White Hot Chocolate Cupcakes!

Hi everyone! I hope you’re all well! I’m back with some Christmas baking inspiration!

This is definitely a well loved recipe! I adapted it from my favourite cake book ever: Cake Days by the Hummingbird Bakery! My cake book is so splattered with cake mixture it’s hard to read the recipe!

I’m not the biggest fan of white chocolate, but these cakes are definitely popular. It uses hot chocolate powder instead of white chocolate, and they’re not too chocolatey. I use either the Galaxy white hot chocolate or the Options one, but I’m sure others would do the job!

These would be a good thing to make for Christmas. They’re really easy as well! The only thing that sometimes trips me up is heating the milk. I sometimes forget to do it at the start and end up waiting for it to cool. But it’s not a huge problem!

White chocolate can also be quite unpredictable. The icing is quite stringy and the sponges can rise quite a bit! Just make sure you keep your eye on them and use your judgement. If you’re ever in doubt about if a cupcake is cooked, you can put a skewer in the centre. If it comes out clean, it’s ready!

This is the only photo I have, and I’m aware it’s terrible! I swear, I will remake these and take a picture of them! And let’s just ignore the chocolate drip on the radio! It’s from the drizzling from my Marbled Toffee Brownies!

Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

White Hot Chocolate Cupcakes (adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery)

For the sponge:

240ml whole milk

25g white hot chocolate powder

80g unsalted butter

280g caster sugar

240g plain flour

1tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

2 large eggs

For the frosting:

60ml whole milk

30g white hot chocolate powder

500g icing sugar

160g unsalted butter

Large white chocolate buttons

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 160 degrees c and line a muffin tin with paper cases.

2) Gently warm the milk, then add the white hot chocolate powder and stir until dissolved. Set aside and allow to cool.

3) Using an electric mixer, mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a slow speed until it resembles a sandy texture and there are no large lumps.

4) Crack the eggs into the cooled chocolate milk and combine. Pour two thirds of this into the dry mixture and mix until combined.

5) Pour the rest of the milk into the mixture and beat until smooth and thick.

6) Fill each case two third full. Bake for 18-20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and they bounce back when lightly pressed. Turn out to a wire rack and leave to cool.

7) To make the frosting, warm the milk and white hot chocolate powder together until dissolved. Leave to cool completely.

8) Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl and add the butter. Beat on a low speed until there are no large lumps.

9) Gradually pour in the milk and beat until combined. Turn the mixture up to high and beat until light and fluffy.

10) Spread the icing onto the cooled cupcakes and decorate with a white chocolate button. Store in an airtight container.

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Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes!

Hi everyone! It feels like it’s been ages since I’ve written a blog post. Today I’m sharing the recipe for strawberry cheesecake cupcakes!

It’s probably the wrong season for these, but I’ve been too busy to bake. The photo I’m using is quite an old one. Anyway, if you can get your hands on some strawberries, they’re delicious!

The recipe comes from from the first Hummingbird Bakery cookbook. It’s a vanilla sponge with strawberries baked into it. The frosting is cream cheese and it is decorated with digestive biscuits. It’s a brilliant combination. I’ve doubled the quantities from the book because I don’t get enough cupcakes when I use the original.

A huge benefit of these cupcakes are they are so easy to make, but they look quite impressive! This makes them ideal for bake sales and parties, and I often make them in the summer when I get requests!

If any part of the recipe is unclear, please let me know in the comments!

Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes (adapted from the Hummingbird Bakery)

For the sponge:

80g unsalted butter

240g plain flour

280g caster sugar

1tsp baking powder

¼ tsp salt

240ml whole milk

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

12 strawberries, chopped into small pieces

For the frosting and decoration:

600g icing sugar, sifted

100g unsalted butter

350g Philadelphia

Digestive biscuits, crumbled

Method

1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c and line a muffin tray with cupcake cases.

2) Mix the butter, flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a freestanding electric mixer on a slow speed. The mixture should be a sandy texture, with no large lumps.

3) In a separate bowl, combine the milk, eggs and vanilla extract.

4) Pour roughly 2/3 of this mixture into the dry ingredients and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl using a spatula. Pour the remaining milk into the mixture, and beat until combined.

5) Divide the chopped strawberries into the bottom of the paper cases. Fill the cases with the batter until they are 2/3 full. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The sponges should be light golden brown in colour and should bounce back when lightly pressed. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

6) For the frosting, beat together the icing sugar and butter until there are no large lumps. It is best to use an electric mixer for this.

7) Add the cream cheese to the mix and beat until combined. Do not overbeat as the mixture can become runny.

