If you are a parent and have children, you will know that from year 6, exams become an important part of their lives. Whether it’s SATS, GCSE’s, A Levels. College or University exams. The end game always focuses on tests or exams. Since today is the start of GCSE’s here in England these Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes, are designed to lift the spirits and fill the tummies of all students sitting their exams.
Of course these cupcakes could and should be made all year round, such is their delicious simplicity. Chocolate cake topped with the ultimate white chocolate vanilla frosting. Perfect for chocolate lovers everywhere.
Since these cupcakes can be made, from start to finish in under an hour, they are also handy for short notice or unexpected guests. Likewise they can be whipped up, literally, in moments. The comforting aroma of home baking, wrapping around your weary children, like a cosy, soft blanket, when they arrive home.
While my hard working teens are sitting and studying for their exams, I can be found in the kitchen. Busy rustling up delicious, sustained energy food and lots of treats. The amount of energy burned up during studying is vast. Since this can be a tough time of year for them, their usual ‘healthy’ food intake is topped up with extra yummy goodies!
Recipe: Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes makes 12
100g/4oz Unsalted Butter – softened to room temperature
Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3
First of all line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
Into a medium sized bowl add the butter, both sugars and salt. Beat together until the mixture is free from lumps and smooth.
Now add the vanilla extract and all three eggs.
Sift in the flour, cocoa and baking powder.
Beat/whisk all of the ingredients together until fully mixed.
Divide the mixture between the 12 cupcake cases – approximately one dessert spoonful of mixture per case.
Place the cupcake tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 25-30 minutes.
The chocolate cupcakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch.
When baked remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before transferring to a cooling rack. Allow to fully cool.
Preparing the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:
Note – due to the high chocolate content of the frosting it is advisable to make it directly before piping, while it is soft.
Firstly, break up the white chocolate and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Set to one side.
Into a separate bowl add the icing sugar, butter and one teaspoon of very hot water, from a recently boiled kettle. Whisk until almost combined.
Place the bowl with the white chocolate into the microwave. Heat for 20 seconds, stirring in between, until the chocolate is liquid.
Pour the warm, melted chocolate in with the butter and icing sugar mixture.
Whisk the ingredients together immediately and then continue to whisk until the frosting is light and fluffy. During the whisking add the vanilla bean paste.
Fit a large piping bag with a large closed star piping nozzle.
Fill the piping bag with the frosting and proceed to pipe rose swirls on each cupcake. Starting in the centre of the cupcake, pipe the shape of an ‘e’ then continue around until the cupcake has a complete swirl on top.
Finally, sprinkle over your choice of decoration.
Serve with a hug, smile and a hot drink!
Store these cupcakes in an airtight container where they will last for three days.
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Double Chocolate Exam Busting Cupcakes you may also like these:
While cupcakes are delicious, the cookies are for those meltdown moments when the pressure is simply too much. Firstly, so that whoever reads this blog post realises that they aren’t on their own. Sometimes it all gets too much. Fresh air, good music and a break all help. As do hugs, talking and simply letting it all out.
Wishing anyone taking exams, all the very best. If you do your best, no one can expect more of you than that x.
Today is the first day of December. Jack Frost has visited us the last few nights and Winter has well and truly arrived. Sparkling pavements and frosted windscreens add to the beauty of crystal clear, blue skies. Inspired by the frosty weather I made these Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes.
Vanilla and coconut sponge, topped with a whipped, white chocolate buttercream. Ooh that got your attention! Followed by a complete covering of sweetened coconut and dusting of edible Magic Sparkles. If you like coconut, I can guarantee you’ll love these cupcakes.
While the potential for these cupcakes to be overly sweet is hinted at, I can assure you that they aren’t. The sweetened ‘Angel Flakes’ coconut is not, as one would imagine, overly sweet. Rather, the taste is predominantly that of pure coconut, with a little addition of sweetness to enhance the flavour. Resulting in a perfectly balanced, delightful cupcake.
I have been unable to source the ‘Angel Flakes’ from regular shops or supermarkets. However, it is readily available to buy online, from Amazon. Desiccated coconut is a real no no for me. In fact, I find it much sweeter than the coconut used here. Of course, if you like the flavour, then feel free to substitute it in this recipe. Likewise, if you can get hold of freshly grated coconut, that also can be used.
These cupcakes are a perfect bake for over the festive season. Why not bake up a batch and share them with your work colleagues or friends? I have yet to meet anyone who doesn’t enjoy a delicious, homemade cupcake. Christmas is the season for sharing, wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could extend that season throughout the whole year?
Recipe: Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes makes 12
Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3.5
First, line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
Next, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk until light and creamy.
Now add all 3 eggs and the vanilla extract. Then sift in the flour and baking powder. Next add the coconut and whisk until everything is just combined, adding 2 or 3 tablespoons of milk to achieve a soft, dropping consistency.
Place a dessertspoon of cake batter into each cupcake case.
Finally, put the cupcake tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes.
The cupcakes are baked when they are risen, golden and spring back from a light touch.
Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven.
Baking the cupcakes at a slightly higher temperature results in a domed rise. This is deliberate, as it helps the shape of a snowball later when icing and covering.
