Baking · Cakes

Lemon Drizzle Cake

Luscious lemon drizzle cake. Fluffy buttermilk sponge cake soaked with a lemon sugar syrup and drizzled with tangy lemon icing. Lemon dessert lovers, this cake recipe is for you! 

Lemon drizzle cake is a British classic. I’ve grown up enjoying this cake and it holds a special place in my heart. The cake is very popular here where it’s sold at most bakeries, tearooms and is commonly found on many afternoon tea menus. As much as I love this cake there are many recipes out there that are a tad bit lacklustre. I’ve tried a good few and often found them too dry or simply lacking a real lemon flavour punch. But this recipe is the exact opposite. It’s fresh, summery, lemony and lip-smacking good!

You know a bake is going to be good when the recipe starts with a whole big block of butter. I have a few secrets of how to make the best lemon drizzle cake. Firstly, I like to add just a touch of buttermilk to my cake batter. The tanginess from the buttermilk works really well with the lemon flavour and it helps keep the cake moist and fluffy for several days.

Another way I make my lemon drizzle cake differently, is I make my own lemon sugar. I’ve always liked vanilla or cinnamon sugar, but I would definitely say lemon sugar is my favourite out of the three. The sugar is super easy to make, all you have to do is rub the sugar and grated lemon zest with your fingertips. Doing this helps release the natural oil from the lemon and it really enhances the lemon flavour in your finished bake.

I’ve made this cake twice within the last week. With the first I thought I would freeze a few slices ready for when I fancied a piece of cake, but let’s just say those few slices of cake soon disappeared from the freezer and found their way onto my plate… 😉

This gorgeous cake is delicious served with a scoop or two of ice cream, clotted cream, yoghurt and fresh berries

Joseph Joseph

Making this cake also gave me the opportunity to test out the latest Joseph Joseph samples from their new range. I have always been a fan of the Joseph Joseph kitchenware. I particularly like the Shake It™ which comes with an integrated rocking handle and this cleverly stimulates the process of tapping the sieve with your other hand. I used it to sift the dry ingredients (flour and baking powder) into my cake and also to sift the icing sugar when I made my drizzle icing to decorate the cake. Whiskle™ which isn’t just your ordinary whisk as it has a silicone bowl scraper attached, which helps make sure you get every single bit of the batter into your cake tin and it also helps save time on washing up! The Fin™ works in the same way as it makes sure you can get every last bit of your cake batter into the cake tin so there no wastage. The Glaze™ can be used to brush the lemon sugar syrup over the cake, but I’m also looking forward to using it when I make homemade pastry or even for brushing vegetables or meat with oil before roasting.

Ingredients:

Lemon Cake:

250g unsalted butter or margarine, softened

250g caster sugar

Zest from 2 large lemons

4 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

275g self-raising flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

100ml buttermilk

Juice of 1 large lemon

Lemon Sugar Syrup:

150g caster sugar

Juice of 1 large lemon

50ml water

Lemon Drizzle Icing: 

100g icing (confectioners’) sugar

2 tablespoons lemon juice (add more less depending on your preferred consistency)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin with butter and parchment paper.
  2. In a small bowl combine the sugar and lemon zest. Using your fingertips, rub the sugar and zest together until combined.
  3. In a large mixing bowl beat together the softened butter/margarine with the lemon sugar until creamy and fluffy.
  4. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Make sure you scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are getting incorporated.
  5. Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl and beat again until just a few lumps of flour remain. Finally, add the buttermilk and lemon juice and mix again until they’re combined into the batter fully.
  6. Spoon the batter into the cake tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Bake the cake for 50 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining. All ovens are different so the cake may need 5-10 minutes longer in the oven. If the cake is colouring too much cover the top with a piece of tin/aluminium foil.
  7. Once the cake is baked completely, leave it on the side to cool for a few minutes. Meanwhile, make the lemon sugar syrup. Heat the sugar, lemon juice and water in a small saucepan. Stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Once dissolved, take off the heat. Poke holes all over the cake using a skewer, then pour the hot lemon sugar syrup all over the top of the cake. This step must be done when the cake is still warm. Now leave the cake to cool completely, then once cool remove from the tin.
  8. Make the lemon drizzle icing by sifting the icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add the lemon juice and mix until you have a thick, runny icing. Adjust the consistency to your preferred liking with less or more lemon juice. Drizzle the cake with the icing.

Recipe Notes:

  • The cake will keep for up to 1 week stored in an airtight container.
  • The drizzle icing is optional, but I think it really makes this cake!
  • This lemon drizzle cake is delicious served on its own, but we especially love it with a scoop or two of vanilla ice cream, clotted cream, some yoghurt and fresh berries.

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Baking · Cakes

Apple Crumb Cake

Classic Apple Crumb Cake. Layers of fluffy vanilla cake, cinnamon sugar apples and crumbly streusel topping. 

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Happy Monday everyone! And happy November! I can’t believe this time next month we’ll all be getting ready for Christmas. Don’t you feel like this year has just flown by? I am excited to share lots of festive bakes this December on the blog. To be honest I think I’ve been planning all my Christmas recipes since the summer! Anyone else guilty of doing this? 😉

Today I’m sharing this gorgeous apple crumb cake. It would be perfect paired with hot mug of coffee or tea to warm you up on a chilly autumn or winter day.

The reason I decided to bake this apple crumb cake is because my grandparents kindly gave me an entire box full of apples from a relative’s apple tree (the perks of being a food blogger!), and I promised to bake something in return.

When I started brainstorming some possible recipes to use the apples in, two autumnal bakes in particular sprung straight to mind. Apple cake and apple crumble are two firm favourite desserts of my family. This apple crumb cake combines the two desserts and is everything a great crumb cake should be. The best part about this cake is the generous thick streusel topping. So if you’re like me and really like streusel, I know you’ll enjoy this recipe a lot!

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Prior to baking the cake I tossed the sliced apples in cinnamon and sugar. The cinnamon adds a warm spiced flavour and makes this cake perfect for the time of year. Brilliant served at room temperature, but I really think it would also be great served warm with a scoop vanilla ice cream, clotted cream or custard. Talk about indulgence!

Oh and don’t forget to drizzle over caramel or toffee sauce! The sauce takes this cake over the top! Slice it up and enjoy for breakfast or dessert, if you’re looking for a new autumn-inspired cake recipe, then look no further! Give this cake a try, you’re going to love it.

(Serves 10-12)

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cake:

4 eating apples (such as Granny Smith for the best texture)

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

200g (7 ounces) unsalted butter or margarine, softened

275g (10 ounces) caster sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

4 free-range eggs, at room temperature and lightly beaten

300g plain flour (all-purpose), sifted

Crumb Topping:

125g (4 ounces) plain flour

50g (2 ounces) light or dark brown sugar

60g (2 and 1/2 ounces) unsalted butter, melted

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 160°C (140 fan), Gas Mark 3. Grease the sides and base of a 20.5cm springform or loose-bottomed cake tin liberally with butter.
  2. Peel and core the apples, then cut into 1/2 cm (1/4 inch) slices. Place the apple slices in a bowl and toss together with the cinnamon and 2 tablespoons of the weighed out sugar. Set aside.
  3. To make the cake: Cream the butter, remaining sugar and vanilla until fluffy and pale in colour. Gradually add the beaten egg bit by bit, whisking well after each addition. Add the flour and fold through until combined. The mixture will be very thick, just be careful not to over mix.
  4. Spread the cake batter out into the prepared cake tin. Now layer the apple slices evenly across the top. Press them down very slightly into the cake batter – discard any remaining juices the sliced apples have released.
  5. To make the crumb topping: Combine all the ingredients listed (melted butter, brown sugar and flour), and mix with a spatula or spoon until the mixture resembles large, damp crumbs. Scatter the crumbs over the top of the cake.
  6. Bake for 1½ – 1¾ hours, or until cake tester comes out clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.
  7. Once fully baked, allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10-15 minutes, then remove from tin and leave to cool completely on a wire rack. Serve warm or at room temperature. Dust with icing sugar before serving.

Recipe adapted from here

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This is the autumn dessert you’ve all been waiting for! Enjoy!

jess

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Baking · Cakes

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Sticky Toffee Pudding is a classic British dessert consisting of date sponge served with a sweet toffee sauce. Pudding doesn’t get much better than this! 

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I posted this recipe a while back when I had first started writing my blog. They’re one of my favourite desserts so I wanted to update and share the blog post once again because I love it so much! Sticky toffee pudding is a dessert you will make time and time again. I had previously baked these in celebration of Great British Pudding Week, my sister, Becky, took a look through my blog and requested I made these again over the weekend for a family dinner.

These gorgeous cakes are warm, sweet, sticky and drizzled with lots of homemade toffee sauce. Sticky toffee pudding is one of my most treasured childhood desserts. It’s got to that time of year where I think these kinds of comforting desserts should be eaten and enjoyed, especially desserts that come with lashings of warm homemade toffee sauce… 😉

Sticky toffee pudding is the epitome of food comfort on a cold afternoon or evening. The cake itself has to be eaten warm for you to experience its full glory and don’t skimp on the toffee sauce!

