One Direction Cupcakes

I’ve been a little hesitant about this review on the latest One Direction cupcake kit since I understand that the British boy band may not be to everybody’s taste. However, I thought they were a really fun idea, especially if you’re shopping around the supermarket with young children or if you’re anything like me, a near 20 year old still singing One Direction in your bedroom. You may find yourself just popping these in your trolley.

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Essentially these are just a simple chocolate cake with a buttercream icing, made exciting with a fondant face of one of the boys. Many cake mixes often only require you to add an egg and perhaps a little water, this cake mix however, asks for softened butter, and recommends mixing with an electric whisk. I’m pleased that I did follow this advice and used an electric whisk since I was a little worried when I opened the box to find a tiny packet of cake mix that looked like it’d struggle to fill 6 cake cases. Nevertheless, the mixture did double after whisking forming quite a mousse like cake batter, which was more than enough.

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The cakes didn’t take very long to bake – perfect if you’re a little eager like me! Just like the cake batter, there was more than enough buttercream to pipe a fair amount on each cake. The only thing I found a little strange was that after emptying the frosting into a bowl, the instructions recommended using that same packet as a piping bag. Now, I’m not particularly neat when I bake, and especially if you’re baking with youngsters, the packet is very easily ripped. Having something spare, like your own piping bag is handy, or if not, simply spoon the frosting on top.

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The fun part is decorating your cakes with the fondant boys and I also added a few white chocolate drops, just for extra jazz. The only problem I had with the fondant heads was that in the morning, a couple had gone a little soggy after being at room temperature. Niall didn’t quite look the same the next day! Therefore I definitely recommend that you eat them on the day that they’re made.

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Harry and Niall are my favourite!

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The One Direction Cupcake Kit is available from most supermarkets, costing just a few pounds. If you’re looking for something to bake this weekend – perhaps give them a go!

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe Victoria Sponge |

Malteser Cupcakes

These Maltesers Cupcakes are such a fun idea and a perfect treat this weekend. Despite the original recipe having vanilla buttercream, I went with chocolate because in my eyes, the more chocolate, the better!

INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes:-
200g Unsalted Butter, Softened
150g Caster Sugar
50g Brown Sugar
2 Teaspoons of Vanilla Essence
4 Medium Eggs
200g Plain Flour
10g Baking Powder
Pinch of salt
80g Maltesers, Crushed

Chocolate Buttercream:
110g Unsalted Butter, Softened
170g Icing Sugar, Sifted
55g Cocoa Powder, Sifted
1-2 tbsp Milk
Maltesers

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180°c/gas mark 4, ensuring the shelving is centre. Line a cupcake/muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.

2. Cream together the butter and both sugars until light and fluffy.

3. Add the vanilla essence.

4. Begin alternating between adding the flour and the eggs. Mix until smooth.

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5. Add the baking powder and salt. Stir in the crushed Maltesers.

6. Equally divide the mixture between the cupcake cases and bake in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

7. For the buttercream, cream together the softened butter and icing sugar.

8. Add in the cocoa powder and gradually add the milk.

9. Either spoon or pipe the buttercream onto each cupcake and decorate each with Maltesers.

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I’d recommend you eating these pretty sharpish – just because the maltesers tend to go a little off over time. But they’re so delicious, I’m sure you won’t have any problems finding someone to eat them!

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Lorraine Pascale Malteser Cupcakes |

| Previous Recipe Honey Cake |

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Salted Caramel Cupcakes

As you may know, every now and then I like to try out some of the cake mixes available on the high street. Even though I always say that baking your own is better, some of the packet mixes out there can be just as good and great if you’re new to baking or simply haven’t got the time to bake entirely from scratch. This week whilst shopping in Sainsbury’s, I spotted these Salted Caramel Cupcakes. Having seen that they were new to their baking range, I decided to test them out!

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Salted caramel sounds incredibly bizarre to me.  The idea of having salt in or on a cake completely puts me off – salt and sweet should definitely not mix! Nevertheless, seeing as I often see recipes for these online I thought I’d give them a go. Obviously I knew that when I baked them they wouldn’t completely taste of salt but that’s just all I could imagine!