Remove the hot cupcakes from the tin and place on to a cooling rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling make the buttercream icing.
First, place the softened butter into a large bowl and then sift in the icing sugar. Now add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from a recently boiled kettle and one teaspoon of vanilla extract.
Whisk, starting on a slow speed and then gradually increasing, whipping until the buttercream is light and fluffy. Set to one side.
Next, break up the white chocolate and place in a heatproof, microwaveable bowl. Zap for 20 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate starts to melt. Remove the bowl from the microwave and stir continuously. The residual heat will continue to melt the remaining chocolate.
Once the chocolate is completely melted pour it into the buttercream.
Now whisk the buttercream and chocolate together, gradually increasing the speed, until the frosting is fully combined and cooled.
Fit a piping bag with a round piping tip approximately 12mm in diameter.
Fill the bag with the whipped, white chocolate, buttercream. Set to one side.
Remember to wait until the cupcakes are completely cooled before icing.
To ice the cupcakes, start in the centre and pipe a double swirl (one on top of the other), keeping an even pressure on the piping bag. Continue until all of the cupcakes have been iced.
Next, weigh out the sweetened coconut into a bowl and break any clumps apart with your fingers.
To cover the first cupcake, hold it in your hand over the bowl of coconut. Use your other hand to cover the sides of the frosting with the coconut, gently pressing so that it sticks. Rotate the cupcake until the sides are covered with coconut, letting any excess drop back into the bowl. Now sprinkle a good amount over the top of the cupcake. Again pressing lightly so that it sticks to the buttercream. Continue until all of the cupcakes are covered in coconut.
Next, sprinkle over the edible sparkles. Add as much glitter as you like!
These delicious, fun cupcakes are ready to serve straight away. To store, place in an airtight container and eat within 4 days. Although they are at their very best eaten within the first 24 hours of making.
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Coconut White Chocolate Snowball Cupcakes you may also like these:
Whilst these coconut cupcakes have been baked with the festive season in mind, they would be a delicious treat at any time of the year. Baked to be shared, with love stirred in abundance, these would also make a delicious treat for family, friends, or work colleagues. Since food always tastes better when it is shared, these cupcakes are ideal for sharing.
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchens, over this festive season, I hope you have lots of fun and laughter preparing your feast.
Is anyone else else excited about Christmas? For me a large part of the fun of Christmas is in the build up. Getting the children to write Christmas lists, putting up decorations and ordering our turkey and ham from Graig Farm. Finally making the Christmas cake, yet knowing it can’t be eaten until Christmas Day is always hard on certain members of the family. So, I baked these GingerbreadFrosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes. Perfect festive sweet treats to enjoy, during the build up to the big day!
The frosting on these cupcakes is truly addictive. It really, REALLY, tastes of gingerbread. So, in order to provide balance, the cupcake itself is only lightly spiced. The combination of both cake and frosting is absolutely perfect. Warming, sweet and not heavy, these really are the perfect treat.
Because these cupcakes are so yummy, they disappeared very quickly. Always a good sign when everyone in the family absolutely loves them. I have a feeling that making these may well become a Christmas tradition like so many other things have, in our home.
Traditions include, decorations going up on December 1st, making mince pies then giving them to our neighbours whilst carol singing and cooking the ham on Christmas Eve. Also, tracking Santa Claus’ schedule, whilst munching on cheese straws and playing cards, have all become Christmas traditions. Each as important as putting out a drink, mince pie and carrot, before bed, on the night before Christmas.
Each of the traditions has crept upon us, unplanned. If something has been done two years in a row, the children automatically dictate that it is now a tradition. This year I think I will make some Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes to hand out whilst carol singing, alongside the warm mince pies. We are blessed to call our neighbours friends, so sharing homemade goodies with them, whilst they listen to our singing is always fun!
Do you have family traditions at Christmas? I’d love to hear about them.
Recipe: Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes makes 12
Mini Gingerbread Men and White Edible Glitter to decorate both available online
Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3
First, line a cupcake tin with 12 deep cupcake/muffin cases
Next, in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk, gradually increasing the speed, until pale and creamy.
Now add the vanilla extract and whisk until fully incorporated.
Into the bowl add the eggs and sift in the flour, baking powder and ground ginger. Then mix together until just combined. Over mixing can result in a tough, not light and airy, cupcake.
Spoon the cake batter into the cupcake cases, taking care to ensure that they are evenly filled.
Place the tin into the centre of the preheated oven and bake for 40-45 minutes. Once baked each cupcake will spring back from a light touch. The cupcakes will be soft and fairly pale, this is because they have been cooked at a low heat to ensure a flat top.
Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven. Carefully take each cupcake out of the tin and place on a cooling rack. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely before icing.
Making the frosting and decorating the cupcakes:
To make the icing; place the softened butter into a large bowl and sift the icing sugar on top of it. Next add 2 tablespoons of very hot water from a recently boiled kettle. Whisk, starting on a very slow speed and gradually increasing to a high speed. Continue until the icing is very light and creamy.
