Perfect Vanilla Bean Buttermilk Cupcakes

Today’s recipe is going back to basics. The classic vanilla cupcake. No-fuss, simple and delicious. You can’t beat them, seriously moreish, scrummy and satisfying. And if I’ve not mentioned already, my most favourite cupcake flavour, this classic wins hands down for me. My vanilla cupcake recipe is super moist, buttery and you will definitely be going back for seconds and making this recipe again and again! These cupcakes prove the simple pleasures in life are always the best, especially when covered in lots of buttercream!…

cupcakes vanilla bean

Light, buttery are just a couple of words I could use to describe these amazing cupcakes. The buttermilk really is my secret ingredient, it adds a certain lightness and makes each and every bite melt in your mouth. 

vanillla cupcake

cupcake vanilla

Ingredients- (Makes 12-14 cupcakes)

Buttermilk Cupcakes- 

200g of unsalted butter, softened 

200g of caster sugar

1 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or seeds from one vanilla pod

3 large free-range eggs, at room temp

200g of self-raising flour, sifted

1/4 tsp of salt (omit if using salted butter)

1/2 cup (half a 284ml carton) of buttermilk, well shaken

 

Best Ever Vanilla Bean Buttercream (This is my stand-by buttercream, it’s so amazing, really simple to make and is great fun to swirl onto cupcakes!)

125g of unsalted butter, softened

250g of icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

 

Method- 

1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C Fan. Line a 12-hole cupcake tin with paper liners.

2. To make the buttermilk cupcakes: In a stand mixer add the butter, sugar and vanilla and cream on medium speed for 2-3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and beat in. Add the flour and salt and gently fold in along with the buttermilk. Mix until you have a smooth batter. Scoop into the cupcake liners (I use an ice-cream scoop for this, makes the job 100x easier!).

3. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean, the cupcakes are well risen and starting to colour a little. Once cooked cool in the tins for 10 minutes, the remove and place on a wire rack to cool completely.

4. For the buttercream: Add the butter, icing sugar and vanilla to your stand mixer. Starting on low speed (to avoid covering yourself in sugar!) cream the mix together. Then turn the speed up to medium and allow to cream for an additional 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, the buttercream will be super pale and very light!

5. To decorate: Fit a piping bag with your favourite nozzle. Fill the bag with your buttercream icing. Pipe swirls onto each cupcake, the finish by decorating with sprinkles of your choice! ENJOY!

cupcakes sprinkles

These cupcakes are really absolutely perfectly for any occasion! Pile high with any of your most favourite sprinkles! 

pretty cupcakes

Enjoy the recipe guys!

jess

Chocolate Honeycomb Crunch Donuts {Baked Recipe}

Happy Friday! For me there’s no better or tastier way to celebrate the weekend than by baking and eating donuts! So today I’m sharing a delicious vanilla baked donut with a twist. This donut is on totally new level, it’s covered in the best, decadent and rich dark chocolate ganache and then sprinkled with chocolate coated honeycomb. This is my ‘perfect’ donut, it’s super chocolatey and really easy to make! The only bad thing about this recipe is it’s seriously hard to stop at just one!

donuts honeycomb

donut recipe easy

Tell me your not craving one these right now? 

donut honeycomb recipe

Ingredients- Recipe adapted from Sally’s Baking Addiction 

(Makes 8 donuts) 

For the donuts- 

1 cup of plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 large egg
1/3 cup of light brown sugar
1/4 cup of milk
1/4 cup of Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, melted
1/4 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

Chocolate Ganache glaze- 

1/2 cup of dark chocolate chips
2 tablespoons of unsalted butter
2 teaspoons of golden syrup or corn syrup

Honeycomb decoration- 

50g of chocolate coated honeycomb- crushed or crumbled, for sprinkling 

Method-

1. For the donuts: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 350 F. Lightly spray/grease a donut tin with non-stick spray and set aside.

2. In a large bowl combine all the dry ingredients (the flour, baking powder, soda and nutmeg) and mix together.

3. In another bowl add all the wet ingredients (egg, brown sugar, milk, yogurt, butter & vanilla paste) and whisk together until well combined. Add the wet mixture to the dry and fold in until well incorporated. Be careful not to over mix!

4. Spoon the donut mix into the donut pan, fill up to 2/3 of the way up. Bake for 9-10 minutes until very lightly golden. Remove from the pans and cool. Repeat with the remaining batter.

5. For the glaze: In a small heatproof bowl, add the chocolate chips, butter, syrup and 2 tsp of water. Melt in the microwave on medium for 20 second intervals until all the chocolate has melted and the whole mixture is smooth.

