white cupcakes with a sharp knife or apple corer.
2. Fill with raspberry purée.
3. Top with white chocolate icing.

If you only want to make one type of cupcake then adjust the amounts i.e. you don't need to make the whole batch of raspberry purée for the raspberry buttercream icing. I would just use a handful of raspberries with sugar to taste.

Happy birthday sister friend!

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Blueberry and Lemon Cupcakes

Yay, another excuse to make more cupcakes! So I only have time to make once batch of cupcakes this week so thought I would cheat and post some cupcakes I made a few weeks ago.

I volunteered at a charity for a few months and made these to say goodbye. I just googled blueberry and lemon cupcakes and found this great blog Mia-s Bakehouse. I was inspired by the yummy flavours. Rich blueberry and tangy lemon is a great combo! The icing recipe is from Whoopie Pies by Sarah Billingham and Amy Treadwell. The mascarpone makes the frosting creamy and delicious and easy to pipe. I topped them with a blueberry and sprinkles.

I piped a swirl on the top of the cupcake with a Wilton 1M star tip. Here is a useful video to help with piping a swirl. This is by Cookie Girl, from the EAT ME book. There are four different piping styles on this one.

Vanilla Sponge
Once again the sponge recipe is from JoyofBaking. I used the lemon zest this time as the cakes are lemon. This recipe makes 11/12 muffin size cakes so I usually make one and a half the recipe so I can take 12 to whoever I'm given them to and keep some for me and the boy!

Blueberry filling
150g blueberries
2 tbsp sugar

Lemon Mascarpone Frosting
375g Icing sugar
113g Mascarpone cheese (room temp)
43g unsalted  butter (room temp)
zest of one lemon
1 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  1. Take the butter and mascarpone out of the fridge so it's room temp.
  2. Whilst the cakes are baking put the blueberries and sugar in a small pan and simmer. Wait until the blueberries start to burst, give them a helping hand by stirring and crushing. Simmer for 5 mins until it is puree like and leave aside to cool.
  3. Using and electric whisk, whisk together the butter and mascarpone.
  4. Whisk in the icing sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice. Leave to the side.
  5. When the cakes are cool, using an apple corer or sharp knife make a well in each cupcake. Fill with blueberry filling, roughly two teaspoons. 
  6. Top with a swirl of Lemon Mascarpone Frosting. Delicious! 

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Black Forest Cupcakes

I made these for the housewarming too and they were great. The brownie sponge is fudgey and rich and the cherry cream combo is always good. Everyone said these were yummy so give them a try. Next to tiramisu cupcakes, these are the best cupcakes I've made.

Chocolate Brownie Sponge

I went back to the great joyofbaking blog and used this Brownie Cupcake recipe. Although I substituted the dark chocolate for 100g milk chocolate (34g cocoa) and 2 tbsps cocoa (It's hard to find dark chocolate when you're just running to the corner shop).

Cherry filling

30 Cherries, pipped and quartered
Heaped tbsp jam (I used raspberry but any red berry jam would be fine)
2 tbsp caster sugar
4 tbsp water

Cream topping

250ml double cream
2 tbsp icing sugar
  1. Put all the cherry filling ingredients in to a sauce pan and simmer for 10mins. Mash with a potato masher and keep simmering and mashing until it's thick. Leave it to cool.
  2. Whisk the double cream and icing sugar together until it forms peaks.
  3. After the cakes have come out of the oven and cooled, cut out a well with a sharp knife or apple corer.
  4. Fill the well with Cherry filling, about two teaspoons.
  5. Pipe a swirl of cream on top with a star tip (I recommend the Wilton 1M star).
  6. Cover with grated chocolate, if you have some left :)

Strawberry and Martini Cupcakes

I discovered that Martini and strawberries go well together so thought why not try them in cupcakes. I think these are really nice, the strawberry purée is delicious. I made them for a house warming and they seemed to go down well! Let me know what you think.

Vanilla sponge

I used this great recipe from the Joy of Baking Vanilla Cupcakes. I excluded the lemon zest as I find it a bit too lemony. This blog has lots of good recipes on it.

