A few weeks ago, I got asked to make 24 cupcakes for a friend’s mum’s birthday. Having tasted some of my cakes before, it was nice to know they thought of me after their usual cupcake company couldn’t make them this year. Immediately my mind went wild with excitement and ideas were flying around. Despite the complicated creations I could make, we settled on simple yet classic flavours; Coffee and Walnut with Chocolate Ganache, Lemon Drizzle Cupcakes and Vanilla Cupcakes.
In my cupcakes, I used British Lion Eggs. The British Lion symbol is the UK’s most successful food safety mark in effectively eradicating salmonella and is an important practice in the UK. You can read more about their code of practice by clicking here and you can find more egg recipes by clicking on the link.
Here are some other food bloggers’ egg recipes:
- Rough Measures’ Kale Egg Cups
- Gingey Bites’ Lamb and Egg Tagine
- Adventures in Tea and Cake’s Egg Custard Tarts
- Family Friends Food’s Aubergine Shakshuka
- Andrew in the Kitchen’s Egg Tag
As I found out when practising these cupcakes, the ice cream scoop is the absolutely essential cupcake tool. It portions the mixture out both so easily and evenly and I love the click-and-rasp when dividing up the batter, it’s so satisfying! Having a good quality deep cupcake tin is also the key to a great cupcake; for me the paper case needs to be very good quality, the ones I use are from itsabakingthing.com; find their FANTASTIC website by clicking here.
All of the cupcakes follow the basic recipe below and makes more than enough batter for 12 large cupcakes. The addition of Greek yoghurt mellows out the sweetness and makes the crumb incredibly soft and tender. There’s enough cake batter leftover to eat some of the bowl too! Just follow the different instructions for each type of cake you want to make.
210g caster sugar
210g self raising flour
60g Greek yoghurt
For the coffee and walnut cupcakes, replace the caster sugar with soft brown sugar, add 1 tbsp milk mixed with 1 tbsp coffee granules and 100g chopped walnuts to the batter
For the lemon cupcakes, mix 3 tbsp of lemon curd with 50g of Greek yoghurt, add the zest of a lemon, 3 tbsp lemon juice and an extra 25g self raising flour
For the vanilla cupcakes, add 2 tsp vanilla extract to the batter
Preheat the oven to 170°C. Line a 12-hole deep cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases.
Cream together the margarine with the sugar for about 2 minutes until it is lighter in colour and fluffy, scraping down the bowl halfway through with a spatula. Add in the eggs one by one and continue beating on each addition. [At this stage, add all of the flavourings]
If the mixture curdles, don’t worry – it doesn’t change the cupcake at all, it just means that the fats from the margarine and the egg yolk haven’t combined properly. And thanks to John Whaite for telling me this but adding flour just masks the curdling.
Next sift in the flour and using a rubber spatula, fold everything together. Before it is combined fully, add in the Greek yoghurt and work the cake batter until it is even and a smooth batter.
Using the ice cream scoop, fill the 12 cupcake cases evenly, filling no more than three-quarters full. The ice cream scoop I use needs about 1.75 scoops worth, however all scoops vary in size and you can do this just as easily with 2 spoons. Smooth out the tops.
Bake for 18 – 20 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted in the largest cupcake comes out clean. Cool in the tin for about 5 – 10 minutes and then transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
Coffee and Walnut Cupcakes
These cupcakes have both a hidden centre of chocolate ganache as well as a beautiful star of ganache on top with a white chocolate disc.
175g plain chocolate, broken into small chunks – slamming it against the table works!
175ml double cream
For the ganache, heat up the double cream in the microwave for 1 minute. Add in the chocolate and stir until all of the chocolate has melted – if it hasn’t melted completely, return to the microwave for about 20 seconds.
Leave to set in the fridge until it hasn’t set completely and is pipeable. Then place all but 12 teaspoons into piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle.
Using a serrated knife, remove a small cavity in the cupcake and fill with a teaspoon of the ganache. Then pipe a strong star about 1 inch high to cover the cavity and top with a white chocolate disc.
Lemon Cupcakes and Vanilla Cupcakes
You would be surprised about the combination of this white chocolate cream cheese frosting with the lemon however the sweetness cuts through the intense sharpness of the lemon and works well. These are also topped with the white chocolate disc, details of those are to follow.
300g full fat cream cheese
350g icing sugar
250g white chocolate, melted
Sugar pearls and sprinkles, to decorate
Combine the margarine and cream cheese until it is an even colour. Then sift in the icing sugar and work until the icing sugar is mixed in. Now it went incredibly runny at this stage until I add the melted white chocolate at which point it thickened up dramatically. Place in the fridge for 30 minutes to set again.
Place into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle and pipe a swirl of frosting on the cakes. Decorate with sugar pearls and white chocolate discs. My clients were big biscuit fans so I put half a jammy dodger on the top to create height and change up the toppings.
White Chocolate Discs
400g white chocolate
125g dark chocolate
Line a baking tray with 3 sheets of baking parchment.
Melt both of the chocolates, with the white chocolate in a bowl and then place the dark chocolate into a piping bag with no nozzle.
Spoon a tablespoon of the white chocolate onto the baking parchment – there is no need to draw circles or move the spoon in a circle shape, it naturally takes that shape. Repeat until the baking tray is filled with circles – you should fit about 12 on the tray.
Cut off a very small hole in the end of the piping bag and pipe any letters you want. Note that there are enough discs that there should be some spare for mistakes. If you do make a mistake, take a cocktail stick and marble the chocolate and decorate with sprinkles if you want. Any leftover dark chocolate can be drizzled over to create striped discs or just piped around the tray to create shapes.