Fit an icing bag with a Wilton round piping tip #12, or use a large disposable piping bag. Fill the bag with the whipped, gingerbread frosting. If using a disposable bag without a tip, snip off the end to leave a 7mm diameter hole – approximately.
Check the cupcakes to ensure they are completely cooled, then begin piping the frosting. Keeping an even pressure on the bag pipe a double swirl. One on top of the other, pressing down in the centre before pulling away at the end.
Continue piping until all of the cupcakes are frosted.
Place a gingerbread man or woman in the centre of the frosting.
Finally, finish by sprinkling each cupcake with a dusting of edible glitter.
Store the cupcakes in an airtight container. They will keep for up to 4 days, however, you’ll be lucky if they last that long, unless you hide them 😉.
Serve each cupcake with a smile.
If you have enjoyed this recipe for Gingerbread Frosted Ginger Christmas Cupcakes here are some other festive recipe you may like:
While it is nice enjoying the build up to Christmas Day, the excitement of children, unexpected guests, the hope of snow, it is also important to remember the true meaning of Christmas.
A baby boy, born of a virgin mother, Emmanuel – God with us. Jesus may not have been born on December 25th, yet that is the day we choose to remember His birth. Amongst all of the hustle and bustle surrounding Christmas, it is important to remember why we celebrate it. Please see Important Stuff for more information.
Whatever you are making, baking and creating in your kitchen, have fun preparing your feast.
Note – this is not a sponsored post. I genuinely love Sugar and Crumbs products.
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes fresh apple filled cupcakes, topped with light, dreamy, buttercream and drizzled with maple syrup.
National Apple Day was yesterday here in the U.K. With two trees, groaning under the weight of their abundant harvest, in our back garden, an apple bake was a must. Recently having received a sample of Real Maple Syrup, the idea for these Maple Syrup FrostedApple Cupcakes formed. The finished result was better than I could have ever predicted.
One apple tree produces Spartan apples. Tennis ball sized, shiny red apples that are deliciously crunchy and sweet. The variety of the other apple tree is unknown. Slightly sharper, the apples resemble a slightly sweeter version of Granny Smiths in taste, yet with a red/green colouring. Fortunately, both apples are great for eating and cooking. Resulting in a combination of both being used for these cupcakes.
Grating the apples into the cake batter ensured they didn’t brown too much. Unlike Granny Smith apples, both of the varieties I used brown easily when sliced/grated and exposed to the air. While the grated apple could have been tossed in some fresh lemon juice, which would have prevented discolouration, I didn’t want to do this for two reasons. First, the lemon flavour would have been present in the cupcakes, this could have overpowered the apple and frosting. Finally, the lemon juice would have added moisture, resulting in a wetter batter, where the apple may not have kept it’s even distribution.
Preparing the cake batter first and then adding the grated batter worked well. Each cupcake had plenty of evenly distributed apple and had a light, moist crumb. Without the maple syrup frosting, these could easily be served as muffins, in which case the addition of some toasted pecan or walnut pieces would bring added flavour and texture. Having tasted these cupcakes with the dreamy frosting I could not possibly eat them any other way now!
Maple syrup frosting. Just think on those words for a moment!
Initially I had worried that the addition of maple syrup to a buttercream frosting would result in a too sweet topping. Instead, the opposite happened, with the maple syrup adding a very slight smoky, creamy flavour. Resulting in the sweetness of the unflavoured frosting being dumbed down. As a result, the final flavour paired beautifully with the lightly spiced apple cupcake.
Recipe: Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes – makes 12
200g/7oz Grated Eating Apple – approximately 3-4 peeled apples
250g/9oz Salted Butter very soft, ideally removed from the fridge the night before
500g/1lb 2oz Sifted Icing Sugar
1tsp Vanilla Extract
2tbsp Maple Syrup – use real maple syrup not maple syrup flavouring
1tbsp Very Hot Water from a recently boiled kettle
Extra Maple Syrup to drizzle over the finished cupcakes
Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4
First line a 12 hole deep muffin tin with tulip cupcake wrappers, or deep muffin cases.
Next in a large bowl add the butter, sugar and salt. Whisk/beat them together until they are very pale and creamy.
Add the vanilla extract and all 3 eggs to the bowl. Whisk/beat briefly to partially mix the ingredients, without the risk of them curdling – no more than 30 seconds.
Now sift the flour, baking powder and cinnamon into the bowl. Set the bowl to one side.
Working quickly, yet carefully, peel and grate 200 grams of apple.
Add the grated apple on top of the flour, in the large bowl and using a spoon mix all the ingredients together, until they are just combined.
Next, using a dessert spoon, place a heaped spoonful of cake batter into each of the cupcake wrappers. Finish by dividing any remaining batter between the twelve cases, so that they are all equally filled.
Finally place the tin in the middle of the preheated oven and bake the cupcakes for 25-35 minutes.
The cupcakes are baked when they spring back from a light touch. Use an inserted skewer to check if they are baked, if it comes out clean they are ready to remove from the oven.
Once baked remove the cupcakes from the oven and leave them in the tin to fully cool, regardless of which type of wrapper/case has been used.
Allow the cupcakes to fully cool before frosting them.