6. To decorate: Take each donut, drop into the bowl of glaze. Use a fork to lift out and place on a baking tray or wire rack lined with baking paper. Sprinkle over the crumbled honeycomb pieces. Then eat and enjoy!

donuts easy recipe

Happy Weekend!

jess

Soft M&M Choc Chip Halloween Cookies

Happy Monday everyone! For today’s recipe, I’ve taken my favourite soft-batch chocolate chip cookies and added some festive Halloween M&M’s. These cookies need to be at the top of your Halloween baking list, they’re super duper easy to make, taste so good and a spookily great for your Halloween celebrations! They’re thick, chewy, soft, colourful and fun and a definite must bake!

m&m halloween cookies

cookies halloween

These cookies are so good! They’re almost too good, I found it super hard to stop eating the cookie dough! It was ah-mazing! 

These cookies are for sure the softest, chewiest, most deliciously tasty cookies I’ve ever eaten! They are SERIOUSLY good! The combination of colours are bright, funky and very fun which I absolutely love! Plus, like my other Halloween recipes this recipe is totally adaptable, add chocolate chunks in place of choc chips, add candy corns (I know those are super popular!) or any of your other favourite Halloween sweets/candy or sprinkles!

cookies halloween 2014

These would be great to hand out at the door for any little trick or treaters!

Makes 15 large cookies (recipe adapted from Averie Cooks)

Ingredients-

3/4 cup of unsalted butter, softened

3/4 cup of light brown sugar

1/4 cup of caster sugar

1 medium free-range egg

1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

2 cups of plain flour, sifted

1/4 cup of corn flour

1 tsp of baking powder

3/4 cup of milk chocolate chips

3/4 of M&M’s – save half for decorating top of cookies

Method-

1. Place the butter, sugar and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream in a medium speed for 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat in to fully incorporate.

2. Gently fold in the flour, corn flour and baking powder and mix until no lumps remain. Then add the chocolate chips and half the M&M’s and mix through fully.

3.  Line two baking trays with non-stick paper. Take 1/4 cup or tbsp measurement and shape the cookie dough into balls. Place on the tray and complete the with the remaining cookie dough. (Place half the cookies on each tray.)

4. Press in the remaining M&M’s and then place in the fridge for 2 hours or overnight. Bake off at 180 degrees C Fan/ 350 F for 10-12 minutes. Once cooked cool on trays for 5 minutes then enjoy with a glass of milk or as part of an ice-cream sandwich.

5. The cookies will remain fresh for up to a week kept in an airtight container. You can also, freeze the cookie dough for up to 6 months and bake off whenever you like or keep it in the fridge inside a container for up to 5 days.

cookies for halloween

Enjoy and have a great week everyone!

jess

Spooky Ghost Cupcakes

With a Halloween just around the corner, I thought it would be super fun to start sharing a couple of my most favourite and decorative Halloween-inspired tasty treats! So today I’m sharing this scarily easy recipe for Spooky Ghost Cupcakes. The recipe and design is so simple and easily do-able and they look so amazing and scary! These are great for a children’s halloween parties, everyone will go crazy over them! A definite crowd-pleaser recipe you need to try to celebrate!

spooky cupcakes for halloween

This recipe is super adaptable, use any of your favourite cupcake recipes, chocolate, vanilla, marble… My carrot cake cupcakes would work well with the icing. The design for these cupcakes is so simple, I take a homemade cream cheese icing, pipe the icing onto each cupcake, then finish with chocolate chips to create the distinctive ghost features! It’s really fun, and easy and would be a great recipe for kids to make ready for Halloween!

cakes for halloween

How scarily good do these look?!  

Ingredients- (Makes 8-10 cupcakes)

125g of unsalted butter, really soft 

125g of caster sugar

2 large free-range eggs

1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

125g of self-raising flour

20g of cocoa powder

Cream Cheese Icing-

50g of unsalted butter, softened 

300g of icing sugar, sifted

125g of cream cheese, cold 

Chocolate chips, to decorate

Method- 

1. For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C Fan. Line a cupcake tin with paper cases.

2. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until really pale and fluffy- about 2-3 minutes in a stand mixer. Add the eggs and mix until incorporated. Then sift in the flour and cocoa powder and gently fold in to mix through fully. Distribute the mixture between the cupcake cases and then bake for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean and the cakes are nice and risen.

