Pink Champagne Cupcakes

With Mother’s Day coming soon in the UK its time to think about those special gifts to make Mum’s day. I always bake a special treat and a little box of cupcakes is perfect.

These cupcakes are infused with Champagne syrup and coloured pink! They taste absolutely delicious too…

Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients:-

100g Butter, softened

110g Caster Sugar

3 Medium Eggs, beaten

120g Self Raising Flour

2 Tablespoons Cornflour

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

1 Tablespoon Champagne syrup (or use a champagne flavouring)

2 Tablespoons Milk

1 Teaspoon pink food colour paste

Method:-

Preheat the oven to 160c

Beat the softened butter and sugar together until soft and creamy. Add the beaten eggs and all the other ingredients to the butter and sugar, and mix well to combine but for no more than one minute.

Pour into 12 cupcake cases set in a 12 hole muffin tin.

Bake the cupcakes for around 20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch.

When the cupcakes are cooked, take them out of the muffin tin and place on a cooling rack to cool completely. Leaving them in the tin too long causes moisture to make the cases leave the sides of the cake.

To make Champagne Syrup

Making your own syrup flavouring is easy. It just takes the same amount of liquid and caster sugar. I used 100ml Champagne – prosecco or a Cava Brut Rose will work well too. I added 100g caster sugar with the Champagne to a pan. This needs to simmer for a while, stirring to dissolve all the sugar. Then raise the heat to boiling and boil rapidly for a few minutes until the mixture becomes syrupy. Just keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn. Remove from the heat, it thickens more as it cools.

The Champagne syrup can be used in the recipe as above. I also drizzled a little when the cakes came out of the oven but were still warm. I then used the rest to flavour buttercream to decorate the cupcakes. I made my buttercream with 300g butter and 500g icing sugar – beaten well for about ten minutes until it is soft and creamy. I stirred in the Champagne syrup and added a little pink colouring to complete the look.

Here is a pretty way to serve your Mother’s Day cupcakes…

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Share the rest of the Champagne with your Mum too! Perfect! Enjoy Mother’s Day 🙂

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Cherry Bakewell Cake

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Cherry Bakewell Cake

I love Bakewell Tart and this cake is based on those lovely cherry and almond flavours but with the lightness of sponge – a perfect combination…

Cherry Bakewell Cake Recipe

Ingredients

200g Butter, softened

200g Caster Sugar

100g Self Raising Flour

100g Ground Almonds

1 Teaspoon Baking Powder

4 Medium Eggs, whisked

Filling

175g (Approx 1/2 a jar) Morello Cherry Conserve

150g Butter, softened

250g Icing Sugar

2 Teaspoons Almond Extract

Preheat the oven to 180c

Prepare the tins – I divided the mixture into 4 x 6″ round tins or you can make 2 layers of 8″ (2 x 8″ tins)

To make the cake

Beat the softened butter and sugar together until soft and creamy. Then add all the other cake ingredients and mix quickly together. Divide into the tins and bake for around 15 – 20 minutes until cooked. (6″ cakes will take less time than the 8″)

To make the filling

Beat the softened butter and icing sugar and almond extract together well for approximately ten minutes until really light and creamy. Layer this with the morello cherry conserve between the cakes when they are cooled. I put one layer of conserve and two of almond buttercream. Dust the top of the cake with a little sieved icing sugar.

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Lemon, Blueberry and White Chocolate Drip Cake

Drip cakes look complicated but are actually quite easy to make as the finish doesn’t have to look perfect and they can be covered with lots of sweet treats. They make a perfect celebration cake for any occasion.