Making the Frosting and Decorating the Cupcakes:
First, add the very soft butter to a large bowl.
Then sift the icing sugar into the bowl.
Next add the vanilla extract, maple syrup and very hot water.
Finally whisk the ingredients, starting slowly and increasing in speed, until you have a smooth, creamy, light buttercream.
Fit a large piping bag with a large star piping nozzle – Wilton #1M.
Fill the piping bag with the maple syrup frosting.
Starting in the centre of each cupcake pipe swirls, so that the entire top of the cupcake is covered and then, continue to pipe, bringing the tip back to the centre and finishing with a star, as the nozzle is pulled away.
Continue piping until each cupcake is generously topped with frosting.
To finish the decoration, drizzle approximately 1/2 teaspoon of maple syrup on to the top of the frosting, allowing the drizzle to drip around the frosting swirls.
Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes a taste of Autumn in a cupcake!
These cupcakes certainly make the most of seasonal fruit. Since there are plenty of apples freely available they will be made again. Another reason to bake them is also so they can be shared. While none of our friends or neighbours expect deliveries of cake, it is an extra special way of sharing our abundance of apples, which are also given away.
If you have enjoyed the recipe for these Maple Syrup Frosted Apple Cupcakes you may also like these:
Because I find baking and cooking relaxing, creating new recipes can also be very rewarding. Firstly as a personal achievement and also because of the pleasure my baking brings to others. Faces full of pleasure as they bite into a delicious treat, big smiles when a friend receives a birthday bake and gracious thanks from a busy, tired family upon receipt of a homemade lasagne. Life is for sharing and if my small contribution encourages others to do the same, well then, this blog, Feasting is Fun, will have served its purpose.
Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake, three layers of orange and lemon cake, sandwiched with lemon curd, crumb coated and piped with lemon buttercream.
Birthday season is upon us in the Feasting family. Cakes, bakes, canapés and celebration continue from now, right through to the New Year. Therefore, making this Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake with family in mind, resulted in a beautifully decorated, delicious cake, perfect for guys and girls of all ages.
So the cake itself is made using Wright’s Baking Orange Cake Mix, to which lemon zest is added. Baked as a single cake, it is then sliced into three layers which are sandwiched back together using tart lemon curd. The result, a balanced citrus flavoured cake, that wakes up your tastebuds ready to party!
In addition, the decision to decorate the cake with piped buttercream roses, shows an increase in confidence with regard to piping. Creating an ombré effect, from pale lemon swirls to deeper tangerine lends a modern finish to this cake.
Since piping this Heart Engagement BundtCake, crumb coating, covering the whole cake in a thin layer of buttercream, was not an option, it was a must. The finished cake looks much cleaner, more professional and any gaps between the roses are already covered.
While not absolutely necessary, the added edible violas give the finished cake an elegant, yet natural touch. Their presence hints at the floral, citrus flavoured cake hidden by the piped roses.
Recipe: Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake serves 12-14
Method: Preheat the oven to 170C/150C fan, gas mark 3.5
You will need a 20cm/8″ diameter 8.5cm/3.5″ deep tin to bake this cake.
Starting with the cake tin, grease the entire tin and also line the base with parchment paper.
Into a large bowl add the water, egg, oil and one packet of the orange cake mix. Weigh the other packet of cake mix and divide in half. Add half of the packet contents to the bowl – it was approximately 260g. Please check the weight for yourself.
Whisk the ingredients together according to the instructions on the packet.
Finally add the finely grated zest of 1 lemon, approximately 1tsp, to the bowl. Whisk to distribute and combine.
Pour the citrus cake batter into the prepared tin.
Place the cake tin in the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes. Test the cake at 1 hour 20 minutes with a skewer. The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean.
Once baked remove the cake from the oven, place on a rack and allow the cake to cool completely in the tin.
Breath in the rich, citrus, homebaked aroma.
When the cake has cooled turn it out of the tin. Also if necessary, run around the outer rim of the cake with a palette knife. Doing this will loosen any slight sticking, that said Wright’s cake mixes are excellent and always turn out of the tin easily.
Preparing the cake for decoration:
The cake whilst baking rose slightly more in the centre. The cause may have been the addition of an egg to the cake mixture, or, baking at a slightly higher temperature.
First cut off any dome on the top of the cake. Having a small rise in the centre is an advantage with the finished cake.
Slice the cake evenly into 3 layers. A serrated knife cuts cleanly through the cake, minimising crumbs.
Place the bottom layer, cut side up, on a board or cake stand.
Spread the bottom layer with an even, thin layer of lemon curd, so that it almost reaches the edges.
Next, place the middle layer on top of the bottom layer, matching up the sides.
Again, spread a thin, even layer of lemon curd on to the cake, keeping just inside the edges.
Finally place the top of the cake on to the middle layer.
Preparing the cake:
Place the softened butter into a large bowl.
Sift the icing sugar into the same bowl.
Next add the very hot water and lemon extract.
Finally whisk the ingredients together, starting on a slow speed and increasing the speed, until you have a pale, fluffy, lump free, buttercream.