The cake itself was delicious, just enough mixture in the box to fill all 6 cupcakes mind. Nevertheless, they were deliciously toffee flavoured, light, fluffy and incredibly easy to make,with you simply needing to add water and one egg. For the frosting I had plenty of buttercream for all 6 cupcakes. I sometimes worry with packet mixes that when I pipe the icing, I’ll run out. I always start my piping sparingly yet by the last cupcake, I have way too much frosting left and as a result, the last cupcake always has way to much. Luckily, this was not the case with these, I had a good amount to evenly divide the buttercream between the cupcakes, giving each a generous swirl.

Included in this mixture was also a caramel syrup and fudge pieces for decoration. Completely ignoring the instructions I used cold water to make the syrup instead of hot as advised. I’m not sure what difference it would have made to have use hot water, but since the frosting is butter, I was worried that the heat would spoil the decoration. Unfortunately, my syrup didn’t drizzle as spectacularly as the picture on the box, just a few blobs here and there. I do however think that it was in fact the syrup which had the slightly salted flavour. When you lick your lips after, there is a slight salty taste but it completely works with the cake. I think the fudge pieces add a nice fun feel to these cupcakes and make them look homemade. There is more than enough fudge to decorate your cupcakes with and maybe even a few spare for you to cheekily eat along the way.

Overall, costing just £2.00 in Sainsburys, if you’re looking for something to do this weekend, they’re well worth buying, just to pass an hour or so on a rainy day – which if you’re in the UK right now, it most probably will be!

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe American Cookies |

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Gingerbread Cupcakes

Despite it coming up to mid-January, if you’re anything like me and desperately missing the Christmas fun, hopefully these gingerbread cupcakes will re-kindle your festive spirit with their warm spices and sweet toffee buttercream.

GINGERBREAD CUPCAKES 

gingerbread cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
CUPCAKES
150g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
150g Soft Brown Sugar
3 Eggs
150 g Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
1 tsp Ground Ginger
½ tsp Ground Cinnamon
Pinch Freshly Grated Nutmeg (optional)
1 tbsp Milk

TOFFEE SAUCE
50g Unsalted Butter
50g Soft Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Milk

BUTTERCREAM
150g Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
200g Icing Sugar, Sifted
Splash Milk (if too buttercream is too thick)
Pinch of Ground Cinnamon (for decoration)

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4. Place 12 cake cases in a cupcake tin.

2. Cream together the butter and soft brown sugar, until light and fluffy.

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3. Gradually alternate between adding the eggs and sifted flour to the creamed butter and sugar mix.

4. Mix in the spices, the ground ginger, cinnamon and nutmeg.

5. Stir through the milk until well combined.

6. Divide the mixture equally between the 12 cupcake cases (roughly two teaspoons of mixture in each) and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean.

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7. For the toffee sauce, heat the butter and soft brown sugar over a low heat. Add the milk to form a thick, glossy toffee sauce. Leave to cool to room temperature.

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8. For the buttercream, cream together the softened butter and sifted icing sugar. Once the toffee sauce is cool, add to the buttercream and combine together. If the buttercream it too thick, add a splash of milk.

9. Either pipe or spoon the buttercream onto each cupcake.

10. Dust each with a little cinnamon before serving.

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Gingerbread Cupcakes | Good Food Channel |

| Previous Recipe Chocolate Brownies |

Christmas Cupcakes

Christmas day is less than 24 hours away now and festive cooking is well under way in my house. The vegetables are peeled and ready to go, the turkey is on the side defrosting. So with a little spare time on my hands, I thought I’d make some quick and easy Christmas cupcakes.

CHRISTMAS CUPCAKES 

christmas cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes
120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, at room temperature
120ml whole milk
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract

Frosting
250g icing sugar, sifted
80g unsalted butter, softened
25ml whole milk
Couple of drops of vanilla extract

Decoration 
Anything Christmassy!

