It was National Cupcake Week last week so on Friday I baked some mini cupcakes. I’d bought some mini cases last time I was in the supermarket and had been looking for an excuse to use them. Cupcake week was the perfect excuse! I wasn’t sure what flavour I was in the mood for so made a variety: Bakewell Tart, Chocolate and Orange, Chocolate and Ginger, and Vanilla. The cupcakes were tiny, so they only took 10 minutes in the oven and cooled really quickly. Waiting for cakes to cool before I can ice/eat them seems to take an age, so it was great to be able to get decorating (and eating) them so quickly.
They’re so tiny, I can eat four in one go, right?
I used a base cupcake recipe from Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the World called Golden Vanilla Cupcakes. You can find the recipe online here, although if you haven’t yet got a copy of the book, it should be added to your ‘must buy’ list. I made the oil version and reduced the amount of vanilla essence so it would take on other flavours better. I separated the mix into four parts and made four flavours of cupcakes from it.
The Bakewell cupcakes were flavoured with almond essence and once baked filled with a small amount of raspberry jam, covered with royal icing (ready to roll, left over from my Rubik’s Cube cake) and topped with a small piece of glacé cherry.
Bakewell cupcake with the jam inside showing
Both my dad and my boyfriend like bakewell tarts so I made this one for them. I’ve previously baked Bakewell cupcakes with pastry as the base and a butter-cream icing, but wanted to keep it incredibly simple for these tiny versions. Strangely, although they were the first to go in the oven (and so had the least amount of time for the raising agents to activate before being baked), they rose the least. This suited me as it meant that they were easier to ice, but I thought it was a little odd: normally the quicker you get the mixture in the oven the more the rise. Anyone know why this didn’t happen?
The vanilla cupcakes were sickeningly sweet: topped with white royal icing and my first attempt at an icing flower. It’s from a set of carnation cutters (like the ones here), but my boyfriend thought it was some sort of nut on top so clearly I didn’t achieve a particularly close likeness! It was good that they were so small or else the sugariness would have been too much.
Bakewell and Vanilla cupcakes
The Chocolate and Orange cupcake sponge was flavoured with cocoa and orange essence and topped with plain, not-too-sweet chocolate butter-cream icing. I would have added a piece of candied peel, but didn’t have any to hand. When I went away a few weeks ago I made chocolate cookies with my friend (baking his first ever batch of cookies!). They were meant to be Chocolate and Orange cookies, but nowhere sold orange extract so they ended up as “just” chocolate. I think I was still in the mood for chocolate-orangey-ness when I made these cupcakes.
The Chocolate and Ginger cupcakes were flavoured with cocoa and LOTS of ginger powder then topped with chocolate butter-cream icing and a bit of crystallised ginger. I adore ginger so I made them extremely gingery. My mum (a big ginger fan) declared them a bit too spicy, my dad wasn’t a fan (he doesn’t like ginger) and my boyfriend didn’t want to try then. However, despite being a little dry I loved them! :p That’s the best thing about baking: you can make things exactly as you like them.
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate
They were all fun to make and it was nice being able to eat multiple cupcakes in one portion. I think the Bakewell cupcakes look especially cute and I’ll definitely make them again.
My mini cupcakes
We went to my cousin’s for birthday tea on Sunday and he had a red velvet cake from Sainsburys. My dad – who normally doesn’t like chocolate sponge and had never eaten red velvet cake before – asked me if I could bake one for him at home. I have attempted red velvet cake before, but vegetarian food colouring has always let me down. Plus, only having eaten red velvet cupcake once in my life a few years ago (from a Hummingbird Bakery take-away van!), I can’t entirely remember what it’s supposed to taste like. Cocoay with cream cheese icing, I think? Maybe I’ll just miss out the colouring on my next attempt?