Tag Archives: cake decorating

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

There’s nothing quite as good as a cup of coffee in the garden with a little sweet treat to go with it. This week I knocked up a batch of my quick coffee cupcakes and sat in the garden in the last of the sunshine before Storm Hector swept in and spoiled all our summer fun.

Cupcakes are something I make quite a lot of at home. They’re so quick and easy to do and I often have a fresh batch of buttercream in the fridge for emergencies. I know this is potentially an unpopular opinion, but cupcakes are just buns with fancy icing. If you can master a basic swirl people think you’ve got mad baking skills. I’m not going to win any prizes for my decorating, but I can do some basic piping, enough to turn a humble bun into a cupcake. If I can do it, you can too!

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

These quick coffee cupcakes are great to make in a hurry. I piped plain vanilla buttercream on these, but if you’re baking for a real coffee fan, then you can easily make coffee buttercream. You can ramp the coffee flavours up further by adding a Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffle from Beech’s Fine Chocolates to the top, this turns a simple cupcake into a lovely grown up after dinner treat!

Win a selection of Beech's Fine Chocolates Gourmet Packs

Quick Coffee Cupcakes

Ingredients:
150g butter or margarine
150g caster sugar
3 eggs (large)
150g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 heaped teaspoon of instant coffee dissolved in 1/2 tablespoon of milk

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar
250g butter (softened)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Beech’s Fine Chocolates Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffles

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180° and put paper cases in a bun or a muffin tray.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand mixer combine until the batter is smooth and airy.

Dollop a large dessert spoon of the cake batter in each case and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave cool on a rack.

While your cupcakes are cooling, sift your icing sugar and beat together with the softened butter. Add your vanilla extract and beat it in thoroughly.

Once your cupcakes are cool, put your vanilla buttercream in a piping bag with a star piping nozzle – I use a Wilton 2D nozzle. I did a standard buttercream swirl, if you’re not sure how to do it, watch this short video.

I then decorated the buttercream swirl with a Roasted Coffee Cacao Truffle from Beech’s Fine Chocolates. Serve with a cup of very good coffee.

If you wanted to up the coffee content of your coffee cupcake, you could add some coffee to your vanilla buttercream. Dissolve some coffee in a splash of milk and beat it through thoroughly.

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like these popcorn cupcakestangy marmalade cupcakes or romantic rose cupcakes.

Easy Recipe: Quick Coffee Cupcakes

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes – perfect for movie night!

Popcorn is one of the most popular snacks in the UK. It’s considered to be a lighter, healthier snack option. Whether is really is or not is up for debate, but it is a movie night essential. These days you can get all kinds of different flavours of popcorn. I’m a traditionalist and I like sweet popcorn, or that toffee covered popcorn which makes my teeth tingle.

A little while ago I received a bottle of Monin Popcorn Syrup. It’s the kind of thing you might use in coffee or cocktails, but I had different ideas. I really fancied making some popcorn cupcakes.

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

My popcorn cupcakes turned out really well. They had a good popcorn flavour but were not overpowering. They were a big hit with the boys too and I know I’ll be making these again and again.

Popcorn Cupcakes

Ingredients:
4oz butter or margarine
4oz caster sugar
2 eggs (large)
4oz self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon of Monin Popcorn Syrup

For the buttercream:
250g icing sugar
250g butter (softened)
1 teaspoon of Monin Popcorn Syrup
Bag of your favourite popcorn

Method:
Pre-heat your oven to 180° and put paper cases in a bun or a muffin tray.

Cream your butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients and using a hand mixer combine until the batter is smooth and airy.

Dollop a large dessert spoon of the cake batter in each case and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave cool on a rack.

While your cupcakes are cooling, sift your icing sugar and beat together with the softened butter. Add your Popcorn syrup and beat it in thoroughly. Taste your buttercream, you might want to add a bit more syrup if you want a stronger flavour. You can always add more, but you can’t take it away!

Once your cupcakes are cool, put your popcorn flavoured buttercream in a piping bag with a star piping nozzle – I used a Wilton 2D nozzle. I did a standard buttercream swirl, if you’re not sure how to do it, watch this short video.

