Chocolate ‘Christmas Pud’ Cupcakes!

'Christmas Pud' Chocolate Cupcakes!This week I’m feeling all warm and fuzzy inside. Yep, Christmas has landed in the KitchenMason kitchen! Fancy making yourself some rich, chocolate and vanilla cupcakes that look just like little Christmas puds? Well you’ve come to the right place! Here is what you will need to make 12-16 of these cute little cupcakes.

For the Holly & Ivy Sugar Decorations

  • Green & Red Fondant Icing
  • Holly Plunge Cutter
  • Edible Glue OR Cold Water

For the Chocolate Sponge

  • 80g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 280g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 50g Cocoa Powder
  • 2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 240ml Whole Milk, Room Temp
  • 1 tsp Instant Coffee Granules
  • 2 Eggs, Room Temp

For the Vanilla Frosting

  • 200g Icing Sugar
  • 100g Unsalted Butter, Room Temp
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1-2 tbsp Whole Milk

First things first, make the sugar decorations. Simply roll out your green fondant icing to about 3mm thick and cut out shapes using a Holly Leaf Plunge Cutter. Roll small balls, 3 for each leaf shape, using the red fondant icing. Lastly, either dabbing a little cold water or using edible glue, stick 3 red balls into the centre of each holly leaf shape. Place on a baking sheet and allow to dry a little at room temperature whilst you make the cakes.

Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C and line a cupcake tin with foil cases.

To make the sponge – Use either a stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk. Add in the butter, sugar, flour, cocoa powder, baking powder & salt. Mix on a medium to high speed until the mixture resembles a fine sand like texture.

Add 1 tbsp of luke warm water to a glass and stir in the coffee granules until dissolved.

In a jug, beat together the milk, eggs and the coffee then add a third into the bowl. Mix on a low speed until smooth and lump free. Add in the remaining liquid and mix until just incorporated.

(Don’t panic, it won’t taste of coffee I promise! It just makes it taste more chocolaty.)

Chocolate 'Christmas Pud' Cupcakes!Fill the prepared cases two thirds full. (I use an ice cream scoop and a teaspoon.) Then bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 16-18 minutes.

Chocolate 'Christmas Pud' Cupcakes!Use a skewer to test if they’re cooked. If it comes out clean, they’re done. If it has batter on it – they need a few more minutes.

Allow to cool completely on a wire rack whilst you make the vanilla buttercream frosting.

Chocolate 'Christmas Pud' Cupcakes!In a stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, beat the butter until light and smooth. Then sift in half the icing sugar and mix until incorporated. Repeat with the other half.

Add the vanilla extract then 1-2 tbsp milk until it reaches a nice, smooth, pipeable consistency. Load into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choosing. (I used a 2D Drop Flower Nozzle.)

Pipe small swirls on top of each cupcake. (Ignore the cake pictured on the right, that was a spare I used for something else!)

Chocolate ‘Christmas Pud’ Cupcakes!Top with your homemade sugar holly & ivy decorations and precede to wow your family and friends!

Chocolate ‘Christmas Pud’ Cupcakes!I love how cute these are! They would look just the part in the centre of a festive buffet table. Or even make lovely gifts for your friends and family.

If I could suggest one thing, it would be to use the best ingredients you can afford. It really does make a huge difference. Particularly the vanilla extract. I only use Nielsen-Massey Pure Vanilla Extract now and I will never look back! I know it’s a little pricey but it’s the real deal & it will last you a long time. Those supermarket vanilla ‘flavourings’ are no comparison.

I hope I managed to get you in the festive spirit! Until next week my lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Oreo Cupcakes!

Oreo CupcakesThis is a recipe I have made before but wanted make again because 1. they are unbelievably awesome and 2. I thought you lovely lot would like to know how to make your very own! They also have a nice little surprise at the bottom…

Here is what you will need to make about 16-20 outstandingly delicious Oreo cupcakes!

For the Sponge

  • 280g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 80g Unsalted butter, room temp/cubed
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 240g Plain Flour
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 240ml Whole Milk, room temp
  • 2 Eggs, room temp
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract, good quality*
  • 1-2 Packs of Oreos

For the Frosting

  • 125g Unsalted Butter, room temp
  • 200g Full Fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese, COLD**
  • 450g Icing Sugar
  • Oreo ‘halves’ reserved from the sponge recipe
  • 1-2 Packs of Oreos/Mini Oreos to decorate

Notes to the Chef

It is important to have all ingredients at the same temperature when baking, it helps them blend much better & you will have a more even texture to your cakes. If you don’t, you could end up with giant holes in them which is not what you want.

*I can’t stress enough the difference that using a good quality vanilla extract will make to the overall flavour of your cakes. I always use Nielsen Massey’s Pure Vanilla Extract. Compared to the fake vanilla flavouring you get in the supermarkets it’s honestly no contest! I know it’s a little expensive but it’s a big bottle & will last you a long time. Just trust me on this one.