Remove 3 heaped tablespoons of the buttercream and set aside to crumb coat the cake. First place the buttercream on the top of the cake. Use an offset spatula to spread the icing across the top of the cake, gently pushing it over the sides. Rotating the stand, or board, gradually cover the sides of the cake with a thin layer of buttercream. Finish by dipping a palette knife into hot water, drying and running the hot knife over the cake, this will produce a smooth finish. Place the cake in the fridge for 30 minutes to allow the crumb coat to set slightly.
Colouring the buttercream:
Divide the remaining buttercream equally, between 3 bowls.
Use cocktail sticks, gel food colouring and a teaspoon to stir, start colouring the icing. It is easier to achieve the lightest colour, which is piped on to the top of the cake, first. Doing so sets the shade and tint of the icing.
Following on, add more colouring to the next bowl, until the shade is correct. Finishing with the last bowl and deepest colour, add extra red and yellow gel until the desired deeper colour is obtained.
To pipe the buutercream, fit 3 large, disposable piping bags with large star piping nozzles – Wilton #1M. Fill each bag with a separate shade of buttercream. Label the piping bags light, medium, dark, so they are distinguishable.
Decorating the Cake:
Starting right in the centre, on top of the cake, using the lightest shade, pipe the first rose. Begin in the centre of the rose, keeping pressure steady on the bag pipe a star, continuing into an e shape, then continuing round to form a rose swirl.
Continue working evenly around the centrally piped rose, piping more rose swirls. Carry on until the top of the cake is covered, or almost covered, in evenly piped rose swirls.
Following on, use the next shade darker, pipe rose swirls around and inbetween the lighter shade, then pipe evenly around the side of the cake.
Complete the cake by piping the darkest shade around the base of the cake. The full ombré effect is then complete.
For the very best results place the piped cake into the fridge, or somewhere cold, for 30 minutes.
Just prior to serving add the edible violas.
Beautifully baked, evenly distributed fruit, decorated with rose swirls, this Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake demonstrates how easy it is to create a sensational cake using a mix.
Because of my health limitations, creating this cake from scratch would be too much for me. Of most importance, my aim, to show how the ombré piping effect is achievable, at home, with a little practice. Secure in the knowledge that the cake underneath is reliably good. A couple of badly piped roses were removed, using a butter knife and re-piped. Practice and making mistakes is how we learn to improve our skills.
If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Orange Lemon Ombre Piped Rose Cake you may also like these:
Beautiful cakes do not have to be difficult to create. Since I am most definitely not an accomplished cake decorator, I have learned a few decorating techniques that enable me to finish a cake to a good standard.
Most of all I hope you have been inspired to try out a new technique? Homemade cakes taste infinitely better than their supermarket counterparts. While they are convenient, no amount of love, has, at any stage been added to the cake. Baking at home creates a unique, delicious cake that will prompt huge smiles from the recipient and those who share in the celebration and cake!
For for those of you who have visited Feasting is Fun before, you will be very aware of my love affair with lemons. I absolutely adore not only their tart, intense flavour, but also their ability to transform a sweet or savoury dish. After using lemon curd to create my Lemon Ripple Ice Cream, I decided to use it in a bake. Specifically this delightful LoveliestLemon Curd Cake.
A wonderfully moist, damp cake, the lemon curd injects a wonderful tartness in the centre that is balanced by the lemon swirled buttercream on top.
If you love lemons, then I’ll guarantee this LoveliestLemon Curd Cake will delight you!
Baked as a whole cake, that is then cut in two, this refreshingly flavoured cake is simple to make and decorate.
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake with an added sprinkle of glitter.
I was sent a new cake tin to try out, so I decided on this Loveliest Lemon CurdCake. The cake batter has both finely grated lemon zest and lemon extract oil in it. I’ve given an alternative for the oil in the recipe, although I do recommend buying some if you can. It brings another level of lemonyness to the cake and unlike fresh lemon juice, does not cause any curdling of the cake batter or buttercream.
Lemons have such a sunny yellow colour that they really do bring the sunshine indoors whatever the weather!
Recipe: LoveliestLemon Curd Cake serves 8-10
You will need an 8″/20cm diameter cake tin that is 3″/7.5cm deep
275g/10oz Unsalted Butter – plus a little extra for greasing
4-5tbsp Lemon Curd – I use Waitrose luxury lemon curd – make sure you pick a tart one
For the icing:
100g/4oz Unsalted Butter
200g/7oz Sifted Icing Sugar
1/2tsp Lemon Oil – or 1tbsp Lemon Curd
2tbsp Very Hot Water from a kettle
Optional – Sprinkles and edible glitter
Method: Preheat the oven to 160C/140C fan, gas mark 3
Grease with butter and line the base of the cake tin with baking parchment. I was testing a new PushPan. I still greased and lined the tin.
Into a large bowl add the butter, salt and sugar.
Whisk/beat until pale and creamy.
Add all 6 eggs (I crack mine into a separate bowl first) and the lemon oil/substitute with 1tbsp of lemon curd if no lemon oil is available.
Sift in the self raising flour.
Mix on a low speed until just combined.
Add the finely grated zest of one whole lemon.