Strawberry purée

Half a box of strawberries (chopped as small as you can)
80ml Martini
2 tbsp sugar

Martini buttercream (great for piping)

230g unsalted butter, soft
375g icing sugar
pinch of salt
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Martini
  1. Whilst the cakes are baking put all the purée ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until soft and "purée like" (about 10 mins). 
  2. After removing the cakes from the oven and leaving them to cool, cut out a well with a sharp knife or apple corer.
  3. Fill the well with the strawberry purée.
  4. To make the buttercream: whisk together the butter, icing sugar and salt, then add the vanilla extract and Martini. With an electric whisk, whisk the icing until really fluffy. If you need it to be a bit firmer for piping add some icing sugar but it should be fine. 
  5. Top the cupcakes with Martini buttercream. This recipe is great for piping and if you just want a vanilla buttercream substitute milk for Martini.
  6. I topped the cakes with a sliver of strawberry.

Tiramisu Cupcakes

These are delicious - One of my most favourite cupcakes. The sponge is so light and fluffy and the coffee syrup and filling makes the texture an amazing texture taste sensation! Possibly even better than the actual tiramisu.

80g unsalted butter
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
pinch salt
1 tbsp baking powder
2 eggs
240ml milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

  • Preheat the oven to 190C and line a muffin tin with muffin cases. This batter makes 12 muffins or 24 cupcakes.
  • Cream together butter and sugar. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt and mix in with the butter and sugar.
  • Whisk together the eggs, vanilla essence and milk in a jug. Add this gradually to the dry mixture. Do not over mix, just combine the ingredients.
  • Fill the muffin cases two thirds full and bake for 18-20mins.
  • While the cakes are in the oven make the coffee syrup and icing/filling.
Coffee syrup

250ml strong coffee
75ml Kahlua (I used brandy)
3 tbsp caster sugar

  • Bring all the coffee syrup ingredients to the boil in a saucepan and simmer until it has reduced by half. Leave to the side to cool.
Tiramisu Icing/filling

400g Mascarpone Cheese
50ml Kahlua (or 1 part brandy to 1 part coffee)
300ml double cream
30g icing sugar
  • Beat together the Kahlua and Mascarpone with an electric whisk until smooth. Don't over mix as it will go lumpy.
  • Whisk the cream and icing sugar together in another bowl in to soft peaks
  • Fold both mixtures together.
  • Take the cakes out of the oven, put them on a cooling rack. When they are cool cut out a well in the middle with a sharp knife or apple corer.
  • Save the cut out bit and soak them in one teaspoon of the coffee syrup
  • Put two teaspoons of coffee syrup in the well.
  • Fill the well with the mascarpone filling and then put the cut out bit/lid back on.
  • Cover with frosting and Dust with cocoa.

Pina Colada Cupcakes

Hi all

I have given up drinking alcohol for a little while but not eating it, hence the cocktail related cupcakes! I made these cupcakes for my friend Cats 25th birthday. 

The fruity cupcake contrasts really nicely with the meringue topping. The Malibu is quite strong in the icing but still yummy. I have changed the icing recipe for icing sugar instead of caster sugar as the icing was quite grainy.

These aren't the prettiest cupcakes, as you can see the cupcake case is peeling back from the cake. I read some forums to find out how to stop this, is it sad that I enjoyed it! The main tip was to make sure you take the cupcakes out of the baking tray and put them straight on a cooling rack after they come out of the oven. This stops the steam building up and making the paper peel. I've also bought some muffin cupcakes cases, that haven't peeled so far, from this website

This recipe is taken from "EAT ME, The stupendous, self raising world of cupcakes and bakes according to by Cookie girl". Lovely recipe book with some really interesting cake ideas.

55g unsalted butter
140g caster sugar
120ml coconut milk
1 egg
140g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
425g pineapple pieces

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line your tin with cupcakes cases. This recipe is for 12 medium size cupcakes, not muffins.
  2. Cream together butter and sugar. Whisk in the coconut milk and egg.
  3. Sift in the flour and baking powder.
  4. I like the pineapple pieces small so I cut them so they are about 1cm x1cm. Fold them in the batter.
  5. Divide them in to the cupcake cases and bake for 20mins.

Malibu Meringue Icing

120g icing sugar
1 egg white
2 tbsp malibu rum
  1. Put all the ingredients in a pyrex (or heatproof) bowl and put this over a saucepan of hot (not boiling) water.
  2. Use an electric whisk to whisk the mixture until it is 'meringue like' and forms soft peaks. This may take 6 minutes. 
  3. Decorate your cupcakes straight away so the icing doesn't set.
  4. Cover in pretty things!

You can see a sneak peak of my amazing cupcake carrier in this photo. I will put a new post up with details.