** Don’t be tempted to switch out the Philadelphia for a low fat version or a cheaper version. In my experience, it just doesn’t work as they are not substantial enough and will give you a runny, un-pipeable frosting. Not good.

Right! On with the show…

Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C and line a cupcake tin with cases. (You may need two tins OR to cook them in batches.)

Take your Oreos and twist them into halves. Place the cream sides faced up in the base of all the cases and reserve the plain halves until later. Don’t eat them. Yes you, refrain yourself! It’ll be worth it.

Oreo Cupcakes

Oreo CupcakesNext, either in a stand mixer or a large bowl with an electric hand whisk, add the caster sugar, butter, salt and sift in the flour & baking powder.

Mix until it resemble fine breadcrumbs.

Oreo Cupcakes

Oreo CupcakesIn a jug, measure out the whole milk then beat in the eggs & the vanilla extract. Pour two thirds of the mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until smooth and lump free. Add in the remaining milk and mix again until you have a smooth, thick but slightly runny cake batter.

Oreo CupcakesFill the cases to about two thirds full. Don’t be tempted to add more if you have leftover batter, just make more cupcakes!

Oreo CupcakesBake in the centre of the preheated oven for about 15-20 minutes. Test with a skewer, if it comes out clean they’re cooked. If it comes out with batter, they need another minute or two.

Allow to sit in the tin for a couple of minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the Oreo cream cheese frosting.

In a food processor (or a bag with a rolling pin if you require some therapeutic bashing) add the reserved Oreo halves from earlier and blitz/bash until they’re fine crumbs. Set to one side.

Oreo Cupcakes - Oreo Cream Cheese FrostingIn a large bowl, cream the room temperature butter with a spatula until smooth.

Oreo Cupcakes - Oreo Cream Cheese FrostingTake the cream cheese out the fridge (it’s important to keep it cold right until the last moment) and add it to the butter. Blend until smooth and fully incorporated but don’t over mix.

Oreo Cupcakes - Oreo Cream Cheese FrostingSift the icing sugar then add half into the butter/cream cheese mixture. Carefully fold it in and beat until smooth then repeat with the remaining half. Again, don’t over mix.

Oreo Cupcakes - Oreo Cream Cheese FrostingWhen smooth, thick & lump free – fold in the Oreo crumbs. And there you have it, Oreo cream cheese frosting. If yours is a little runny, pop it in the fridge for 20 minutes and it should firm up a little.

Oreo Cupcakes - Oreo Cream Cheese FrostingWhen the cakes are completely cooled, pipe on the frosting with a nozzle of your choice (I used a 3M tip) and top with a whole Oreo/mini Oreo for decoration.

Oreo CupcakesAnd there you have it, possibly the greatest cupcake EVER! There’s something about the combination of Oreos and cream cheese, it’s just incredible! If you feel the same way you will definitely love my recipe for Oreo truffles AND they make fantastic gifts! Check out the recipe Here.

On that tasty note, I bid you fairwell until next week.

Carry on cooking my lovelies!

Miss KitchenMason

Carrot Cake Cupcakes – Revisited!

Carrot Cake Cupcakes

In true British style I’ll begin by complaining about the weather… If it ain’t too cold it’s too bloomin’ hot!! It hit 30°C today and boy oh boy was it roasting in the KitchenMason kitchen! Possibly not the greatest idea I’ve ever had to invite a friend round the house, switch on the oven & do some baking – buy hey, it’s fun haha!

My friend Charlie really likes carrot cake so I told her I’d share a recipe & teach her how to bake them. Here is what you will need to make approx 12 cakes.

For the Sponge

  • 225g Plain Flour
  • 1 tsp Cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • 150g Light Soft Brown Sugar
  • 3 Eggs
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • Zest of 1 Lemon
  • 190ml Sunflower Oil
  • 150g Grated Carrot

For the Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 70g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 200g Full Fat Philadelphia Cream Cheese
  • 450g Icing Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Orange Extract (Optional)

First thing’s first, Preheat your oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C and line a cupcake tin with foil cases.

In a stand mixer or a large bowl, sift together the flour, cinnamon, baking powder & bicarbonate of soda then add the sugar.

Carrot Cake Sponge

Take one jug and beat in the eggs. Measure the oil out in a separate jug then slowly pour (whilst beating) into the eggs. Add in the orange zest & the lemon zest then gradually fold in the grated carrot.

The Wet IngredientsMix the dry ingredients together on a low speed (or by hand) then, in thirds, add the egg mixture into the bowl until you have a smooth but quite wet cake batter.

Carrot Cake Sponge BatterDivide the mixture between the foil cases. Be careful not to overfill them as they rise quite a lot. No more than two thirds full.

I asked my new assistant to help me out on this one, isn’t she good at it?!

Filling the Cases

Carrot Cakes Ready for the Oven

Bake in the preheated oven for approx 20 minutes. Check with a skewer to see if they are ready. If it comes out clean, they’re done – if there is cake batter on it, they need a bit longer.