Mix the cake batter until just smooth – I do this by hand using a spoon.
Spoon the Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake batter into the cake tin and smooth the top.
Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake ready for the oven.
Place the cake tin into the centre of the oven and bake for 1 hour – 1 hour 15 minutes. The cake is baked when an inserted skewer comes out clean. My cake took 1 hour 15 minutes to bake.
Once the cake is baked remove from the oven and allow to cool completely in the cake tin.
When the cake is cold remove from the tin.
With the PushPan tin I used, I simply popped the pan on to a tin of beans and pressed the sides down. The cake released from the tin very easily.
Making the lemon buttercream:
Into a large bowl add the softened butter, sifted icing sugar, lemon oil or curd and 2 tablespoons of hot water.
Whisk slowly at first, increasing in speed as the icing sugar is absorbed. Continue whisking on high for a couple more minutes until you have a pale, creamy, light buttercream.
Scoop the buttercream into a disposable piping bag fitted with a large closed star tip.
Carefully cut the cake in half horizontally, so that it becomes a sandwich cake.
Spoon enough lemon curd on to the bottom layer to cover it generously.
Place the top of the cake back on and pipe six buttercream swirls around the edge and one in the centre of the cake.
Add sprinkles and edible glitter (if using) and your Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake is ready to be sliced and served.
I do love a slice of cake for Sunday afternoon tea, or any day of the week afternoon tea, when the cake is this good!
I honestly think the pictures in this post speak for themselves. This LoveliestLemon Curd Cake bursts with lemony yellowness once cut and tastes absolutely perfect. The soft buttercream and tart lemon curd, with a deliciously moist lemon cake.
Today will not be the only time I make this cake!!
If you have enjoyed the recipe for this Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake here are some others you may also enjoy:
Whilst this Loveliest Lemon Curd Cake looks pretty with the buttercream swirls, it really is the layers of lemon flavour that make this cake so enticing.
Whatever you are making and baking in your kitchen this weekend I hope that you are having fun. As I popped a couple of slices of this yummy cake over the back fence to our neighbours, almost blinded by the glitter sparkling in the sunlight, I was reminded of how much I simply enjoy sharing.
Baking for my family, friends, neighbours, postman and postlady, random delivery drivers, makes me feel good. Why?? Because it puts a smile on someones face. The heart of this blog is to share, enjoy feasting with people and have fun whilst doing so.
I have have wanted to make a ‘drip cake’ since I first saw one on Pinterest. This past weekend with the help of 2 Wright’s Baking cake mix kits, I did it. I made a Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake.
Had it not been for the cake mixes from Wright’s I honestly would not have had the energy to make this cake. However, I have proved that with a little bit of patience and guidance anyone can make a drip cake using great packet mixes, plus some extra chocolate and strawberries.
The Chocolate and Victoria sponge mixes create cakes that are as light as clouds. I baked the cakes on Saturday and then assembled and decorated this gorgeous Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake on the Sunday.
If you have ever wanted to make a drip cake, but been too scared to try, my step by step photographs will show you how. You need not be a proficient baker or cake decorator, yet you CAN make this Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake.
I will take you through every stage, showing you how to achieve a stunning drip cake. Once you have learnt the basics you can create all different kinds of drip cakes. I wanted to keep my cake simple, yet elegant. The chocolate dipped strawberries add height and a pop of colour.
To be honest, I never dreamt that my Strawberry Chocolate VanillaDrip Cake would turn out this well. I really didn’t.
Firstly, cake decorating isn’t my strongest skill and then secondly, sometimes my hands can be really shaky, which means there are fewer cakes posted on here, as they didn’t look good enough once decorated!
What I’m trying to say is, I’m just like you. Yes I’ve learnt to pipe roses with buttercream, but that really is the extent of my cake decorating knowledge. So my hope is to teach you how to create a show stopping cake and that, with a little patience you too can create one!
Starting with a good quality boxed cake mix from Wright’s meant that all my concentration could be used decorating the cake. I certainly will be creating recipes with different flavours, colours and toppings in the future, but for my first drip cake, all I wanted to concentrate on was creating that iconic ‘drip’!
I choose to use chocolate and vanilla simply because the inside of the cake would then reflect the beautiful outside. The cake mixes are so easy to whip up and bake, plus the buttercream mixture is included in the box. All I needed to add was butter.
If you want to bake a cake from scratch that is fine, I would suggest the recipe from my Victoria Sponge and substituting 75g/3oz of flour for cocoa powder for the chocolate sponge (you may have more batter than needed to create this cake). I will give a buttercream recipe in the recipe section.
Note: in order to decorate this cake successfully you will need a large palette knife (not a small offset one – that I mention in some of my recipes).
1 Victoria Sponge Baking Kit – also from Wright’s Baking
2tbsp Butter for greasing the sandwich cake tins
240g Unsalted Butter- softened to room temperature
200g White Chocolate – I use Waitrose Belgian white chocolate
100g Dark Chocolate minimum 70% Cocoa Solids
15 Good Quality Fresh Strawberries medium/large in size – if only very large strawberries are available you may want to use fewer.
