Lush lemon cupcakes

The thing I love about lemon-laced food is how refreshing it is, lemon sorbet, boiled lemon sweets and even lemon cupcakes! A few weeks ago we went to a tea shop in Peterborough, a proper vintage filled place, gorgeous cups and saucers with a flower in each as the table’s centre piece. After my smoked salmon and scrambled eggs, I just had to try one of their cupcakes – lemon with a lemon curd centre…. delicious, I had to make some myself!

Using my usual cupcake recipe, I simply added the grated zest of 1 lemon, juicing half of the same lemon for the buttercream icing. After the cakes were cooked (20 mins at 175 degrees), I cut a circle out of the middle and popped a teaspoon of lemon curd before replacing the lid. I them piped my lemon buttercream (I added a little more icing sugar to soak up and stiffen the buttercream once the 1 tbsp of lemon juice had been added). For the decoration I used some small jelly diamonds (the supermarket didn’t have my first choice of candied lemon slices) and sprinkled with a tiny amount of edible glitter.

Indulgent and refreshing 🙂 when you bite into these beauties you hit a glooping pool of lemonlicious curd!

Alfa Romeo Spider birthday cake…

I’ve had to delay this post a little as this novelty birthday cake was a surprise for a lovely friend’s 29th (will have to start planning how I top this for her 30th). She has a lovely Alfa Romeo Spider car, so what better theme to do as her cake?!

Taking just 3 evenings to complete, the cake consists of two layers of chocolate sponge with chocolate butter cream (to which I added real chocolate for an extra special, chocolate bonus). I sandwiched these two, 30 cm square sponges together and cut one side off to add on top (making it 3 layers). I then cut at an angle so the whole shape was similar to a wedge. A square was cut out of the middle for the interior.

Next was the fondant icing…. first I did the interior (the square cut from the middle) in black fondant, then the blue placed over the whole cake. The trick was then to cut around where the black fondant was, to get a really neat seam where the two colours overlapped. The seats are made purely from fondant and secured together with cocktail sticks. All of the little bits of trim came together really fast (having a few photos of the car from different angles really helped). The windscreen was a bit of a difficulty and we did try melting sugar, but it cracked part way through cooling – something to practice I think!

The wheels are made of Oreo biscuits halved and the alloys were piped on, along with the badge detail. I’m really please how this cake turned out as it went from looking like a wedge of brown cheese, to a spaceship, to a bumper car and finally to an Alfa Spider 🙂

Oreo cookie cupcakes

What could be better way of spending a rainy, grey day than in the kitchen baking cupcakes? Well, that’s exactly what I did today! I made Oreo cupcakes a while ago for a tasting (which meant sharing them!) so this time I’ve made them all for myself 🙂

I used my favourite basic vanilla batter:

150g Unsalted butter
150g Caster sugar
150g Self-raising flour
3 eggs
1tsp vanilla essence
1tbsp Milk

Then added crushed (bashed with a rolling pin) Oreo cookies to the mixture – it’s best to whizz these into the batter for just a second then fold them in by hand to avoid powdering the biscuits. I trialed my new Wilton Recipe Right pan today and it was great – the PME cases actually fit!! Success.

After baking the cupcakes for around 20 minutes at 175C (in a fan assisted oven), I took them out to cool and whipped up a basic vanilla frosting:

75g unsalted butter (room temperature)
150g Icing sugar
1tsp vanilla essence
1tbsp Milk

This was then piped into the middle of each cake (make double the above to cover the whole of each cake with frosting) and topped with more crushed Oreo cookies.