Ingredients:

Date Sponge Cake:

175g pitted dates, finely chopped

300ml (1/2 pint) boiling water

1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

50g softened butter, plus extra for greasing

175g caster or granulated sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large free-range eggs

210g self-raising flour, sifted

Toffee Sauce:

250g unsalted butter

300g soft brown sugar

400ml double cream

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(Makes 8)

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Lightly grease the sides of 8 x 200ml pudding basins or ramekins and line each the base with a small circle of parchment paper. Place on a large baking tray and set aside.

2. Place the dates along with the boiling water and bicarbonate of soda into a small mixing bowl and put to one side. Meanwhile in a large mixing bowl cream together the butter and sugar with the vanilla until light and fluffy.

3. Add the eggs one by one and beat until combined. Now sift in the flour and gently fold into the mix. Finally stir through the date mixture until it’s completely incorporated.

4. Divide the mixture between the pudding moulds, making sure you only fill then 2/3 of the way full. Then place back on the tray and bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean.

5. Whilst the puddings are cooking, this is a good time to make the sauce. Put the butter and sugar into a pan and melt, bring up to the boil and then simmer for 5 minutes making sure you stir from time to time. Add the cream and stir through.

6. When the puddings are cooked, remove gently from the pudding moulds using a small palette knife or butter knife – remember to remove to the circle of parchment paper from the bottom. To serve, pour the sauce over each pudding and serve with pouring or whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream and some chopped walnuts or toasted pecans.

Recipe Notes:

  • You can bake the puddings in advance, just like I did. Follow through to the end of step 4, then remove the cakes from the moulds, then allow to cool and once cooled completely wrap in clingfilm (plastic wrap) or store in an airtight container for up to 2-3 days – warm up either in the microwave or oven. They can also be frozen once baked for up to a month. Just thaw in the refrigerator overnight and then bake for about 5-10 minutes until warmed through.

Recipe from Food Network UK

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I like to use any leftover toffee sauce to dip into churros, top pancakes or drizzle over ice cream!

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Baking · Buttercream and Frosting · Cakes

Lemon Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream

Light and buttery lemon-scented cupcakes topped with fresh raspberry buttercream.

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I’m super excited to share this cupcake recipe over on the Laura Ashley blog! The Great British Bake Off is currently airing on TV here in the UK, I am absolutely loving it! There really is nothing more British than tea and cake!

I am thrilled to have been chosen along with three other amazing bloggers (Aimee, Catherine and Sara) to take part in The Great Blogger Bake Off! I’m full aware most bloggers are going crazy over pumpkin recipes right now, but it is still the summer and I’m taking full advantage of that! I made these cupcakes way back in the middle of the summer, they went down a treat with everyone who tried one and are one of my favourite cupcake recipes.

THE GREAT BLOGGER BAKE OFF

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I love dusting each cupcake with a little bit of icing sugar – they look prettier that way! 

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For my recipe on the Laura Ashley blog, I decided to bake some summery cupcakes. I love cupcakes, so it seemed the obvious choice! Each cake is swirled with fresh raspberry buttercream. The buttercream is seriously addictive, so much so you could probably eat it by the spoonful straight from the mixing bowl – I’m always guilty of doing this!

I use a classic sponge cupcake, there is nothing more British than sponge cake! It’s a brilliant cake, light, fluffy and buttery. And perfect in so many ways!

I added the zest from one lemon to my cupcake batter, the lemon has a beautiful light flavour and it works amazingly with the tart raspberry buttercream. I use a brilliant vanilla buttercream base, but I’ve added some homemade raspberry puree to the mix. It naturally colours the buttercream, giving it a pretty pink colour!

These cupcakes would make a brilliant and pretty tasty addition to an afternoon tea party. Paired with my Easy Homemade Lemonade they would be the ultimate treat!

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For my recipe I received these absolutely gorgeous cupcake cases and toppers from the new collection! Along with the beautiful floral pastry guide worktop saver. I’m excited to make lots of pastry and roll out biscuits on this!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Cupcakes:

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

150g (3/4 cup) caster or granulated sugar (superfine sugar)

3 free-range eggs, at room temperature

1 lemon, zest only

150g (1 and 1/4 cup) self-raising flour, sifted – be careful not to overmeasure – you can sub with 150g plain flour and 2 tsp baking powder

2-3 tbsp water or milk – water makes a lighter cake

Buttercream:

1 heaping cup (approx. 160g) fresh or frozen raspberries

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

300g (3 cups) icing sugar (confectioners’ sugar), sifted

1 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)

2-3 tablespoon milk or cream

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 200 °C / 400 °F / Gas Mark 6. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake liners and set aside.

2. To make the cupcakes: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light in colour and very fluffy – this will take 5 minutes. Make sure you stop the mixer halfway through creaming and using a rubber spatula scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to ensure even mixing.

3. Add eggs, one by one and mix to combine. Now fold in the flour – mix until just combined and no lumps of flour remain. Add the lemon zest along the milk or water to loosen the mixture slightly. Do not over mix!

4. Take an ice cream scoop and evenly distribute the cupcake batter between the cupcake liners. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out completely clean of any uncooked batter. Leave to cool in the tin for 5-10 minutes, then when cool enough to touch remove from the tin and transport to a wire rack to finish cooling completely.

5. To make the buttercream: Blitz the raspberries in a food processor or blender until pureed. Then pass through a fine mesh sieve into a small saucepan. Heat gently and reduce by about half – this will take approx. 3-5 minutes. Pour the thickened raspberry puree into a bowl and chill until cold.

6. Once the cupcakes are fully cooled make the buttercream. Add the softened butter to a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream on a medium speed for about a minute just to soften. Add the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla extract and mix together on a low speed (this is to avoid a sugar cloud!) until the butter and sugar has combined. Now turn up the speed to medium and cream for another 5 minutes – remember to stop the mixer and scrape down the sides and bottom of the mixing bowl. Once the buttercream is fluffy add the raspberry puree and double cream, and mix on low speed for another minute to combine.

7. To decorate: Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle. Fill the piping bag with the frosting. Pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake, then finish with a fresh raspberry and the beautiful cake toppers or any other decorations you like. Enjoy!

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Vote your favourite recipe here for the chance to win a baking bundle and a £100 voucher!

jess

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Baking · Cakes

Honey Walnut Cake

Delicately tender cake flavoured with cinnamon, fresh orange zest and chopped walnuts. Soaking with honey sugar syrup whilst still warm gives this cake its unique flavour and texture.

Recipe posted in August 2015, photos updated in May 2018. 

Matilda the Musical is running a bake off competition and we want you to get in the kitchen and bake something inspired by Matilda!

The prize for the competition is two tickets to Matilda the Musical, an afternoon tea at the Radisson Blu Edwardian and a night’s stay at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Mercer Street, London. To take part and have the chance to win, click here to go to the official site and find out more! #MatildaBakeOff

It’s great fun to be involved in this baking campaign with Matilda the Musical! So when I brainstormed some recipe ideas inspired by Matilda, I had many ideas of recipes that were influenced by the story. Some favourites like chocolate fudge cake sprung straight to my mind, but it was my sister who suggested I baked honey cake for this blog post. If you’ve read Matilda then you will know one of the main characters in the story is Miss Honey. So a honey cake seemed the perfect bake to choose!

This honey and walnut cake is wonderfully sweet with beautiful flavour from the cinnamon and orange zest and fantastic texture from the chopped walnuts added to the cake batter.

Now it’s your turn, so grab your apron and mixing bowl. It’s time to get baking and come along and join the Matilda Bake Off!

(Serves 10-12)

Ingredients:

Cake:

170g butter (salted or unsalted), softened

150g caster sugar

Zest from one large orange

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

120g plain flour

1 and 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

4 tablespoons milk

125g walnuts, chopped into small pieces

Honey Sugar Syrup: 

175g honey

100g caster sugar

90ml water

Squeeze of fresh orange juice (optional)

Method:

  1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line the base of a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper. Grease the base and sides of the tin well with butter and set aside.
  2. Mix together the sugar and orange zest until fragrant – doing this releases the natural oils in the orange. In a large mixing bowl cream the butter and orange sugar together until light and fluffy (this should take about 2-3 minutes).
  3. Now add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  4. Sift together the flour, baking powder and cinnamon and fold through along with the milk. Finally, fold through the walnuts.
  5. Transfer the cake batter to the cake tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until a cake tester when inserted into the centre of the cake comes out clean. leave the cake to cool in the tin for 15 minutes – in this time you can start preparing the honey sugar syrup for glazing the cake.
  6. To make the honey sugar syrup: Place the honey, sugar, water and orange juice in a small saucepan. Gently simmer for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Pour the syrup over the cake and leave the cake to cool completely, as it cools the syrup will soak into the cake.
  7. I recommend leaving this cake overnight as it allows the syrup to moisten the cake and the flavour will develop. Once ready to serve, slice up and serve with Greek yoghurt and fresh berries such as blackberries and raspberries.
  8. Cake will store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Recipe from All Recipes

greek honey cake recipe

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The best honey cake I recommend using an authentic Cypriot or Greek honey – pictured above is honey I brought back from a trip to Cyprus.