3. Once cooked, cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and place on a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

5. For the cream cheese icing: Beat the butter and icing sugar until it is well combined. Then add the cream cheese all in one go, beat on medium speed for 5 minutes. Place the mixture in a piping bag, then pipe circular swirls onto each cupcake. Finish with the chocolate chips, two for the eyes and one for the mouth!

spooky ghost cupcakes

Enjoy everyone!

jess

Butternut Squash, Caramelised Onion & Feta Galette

With Autumn in full swing now, the mornings are nippy and crisp and the days are getting shorter. This means one thing to me. Comfort food. I really do LOVE this time of year, the main reason is because I get to indulge in many new seasonal and delicious sweet and savoury foods, from my favourite classic sticky toffee puddings to an amazingly good bowlful of warming soup, this season offers something delicious for everyone.  So, today I’m sharing my first ever galette recipe, which really excites me because I’m kind of in love with galettes. They’re beautifully structured with rustic crumbly pastry and are completely packed full of flavour! For my recipe, encased in the pastry is roasted butternut squash cooked in an array of different herbs, then I’ve added caramelised garlic onions and crumbled feta and parmesan. This galette is sure to become your favourite Autumnal weeknight dinner!

galette

The combination of flavours all work hand in hand. You get bursts of sweetness, saltiness and many delicious hints from the aromatic mix of herbs. It’s so good, you will definitely find it hard to resist going back again for another slice!

galette recipe

Ingredients- 

Pastry- 

1 1/4 cups of plain flour

1/2 cup of unsalted butter, cold and cut into cubes

1 tsp of salt

3-4 tbsp of cold water

Galette Fillings-

50g of feta, crumbled into pieces

20g of freshly grated parmesan

Herby Butternut Squash- 

1 medium butternut squash, diced  (Approx. 500g)

2 tbsp of olive oil

1 tbsp of each, thyme, fresh sage, chives, roughly chopped 

Caramelised Onions- 

2 medium red onions, finely sliced

2 cloves of garlic, roughly chopped 

25g of unsalted butter

1 tbsp of olive oil

Method- 

1. To make the pastry: In a stand mixer, fitted with a paddle attachment, add the flour, salt and butter, On a medium speed, mix until the mixture resembles fine crumbs. Then add the water and mix until a soft dough comes to together. Wrap in cling film and place in the fridge for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

2. For the butternut squash: Preheat your oven to 200 degrees C Fan. Line a baking tray with non-stick paper. Add the diced squash, drizzle over the oil, season and bake for 30-35 minutes or until soft and starting to colour (half way through add the chopped mixed herbs). Whilst the squash is cooking, caramelise the onions. Melt the butter and oil on a medium heat, add the onions  and garlic and cook down slowly for 20 minutes. Once both the squash and onions and are cooked, set aside to cool.

3. Once the pastry has been chilled, lightly flour a work surface. Roll the pastry out to a diameter of 12 inches. Then sprinkle half the parmesan over the base, top with the butternut squash and onions. Then crumble over the feta. Then fold the galette, bring the sides up slightly and pinch to form a rustic crust- the more rustic the better in my opinion!

4. Glaze with 1 beaten egg yolk, then scatter over the remaining parmesan. Bake at 200 degrees C Fan for 25-30 minutes or until golden. Serve warm or cool with balsamic rocket salad. Enjoy!

galette recipe

This galette is absolute perfection. Crispy, buttery pastry which will melt in your mouth. Each slice is indescribably tasty and the recipe has become a firm favourite of mine! I cannot wait to make it again…

galette with thyme parmesan

Enjoy the recipe everyone!

jess

Homemade English Muffins

Homemade English muffins have been down on ‘must bake’ list for absolutely ages now, so I finally bit the bullet and decided to make my own for the blog. These delightful, yeasted soft buttery buns (bread muffins) are the perfect weekend breakfast treat smothered in salty butter and jam or topped with crispy proscuitto and a fried egg and finished off with a good drizzle of homemade hollandaise. UNBELIEVABLY GOOD. The recipe couldn’t be simpler to make, and once you’ve tried the homemade version you will never go to the supermarket to buy these ever again! They will definitely make your Saturday or Sunday morning 100x better than usual and ALOT tastier! Enjoy!

homemade english muffins

english muffins

Above shows the muffins after the second proving and below is the finished muffin all golden and baked. 

english muffins recipe

eggs benedict

Ingredients- (Recipe adapted slightly from abeautifulmess) 

2 1/4 cups of strong white bread flour

1/2 tbsp of caster sugar

3/4 tsp of salt

1 tbsp/30g of unsalted butter, cold

1 1/4 tsp of fast-action dried yeast

1/4 cup of luke warm water

3/4 of cup of milk

Toppings- 

Eggs, fried or poached 

6-8 thin slices of proscuitto or pancetta

Hollandaise sauce- (I found the recipe here)

Method- 

1. Combine the yeast, water and a small pinch of sugar in a small mixing bowl. Mix to dissolve and then set aside until frothy- approx. 4-5 minutes.