When they are baked, remove from the tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before decorating.

Now for the humorous part. Cream cheese frosting has the tendency to be a little runny and unstable if not made carefully OR if made in a 30°C environment!!

Lesson most definitely learnt, cream cheese frosting does not like the British summer. Good job we don’t usually get that much of one haha!

But anyway, we battled on regardless. The best way to attack a cream cheese frosting is to make sure everything is cold. Start by putting the bowl you intend on making it in, in the fridge to chill.

Also, measure out the cream cheese and put it straight back in the fridge until you actually need it.

Ok here we go. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and set to one side. Then in the chilled bowl, soften the butter until smooth.

Cream Cheese FrostingTake the cream cheese out the fridge and add it to the bowl. It is important Not to over mix at this stage but you must make sure you smooth out all the butter otherwise it makes it very difficult to pipe later on. Lumps of butter will actually clog up your nozzle preventing the frosting from being piped neatly.

Cream Cheese Frosting

Now add half of the sieved icing sugar into the bowl and mix carefully. The idea is to mix slowly until the icing sugar is very nearly incorporated – then add in the rest of it and repeat until smooth. Remember – do not over mix! The more you mix, the runnier it will become.

As soon as all the icing sugar is in and the lumps are smoothed out – get it back in the fridge to firm up a little.

When the cakes have completely cooled and the frosting has firmed up, you are ready to decorate! Load up your piping bag with a nozzle of your choosing and pipe away.

I handed over to my marvelous assistant again, I think she’s getting the hang of this!

Piping Cream Cheese Frosting

And there is always an added bonus of making these beauties yourself…

Bakers Rights Bowl!The baker’s rights bowl of course! I tend to slice the tops off my cupcakes to ensure a flat surface to pipe on. These “tops” somehow always seem to end up in a bowl along with any leftover frosting… Yeah, you see why I had to join a gym now don’t you?!

Anyway, I’m off in search of a giant freezer I can hibernate in until this bizarre summer heatwave decides to move on haha!!

I hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

The Mr’s 30th Birthday Cake & Nat’s Hen Weekend!

WOW! I’ve had such a busy week! On Friday I went away with the girls to Leeds to celebrate our Natti P getting hitched in a month’s time AND it’s the Mr’s 30th birthday tomorrow too so I had to get my bake on before I went!

Let’s start with the birthday cake.

The Mr loves playing computer games and one of the many he has completed over the years is a game called Portal. Now in this game, there is a cake. All the way through the game you see images of a cake on the walls and “the cake is a lie…” written next to it. It looks a little something like this…

Portal cakeLong story short, I really wanted to make this cake for him – so I did! Here is what you will need to make this little beauty for yourself.

For the Sponge

  • 160g Unsalted Butter, Room temp
  • 560g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 480g Plain Flour, Sifted
  • 2 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 480ml Whole Milk, Room temp
  • 2 tsp good quality Vanilla Extract
  • 4 Large eggs, Room temp

For the Frosting

  • 450g Unsalted Butter, Room temp
  • 500g Icing Sugar
  • 200-300g Nutella
  • 2-3 tbsp Double Cream
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 40-60g Cocoa Powder

To Decorate

  • small amount of Vanilla Frosting (or whipped double cream)
  • Glacier Cherries
  • Chocolate Flakes to cover

First things first, preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 170°C. Grease 3 x 8″ round loose bottomed cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.

In a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer) beat together the butter, golden caster sugar, plain flour, baking powder & salt until sandy in texture.

Making the SpongeMeasure out the milk in a jug then beat in the eggs & vanilla extract. Add two thirds of the milk into the bowl and mix on a low speed until smooth and thick. Then slowly add the rest of the milk into the cake batter whilst still mixing on low. Continue to mix until everything is evenly incorporated.

Vanilla Cake BatterDivide the batter evenly between the 3 cake tins and bake in the centre of the oven for 30-35 minutes. Test with a skewer to see if they’re cooked. If it comes out clean, they’re ready – if there is batter on the skewer, they need a bit longer. Try not to open the oven door too much though or your cakes will sink.

Ready for the OvenLeave to cool for at least 30-60 minutes in the tins then remove and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. This is important, they must be completely cool before you decorate them or your frosting will melt!

Whilst the cakes are cooling, make the Nutella frosting.

Sift the icing sugar in a bowl and set to one side. In a stand mixer (or a large bowl with a hand held electric mixer) cream the butter until smooth. Gradually add in the icing sugar and mix until smooth and thick.

Nutella FrostingAdd 200g of the Nutella into the bowl along with the salt & vanilla extract then mix together until smooth. Mix in the double cream but do this 1 tbsp at a time as you may not need it all. You want the frosting to be loose but still hold it’s shape. If you add too much liquid it can be tricky to bring it back.

At this point, if you want to you can add in more Nutella until the flavour is right for you.

Nutella FrostingDue to the colour of the actual Portal cake being darker, I added in some cocoa powder until I achieved the colour that I wanted. But if you like the flavour as it is, you can just leave it out.