Note: if making your own buttercream you will need 250g unsalted butter, 100g good quality cocoa powder (sifted) and 400g icing sugar (sifted), prepare as for the buttercream including the 2tbsp very hot water.
Method: Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan, gas mark 4
Grease 2 x 7″ (17.5cm) sandwich cake tins and line the base with baking parchment.
Make up one packet – I used the Victoria sponge mix first – according to the instructions on the box.
Divide the cake batter equally between the 2 tins.
Place the sponge tins in the centre of the oven and bake for 15- 20 minutes. The sponges are baked when they are a golden colour and spring back from a light touch. Mine took just under 20 minutes to bake.
Once baked remove the cake tins from the oven.
Allow the sponges to cool for 5 minutes, then run a palette knife around the outside rim of the cake.
Tip the cake out gently and place right side up on a cooling rack.
Wash up the sponge tins in warm soapy water, dry, grease and line the bases as before.
Make up the chocolate sponge mix according to the packet instructions.
Divide the cake batter equally between the 2 tins and bake in the middle of the oven, as before for 15 – 20 minutes. Mine were baked at 15 minutes.
Once baked remove from the oven.
After 5 minutes cooling run a palette knife around the outside of the cake, tip out gently and allow to cool on a rack.
Once cool your cake is ready to assemble and decorate.
Assembling and decorating your drip cake:
Gently peel the parchment paper away from the base of each sponge.
Whisk/beat 240g of softened butter in a large bowl.
Add both packets of buttercream mix – chocolate and vanilla.
Slowly whisk until they are incorporated into the butter.
OPTIONAL – I always add 1-2 tablespoons of very hot water to any buttercream that I make. I added 2 tablespoons to the buttercream mixture. I would not advise adding water if you are using stork or other margarines.
Continue whisking until you have a smooth, glossy, chocolate buttercream.
I recommend using either a cake board or a flat plate on top of a cake stand, or cake decorating turntable – I used a cake board on top of my cake stand. This is so that once covered in buttercream, the cake, which is 4 sponges high, will fit into the fridge to chill.
Add a small splodge of buttercream to the cake board, this helps anchor the cake whilst it is being assembled and decorated.
Place your first sponge flat side up on the centre of the board.
Using a palette knife thinly coat the upper, flat side of the sponge in buttercream.
Next add the second chocolate sponge, again flat side up and cover with a thin layer of buttercream.
Continue in the same manner with the vanilla sponges, leaving the last sponge without a covering of buttercream.
Ensure that you have plenty of space to work around the cake. I moved mine to the dining room table where I was able to sit (better for my back) and cover the cake.
Add enough buttercream to cover the top of the cake evenly – approximately 0.5-1cm deep. Run the palette knife across the top to roughly smooth it.
Next add buttercream to the side of the cake near the top. Spread it with the palette knife so that it fills in the gaps between the sponges. I started at the top and rotated the cake stand, working my way down to the bottom of the cake as each sponge layer was covered. Aim to keep the buttercream as even and smooth as possible, using your palette knife.
Looking good! The whole cake is now covered in buttercream with a roughly smoothed top and sides.
Fill a large jug with very hot water and have some pieces of kitchen paper to hand.
Clean your palette knife and let it sit, immersed in the hot water for a minute.
Remove the palette knife and wipe dry with the kitchen paper.
Hold the flat side of the palette knife to the side of the cake and smooth the buttercream. Repeat by dipping the palette knife back into the hot water, drying and smoothing, rotating the cake stand as you do so. This may take a little practice but you’ll soon get the hang of it.
You will see the buttercream becomes very glossy and smooth. Continue until the sides are as smooth as you can get them.
Next smooth the top of the cake in exactly the same way.
Use kitchen paper to gently go around the base of the cake and remove excess buttercream from the board. I tend to remove any big lumps and then hold the kitchen paper to the board as I rotate the cake, gradually getting closer and closer to the cake.
Place your covered cake into the fridge to chill and set for 30 minutes.
When it is touch dry you may start to decorate it.
Break up the white chocolate into a heatproof microwaveable bowl.
Zap in the microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between each heating session. When the chocolate has half melted remove the bowl from the microwave and continue stirring until all of the chocolate is melted.
Set to one side to cool.
Meanwhile break up the dark chocolate and melt in exactly the same way as for the white chocolate.
Dip half of the strawberries into the dark chocolate, ensuring they are completely covered with only the green showing – I use a teaspoon to pour the chocolate near the top of the strawberry. Set the strawberries on to a silicone mat or some baking parchment.
Remove 2 tablespoons of the melted white chocolate and place in a small, disposable piping bag. Snip the very end off leaving a small hole.
Pipe lines across the uncovered strawberries and over the chocolate covered strawberries. You can also experiment with piping little dots on to the strawberries. Leave the strawberries to set.
Next, whilst the white chocolate is still pourable but cooled you can start creating your drips!
Using a spoon pour the cooled, melted chocolate around the edge of the cake encouraging drips to form by adding a little more chocolate in places. Try to get a variety of drip lengths around the outside of the cake.