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) Gas 3. Place 12 cake cases in a cupcake tray.

2. In a bowl sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Give the ingredients a mix before adding in the butter. Beat using an electric whisk until the mixture is of a sandy consistency. Add roughly half of the milk and mix until completely incorporated.

3. Whisk the egg, vanilla and remainder of the milk in a separate bowl before adding to the flour mixture. Beat until all the ingredient are mixed well and smooth.

4. Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases. Bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown.

5. Whilst the cakes cool, if you’re making frosting beat the icing sugar and butter together. Gradually add the milk and vanilla extract and beat until light and fluffy. Pipe onto your cupcakes and decorate as you wish.

6. If you’re making plain icing, simply add a little water to your icing sugar and spoon onto your cupcakes.

This is my attempt of a Christmas tree, complete with snowflakes and baubles!

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Gingerbread icing shapes with gold and silver baubles.
(You can buy these in all supermarkets!)

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Finally, I hope you all have a lovely Christmas and I wish you all a very happy and healthy new year!

Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe Humming Bird Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes |

| Previous Recipe Peppermint Creams |

Chocolate Cupcakes

After absolutely loving this Lemon Cupcake mix from Tesco a little while ago, I decided to try the same mix but the chocolate version. These were SO delicious with the cake being super soft and moist, and there being plenty of frosting with curls to give a generous portion on each cupcake. As always, they’re not as good as baking you’re own, but they were still pretty good!

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Like the previous mix, these are super easy with you just needing to add an egg, a splash of milk, oil and butter for the frosting. The cakes were a decent size and were easy  to make with you just having to throw all the ingredients in the bowl.  Whilst they were chocolatey, they weren’t too chocolatey which was good, seeing as aside from me, there aren’t many chocoholics in my household! There was more than enough frosting for each cupcake which is surprising for a packet mix and meant I could try out my new star nozzle for the piping!

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Costing just £1.39 in the supermarket, these are definitely worth giving a go. Whether its baking with the children or just if you have an hour spare, you will be thrilled with the cupcakes as a result!

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe Sausage Danish |

Marshmallow Cupcakes

You may or may not have heard that marshmallows are making a comeback this season. Filled with nostalgia, a marshmallow cupcake is the perfect treat this winter. These cupcakes (recipe from the Hummingbird Bakery) were delicious, not only are the mini marshmallows super cute, but the melted marshmallow inside is a great surprise!

MARSHMALLOW CUPCAKESMarshmallowCupcake

INGREDIENTS
Cupcakes: 

120g Plain Flour, Sifted
140g Caster Sugar
1½ tsp Baking Powder
Pinch of Salt
45g Unsalted Butter, Softened
120ml Whole Milk
1 Egg
¼ tsp Vanilla Extract

Filling: 
12 Medium Marshmallows

Icing:
140g Unsalted Butter, Softened
280g Icing Sugar, Sifted
1 – 2 tbsp Milk
Few Drops of Food Colouring (optional)
200g Mini Marshmallows

METHOD 

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C (325°F) gas mark 3, ensuring the shelving is in the centre.

2. Combine all the dry ingredients in a bowl. Sift the flour, along with the sugar, baking powder and pinch of salt.

3. Add in the softened butter and beat until combined.

4. Gradually add in the milk.

5. Whisk together the egg and vanilla extract separately before adding to the cake batter.

6. Give all the ingredients a final mix together until combined. Try to not over-mix!

7. Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases and bake in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool.

8. Melt the medium marshmallows in a heatproof bowl over a simmering pan of water. Leave until completely melted and smooth.

9. Hollow out a small section in the centre of each cake and fill with a dollop of the melted marshmallow. Leave to cool. Place the cake top or the ‘cake lid’ back on top.

10. For the frosting, beat together the softened butter and icing sugar until smooth and creamy.

11. Add in the milk if the frosting is too thick. Add the food colouring, if using.

12. Either stir the marshmallows into the icing or pipe a little frosting onto each cupcake and decorate with the mini marshmallows.