When the cakes are completely cooled, level them off with a long sharp knife and you’re ready to decorate!

Place the bottom layer on a cake board and cut out strips of greaseproof paper. Place them around the underneath of your cake, this way you keep the board clean as you can simply remove them when you’re done decorating.

Ready for the frosting!Now it’s time to start slapping on that frosting! Put a big dollop of it on the top of the cake & start spreading with a pallet knife. Don’t make it too thick though as when you put the next layer on it will spread a little.

Frosting the CakeFrosting the CakeKeep adding the layers until all 3 are in place. Then carefully spread frosting over the top and all over the sides until it’s completely covered.

Ready for the Decoration!Smooth with a pallet knife and then you’re are ready to decorate. Grab your chocolate flakes and cover the whole cake. Pipe 8 swirls of the vanilla frosting or whipped cream at equal intervals around the top and place cherries on each swirl.

Pop a candle into the middle and et vous voila! You have yourself a Portal cake!

Portal CakeThe Cake is a Lie...I am so pleased with how this turned out and it went down a treat at the Mr’s 30th birthday party. The cake might be a lie but his age isn’t! (Sorry darlin haha!)

So as I mentioned earlier, I went on a hen weekend to Leeds to celebrate my good friend Nat diving into the world of wedlock. To start the weekend off, of course I made some cupcakes. Nat loves chocolate so naturally that was the choice of flavour but, with it being a hen weekend, I wanted to make them a little bit naughty…

Hen Party Willy Cupcakes!

Yeah that’s right, chocolate willys!! And very well received they were too! We did get a few funny looks on the train eating them though… haha!

What an action packed weekend it was though! We kicked things off at a casino on Friday night which was great fun and the food was delicious! On the Saturday we headed on over for breakfast and broke it to Nat (the hen) that we were all going to be dressing in black as pretty burlesque ladies and she was going to be our man pimp wearing a man’s shirt and tie and some seriously short shorts. Little did she know that we had a beautiful red & black basque made to measure for her with an attached black feather bustle. And may I say, she looked absolutely stunning in it!

Once we had her ready we whisked her off to a burlesque dance class followed by a lovely meal. After that we hit the clubs in our very own private party bus complete with loud music and more balloons & streamers than you could shake a stick at! All in all it was an absolutely fantastic weekend and our Natti loved every second of it.

Hen Party Burlesque NightHen Party Burlesque Night

So to round this week’s post off, I would like to say a massive Happy 30th Birthday to the wonderful man in my life! I love you more than life itself.

To my good friend Nat, I hope we sent you off into the life of a married woman in style. I wish you and Jim a long and happy life together and can’t wait for the big day in July!

Also, a big shout out to all the lovely hens. It was an absolute pleasure to have met you all. A fantastic time was had by all involved and I’m sure we will all remember this weekend for years to come!

And finally, the biggest shout out goes to the lovely Emma B for organizing the whole thing from start to finish. What a fabulous lady you are!

Phew! Well I don’t know about you but after all that I’m absolutely pooped! I’m off to get my slippers on, grab a nice cup of tea and do nothing for the rest of the evening!

Hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Miss KitchenMason

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes!

Strawberry Milkshake Cupcakes

This week I wanted to find a new cupcake recipe and this one sounded so awesome I had to try it! It’s a recipe from the new Hummingbird Bakery cookbook that the Mr treated me to a while ago. If you happen to be a baking addict like me – you’ll love it! It’s packed full of fantastic recipes and ideas for you to have a go at.

Here is what you will need to make approx 12-16 cupcakes.

For the Sponge

  • 70g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 210g Plain Flour
  • 250g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 210ml Whole Milk
  • 2 Eggs
  • 40g Strawberry Milkshake Powder

For the Frosting

  • 500g Icing Sugar
  • 160g Unsalted Butter, softened
  • 50ml Whole Milk
  • 100g Strawberry Milkshake Powder

For the Sugar Straws (Make 24 hours in advance)

  • White Fondant
  • Red Fondant *see notes

Note: you could also use white fondant coloured with a red food colouring gel.

Also, if you have time, take the butter, milk & eggs out the fridge to come to room temperature before you bake. This should prevent the mixture from curdling so you won’t have any big holes in the middle of your cakes. Ingredients also blend much better when they are at the same temperature.

How to Make Sugar Straws/Candy Canes1. To make the sugar straws, make the fondant more malleable by “massaging” it on a clean work surface until supple.

2. Roll out thin sausages of each coloured fondant.

3. Twist the two colours together.

4. Gently roll the fondant until smooth & even.

Home Made Sugar Straws/Candy Canes

Cut into 8cm lengths then shape into straws. Leave on a baking tray lined with baking paper to dry out overnight.

To make the sponge, preheat your oven to 170°C/Fan 160°C and line a muffin tin with foil cases.

