Friday, April 27, 2012

Simple Cupcakes

For months my friend V and I have been planning to get together and do some baking. A couple of week ago I suggested that we make cupcakes and she got really excited. She was so enthusiastic about the idea she bought the book 75 Best-Ever Cupcakes by Carol Pastor. As much as we would have liked to make cupcakes decorated with sugar paste and marzipan we wanted to do something simple. So we made Simple Cupcakes, which were pretty simple to decorate. They should have been called Simple Lemon Cupcakes because the icing has a lemony taste to it. V preferred these cupcakes between the two sets that we made (see the Chunky Chocolate and Banana Cupcake entry) because they were fluffy and light. These cupcakes yield 12 but we did 24 mini ones instead.


Simple Cupcakes

1 cup self-raising flour
1/2tsp baking powder
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar (we used regular granulated sugar)
2 eggs
1 tsp lemon juice
For the lemon icing
1 1/2 cups icing (confectioners') sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp hot water


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Line a 12-cup bin tin (muffin tin) with paper cases.
2. Sift the flour with the baking powder and set aside.
3. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar together using an electric mixer until light and fluffy.
4. Add the eggs a little at a time, beating the mixture well after each addition. Gently fold in the sifted flour using a metal spoon. Add the lemon juice and stir to blend.
5. Fill the prepared cups half full. Bake for 13-15 minutes until the cakes look golden and the tops spring back when touched. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. To make the icing, sift the icing sugar and gradually mix in the lemon juice and water until the mixture is smooth. Spoon a little icing on to each cake and smooth it with a metal spatula.

Chunky Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes

I've got a confession to make: I've never watched the entire movie of The Notebook. It's suppose to be really romantic, and I like romantic movies, but I've just never got around to watching it. My friend V wanted to put an end to this, and came to my place earlier this week for an evening of baking cupcakes and watching The Notebook. We didn't get around to watching the movie but we made a ton of cupcakes. We made two kinds from V's new book 75 Best-Ever Cupcakes by Carol Pastor. The first set we made were Chunky Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes. They were more like Chocolate Chip and Banana Cupcakes, but I thought they came out pretty good. My friend preferred the second set of cupcakes we did, Simple Cupcakes. I'll post that recipe on the next entry. Happy Baking!

Chunky Chocolate and Banana Cupcakes

6 tbsp semi-skimmed (low-fat) milk
2 eggs
2/3 cup butter, melted
2 cups plain (all-purpose) flour
1 tsp baking powder
3/4 cup golden caster (superfine) sugar (we used regular granulated sugar)
5oz plain (semisweet) chocolate, cut into chunks (semisweet chocolate chips are fine too)
2 small bananas, mashed


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F. Arrange 12 paper cases in a muffin tin.
2. In a small bowl, whisk the milk, eggs and melted butter together until combined.
3. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a separate bowl. Add the sugar, chocolate and bananas to the flour mixture.
4. Stir gently to combine, gradually stirring in the milk and egg mixture, but do not beat it. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases. Bake for about 20 minutes until the cakes are risen and golden. Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
-Makes 12 cupcakes