Enjoy!

jess

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Baking · Cakes

Perfect Vanilla Cupcakes

Light and fluffy vanilla cupcakes topped with a lush vanilla buttercream and sprinkles! The perfect bake for any occasion and a great recipe for anyone new to baking!

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It’s about time to share my favourite and fail-proof vanilla cupcake recipe on the blog! And when I say perfect I mean these are the BEST vanilla cupcakes I have ever made!

I baked some delicious vanilla cupcakes to ready celebrate my birthday later this weekend! I turn 19 this Sunday and it wouldn’t be a celebration without cake or sprinkles involved, right?! Vanilla cupcakes have always been one of my favourite bakes and this is a recipe adapted from childhood and it’s one I have been making with my mum since I first stepped into the kitchen.

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These are seriously fluffy and with a beautiful vanilla flavour. They’re not sickly sweet and have just the right balance of flavour, sweetness and deliciousness. If you’re a regular reader, then you will know how popular the simple and easy recipes are on this blog! I love my no-bake recipes or no-churn ice creams and now quick and easy cupcake recipes too!

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When you’re baking cakes or cupcakes you need to remember some important points for a successful bake. Below I’ve put together my top tips.

1. Always cream the butter and sugar for at least 5 minutes. You want the mixture to be really pale and airy with no big lumps of hard butter. I usually leave the butter out at room temperature overnight to soften. But I am also guilty of softening it in the microwave too!
2. Always bake with room temperature eggs. I experienced many baking fails before finally perfecting these cupcakes. Room temperature eggs will give your cupcakes a finer crumb and they will bake more evenly and quickly. To warm your eggs before baking, place the eggs in a bowl or glass of warm tap water for 5-10 minutes. This is a life-saving baking tip and it’ll save you a lot of frustration!
3. Remember to sift your flour – to avoid lumps of flour in your cupcake batter.
4. Always fold your dry ingredients into the batter. I love to use a rubber spatula to fold in the flour into this cupcake batter, this will stop you knocking any air out of the batter.
5. Test the doneness with a cake tester, this is the most precise way to check the cupcakes are completely cooked through. When the cake tester is inserted into the centre of the cupcake it should come out with no uncooked batter. This way you can guarantee they’re cooked fully!

I recently baked this vanilla cupcake recipe again and decorated the cupcakes with Cake Angels Blush sprinkles and individually hand-crafted Pastel Hydrangea – Flower Power royal icing sugar decorations. Both the sprinkles and royal icing sugar decorations make these cupcakes extra special!

(Makes 12)

Ingredients:

Vanilla Cupcakes:

150g unsalted butter, softened
150g caster or granulated sugar
3 medium or large free-range eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
150g self-raising flour, sifted (this can substituted with 150g of plain flour + 2 teaspoons baking powder)

Vanilla Buttercream:

150g unsalted butter, softened
300g icing sugar, sifted
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2-3 tablespoons double cream or milk

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 180°C / 160°C Fan / 350°F / Gas Mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 cupcake cases and set aside.

2. To make the cupcakes: Beat the softened butter with the sugar until fluffy and smooth. Add the eggs one by one along with the vanilla and mix until incorporated – at this point the batter will look like it’s curdled, however once you’ve added the flour it will come together.

3. Now fold through the flour and mix until no lumps of flour remain. Add enough milk to loosen the mixture slightly – approx. 3-4 tablespoons of milk will do.

4. Evenly divide the cupcake batter between the cupcake cases. Bake the cupcakes for 15-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean without any uncooked batter remaining. Leave the baked cupcakes to cool in the tin for a 5-10 minutes, then carefully remove the cupcakes from the tin and transport to a wire rack and allow the cupcakes to cool completely to room temperature.

5. To make the buttercream: Once the cupcakes are fully cooled make the buttercream. Cream the softened butter for a minute or two to soften. Add the sifted icing sugar and the vanilla extract and beat gently together until the butter and sugar has combined. Now continuing creaming for another 2-3 minutes until the buttercream is a light pale colour. Now add the double cream or milk and beat until combined fully.

