Cupcakes are perfect for any occasion. Make them simple for family teas, elegant for wedding celebrations, or pretty for your Sex and the City moments.
For Children’s Parties you can let your imagination run wild topping the icing with sweets, sparkles and stars, but now and again it’s nice to have a grown-up treat.
So next time you invite friends to call in for coffee and a good natter, spoil them – and yourself – with the grown-up equivalent of Smartie-topped cupcakes.
Coffee & walnut cupcakes
- 175g (6oz) self-raising flour
- 175g (6oz) butter
- 175g (6oz) caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 45ml (3tbsp) very strong coffee
- 75g (3oz) walnuts, roughly chopped
- 30ml (2tbsp) hot strong coffee
- 50g (2oz) light brown sugar
- 110g (4oz) mascarpone
- 50g (2oz) milk chocolate
- 12 walnut halves
Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Line a 12-cake muffin tin.
Sieve the flour into a large bowl. Add the butter, sugar and eggs. Whisk until light and fluffy. Fold in 45ml coffee and the chopped walnuts. Divide the mixture between the 12 paper cases. Bake for 15-18 minutes or until well-risen.
Meanwhile make a syrup by mixing hot strong coffee with light brown sugar. When the cakes are cooked pierce several times with a skewer and drizzle with syrup.
Leave to cool while you make the icing. Melt the chocolate gently in a heatproof bowl over a pan of boiling water taking care not to let the bowl touch the water. Whisk the mascarpone and Chocolate together until smooth and light. Use to top the cooled cupcakes, finishing each one with a walnut half.
- 110g (4oz) unsalted butter
- 225g (8oz) caster sugar
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 150g (5oz) self-raising flour
- 125g (4½ oz) plain flour
- 120ml (4fl oz) milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 80g (3½ oz) unsalted butter
- 1½ tablespoons lime juice
- grated zest of a lime
- 375g (13oz) icing sugar
- desiccated coconut
Preheat the oven to 180ºC, gas mark 4. Line a 12-cake muffin tin. Sieve together the flours. Mix the milk and vanilla extract.
In a large bowl mix together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the beaten egg a little at a time, mixing well in between additions. Add the flour a little at a time, alternating with the milk.
Divide the mixture between the 12 paper cases and bake for about 20-25 minutes until well-risen and golden. Allow to cool on a wire tray.
Mix together the butter, lime juice and zest, and 200g icing sugar until smooth. Gradually add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until rich and creamy.
Apply generously to the cooled cupcakes, and immediately sprinkle with coconut.
Black Forest cupcakes
- 115g (4½ oz) caster sugar
- 115g (4½ oz) unsalted butter
- 2 eggs, beaten
- 85g (3½ oz) self-raising flour
- 30g (1½ oz) good quality cocoa
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- pinch salt
- 12 teaspoons good quality black cherry jam
- 270g (10oz) unsalted butter
- 270g (10oz) icing sugar
- 110g (4oz) dark chocolate
- extra cocoa
Preheat the oven to 170ºC, gas mark 3. Line a 12-cake muffin tin. Sieve together the flour, cocoa, baking powder and salt.
In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs a little at a time beating well after each addition. Fold in the sifted flour. Divide the mixture between the paper cases and bake for about 20 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool on a wire tray.
When the cakes are cold, using a skewer, make a small hole in the top of each one and gently pour in the jam. It’s easier if you warm the jam very slightly to liquefy it first.
Melt the chocolate in a bowl over a pan of boiling water. Allow to cool.
Beat the butter until soft and pale. Add the sifted icing sugar a little at a time, mixing well. Stir in the melted chocolate. If necessary, add some extra sieved cocoa powder to thicken the icing.
Spread the Icing over the cupcakes or pipe in a whorl.