Next spoon the remaining white chocolate on to the centre of the top of the cake. Use the spoon to spread it to meet the rim formed by the drips and then swirl with your spoon to give an attractive finish.
If there is a slight slant to your cake ensure the higher part of the cake is at the back.
Gently add some strawberries to the back of the cake, building height by laying them on top of each other. It is also nice to add a few strawberries around the base to create a stunning, professional finish.
Place the cake back into the fridge, especially during warmer weather, until it has just set.
Now take lots of photographs as it is great to have a visual reminder that you have accomplished something so stunning.
Keeping some of the strawberries red, with just a little piped white chocolate really makes the whole cake pop. Having a burst of colour stops the cake from being all brown and cream, which is definitely not as fun as a spot of red here and there!
Almost always a chocolate ganache (equal parts chocolate and double cream melted together) is used for a chocolate drip cake. This being my first I wanted to keep things as easy as possible.
Since I have made this drip cake, I now want to make one with fruit and coloured icing. The possibilities are absolutely endless.
If you have enjoyed the recipe and tutorial for making this Strawberry Chocolate Vanilla Drip Cake here are others you may also like:
Just because I’m not the world’s best cake decorator, doesn’t mean I can’t learn, try and occasionally cheat. Cakes should be fun. They should be baked and decorated with love and eaten with appreciation.
Have I inspired you to try a new cake decorating technique?
Have fun decorating, making and baking your feasts.
Wright’s Baking provided me with the cake mix kits to try. All content, opinions, views and photographs are my own. Please see my Disclosure Policy. I am not a professional baker or cake decorator, any advice given is purely for guidance.
Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes. Just look at these beauties. Moist almond cupcakes, with a swirl of raspberry ripple buttercream on top. These may be my favourite cupcakes ever. I love them.
Could you resist one or two of these delicious cupcakes?
I couldn’t! As soon as these photographs had been taken I ate two of these. I just didn’t want the flavour sensation to stop after the first one!
Instead of giving roses for Valentine’s Day, why not bake up a batch of these delicious cupcakes? There are certain advantages; they can be shared, they are less of a dramatic statement than red roses – therefore more inclusive to groups of people that you love. Unfortunately though, I can pretty much guarantee these Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes won’t last as long as flowers!!
Valentine’ Day is about love, whether that be your significant other, your family, your girl or guy friends. Show some love this Valentine’s Day, especially to those who may feel unloved.
You may have seen there are a few raspberry and almond recipes on this site. Such as this Raspberry Almond Cream Cake. That’s because they go soooo well together. As much as I love creating new recipes and flavour combinations, there are a few classics that I could never mess with.
These Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes bring these two classic flavours harmoniously together. Your taste buds will sing as you bite into one of these beautiful creations.
Line a cupcake tin with the prettiest wrappers you can find.
In a bowl whisk together the butter and sugar until light and get and creamy.
Add in the eggs, milk, almond extract, salt and sifted flour and baking powder.
Whisk on a low speed until all the ingredients are just combined, stopping halfway through to scrape down the bowl.
Add 1 dessert spoonful of cake batter to each cupcake case.
Bake the cupcakes in the centre of the oven for about 20 minutes.
The cupcakes are baked when they are golden brown and spring back when lightly pressed.
Decant the cupcakes onto a cooling rack.
Leave to cool completely.
To make the buttercream frosting:
Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl.
Add the softened butter and 2tbsp of boiling water.
Whisk until light, fluffy and creamy, adding up to 1 extra tablespoon of boiling water to obtain the desired consistency.
Fit a large piping bag (I use disposable ones for coloured icing) with a large, open star piping nozzle.
Fold the bag back on itself, opening up the inside.
Using a small brush, paint two lines of food colouring gel, in a line, from the tip, to approximately half way up the bag.
The second line should be opposite the first.
Place the bag in a stable container, I use a large jug.
Fill the piping bag with the buttercream.
When the cupcakes are cooled, they are ready to be iced.
Holding a cupcake with one hand and starting 1/3 down from the edge, pipe a letter e, keeping the pressure constant. As you get to the end of the e continue piping around the cupcake in one complete circle.
These Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes were my first attempt at piping buttercream roses and I’m really proud of how they turned out.
Obviously practice makes perfect and if you are unsure of how to pipe these look on Pinterest or YouTube, there are plenty of short tutorials showing you what to do.
In fact out of the vast array of piping tips available, if you want a professional, bakery style finish to your cupcake Wilton’s Large Stae 1M is a great nozzle to start with.
With the cupcake above, keeping steady pressure on the piping bag, I started in the centre of the cake and piped in circles, building layers to create the classic cupcake swirl.
It is worth making up a bag of plain icing and practicing different methods, so that you feel confident icing your cupcakes.
These Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes are utterly delicious and the icing is very light. I enjoy using the natural flavoured icing sugars from Sugar and Crumbshowever, you can easily use plain icing sugar and add a few drops of natural flavour extract.
Do you celebrate Valentine’s Day? If so, do you keep the celebrations between you and your partner, or spread the love further afield?
However you spend February 14th, I hope you know that you are loved (see Important Stuff).
If you enjoyed these Raspberry Ripple Almond Cupcakes you are sure to love these: