Pick n’ mix cupcakes

I decorated these cupcakes with Pic n’ Mix, hence the name. The icing does not look too great, I was in a rush and did not take much care, but I promise they taste delicious!

Ingredients for the cake mix

  • 200g butter (I use Stork)
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 200g self raising flour
  • 4 eggs
  • Splash of milk
  • Tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tbsp raspberry or strawberry jam

Ingredients for the icing

  • 150g softened butter
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 2tsp raspberry or strawberry jam
  • Pick n’ mix sweets to decorate

Method

  1. Beat the butter and sugar together until combined
  2. Add the eggs one at a time and beat into the mixture
  3. Add the flour and beat well
  4. Add the vanilla essence and jam, add milk if the mixture is too dry
  5. Spoon the mix into cupcake cases and bake for 15 minutes for so at 180 degrees, until the cakes are golden and bounce back when you touch them
  6. Allow the cakes to cool and then for the icing beat the butter and icing sugar until combined well
  7. Add the vanilla essence and jam, this should give the icing a pink colour. Feel free to add food colouring if you wish
  8. Pipe the icing onto the cakes and add the pick n’ mix sweets

Key Lime Pie

Fruity and zesty deserts are my favourite. So, following a big mexican meal, I decided to try my hand at a Key Lime Pie, I don’t mean to blow my own trumpet, but it was delicious!

Ingredients

  • 200g ginger biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • Zest and juice of 4 limes
  • 50g golden caster sugar
  • 3 egg yolks
  • Can of carnation condensed milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees
  2. Crush the biscuits until they resemble breadcrumbs
  3. Melt the butter and add this to the breadcrumbs, mix well and then put this at the bottom of your pie dish to make the biscuit base, bake for 15 minutes and allow to cool
  4. Put the sugar, lime zest, juice and yolks into a mixing bowl and mix well
  5. Add your condensed milk and continue to beat
  6. Pour the mix onto your biscuit base and bake for 20 minutes
  7. The pie should be set, with a slight wobble in the middle
  8. Allow to cool and decorate with lime slices or whipped double cream

It is so quick and easy, but so delicious. The pale green pie colour is beautiful too.

Honey and Walnut Loaf

I love loaf cakes because you can just mix them up and throw them in the loaf tin. They are fairly straight forward to make and this one requires no icing, so it is minimum effort for maximum taste!

Ingredients

  • 190g butter
  • 190g plain flour
  • 190g caster sugar or golden caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 30g greek yoghurt (plain yoghurt is also fine)
  • 3tbsp runny honey
  • 70g chopped walnuts

Method

  1. Grease your loaf tin and line it with baking powder
  2. Preheat your oven to 170 degrees
  3. Beat the butter and sugar together until smooth
  4. Add the eggs one at a time, beat
  5. Add the flour and baking powder and mix well
  6. Add the yoghurt and mix together
  7. Add the honey and walnuts and mix it all together
  8. Pour the cake mix into your loaf tin and bake for about one hour
  9. Enjoy with a cup of tea!

How quick and easy was that?

Sticky Toffee Cupcakes

If you love Sticky Toffee Pudding then these cupcakes will be just your thing. They are deeply satisfying and any caramel lover will adore them.

Ingredients

  • 200g pitted dates, chopped
  • 180ml boiling water
  • 80g butter
  • 150g soft light brown sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 180g plain flour
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 1tbsp caramel (Carnation Caramel or Dulce De Leche)

And then for the frosting

  • 160g butter
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 100g caramel
  • Mini fudge to decorate

Method

  1. Put the chopped dates in a bowl with the boiling water and leave to soak for 30 minutes
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line your muffin tin, this makes around 14 cupcakes
  3. Beat the butter and sugar and then add the eggs one at a time and beat
  4. Add the flour, baking powder and vanilla essence
  5. Pour in the date and water mixture
  6. Beat until smooth and add a tablespoon of caramel
  7. Fill your cake cases and bake for 20 minutes
  8. Allow to cool whilst you make your frosting
  9. Beat your butter and icing sugar, add the milk and then the caramel and beat until smooth and icing like
  10. Spread on to your cakes and decorate with mini fudge pieces
  11. Eat and enjoy comments from your friends/colleagues

Jammie Dodger Cakes

These little cakes are perfect for any upcoming Jubilee plans you may have, they look very  British. Sainsbury’s also have cupcake cases with the Union Jack flag on for some extra Jubilee glitz. Inspired by something I saw on sale on Fortnum and Mason, this recipe was free styled.

Ingredients

  • 200g butter
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 200 self raising flour
  • Half a teaspon of baking powder
  • Jar of Strawberry or Raspberry Jam
  • Mini Jammie dodgers
  • 150g icing sugar
  • 160g butter for icing
  • Splash of milk

Method

  1. Preheat the oven at 180 degrees
  2. Cream the butter and sugar and then add the eggs one at a time and beat
  3. Add the flour and baking powder and beat well
  4. Add a few teaspoons of jam into the cake mix
  5. Add a splash of milk if the mix seems to stodgy
  6. Now spoon some cake mix into your cake cases
  7. On top of that spoon a teaspoon of jam and then put more cake mix on top
  8. Bake for around 15-20 minutes or until golden brown
  9. One the cakes have cooled, on to the icing! Beat the icing sugar and butter, add some milk if needed, add some strawberry jam to give it a lovely pink colour
  10. Pipe or spread your icing on your cakes and decorate with a jammie dodger!

Earl Grey Tea Cupcakes

This recipe comes with inspiration from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook and has become a household favourite of ours. Funnily enough these go really well with a cup of earl grey tea!

Ingredients for the sponge

  • 3 earl grey teabags
  • 3tbsp just boiled water
  • 80g butter
  • 240g plain flour
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 200ml whole milk

Ingredients for the earl grey frosting

  • 50ml whole milk
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 160g butter

Method

  1. Pour 3tbsp of just boiled water on top of the three earl grey teabags and leave to brew in a cup
  2. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees
  3. Mix the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder together until it looks like breadcrumbs
  4. Beat the milk and eggs together in a jug and then pour this into the breadcrumb like mixture and beat well
  5. Add the earl grey tea mixture. Keep the earl grey tea bags in the cup and add the whole milk for the frosting
  6. Once the cake batter is smooth, fill your cupcake cases. The recipe makes around 12-16 cupcakes
  7. Bake for around 20 minutes
  8. Once cooled make your icing by beating the butter, icing sugar and the earl grey milk mixture
  9. Ice your cakes and eat them, they are both interesting and delicious

Fruity Flapjack

Flapjacks are delicious, a perfect lunchbox filler that accompanied with a cup of tea is sure to help revive you at that 11am slump. These flapjacks are chewier than usual as they contain banana and lots of fruit. My main issue when working on any recipe is that I am awful at weighing out ingredients. I prefer the judging by eye method, so as always, feel free to mix it up a little:

Ingredients

  • 140g butter
  • 100g light muscovado sugar
  • 50g golden syrup
  • 350g porridge oats (I use Quakers)
  • 1 tsp cinnamon (if like me you love cinnamon, why not add a little more)
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 mashed ripe banana
  • 1 grated apple, no need to peel
  • 30g chopped dates
  • 100g raisons or sultanas
    (We also added 50g of Goji berries as we happened to have them, do feel free to add any dried fruit you like, apricots could be good!)

Method

  1. Grease your tin and preheat the oven to 160 degrees
  2. Slowly melt the butter, sugar and  golden syrup in a saucepan on the hob
  3. In a mixing bowl, add the porridge oats, cinnamon and baking powder
  4. Once the butter/syrup/sugar mix is melted, mix this into to the mixing bowl with the porridge oats
  5. Add your mashed banana and mix
  6. Add your grated apple and mix
  7. Add your fruit and mix well
  8. If your mix looks too dry and your porridge oats are not coated in the syrupy mix then add a little more golden syrup or honey, add more dried fruit if you like
  9. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown, leave to cool and eat!

Cardamon Loaf

This recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery ‘Cake Days’ cook book, a baking bible.

Ingredients

  • 190g unsalted butter
  • 190g plain flour
  • 15 cardamon pods split and crushed
  • 190g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 30ml soured cream
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • 1tsp vanilla essence

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees
  2. Mix together the butter and sugar
  3. Add the eggs and mix
  4.  Add the flour and mix
  5. Add the crushed cardamon pods
  6. Add the vanilla essence
  7. Add the soured cream and mix
  8. Add the baking powder and mix
  9. Put in a greased loaf tin and bake for 60 minutes

This will smell amazing as it cooks. The flavour reminds me of Indian sweets, it is a very interesting flavour and the loaf has become a favourite in our house!

Butterbeer

Late last month, we were lucky enough to win tickets to Warner Bros. Studio Tour London – The Making of Harry Potter. This is all well and good, but the promise of having Butterbeer was almost overwhelming! We have seen many a Facebook photo from friends and family who have been to the The Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando and tasted the iconic nectar from the films and we couldn’t wait to try it ourselves.

After shelling out £2.50 on the small cup you see above, you will experience cream soda with spray cream on top of it, possibly with a bit of amber food colouring in the mix. It tastes about as good as it sounds so make of that what you will.

Oreo Brownies

If you love Oreos and you love brownies then this recipe is for you.

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees centigrade and line your brownie baking tray with grease proof paper
  2. Melt 250g of unsalted butter and 200g dark 70% cocoa chocolate (I put them in a dish on top of a pan of boiling water)
  3. In a separate bowl prepare mix 80g cocoa powder, 70g plain flour, 1tsp baking powder, 360g caster sugar and 4 eggs, beat this all together
  4. Once melted add your butter and chocolate mix to the bowl with the flour and eggs etc and beat until there is a silky consistency. Crush in some oreos (or nuts etc if you prefer)
  5. put some broken Oreo pieces on the bottom of your baking tray then pour in the mixture
  6. Bake for around 25-30 minutes so the brownies will remain a little gooey
  7. Eat and enjoy. Or continue eating like I do until they are all gone, then perhaps make some more.