6. To decorate the cupcakes: Fit a large disposable piping bag with your favourite nozzle. Fill the piping bag with the frosting, pipe even swirls on the top of each cupcake, then finish decorating with sprinkles. If you don’t want to pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes, you can spread the buttercream onto each cupcake using a small palette knife.

Recipe Notes:

  • Baking time will depend on your oven. This recipe recommends 18-20 minutes, but  different ovens may cause the baking time to differ slightly.
  • This cupcake recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to make more.
  • For the frosting I like to add a few tablespoons of double (heavy) cream. The cream makes the frosting lighter and it will have a creamier texture. If preferred, you can substitute with milk, but please note that frosting will not have a such a creamy texture.
  • The frosted cupcakes will keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days.
  • With the frosting you can add a few drops of your favourite food colouring. Add a touch of red for a pink colour or blue!

perfect vanilla cupcakes

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Baking · Cakes · Cupcakes

Wimbledon Cupcakes

Delicious Wimbledon Cupcakes. Fluffy sponge cupcakes filled with cream, strawberries and passionfruit.

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To celebrate the start of Wimbledon (in a couple of weeks!) I thought I would share one of my favourite cupcake creations. The Wimbledon cupcake is pretty delicious. Classic, easy-to-make sponge cupcakes are filled with whipped cream, tart passionfruit and fresh sliced strawberries. They make the ultimate summer treat and are a BIG hit with anyone who tries them!

These are a treat to eat! Once you’ve devoured one, you will almost certainly go back for another!

This recipe is my contribution to a baking/blogging competition the ‘Wimbledon Bake-Off’ with Ralph Lauren. These gorgeous little cakes would be perfect to make and serve at a Wimbledon-inspired party or afternoon tea. Like most my bakes, they’re quick + easy to make, require minimal effort, look the part and most of all, they taste delicious.

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They not only look chic, but these cupcakes taste extremely beautiful with very light flavours. They could also be filled with jam as well as the cream and fruit. I love filling these little cakes with buttercream and raspberry jam or lemon curd.

I hope you enjoy the recipe as much as we do!


 

(Makes 10 Cupcakes)

Ingredients –

150g (2/3 cup) unsalted butter, softened

150g (3/4 cup) caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 large free-range eggs

150g (1 + 1/4 cups) self-raising flour, sifted

2-3 tbsp milk or water, enough to loosen the cupcake mixture

Filling –

300ml (1 + 1/4 cups) double cream, whipped to soft peaks

2 ripe passion fruits, pulp only

1 dessert spoon icing sugar, sifted (optional)

200g of fresh strawberries, sliced

Method-

1. Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C / 160 C fan / Gas Mark 4. Cream the butter and sugar together until really light and fluffy.

2. Then beat the eggs in one by one along with the vanilla.

3. Fold in the flour and add enough milk to loosen the mixture a little.

4. Divide the mixture between 10 cupcake cases and then bake in the oven for 20 minutes.

5. Once a cake tester comes out clean then the cupcakes are ready to take out the oven. Leave to cool in the cupcake tin and then transport onto a wire rack until the cupcakes are completely cool.

6. Make the passion fruit cream filling by whipping the double cream until small peaks have formed.

7. To assemble each cupcake, cut the cupcake in half, then fill with the cream, drizzle over the passionfruit pulp and then place the strawberries on top of the cream and top with the other half of the cupcake.

Finish with a dusting of icing sugar and then enjoy! I also piped a little extra cream on the top of each cupcake and decorate with a strawberry slice!

 

Original recipe posted June 2013. 

 


 

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Happy baking!

jess

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Baking · Buttercream and Frosting · Cakes · Chocolate · Cupcakes

Vanilla Sponge Cupcakes with White Chocolate Buttercream – Laura Ashley Blog Feature

I’m featuring these cute cupcakes over at the Laura Ashley blog! They’re perfect for Easter, kids will have so much fun baking them and decorating with all the chocolate and sweets!

cupcakes laura ashley feature

I’m so happy to be working with the Laura Ashley blog again. It’s such a beautiful and luxurious British company and I’m a frequent buyer of their products. These cute cupcake cases and bunny ear toppers are so perfect for any Easter celebration.

I decided to keep the recipe simple and share a classic sponge cupcake. They’re light, super buttery and this recipe never lets me down – I’ve been making these sponge cakes since I was tiny with my mum so it’s a recipe that’s very close to me. I’ve topped each cupcake with a swirl of the most divine white chocolate buttercream. These cupcakes are always a massive hit with anyone who tries one – they always go down a storm with my taste testers! I will definitely be making these again and again over Easter!  They would also make a brilliant tasty addition to an Easter-inspired afternoon tea party!

easter egg 1

As well as baking with the cute cupcake cases and bunny ear toppers I also received some gorgeously delicious Easter mini chocolate eggs. They’re extremely tasty too and would be great to decorate and top each cupcake with! I really love the cupcake stand from the Laura Ashley blog too – it’s pretty and the perfect reminder of springtime!