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Original Recipe  Hummingbird Bakery Marshmallow Cupcakes |

| Previous Recipe Triple Chocolate Cookies |

Halloween Cupcakes

Halloween will soon be with us once again so to get us all in the mood for the spooky festivities, I thought I’d have a go at baking some Halloween themed cupcakes. Now, I know these cupcakes aren’t perfect, but whose seen a perfect spider web anyway!?

HALLOWEEN CUPCAKES Halloween Cupcakes

INGREDIENTS
Cake
150g Butter, Unsalted
150g Caster Sugar
175g Self-Raising Flour, Sifted
25g Cocoa Powder
3 Eggs

Icing
250g Icing Sugar, Sifted
45ml Water
Icing Pen(s)

1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4, ensuring the shelving is placed in the centre.

2. Place 12 cake cases in a muffin tin.

3. Cream together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

4. Sift in the flour and cocoa powder, and gradually add each of the eggs.

5. Divide the mixture equally between the cake cases and bake in the oven for 15 to 20 minutes, or until risen and a skewer comes out clean.

6. Leave to cool before icing. Sift the icing sugar into a bowl, add the water and give a good mix until well combined and fairly thick.

7. Spoon a little icing onto each cupcake using a teaspoon. Use the back of the spoon to form a neat-ish circle.

8. With the icing pen draw a dot in the centre of the icing. Then draw a circle around this dot in the middle, and then another circle around the middle one. (You’re just drawing three circles!) Then with a toothpick, drag the circles out from the centre to create the spiders web. (You have to be pretty quick with this as the icing will set!)

9. Leave to set before giving out to trick-or-treaters. Or just eat them yourself.

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Enjoy!

– Charlotte x

| Previous Recipe Lemon Drizzle Loaf |

And before I forget…

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!

jack-o-lantern

Mint Chocolate Cupcakes

So I found a recipe by Nigella Lawson for these cute Mint Chocolate Cupcakes. I have to admit I’m not a huge fan of mint as I tend to associate it with toothpaste and so wasn’t particularly keen on the idea of a chocolate cake with toothpaste squirted on top. Nevertheless, as a request from my family, I decided to give them a go. Aside from the disastrous icing (I’ve learnt that I am useless with a piping bag!) I was pleasantly surprised by how they turned out!

MINT CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES

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INGREDIENTS

Cupcakes:-
– 225 grams/8 oz self-raising flour
– 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder
– 1  teaspoon  baking powder
– 225 grams/8 oz caster sugar
– 225 grams/8 oz  unsalted butter
– 4 eggs
–  1 teaspoon of peppermint essence
– 100 grams/4 oz plain chocolate chips (optional)

Icing:-

– 115 grams/4 oz  unsalted butter
– 225 grams/8 oz  icing sugar (sifted)
– 1 teaspoon of peppermint essence
– drop of green food colouring
– plain chocolate for grating on top (optional)

METHOD

1. Preheat your oven to gas mark no. 4

2. Place 18 paper cake cases into a cake/muffin tin.

3. In a bowl, sieve the flour, baking powder and cocoa. (I’d recommend using a good quality cocoa powder if you can get your hands on some, I used Green & Black’s cocoa powder.)

4. Cream together the butter and sugar in another bowl, adding the eggs one at a time. Beat together.

5. Gradually add in your flour mixture.

6. Add in the mint essence.

7. Add in the chocolate chips if using and give a final stir.

8. Spoon the mixture into your cake cases and bake for about 25 minutes in the centre of the oven. If the sponge springs back up orMint Chocolate Cupcake 3 no mixture appears on the fork you poke them with after 25 minutes – then they’re ready!

9. Leave to cool.

10. For the icing, beat the icing sugar and butter in a bowl, adding in the mint essence and just enough food colour to turn the icing mint green.

11. Pipe the icing onto each cupcake and decorate with grated chocolate if using. (Tip! Keep your chocolate in the fridge before grating. I soon learnt that it is very difficult to grate a warm chocolate bar with warm hands!)

12. Eat!

Hope you enjoy these minty treats!

PS. They don’t taste like toothpaste! 😉