In a stand mixer (or a food processor/then transferred to a large bowl if you don’t have a stand mixer) sift in the flour and add the butter, sugar & salt. Mix until it reaches a sandy consistency.

Making the SpongeIn a jug, mix together the milk, eggs & strawberry milkshake powder and beat with a fork.

The LiquidsSlowly add half of the liquid mixture to the bowl & mix on a medium speed until smooth and thick.  Then gradually add the remaining liquid whilst mixing on a low speed until you get a smooth batter.

Strawberry Milkshake Cake BatterSpoon the mixture into the foil cases until 1/2 full then bake for about 18-20 minutes until cooked through. Test with a skewer, if it comes out clean they’re cooked.

Leave to cool on a wire rack before decorating.

Strawberry Milkshake CupcakesTo make the frosting, sift the icing sugar into a bowl. Then soften the butter in a stand mixer (or by hand in a large bowl) and gradually add in the icing sugar. Mix until all the icing sugar is used up and the mixture is nicely combined.

Making the FrostingMix the strawberry milkshake powder into the milk then gradually add into the buttercream. Mix on a medium speed until light & fluffy.

Strawberry Milkshake Frosting

Strawberry Milkshake FrostingNow you just need to assemble these little beauties! Load the frosting into a piping bag fitted with a nozzle of your choosing. (I used a Jem 1M nozzle) Then pipe onto the cakes and top with a sugar straw.

Strawberry Milkshake CupcakesStrawberry Milkshake CupcakesI have to admit, this is one of the best cupcake flavours I have ever eaten! The sponge is so light and fluffy and the frosting is so creamy & smooth and tastes exactly like a glass of strawberry milkshake.

I love the decoration too, the fondant straws are so cute! A definite winner in my book and they went down a treat with my friends too.

Hope you all enjoyed the post my lovelies.

Until next week.

Miss KitchenMason

Dr Pepper Cupcakes!

My other half stumbled across this recipe and dropped some MASSIVE hints for me to make them for him. This weekend, I finally decided to oblige and give them a go. I was pleasantly surprised with the results! Here is what you will need to make about 10 cupcakes.

  • 330ml can of Dr Pepper
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 2 tbsp Cherry Jam
  • 100g Plain Flour
  • 50g Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tsp Baking Powder
  • 150g Dark Muscovado Sugar
  • 2 Eggs

For the Frosting

  • 120g Unsalted Butter
  • 240g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tbsp Cherry Jam
  • 1 tsp Almond Extract
  • 1-2 tbsp Cherry Cordial

Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180° and line a cupcake tin with foil cases. Fill a large tray with cold water and put into the bottom of the oven. (This will create steam which will help your cakes to be moist and rise well.)

Pour the can of Dr Pepper into a heavy base saucepan and simmer over a medium-high heat until it’s reduced its volume by 2 thirds. (Hopefully leaving you with approx 110ml.)

Then stir in the butter, vanilla extract, almond extract and cherry jam until it’s all dissolved.

In a large bowl, sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and the sugar. (You don’t have to sieve the sugar but I wanted to as muscovado can be particularly lumpy!)

Gradually pour the wet mixture, followed by the eggs, into the dry ingredients and carefully mix until everything is incorporated and a smooth batter is created.

Fill each case 2 thirds full and put into the oven for approx 15 minutes, turning halfway to ensure an even bake. Check with a skewer – if it comes out clean they’re done, if not – they need another minute or two.

Allow to sit in the tin for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely before frosting.

To make the frosting, sieve the icing sugar into a bowl. Then soften the butter in another large bowl using an electric hand whisk.

2-3 tbsp at a time, add the icing sugar into the butter and beat well after each addition until all the icing sugar is used up.

Add in the cherry jam (sieve if it has bits) & the almond extract and mix well. Then, a little at a time, add the cherry cordial. This will affect both the taste and the consistency of the frosting so do not add it all at once! Once you’ve achieved your desired consistency and flavour – load the frosting into a piping bag prepared with your nozzle of choice.

When the cakes are completely cooled, slice the tops to make a flat surface (it’s much easier to pipe onto) and pipe on a swirl of frosting.

Then decorate with whatever takes your fancy!

I’m not quite sure what I was expecting but they really do taste like Dr Pepper! The cherry, almondy flavours make it feel like your eating a can of the stuff! Definitely a really interesting cupcake flavour.

The Mr gave them a big fat thumbs up too!

Hope you enjoyed the post chaps & chapettes – until next time.

Miss KitchenMason

To Celebrate My 100th Post – Spooktacular Halloween Cupcakes!

Happy 100th post to KitchenMason, Hooray! Can’t believe I’ve actually written that many posts! Well, I plan on writing a whole lot more for you hungry lot, starting with my spooky Halloween cupcakes. They were definitely a labour of love but one that I am very proud of and happy to share with you guys!

You can use any vanilla or lemon cupcake recipe for this & any complimentary buttercream frosting.

KitchenMason Top Tip!

