Friday, 30 April 2010

Nutella Cupcakes

Don't you hate it when you run out of ingredients mid-bake? I was in the middle of whipping up a batch of chocolate cupcakes, when I realised I didn't have any chocolate! D'oh. After scrambling through the cupboard I found a jar of nutella and decided to use it instead. And boy am I glad that I did. The cupcakes were absolutely delicious.

Here's the recipe if you want to try these out for yourself.


Nutella Cupcakes

  • 125g unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • 3/4 cup caster sugar
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups self-raising flour (sifted)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 4 tbsp nutella (add more if you want the flavour to be really strong)

Nutella Buttercream

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter (softened)
  • 1 1/2 cup icing sugar (sifted)
  • 4 tbsp skimmed milk
  • 2 tbsp nutella
  • Non-pareils or other decorations (optional)


Preheat oven to 180C. Beat butter, vanilla essence and caster sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes on medium-high speed). Beat in eggs one at a time, until well combined. Stir in the sifted self-raising flour and milk in two batches until all ingredients are mixed in well. Lastly stir through the nutella. Spoon mixture into a lined 12-hole muffin tray. Bake cupcakes for 15-20 minutes then leave to cool on a wire rack before adding frosting. Note, if you want your cupcakes to be domed in shape, cook them in a slightly hotter over (~200C).

To make the nutella frosting, mix the icing sugar and butter with electric beaters for about 5 minutes. Add milk, once al the icing sugar is mixed in. Mixture should be firm enough to pipe and hold its shape. Add more icing sugar if mixture is too runny. Lastly mix in the nutella. Pipe swirls of buttercream onto cooled cupcakes, then decorate as desired. I used a wilton 1M tip to pipe my swirls and coloured non-pareils as a finishing touch.

Happy Baking x

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Teacup Cupcakes

No, this is not a pile of dishes....believe it or not it is the latest cupcake silicon bakeware from Fred .

Too cute for words!! Each case is oven proof and reusable so you can enjoy them time and time again. I need to get some!! The good news is that Fred deliver worldwide, and for those of us in the UK, some stores already have them available as a set of 4 teacups with matching saucers.

Happy Baking x

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Cupcake Toppers

This weekend I decided to have a go at creating some cupcake toppers. Using a selection of paper punches, I cut out card then stuck it onto a lollipop stick with superglue. To make them extra girly I tied on 3mm pink ribbon bows. They look so lovely as cupcake decorations.

I've got some card left over so I'll post a tutorial soon so you can learn how to make some too!

Sunday, 11 April 2010

Message in a Cookie

I am completely in love with my new purchase from Williams-Sonoma - message-in-a-cookie cutters.

The kit contains 3 plastic cutters and 7 pre-made words (Welcome, Happy, Birthday, Holidays, Thank You, From, I Love You), 3 sets of alphabet letters and some extra vowels and other commonly used letters.

One of my friends was recently in an accident so I thought these cutters would be a great way to send him wishes for a speedy recovery. I made chocolate sugar cookies then embossed them with 'Get well soon'. Here's how they turned out:

and the rest of them......

You can serve the cookies plain, or embellish them with piped royal icing designs or flowers, as I did.

Happy baking x

Monday, 5 April 2010

Easter cookies

I've been busy baking cookies over Easter. Here are some of the finished ones......

Easter lambs decorated with sugar paste

To make these lambs, attach sugar paste to a cooled cookie with warmed apricot jam, then use a dresden tool to texture the sugar paste. Add sugar paste bows or flowers if desired (attaching them with a little bit of water), then draw eyes and nose on with an edible food pen. Sugar paste is a great medium to use to decorate cookies. Lindy Smith's book 'Bake me I'm yours cookie' has heaps of great examples of cookies deocrated with sugar paste if you want some more inspiration. I love this book and can highly recommend it.

Easter cookies make a great gift, especially when wrapped up in cellophane with Easter eggs....


Bunnies, eggs and chicks

A quick way to decorate lots of cookies, is by using royal icing. Here I used different pastel coloured royal icing to flood each cookie, then once the cookies had dried I piped on top of them.

Happy Easter x