Makes 10-12 cupcakes –

Vanilla Sponge Cupcakes –

150g of unsalted butter, softened

150g of sugar – you can light brown or granulated/caster

1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

3 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

150g of self-raising flour, sifted

2-4 tbsp of water or milk, enough to loosen the cake batter

White Chocolate Buttercream –

150g of unsalted butter, must be really softened

250-300g of icing sugar, sifted

1 tsp of vanilla extract or 1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste

150g of white chocolate, melted and cooled slightly  

2-3 tbsp of milk or double cream

Decoration –

Bunny easter cupcake cases and ear toppers, to bake and decorate with

White chocolate chips or curls

Mini chocolate easter eggs

Method –

1. To make the cupcakes: Preheat your oven to 180 degrees C Fan / 200 degrees C / 400 F / Gas mark 6. Line your cupcake tin with the paper liners and set aside.

2. In a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a wooden spoon cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. This will take about 5 minutes (a lot of elbow grease!). Then beat in the eggs one by one. Add the flour and fold in gently to combine fully. Loosen the batter with water or milk and then evenly distribute into the cupcake cases. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean of any uncooked batter. Allow to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then remove and leave to cool on a wire rack.

3. For the white chocolate buttercream: In stand mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment. Cream the butter, icing sugar together – starting on low speed until it’s just combined. Then gradually turn the speed up and cream for a further 5-7 minutes until light and extremely creamy. Add the melted and now cooled white chocolate along with the milk or cream and beat until smooth for another few seconds.

4. To decorate: Fit a piping bag with your favourite nozzle – I used my favourite Wilton large star tip. Fill the piping bag with your buttercream. Pipe swirls onto the top of each cupcake, then finish decorating with easter chocolate or sprinkles you like!

easter cupcakes pretty

easter cupcake la recipe

la bits n bobs for baking

(Photo from lauraashley.com) Buy some of these baking goodies and try these delicious cupcakes just in time for Easter! 

Enjoy the recipe everyone! Wishing you all a beautiful Easter and brilliant weekend!

jess

Baking · Cakes · Cupcakes

Sticky Toffee Pudding Cupcakes {The Great Denby Cake-Off}

I’ve always LOVED sticky toffee pudding, but I wanted to give this classic recipe a twist. So I decided to make a cupcake, perfect for a afternoon tea. This recipe is everything quintessentially British, it’s sweet, sticky and scrumptious. If you’ve never tried it before, then you’re seriously missing out!

This recipe came about because last weekend I received a lovely email from Denby regarding a competition called the ‘Cake-Off‘. If you didn’t know already, Denby is an English pottery company, they create the most beautiful and mesmerising bowls, plates and different crockery that is high-quality and simply stunning. The Cake Off is to celebrate the current series of the GBBO (Great British Bake Off), which is airing in the UK at the moment. So when I read the email, asking me to take part, I jumped at the chance! So here is my bake, which I hope you will all love!

sticky toffee cupcakes

cupcakes denby

These cupcakes are fun, sweet and look super cute! They’re are just as good as the classic and are perfectly moist, molasses-y, sweet and melt in the mouth good. I’ve also created a toffee buttercream, which again is totally addictive, I could easily eat it by the spoonful…

The recipe would be perfect for any afternoon tea spread, I love to decorate with fudge cubes and even more sauce! The sauce compliments the sponge and adds a little bit extra indulgence!

plate cake off

denby cake off recipe

Ingredients- (Makes 12 Cupcakes)

150g of pitted dates

70g of unsalted butter, softened

150g of light brown sugar

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

1/2 tsp of vanilla bean paste or 1 tsp of pure vanilla extract

150g of self-raising flour, sifted

1 tsp of bicarbonate of soda

Toffee Sauce- 

115g of unsalted butter, cubed

115g of light brown sugar

140ml of double cream

Toffee Buttercream-

100g of unsalted butter, soft

150g of icing sugar, sifted

4-5 tbsp of homemade toffee sauce or readymade dulce de leche (caramel)

Method-

1. To make the cupcakes: Soak the dates in 150ml of boiling water for 20 minutes. Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla together for 5 minutes, until really light and fluffy. Then add the eggs, one by one and mix on a low speed until just combined. Then add the flour and mix until there no are lumps of flour left and the cake mixture is smooth. Break up the dates in the water and add all the date liquid/mixture to the batter.