You can freeze buttercream frosting! I tested this theory recently as I always seem to get quite a lot of leftover frosting from recipes. All you need to do is put it in an airtight tub and freeze for up to 2 months. When you want to use it, defrost in your fridge overnight then allow to come to room temperature. Give it a good mix with an electric hand whisk until smooth. And there you have it, waste not want not!

For the “Blood” Filling

You will need approx 100g of lemon curd per 6-8 cupcakes & some red food colouring gel. Simply put the lemon curd into a bowl and gradually add red food colouring until you get the depth of colour you want. (I find it best to use a clean cocktail stick every time you add more colour. This way you don’t get icing in your gel pot!)

When your cakes have completely cooled, slice off the tops to flatten – this makes it easier to pipe on the frosting later. Then using an apple corer, carefully core out the middle (be careful not to go all the way to the bottom!) to make room for the lemon curd filling.

Fill a piping bag with the lemon curd then snip a small part of the end off and fill each hole with the “blood”.

Pipe on your different coloured frostings and top with spooky Halloween sugar decorations!

How To Make Your Own Sugar Decorations

To make your own coloured icing (also known as sugar paste) buy a block of ready made white icing. You can get this at all supermarkets.

To colour them, you need to use colouring gels NOT ordinary liquid food colouring. The liquid colourings will alter the consistency of the icing and make it way too sticky & difficult to work with. You don’t need to go mad on spending, so long as you have the primary colours and a black – you can pretty much make any colour. (I got mine from ASDA, usually on offer at 2 for £3)

To make the Halloween decorations, you will also need some edible glue. It’s not expensive and it will last you for ages! I got mine from a brilliant baking supplies website called Planet Bake.

1. First you need to tear the quantity of icing you need from the original white icing block. Make sure you get enough as you probably won’t be able to make the exact same colour again. Knead the icing on a surface lightly dusted with icing sugar until it’s malleable.

2. Using a cocktail stick, smear on a small amount of colouring gel. Remember, you can always add more but you can’t take out. So add gradually.

3. Keep kneading and adding colour until it’s evenly distributed and the colour you want.

4. Repeat for as many colours as you need to make your spooky decorations.

How To Make a Sugar Bat

1. Roll out black sugar paste to about 3mm thick and carve out a bat shape using a sharp knife.

2. Roll out yellow sugar paste and cut out small triangles to make eyes. Using edible glue, stick the eyes to the black bat shapes.

How To Make a Sugar Ghost

1. Roll out white sugar paste and cut into 6.5cm diameter circles. (I cut around a cup that was approx this size.)

2. Using the end of a vegetable peeler (or similar item with a smooth, rounded edge) carefully mould the white circle around it and pleat the “skirt” of the ghost.

3. Roll two small balls & a slightly larger ball out of black sugar paste. Dab a little edible glue onto the eye & mouth areas and press the balls gently onto the glue – flatten slightly. Carefully remove from the peeler and place on the top of a cake!

How To Make a Sugar Pumpkin

1. Roll out a ball from orange sugar paste.

2. Roll out a small ball from green sugar paste and flatten to make a disc. Also in green, roll out a small “stem” shape.

3. Using edible glue, stick the green disc to the top of the orange ball then glue the stem to the top of the green disc. At this point, you could score lines down the sides like you would get on a traditional pumpkin but I wanted to keep mine simple.

4. Roll out some black sugar paste and carve out two triangles for the eyes & a scary mouth shape. (This is fiddly so take your time!)

5. Using edible glue, stick the eyes and mouth onto the orange pumpkin.

How To Make A Sugar Tombstone

1. Using grey sugar paste, roll out an oval about 1cm thick.

2. Cut the oval in half to make two tombstones.

3. Using white (or black) sugar paste & a sharp knife, carve out 3 rectangles (1 long, 2 short) that will form the cross.

4. Using edible glue, carefully stick the cross onto the tombstone and stand upright.

How To Make a Sugar Spider

Note!

Act quickly on this one as the sugar “legs” will dry out fairly quickly & make it difficult to manipulate them. Make sure to have your cakes already frosted and ready to go when doing this decoration.

1. Roll out a ball using black sugar paste.

2. Roll out black sugar paste to about 3mm thick and cut out 8 strips. Then roll them into “legs.”

3. For the evil eyes, roll out small balls in red sugar paste. Then, using edible glue, stick & slightly flatten them onto the body.

4. Trim the legs so all eight are equal in size.

5. Carefully manipulate a bend in each leg and stick into the frosting. Prop the bottom of the leg by pushing it into the sides of the frosting.

6. Put the spider body into the middle of the legs to create a full spider.

And there you have it, your very own spooktacular sugar decorations. They do take a little time to make, but as a result – you get that wow factor on top of your cakes! They look so striking too, very pleased with them!

I also love that when you bite into these cakes, a surprise gushing of blood will come oozing out too! Hope none of you are squeamish..? Haha.

At this point I would like to give a very special mention to my Gran, who’s birthday is actually on Halloween. So Happy Birthday Gran!!