I then covered the buttercream swirl with popcorn. If you start around the bottom of the swirl and made sure as much of the buttercream is covered in popcorn. Gently press the popcorn into place on the buttercream and your cupcake is done and ready to be enjoyed on movie night!

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

If you enjoyed this recipe, you might also like my tangy marmalade cupcakes.

Recipe: Popcorn Cupcakes - perfect for movie night!

How to make a really easy Volcano Birthday Cake

For my son’s 7th birthday he wanted me to make him a Volcano Birthday Cake. I am by no means an expert cake decorator, so I knew whatever I made would need to be really simple to put together. The great thing about making a volcano cake if you’re not an expert cake decorator, is if it looks a bit rough and rustic when you’ve finished, it all adds to the rugged volcanic charm.

A few years of watching The Great British Bake Off has given me a few ideas, so I sketched the plan and set to work. You will need six round sponge cakes. I also used my favourite kind of shop bought frosting – Morrison’s Chocolate & Brazilian Orange Frosting. It’s the best shop bought frosting I’ve ever tried and it’s well worth searching out. If you can’t find it, use whatever chocolate frosting you can get your hands on.

How to make an easy Volcano Birthday Cake

Here’s how I made my pre-historic Volcano Cake.

How to make a Volcano Birthday Cake

You will need:

6 round sponge cakes (I used 9 inch tins)
2 tubs of Morrisons Chocolate & Brazilian Orange Frosting
Dr Oetker Regal Ice Ready to Roll Icing pack of multi-coloured icing
Wooden skewers or long straws
Selection of small plastic dinosaurs
Fountain Sparkler candle
One cupcake per letter of name (eg Ben = 3 cupcakes)
Birthday candles
Wooden letters spelling name

How to build your cake:

On a large clean tray or board put a dollop of Morrisons Chocolate & Brazilian Orange Frosting and start to build your volcano on top of this. The frosting will help to anchor the cake in place.

Sandwich your six layers of cake on top of each other with a layer of the Morrisons Chocolate & Brazilian Orange Frosting in between each cake. Take your skewers or straws and push then down from the top of your volcano structure down through the six layers to the bottom, this will make the cake more stable.

Carefully using a knife, carve your cake structure into a volcano shape. It doesn’t have to be perfect, remember if it’s rustic it all adds to the charm. Dust as many loose crumbs off your cake as you can and then start to plaster the whole cake in the Morrisons Chocolate & Brazilian Orange Frosting. Once it’s completely covered, leave it to harden a little for an hour or so.

How to make an easy Volcano Birthday Cake

Taking the red and yellow icing from the Dr Oetker Regal Ice Ready to Roll Icing pack, cut each pack of icing in half. Set aside half of each pack and with the other halves, knead them together to make an orange coloured icing.

Here’s where you can get artistic. Roll pieces of the red, yellow and orange icing into rivulets of lava and press them into your volcano. Make sure there’s plenty of lava coming out of the top and running down the sides. You might want to pool some lava at the bottom of the volcano.

How to make an easy Volcano Birthday Cake

Taking your dinosaurs and a little of the chocolate orange frosting (to stick the dinosaurs in place) add some dinos to the scene. Again be artistic; get them caught in the lava, running away from it, have them in little family groups, whatever you want.

Take your cupcakes and top with some frosting; wedge a letter on the top of each one and using the frosting on the bottom of the cupcakes, stick them in place to spell out the name. Again you can have dinosaurs around the cakes, or looking like they’re eating them maybe.

How to make an easy Volcano Birthday Cake

To finish your cake, put the fountain sparkler candle in the top (so when you light it, it should sparkle and flame like a volcano.

My son was absolutely delighted with his volcano birthday cake, and his friends were pretty impressed too. It’s surprisingly simple to put together and it doesn’t have be perfect in order for it to be impressive. I dread to think what he’s going to ask for next year!

How to make an easy Volcano Birthday Cake

How to make a really easy Volcano Birthday Cake

If a volcano cake doesn’t cut it, what about this super-simple train birthday cake?

Baking: Make Your Own Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

October is one of my favourite months, I love the autumn colours and Halloween is always a good excuse to get the mixing bowls out to create something spooky to celebrate the occasion. We don’t do trick or treating, but we usually have a party for some of the small boy’s friends, or a little Halloween tea party of our own. I tried my hand at making some spooky Halloween cupcakes for the occasion and I was quite pleased with how they turned out.

Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

The cupcakes were really easy to make (you can read my fail-safe sponge cake recipe here) and take very little time to knock up with a food mixer, though I sometimes mix my cakes by hand if I can’t be bothered washing the mixer afterwards.

Once my little cupcakes had cooled, I made a buttercream. I made quite a lot of buttercream because I had several batches of cakes to decorate for various occasions. To make my buttercream I put 500g of soft unsalted butter in the food mixer and beat it for a minute or two to soften it up properly. I then added 500g of sifted icing sugar and beat them together until they were thoroughly combined. As you can see it’s just equal amounts of each ingredient, so depending on how much buttercream you need you can make more or less.

Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

I then put half of the buttercream in a tub in the fridge to use at a later date, I put a quarter in a piping bag with a piping nozzle (I use a large star) and popped that in the fridge to firm up a little. With the remaining quarter of icing (still in the food mixer) add orange food colouring, just a few drops at a time until you get the Halloweeny orange colour you want. Once you’re happy with the colour, pop it in the fridge to firm up a little – though not so much that you can’t pipe it. I always find freshly made buttercream is too loose to pipe with until it’s had half an hour in the fridge.

Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

I had been sent some spooky decorations by Cake Angels. I really like using Cake Angels decorations, they’re simple to use, are often quite fun and look great. The Halloween decorations are no different.

I made three different kinds of spooky Halloween Cupcakes…

With the orange buttercream and using a palette knife, I smoothed the buttercream on top of the cupcake (choose cupcakes which don’t rise above the edge of the paper case for this). I then took a Cake Angels Halloween cake topper and placed it in the middle of the cupcake, then sprinkled some of the Cake Angels Halloween sprinkles on. The small boy enjoyed helping to decorate the cakes like this, almost as much as he enjoyed eating them.

Using my large star piping nozzle I piped icing onto the Halloween cupcakes and topped them with a cake topper, some I added sprinkles too. I used both the plain white buttercream and the orange buttercream for this.

Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

These Witches Hat Halloween Cupcakes were a bit of an experiment. I’d spotted some ice cream cones in the reduced section in a local shop. I bought some black get food colouring and spent some time the night before carefully painting my ice cream cones black, leaving them to dry overnight.

When it came to icing my witches hat cupcakes, I piped orange icing (for hair) onto the cupcake, then carefully pressed the hat/cone onto the icing. To decorate, I dabbed some buttercream onto the back of one of the Cake Angels decorations and stuck that to the hat. If I’d thought it through a bit more I would have made a buckle and belt for the hat out of royal icing. I will next time.

Spooky Halloween Cupcakes

These spooky Halloween cupcakes were lots of fun to make and would be a great centrepiece for a Halloween party. They were tasty too – too tasty. They didn’t last long before they were spirited away into our bellies!

Cake Angels decorations are available from a wide range of supermarkets (I’ve seen them in Tesco and Co-op) and from specialist shops.

I was sent some Halloween cake decorating goodies by Cake Angels, all images and opinions are our own.

Mummy makes Cakes with Cake Angels

I’m not known for my baking skills. If a cake needs whipping up in our house, it’s usually my much more talented better half who takes up the whisk. My skills lie equally in cake decorating and cake eating.

A few years ago I went to a cupcake decorating class and learned how to pipe the icing onto cakes large and small. It is remarkably easy and can look quite effective.

I was excited when a huge goodie bag from Cake Angels was sent to me. The bag contained a large tub of chocolate fudge icing, some mini marshmallows, two packs of sugar decorations, a big variety tub of chocolate swirls and sprinkles and a couple of sets of candles.

The boys set to work exercising their baking skills. I stood well back for fear my intervention would render the cakes inedible. Once cooled I set to work with my piping bag and the decorations. I think the results are quite acceptable and the products really easy to use, even for a very amateur baker like me. What do you think?

cake angels

Disclaimer: I was sent the goodie bag free of charge by Cake Angels for testing purposes, the products were easy and enjoyable to use, my reviews are always honest and unbiased.