2. Scoop evenly into 12 cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 minutes at 180 degrees C Fan until nice and golden and make sure a cake tester comes out completely clean. Once cooked, cool in the tin for a few minutes, then carefully remove and cool fully on wire rack.

3. For the toffee sauce: Make the toffee sauce by placing the butter, sugar and cream in a saucepan, heat gently and stir until all the sugar has dissolved. Then carefully pour into a bowl and place into the fridge until needed (chill for at least an hour before making the buttercream.)

4. For the buttercream: In a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the icing sugar with the softened butter for 5 minutes or until really pale and fluffy. Then on a low speed add your desired amount of toffee sauce- don’t add too much as you don’t want the icing to be too runny. Fill a piping bag fitted with your favourite nozzle (I used a small open star-tip) and pipe the buttercream onto the cupcakes.

Finish with chopped walnuts or fudge pieces and make sure you serve each cupcake with extra sauce!

cake off recipe

Have a great weekend everyone!

jess

Baking · Cakes · Chocolate

Chocolate Fudge Cake

Chocolate fudge cake decorated with a layer of velvety dark chocolate ganache. 

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Originally posted in July 2014, recipe and photographs updated May 2018.

It’s taken me four years to update this much-loved chocolate cake of mine. I’ve trialled several more chocolate cake recipes since then and now I’ve found this new recipe, which my taste testers and I absolutely love.

The original recipe I shared was a two-layer cake, the top of the cake was garnished with fresh raspberries and the sides decorated with milk and white chocolate biscuit fingers.

However, since then I’ve wanted to share an updated recipe with easier and minimalist decoration, with focus purely on the taste.

This recipe is from SWEET by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh. Just like my favourite Chocolate Fudge Brownies, this cake has both dark chocolate and cocoa powder added for intense chocolate flavour and if there wasn’t enough chocolate already in the cake, there’s also a dark chocolate ganache spread on the top of the cake.

Ingredients:

Chocolate Fudge Cake: 

250g butter (salted or unsalted), at room temperature and cut into 2cm cubes

200g dark chocolate, cut into 2cm pieces

1 and 1/2 teaspoons instant coffee granules (optional)

350ml boiling water – this is for dissolving the coffee

250g caster sugar

2 large free-range eggs, at room temperature

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

240g self-raising flour

30g cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon salt – only add this if using unsalted butter

Chocolate Ganache:

200g dark chocolate, cut into 2cm pieces

200ml double cream

1 tablespoon golden syrup

1 tablespoon butter (salted or unsalted)

Method:

1. To make the cake: Preheat oven to 170°C / 150°C Fan / 325°F / Gas Mark 3. Grease and line a 23cm springform cake tin with parchment paper and set aside.

2. Place the cubed butter and chopped chocolate in a large mixing bowl. Pour over the hot coffee (1 and 1/2 teaspoons of instant coffee granules dissolved in 350ml of boiling water) and whisk until melted.

3. Now whisk in the sugar until it’s all dissolved. In a smaller bowl beat together the eggs and vanilla extract until combined. Add the egg and vanilla mixture to the chocolate mixture and whisk until incorporated.

4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt (only use if using unsalted butter). Add the dry ingredients to the chocolate mixture and whisk until thoroughly combined. The batter will be liquid, don’t worry as this is how it should be. Bake the cake for 60 minutes or until the cake is risen and a cake tester comes out clean or with a few dry crumbs attached when inserted into the centre of the cake – my cake took an extra 10 minutes to finish completely baking. The top of the cake will crack, but once you’ve covered the top of the cake in ganache you won’t notice this.

5. Leave the cake to cool for 20 minutes, then carefully remove it from the tin, peel off the piece of parchment paper off the bottom and leave it cool completely on a wire rack.

6. To make the ganache: Place the chopped chocolate in a medium mixing bowl. Heat the cream and golden syrup in a small saucepan until bubbles just begin to appear on the surface and just before it starts to come up to the boil. Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and stir with a spatula or wooden spoon until mostly melted. Now add the butter and continue to stir until smooth. Directly place a piece of clingfilm on the top of the ganache and leave it at room temperature for about two hours until spreadable.

7. Using a spatula or palette knife, spread the ganache on the top of the cake. Serve the cake with pouring or whipped cream, ice cream and fresh raspberries and strawberries. Cake will store covered at room temperature for 4-5 days. 

Recipe from SWEET by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh

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