I hope you all get no tricks but lots of treats this week!

Happy Halloween folks! Mwahahahahaha! (Deep, evil, roaring laugh)

Miss KitchenMason

Chocolate Cupcakes

I feel like I have been on a quest to find a great chocolate cupcake recipe for an age! All the recipes I have tried have either ended up being to dry or too dense. There never seemed to be a happy medium… until now.

I have tried a few recipes from the Hummingbird Bakery iPhone app but it occurred to me that I have never tried the chocolate cupcake recipe! Straight away I decided to give it a go. Here is what you will need to make approx 12-15 cakes:

  • 80g Unsalted Butter (Room Temp!)
  • 280g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 200g Plain Flour
  • 40g Cocoa Powder
  • 1 tbsp Baking Powder
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 240ml Full Fat Milk  (Room Temp!)
  • 2 Large Eggs

For the Frosting:

  • 400g Icing Sugar
  • 100g Cocoa Powder
  • 160g Unsalted Butter (Room Temp!)
  • 50ml Full Fat Milk (Room Temp!)

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake tin with foil cases.

Using an electric whisk (or an electric stand mixer) beat together the butter and the sugar until fluffy.

Then sift in the flour, cocoa powder & baking powder and add the salt. Mix until it reaches a sand like texture.

Pour the milk into a jug then beat in the egg. Pour 3 quarters of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix until combined.

Then add in the rest of the milk and stir until you get a smooth, fairly runny sponge batter.

Spoon the mixture into the foil cases until they’re two thirds full. If you have any spare batter just fill more cases.

Put into the middle of the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes. Check cakes with a skewer. If it comes out clean – they’re ready. If it has cake batter on it, it needs another minute or two.

Leave in the tin for about 5-10 minutes until cooled slightly then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

You should get a good rise out of these cakes due to the amount of baking powder in them. I find it easier to frost them when they have flat tops. If you do too, wait until they are completely cooled before slicing the tops of to make them flat.

To Make The Frosting

Sift the icing sugar and the cocoa powder into a bowl. In a separate large bowl, beat the butter to soften a little. Gradually work in the icing sugar/cocoa powder mix until you end up with a dry frosting mix. It doesn’t much resemble frosting yet but just you wait!

Add in the full fat milk and mix until the mixture becomes smooth and shiny. If you want the frosting to be softer, just add a little more milk.

At this point I was a little worried. As you do, I dipped my finger in to have a taste. Sweet bejesus was it rich! Actually quite bitter too! But remember those tops I cut off the cakes earlier? Yeah? Well they all went into my “bakers rights” bowl. (A bowl I always fill with cake tops and leftover frosting!) So I grabbed a top, plopped on a bit of icing and wowsers. Because the sponge was so sweet, the rich chocolatey frosting worked perfectly with it!

When the cakes are completely cooled, pipe on the frosting and top with a pretty sugar decoration.

I was so surprised with these cupcakes. The sponge was amazingly light yet very moist. And the frosting, although it was extremely rich, complimented the sweet sponge fantastically!

I do believe this may become my staple chocolate cupcake recipe from now on.

In the words of Jeremy Clarkson – And on that bombshell… Goodnight!

Miss KitchenMason

Wispa Cupcakes!

It was a friend’s 40th birthday not too long ago and his favourite chocolate bar is Wispa. Turns out, this is one of the Mr’s fave chocolate bars too. I couldn’t resist seizing the opportunity to create Wispa cupcakes!

This is what you will need to make approx 12-16 Cupcakes.

For the Sponge Batter

  • 115g Dark Chocolate
  • 85g Unsalted Butter Room Temp!
  • 175g Soft Light Brown Sugar
  • 2 Eggs, separated Room Temp!
  • 185g Plain Flour
  • 3/4 tsp Baking Powder
  • 3/4 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
  • Salt, pinch
  • 250ml Milk Room Temp!
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

For the Chocolate Frosting

  • 175g Cadbury’s Milk Chocolate
  • 225g Butter
  • 300g Icing Sugar
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract

Decoration & Chocolate Chips for Sponge Mix

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C and line a cupcake tin with foil cases.

Break the dark chocolate into a glass bowl and set over a pan of barely simmering water. Melt slowly and leave to one side.

Cream the butter & the sugar in a large bowl with an electric hand whisk until light & fluffy. Mix in the egg yolks one at a time then add in the melted chocolate.

Sift the flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt into a large bowl. Measure the milk into a jug and stir in the vanilla extract.

Gradually add alternate thirds of the flour mix & milk mix into the batter. Be careful not to over mix.

Chop half the bag of Wispa bites into smaller chunks to make “chocolate chips” and carefully fold into the sponge batter.

In a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks form then carefully fold them into the sponge batter.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases (about two thirds full) and place in the oven for about 20  minutes. Use a skewer to check when they’re done.

Leave in the tin for 10 minutes then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To make the Chocolate Frosting

Melt the Cadbury’s milk chocolate in a glass bowl over simmering water or in a microwave and set to one side.