2. In a stand mixer, fitted with the dough hook attachment add the flour, sugar, salt and cold butter. Mix on low speed until well combined and all the butter has been incorporated.

3. Add the frothy yeast mixture and milk and continue mixing until a soft dough comes together. Then knead for 6 minutes in or for 10 minutes by hand until the dough is well elasticated and springs back to the touch.

4. Place in a lightly oiled bowl and cover with a damp tea towel. Leave somewhere warm until doubled in size (about 60-90 minutes). Once doubled in size, shape into 6 equal balls. Line and dust a large baking tray with polenta or semolina. Place the balls of dough onto the tray, flatten down a little with the palm of your hand to get the traditional shape.

5. Cover the tray and leave to rise until doubled in size for another hour. Once doubled in size, gently heat a regular frying pan, griddle pan or cast iron skillet on medium heat. Add 1tsp of oil and fry/toast off batches of the dough- I do 3 at a time so the pan heat isn’t reduced. Once lightly browned on each side, place back on the baking tray. Bake for an additional 10-12 minutes at 190 degrees C Fan. Then leave to cool on a wire rack.

To serve, slice in half and toast. Spread over butter, your favourite jam, Nutella or peanut butter. But the best way is to top with a few rashers of crispy bacon or proscuitto and then a fried egg just like I did!

 

yolk eggs benedict

Look at that oozy egg yolk, looks delicious right?

Happy Saturday everyone! 

jess

Chocolate Malt Marble Cake with Nutella Icing

This cake is almost certainly one of my most favourite cakes! What’s not to LOVE about swirly marble cake, layered with the best chocolate-y and hazelnut-y Nutella buttercream icing and then completely covered in delicious chocolate malt balls?! The cake looks absolutely mouthwatering, but when you slice in you will transfixed by the stunning, but simply effective marble design. This is the cake and recipe for all self-confessed chocoholics! Enjoy!

malt cake recipe

malteasers

The Nutella icing is super dreamy and totally addictive within itself. It’s the kind of icing you could easily shoval into your mouth by the spoonful without a problem.

I could easily write a 5000 word essay about how GREAT this cake is, but I think the pictures are pretty self explanatory. Full of all unique textures, you get soft and buttery cake swirled with chocolate and vanilla deliciousness, then an amazing crunch from the malt balls! DELISH.

malt marble cake

cake

Ingredients- 

Marble Cake- 

200g of unsalted butter, softened

200g of light brown sugar or caster sugar

1 tsp of vanilla bean paste or pure vanilla extract

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature 

200g of self-raising flour, sifted  (or the same of plain flour with 1 tsp of baking powder)

25g of good cocoa powder, sifted

Nutella Buttercream Icing- 

150g of unsalted butter, softened 

200-250g of icing sugar, sifted

2-3 tbsp of Nutella

Decoration-

Chocolate malt balls (and lots!)- I used about two standard packets

Method- 

1. The cake: Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until really light and fluffy (approx. 4-5 minutes). Then on low speed, mix through the eggs. Then fold in the flour and mix until there are no lumps remaining. Then take out about 1/3 of the cake mixture and place into a small mixing bowl. To this mix add the cocoa powder and mix together fully.

2. Dollop alternate spoonfuls of the cake mixture between the two regular sized cake tins. Then swirl together using a skewer or a butter knife until marbled. Bake at 160 degrees C Fan for 25-30 minutes until fully cooked and cake tester comes out completely clean. Once cooked cool in the tins, then remove and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

3. To make the Nutella buttercream:  In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, cream the butter and icing sugar with the vanilla for 5 minutes. Then add the Nutella and mix through.

4. To decorate: Spread a little of the icing on your cake stand/plate. Then secure one cake onto stand/plate. Spread a thin layer of the buttercream onto the half. Then sandwich together with the other cake half. Now cover the entire outside of the cake with the remaining buttercream. Then decorate with the chocolate malt balls- you can cover the whole cake with the chocolate balls or just pile the top high if you prefer.

5. Serve up and enjoy! (The cake will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days).

 

 

Enjoy and have a great week guys! 

jess