Archives for posts with tag: Vanilla cupcakes

I love baking, especially cupcakes, and from that I’ve developed a ‘side business’ from my colleagues at work. This one was for my colleague’s sister’s hen do. I thought it would be a great idea to make cocktail style cupcakes so I asked the bride to be what her favourite cocktail was… it was the mojito.

I don’t drink spirits/liquor/whatever you want to call it, really, so I’ve never had a mojito before. I love the idea of this cuban cocktail and may have to try one in the near future, especially after making these cupcakes.

Not to be forgotten or overlooked, I mixed up the cocktail cupcakes with traditional vanilla ones that have become a standard in my repertoire.

Lime and Mint

Vanilla cupcake ingredients
(Eric Lanlard’s recipe from Home Bake and featured on Lovefood.com)
175 g Self raising flour
150 g Plain flour
125 g Unsalted butter, softened
250 g Unrefined golden caster sugar
2 Large eggs at room temperature
125 ml Milk
0.5 tsp Vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 150) 350°F, gas mark 4. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, using an electric handwhisk at medium speed, cream the butter until smooth.
Add the sugar gradually and continue beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
Add the flour in three stages, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake papers, filling them about three quarters full.
Bake in the pre heated oven for 22 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.

Vanilla Cupcakes

Mojito cupcake ingredients
(adapted from Eric Lanlard’s Vanilla Cupcakes and inspired by Baker Chic)
175 g Self raising flour
150 g Plain flour
125 g Unsalted butter, softened
250 g Unrefined golden caster sugar
2 Large eggs at room temperature
zest and juice of 2 limes
1 tbsp of chopped mint leaves
115 ml Milk
0.5 tsp Vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 150) 350°F, gas mark 4. Line a 12 cup muffin tin with cupcake papers.
In a small bowl, using an electric handwhisk at medium speed, cream the butter until smooth.
Add the sugar gradually and continue beating until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
**Add the lime zest, lime juice and mint, and beat until well combined.**
Add the flour in three stages, alternating with the milk and vanilla. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated but do not over beat.
Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl to make sure the ingredients are well blended.
Carefully spoon the batter into the cupcake papers, filling them about three quarters full.
Bake in the pre heated oven for 22 minutes.
Cool the cupcakes in the tins for 15 minutes. Remove from the tins and cool completely on a wire rack before frosting. While they are cooling, poke holes in the tops for the next stage of adding the rum syrup.

Rum Syrup (adapted from Baker Chick who adapted from Two Peas Blog)
2 tbsp butter
30 ml water
60 ml rum
115 g caster sugar
5 mint leaves

Melt the butter over a low heat, then add the water, caster sugar and rum. Stir over heat until sugar has dissolved, then add the mint leaves to infuse. Let sit for 5 minutes.

Burning rum

As there was a pregnant bridesmaid in the party, I didn’t want them to have to worry about consuming alcohol. I burned off the alcohol from the rum, leaving only the flavour, creating a rum syrup. I never knew rum burned for such a long time, I’ll have to keep that in mind for future flambe dishes!

Rum glaze

Once the holes are poked in the tops of the cupcakes, dip them in the rum syrup and leave to cool completely before topping with frosting.

Vanilla Frosting recipe:
(from Primrose Bakery Cupcake Book)
500 g Icing Sugar
60 ml Milk
110 g Unsalted Butter
1 tsp vanilla extract

Cream the butter, half of the icing sugar, milk and vanilla extract until combined, then add the rest of the icing sugar. Add colouring paste, if desired. I used a very small amount of Sugarflair’s Claret to create the pink in the photo below.

pink vanilla cupcake

Mojito Frosting recipe:
(adapted from Primrose Bakery Cupcake Book’s Lemon Butter Cream and inspired by Baker Chic’s Mojito Cupcake recipe)
110 g Unsalted Butter
500g Icing Sugar
Juice and zest from 1 lime
25 ml rum syrup
3 mint leaves finely chopped

Same as above, but I substituted lime juice, zest, rum syrup and mint leaves for the milk and vanilla extract. Some recipes I have seen suggest green colouring, but I think it looks better just topped with some demerara sugar, a lime (or lemon ) wedge, mint leaf and a straw – just like a mojito cocktail.

Mojito cocktail cupcake

These cupcakes were really fun to make and I think came out really well. I hope the hen do was a success, too!

I’ve been a busy bee lately testing out new things. Last weekend I attempted the delicate treat known as the French macaroon (not to be confused with the coconut macaroon that bears little resemblance to its French counterpart but is equally tasty). I’m not finished with the macaroon project, so stay tuned for that one.

Color has frequently let me down with some of my past baking adventures. I tried to make orange and black cupcakes at Halloween, but they came out more of a salmon-y shade rather than pumpkin, then I tried to make purple and it came out a sort of gray/lilac. After extensive quizzing of the “cake lady” at my local cookshop and recommendation from other baking friends, I invested in some color paste. They’re not cheap, so as not to break the bank I purchased the primary colours and “Claret” which is really good for achieving the ultimate shades of pink.

I’ve got another cupcake project coming up with the request to have different shades of pink frosting. So as not to jump in blindly, I decided to have a testing weekend. I made some simple, but very tasty vanilla cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery Cupcake book.

For the frosting, I used their vanilla buttercream recipe. Mini G helped me choose which colours to create. We went with pink, green, purple and plain.

For the pink, I used 2 drops of “Claret”. It achieved a nice bubble gum effect pink, very vibrant.

This green would be perfect for pistachio. I used a combo of approximately 3 drops “Egg Yellow/Cream” and 1 drop “Ice Blue”.

Purple is a difficult one as I am learning. Even though I’m using the new super fun colors, I still have not managed to find the perfect combo. This is a very “grown up and serious” purple rather than a “youthful” purple. Maybe purple is just not my thing and I should just give up. Anyway, I used about 4 drops “Christmas Red” and 2 drops “Ice Blue” for the serious purple you see here. (The lighting doesn’t do it justice, it looks a bit brownish in this photo)

Since this was a color experiment and not a decorating experiment, I decided to go crazy with all of the different toppings in my collection.

I’m pleased with the investment of the new colors. My cupcakes will thank me for it.

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