If you’re looking for a way to make a luscious cupcake that’s slightly lower in fat and sugar, and just a tiny bit healthier (say for a baby shower or hen night celebration) then the innocent cupcake could be just the thing for you. Made with a fruit smoothie as one of the ingredients, it’s deliciously moist and you can reduce the quantities of fat and sugar just a touch, as the natural fruit sugars compensate for one and the rich fruity liquid for the other.
- 90g (3½oz) softened butter or baking margarine
- 90g (3½oz) caster sugar
- 100g (4oz)self-raising flour
- 2 eggs – lightly beaten
- 1 or 2 tablespoons of smoothie – choose a peach, pale pink or yellow coloured blend of smoothie, rather than a mauve or purple one, as these will tend to give an unpleasant pale grey tint to the cake batter.
Preheat the oven to 160°C or Gas 5. If using, set 12 cupcake cases in a tin – if possible, get the cases decorated with pictures of fruit. You can also make these cupcakes ‘naked’ by lightly oiling a silicone cupcake tray – this works well with the ‘innocent’ theme.
Cream the fat and sugar together until light and pale. Whisk the eggs with the smoothie mixture lightly, just until the top of the blend starts to foam, then fold into the creamed mixture with the flour. The ideal consistency is a soft dropping batter, so if your mixture seems a little dry at this point, add a teaspoon of lukewarm water.
Divide between the Cases or Silicone Moulds and bake for between ten and twenty minutes, checking at the ten minute point by inserting a cocktail stick into the highest part of one of the cupcakes. If it comes out clean, the cakes are cooked but if it has wet mixture along it, then the cakes need a few minutes more.
A smoothie with a high proportion of banana may take longer to cook, but paradoxically will also tend to dry out more quickly, so if your chosen smoothie has banana as its first or second ingredient, consider dropping the temperature of the oven by five degrees after the first ten minutes of cooking.
When cooked, lift the cakes out of the tin and leave on a wire rack to cool completely.
You can ice the cakes in two ways – using a cream cheese and smoothie blend or with an apricot glaze and fresh fruit topping
This works best for cakes in cases.
- 120g (4½oz)cream cheese
- 280g (10oz) icing sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons smoothie
Blend the smoothie and the cream cheese until well mixed, then sift the icing sugar over the top, blending well together with a large wooden spoon.
Ice the cakes and decorate with glace fruit or with sugared fruit decorations.
Naked Fruit Glaze
This works best for cakes made without cases.
Melt some apricot jam in a small bowl and brush the top of the cupcakes with it, then lay fresh fruits on top in a elegant pattern: cherries, tangerine slices and strawberries work best. To finish, tie a piece of pretty ribbon around the ‘naked’ cake.