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To make a Blueberry, Lemon and White Chocolate Drip Cake

For the sponges:-
400g softened butter
400g caster sugar
8 medium eggs, beaten
400g self-raising flour
Zest 3 lemons
Prepare 3 x 20cm round cake tins and preheat the oven to 160c
Beat the butter and sugar together well until soft and creamy. Add the flour, beaten eggs and zest and mix well for one minute. Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for about 35 minutes or until the cakes are golden, spring back when touched, are starting to shrink from the sides of the tin, a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle.
For the lemon syrup:-
Use the juice from the 3 lemons and make up to 125ml, add 125g sugar with this in a pan. Heat while stirring to dissolve the sugar then boil rapidly until the mixture starts to thicken to a syrup.
Brush the syrup over the 3 cakes while they are still warm in their tins.
When the cakes are cooled completely they were layered up with blueberry conserve and lemon buttercream.
For the lemon buttercream:-
Beat 450g softened butter and 750g icing sugar together well and add a few drops of lemon extract or some lemon juice to taste. I beat mine for a good ten minutes until it gets really soft and creamy.
This amount of buttercream is enough to fill and cover the cakes fully. I put a little to one side and added some blueberry conserve. I used this to spread around the sides of the cake on top of the lemon buttercream to add some colour.

 

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Lemon and Blueberry Cake

 

To cover the cakes:-
Once the cakes have been layered up with filling in between, pop the three-layered cake into the fridge to cool for half an hour. This will set the buttercream a little harder so it’s easier to cover the outside of the cake. Spread buttercream around the whole of the top and sides of the cake and smooth with a palette knife. Pop the cake back in the fridge for about another half an hour to an hour until the covering is nice and set. Then spread some of the buttercream with blueberry conserve added around the side of the cake and smooth again with a palette knife. Pop the cake back in the fridge and make some white chocolate ganache to drizzle over the top of the cake.
For the white chocolate ganache:-
100g good quality white chocolate
50g whipping cream
1 tablespoon golden syrup
Heat the white chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water until only just melting – stir well to melt all the chocolate and set aside to cool. Heat the cream in a pan until just boiling the remove from the heat and set aside for ten minutes. Now stir the cream and chocolate together gently, finally stir in the golden syrup. The mixture will now be ready to add to the cake. Spread it all over the top of the cold cake and allow the drips to run down the sides a little.
At this point the cake can go back into the fridge so that the drips set where they are but I added sprinkles and chocolate drops and shards first.

 

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Easy Luxury Mince Pies

Home-made mince pies are always super scrumptious but here’s an easy way to pimp your mincemeat and take your mince pies to the next level…

I started with a 410g jar of shop bought mincemeat. I scooped it out into a bowl and added:-

  • A handful of chopped walnuts
  • 50g dried whole cranberries
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 2 teaspoons Cherry Brandy
  • A pinch of mixed spice

Mix the ingredients together well and use with your usual pastry (home-made or shop bought will be fine.) I made mine in a muffin tin so I could make them extra deep and the mixture made 16 mince pies.

Nothing too complicated but the flavours make these mince pies taste so luxurious.

WARNING: You will not be able to eat just one. You will not be able to do up your trousers after Christmas.

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Festive Flapjacks

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Flapjacks are good at any time of the year but adding some festive flavours makes them extra yummy! I added dates and ground almonds but cranberries would be really good too.

Festive Flapjacks

Ingredients

100g Butter

2 tablespoon Golden Syrup (can use honey)

50g Soft, Light Brown Sugar

175g Porridge Oates

50g Ground Almonds

100g Dates (I left mine whole but they could be chopped depending on taste)

Method

Pre heat the oven to 180c

In a large saucepan, heat the butter, syrup and sugar, stirring to melt. Remove the pan from the heat once the ingredients are melted together well. Add porridge oats and ground almonds and mix together well.

Pour the mixture into a small, square, greased tin. Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until golden. Cool for a few minutes then cut into squares or slices before cooled completely.

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Perfect Mince Pies

Feeling Christmassy? Here is a recipe for mince pies…
You will need a 12 hole cupcake or muffin tin. Preheat the oven to 180c
To make 12 mince pies I use 225g plain flour and 125g very cold butter – mix together lightly until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add 1 tablespoon of caster sugar and enough very cold water to mix together to bind it– I prefer it a little wetter than too dry. ( If you accidentally make it too wet just add a little flour back into it) Wrap in cling-film and put in the fridge for 30 minutes.
Then roll out the pastry and cut with round cutters – you’ll need a round larger than the size of your tin for the base and a smaller one for the lid. I cut snowflake shapes for the top. TIP! Roll your pastry very gently, overworking it will make it tough.
Fill the bases with mincemeat (not too full or it will explode through the lid!) Place the lid on top and prick with a fork, brush with milk and bake for about 10 – 20 minutes until golden brown.
Sprinkle with a little caster sugar or icing sugar to serve.
To make special fruity mince pies just add fresh chopped fruit to the mincemeat and mix well before making the pies and baking. I used chopped apricots, fresh cranberries, zest of a lemon and added some demerara sugar to sweeten the fruit a little

