Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Ironcupcake London: Perfect Pairs

On Monday night I entered the March round of Ironcupcake London, and this month the theme was 'Perfect Pairs'. Bakers had to make cupcakes which combine two flavours and I have to admit the standard of entries was amazing. Some people came up with really imaginative combinations and all of the cakes I sampled were delicious. Here are some photos from the night:

So many cupcakes to choose from - this is just a selection of some of them.

The strawberry cupcakes in the photo above were made by my friend who has hardly baked before and was entering ironcupcake for the first time. I was so proud of her - she did an amazing job and her cupcakes were perfect. She even made little strawberries out of sugarpaste - such an awesome effort.

I chose to make Vodka and Cranberry Cupcakes with a marshmallow frosting. Here they are straight out of the oven:

....and here's how they turned out:

I'm a massive fan of marshmallow frosting at the moment. It is so much lighter than buttercream and is easy to make. It was a perfect way to finish off these cupcakes.

If you want to have a go at making these cupcakes, here's the recipe:


Vodka and Cranberry Cupcakes (makes 24)
  • 250g unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 1/3 cup caster sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 1/3 cup plain flour
  • 2/3 cup self raising flour
  • 1/2 cup vodka

Marshmallow frosting

  • 1 cup caster sugar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 2 egg whites
  • 4 tbsp vodka (or to taste)
  • Food colouring (optional)


Preheat the oven to 170C (or 150C fan-forced). Beat butter, vanilla essence and sugar in a bowl with electric beaters until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in cranberries, then sift in the flours and mix well. Lastly stir through the vodka. Divide the mixture into 24 cupcake cases and bake them for approximately 25 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into their middle comes out clean. Once they are baked, cool them completely on a wire rack before icing.

In the meantime, to make the frosting, combine water and caster sugar in a saucepan and stir over a low heat until the sugar is melted. Allow the syrup to simmer for about 5 minutes (if you have a candy thermometer, the temperature should reach 116C). The syrup will thicken but should remain clear (if it turns brown - into toffee - then it is overdone). Remove from heat and allow it to cool slightly. Next, beat eggwhites with an electric beater until soft peaks form. Add the warm syrup in a continuous stream to the eggwhites while still beating. Continue mixing for another 7-10 minutes until the frosting is light and glossy. Finally, stir in vodka and food colouring if desired. Decorate the cupcakes with the frosting then top with decorations.

Happy baking!