Sift the icing sugar into a bowl then cream the butter in another large bowl using an electric hand whisk. Gradually add the icing sugar into the butter and mix well after each addition. Add the melted chocolate and vanilla extract then whisk a little with the electric hand whisk until light and fluffy.

To Decorate

Pipe the milk chocolate frosting on the top of the cooled cakes and top with 1 or 2 Bitsa Wispa.

This was a new sponge recipe for me. Even though it was really nice and light I’m not sure that it’s the perfect batter to hold chocolate chips. I don’t think that it’s quite stable enough. If I make these again I would either remove the chocolate chips or try a new chocolate sponge recipe.

I must say though, I loved the chocolate frosting! It really tasted like Cadbury’s milk chocolate. Delicious! It’s unusual to make a frosting with milk chocolate as it tends not to hold it’s shape as well as when you use dark chocolate. But with the addition of a little more icing sugar – it worked really well with this recipe!

And when I asked for the all important verdict from the Mr, all I got was, “F***ing Incredible.” Hahahaha! I think he liked them.

However, I am still on a quest to find the perfect chocolate fudge cupcake recipe. If any of you guys have a recipe that you’ve tried and think I would like I would love it if you could share with me! I love trying new recipes to find what works best.

Hope you enjoyed the post.

Live long and eat chocolate!

Miss KitchenMason

Rainbow Cupcakes!

Yep, super funky rainbow cupcakes! I have seen numerous blog posts across the internet for these and have always wanted to try them. So this weekend I thought, sod it, I’m making me some rainbow cupcakes! Here is what you will need to make about 12-15 cupcakes.

  • 110g Unsalted Butter Room Temp!
  • 225g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 2 Eggs Room Temp!
  • 120ml Milk
  • 1tsp Vanilla Extract
  • 150g Self Raising Flour
  • 125g Plain Flour
  • Red, Yellow, Blue & Green Food Colouring Gels

Cream Cheese Frosting

  • 175g Cream Cheese Room Temp!
  • 450g Icing Sugar
  • 125g Butter Room Temp!
  • 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract

Top Tip!

Use good quality vanilla extract, (Such as Neilson Massey’s)  it will make a huge difference to the flavour of your cakes. Trust me!

Preheat your oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C and line a cupcake tin with cases.

To make the sponge batter, cream the butter and the sugar in a large bowl using an electric hand whisk. Do this for a few minutes until light and fluffy.

Beat both the eggs in a bowl/jug and add to the mixture a quarter at a time. Beat really well after each addition.

Sieve both the plain & self raising flour into a bowl and set to one side. Pour the milk into a jug and stir in the vanilla extract.

Add a quarter of the flour into the batter and mix, then add a quarter of the milk and mix. Mix only until just incorporated. Then repeat the process until all ingredients are used up.

Divide the batter evenly between four bowls. Using cocktail sticks, add small amounts of the food colouring gels and mix through until the desired colours are achieved. Try and be patient when mixing in the colours, if you stir too much you will get the glutens in the flour working which will make your cakes quite dense as opposed to light and fluffy.

Spoon blobs of each colour into each case, then using cocktail sticks, carefully swirl the colours to make funky random patterns within your cakes.

Be aware to still only fill the cases 2 thirds full. It’s easy to get carried away when you’re getting all arty farty with the funky coloured batters!!

Place in the preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Turn halfway to ensure an even bake.

Remove from the oven, allow to sit in the tin for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.

Meanwhile, make the cream cheese frosting.

Sift the icing sugar into a large bowl. In another large bowl, beat together the butter & cream cheese. Gradually, about 2-3 tbsp at a time, mix the icing sugar into the butter/cheese mix using a rubber spatula. Keep going until all the icing sugar has been used.

Add in the vanilla extract then “fluff up”  slightly by mixing for a few minutes with an electric hand whisk. Cream cheese frosting can be slightly wet and difficult to pipe. By whisking with an electric hand whisk, it should make it easier to pipe onto your cakes.

Naturally, you can decorate however you want to. In fact – I encourage it!! The beauty of cupcake decorating is that you can do whatever the hell you like, go nuts! Use your imagination to create your own personalised funky cakes.

On this batch, I used a 2D drop flower nozzle. Working from the middle – with the bag in a vertical position, swirl your way to the outside of the cake. It will create a rose effect. I then topped with some edible glitter.

I love these cakes, even though mine did end up being slightly more dense than I would have liked. (It just required more patience on my part when mixing in the colours.)

They are just so damn funky! Especially with it looking fairly plain from the outside being covered in simple white frosting. Then you take a bite and it’s just an explosion of colour and happiness! Haha, these would be the perfect party cupcakes I think, they just make you smile no matter what mood you’re in.

Hope you enjoyed the post as always! And if you have any cupcake ideas you’d like to share/me to try –  I’m all ears!

Until next time my sugar plum fairies.

Miss KitchenMason