Here’s how to make your own mincemeat – packed full of fruit 🙂

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Carrot, Apricot and Walnut Cake

Sometimes a picture just doesn’t do a cake justice and this is one of those times. I found this cake so moreish I couldn’t stop to take a photo so it was very rushed!

If you like carrot cake this is a very moist one with loads of flavour….

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Carrot, Apricot and Walnut Cake

Ingredients

75g Soft Brown Sugar

30ml Vegetable Oil

45g Melted Butter

1 Tablespoon Golden Syrup

1 Medium Egg

125g Self-Raising Flour

125g Grated Carrot

75g Chopped Dried Apricots

75g Chopped Walnuts

Method

Pre heat the oven to 160c

Grease and line a small loaf tin.

Beat the sugar, oil melted butter and golden syrup together well.

Add the egg to the mixture and beat well.

Stir in the flour followed by the carrot, apricots and walnuts.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tin and bake for about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Check that the top is cooked and golden brown and that a clean skewer comes out still clean when inserted into the centre of the cake.

Recipe is adapted from a Carrot Cake recipe in Riverford Farm Cook Book by Guy Watson and Jane Baxter.

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Easter Biscuits

My grandmother always made Easter Biscuits at this time of year and they were truly scrumptious. Now I’m a grandmother I bake them and always think of her as I do. I’ve no idea where she got the recipe from originally but she was an early member of the WI so possibly from there and I’ve  adapted the recipe only slightly. The biscuits are incredibly light and are always popular.

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Easter Biscuits

Easter Biscuits

Ingredients

225g Plain Flour

55g Custard Powder

225g Butter

110g Caster Sugar

75g Mixed Fruit (or can be one fruit e.g. sultanas)

15g Ground Almonds

Zest of 1 Lemon plus 1 teaspoon of the juice

½ Teaspoon Cinnamon or Mixed Spice

1 + ½ Egg Yolks

Method

Pre heat the oven to 175c and line a baking sheet.

Cream the butter and sugar together well then beat in the egg yolks.

Whisk the flour, custard powder and spice together and then stir in the fruit. Add this to the beaten egg, butter and sugar mix and also add the lemon juice and zest. Mix together. If it seems sticky, wrap it in cling-film and put into the fridge to firm up before rolling out. This should take about 30 minutes but it can be left overnight.

Roll out and cut out circles to the size you like – mine were quite small and I got 32 biscuits from the mixture.

Bake for about ten minutes. They should look light golden brown and need to be still fairly soft as they will firm up once cooled.

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Rosewater Cupcakes

Rosewater Cupcakes for Mother’s Day

Rosewater gives a lovely delicate taste to cakes and is perfect for a cupcake. The recipe will give 10 – 12 cupcakes which are lovely for an afternoon tea – just right for mum on Mother’s Day. Alternatively, serve them in vintage bone china tea cups or put them in lacy wrappers and pretty boxes tied with ribbon for a scrumptious gift.

Rosewater Cupcakes

Ingredients:-

100g Butter, softened

110g Caster Sugar

2 Teaspoons Rosewater (I used Neilsen-Massey)

120g Self-Raising Flour

2 Tablespoons Cornflour

2 Medium Eggs, beaten

3 Tablespoons Milk

Method:-

Heat the oven to 160c and place cupcake cases in a 12 hole muffin tin.

Beat the butter and caster sugar together well until soft and creamy. Add all the other ingredients and beat to combine but for no more than one minute. Divide between the cake cases ( you can make between 10 – 12 depending how much mixture you put in each.)

I decorated my cupcakes with buttercream with half a teaspoon of rosewater added. Then I added fondant toppers and flowers for Mother’s Day but these cupcakes would be equally lovely at any spring or summer tea party.

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