8) Once cooled, spread the icing onto the sponges and decorate with the crushed biscuits. Store in an airtight container.

Tips

This mixture can make between 12 and 16 cupcakes. If you have leftover batter, chop extra strawberries: there should be roughly one strawberry per cupcake.

Make sure the butter is soft before making the icing. This will help to make the icing smooth.

The icing is quite soft, so the cakes may look a bit messy!

I recommend using a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment, but you could also use a handheld electric whisk. I wouldn’t recommend mixing this by hand.

Lemon Drizzle Traybake!

How much is everyone going to judge me if I say that I went home from uni so I could bake?

Okay, so that’s a bit of an exaggeration. My gran’s choir were having a concert, and I make Toffee Brownies every year. I wasn’t going to come back, but I was missing my family! I thought I’d take advantage of this opportunity to try something new. It might be a while before I can do something again!

I’d wanted to try this recipe for a while. It’s a Mary Berry one, and it looked ideal for those times when you need lots of cake in a short time period!

I was so pleased with how these turned out! They’re not too tangy or sweet, and they’re super light inside! My mum and I loved them! I’m not too sure they went down very well at the concert, but I think this is because they looked quite plain. They have no icing but are topped with a crunchy sugar topping.

The recipe is ridiculously simple. Just chuck everything in a mixer and whisk until it is smooth. It is literally foolproof. I forgot to soften the butter, but after a bit of whisking, it was soon sorted. This recipe would be perfect for anyone who’s missing the summer!

Lemon Drizzle Traybake (adapted from Mary Berry)

Ingredients

For the sponge:

225g unsalted butter, softened

225g caster sugar

280g self raising flour, sieved

2 tsp baking powder

4 large eggs

100ml milk

Finely grated zest of 2 lemons

For the crunchy topping:

175g granulated sugar

Juice of 2 lemons

Method:

1. Preheat the oven to 155 degrees and line a traybake tin with greaseproof paper

2. Measure all the ingredients into a large bowl and beat well for about five minutes. The mixture should be pale in colour and have no big lumps of butter

3. Pour into the tin and bake for 25-30 mins. The traybake should spring back when pressed lightly and the edges should be shrinking from the sides of the tin.

4. Allow to cool in the tin for a few minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack. Leave to cool slightly

5. To make the crunchy topping, mix the granulated sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Spoon this mixture evenly over the traybake while it is still warm.

6. Leave to cool completely before cutting.

Tips

Place a piece of greaseproof paper under the sponge to catch any drips from the topping.

The recipe suggests to cut into 30 pieces, but I made 18 (with a few ends!)

Fudge Cheesecake

So this is the first recipe post I’m writing up while I’m at uni. I’m already missing baking, and I’ve only been away for six hours! I definitely can’t see myself doing baking here, but I’ll miss writing my recipe posts so much. I’ll definitely make the most of it when I’m home at Christmas!

Anyway, this is my holy grail cheesecake recipe. I’ve made it every Christmas that I can remember and it always goes down a treat!

Although it’s not Christmas specific, I thought I’d post it now in case anyone’s being super organised and has started planning for Christmas already. And if you’re unorganised like me, this is a super easy recipe that you can quickly whip together on Christmas Eve!

The only problem is, I have no idea where it came from. My mum was given the recipe from one of her friends, but I don’t know where it came from before that. She seems to think it’s someone’s who was on Masterchef a few years ago, but we’re honestly not sure.

I also want to apologise for the poor quality of this photo. I took it almost two years ago when I hadn’t even considered recipe blogging!

Here’s my recipe for fudge cheesecake! I hope you enjoy!

Fudge Cheesecake

Ingredients:

250g Hobnobs, crushed

75g butter, melted

200g cream cheese

600ml double cream, lightly whipped

300g good quality fudge (I use Thornton’s!)

Method:

1. Lightly butter a 24cm springform tin.

2. Combine the biscuits and butter and press into tin to make the base.

3. Beat the cream cheese until soft.

4. Grate 250g of fudge and tip into cheese. Gently fold this into the cream.

5. Chop the remaining fudge and scatter over the base.

6. Spoon the cream mixture over the base and cover. Chill for 6-24 hours.

Tips:

Sometimes it’s hard to find plain hobnobs at Christmas time. We’ve used chocolate chip ones before and it’s worked fine!

Chocolate Guinness Cake!

This is a much loved recipe in my family and since I had leftover Guinness, I thought I’d make one! My Guinness Brownies post was so popular, I thought you’d appreciate this one!

This cake really doesn’t take long to make. It’s not as rich as the brownies, and you don’t taste the Guinness at all! It’s a very moist cake so it really doesn’t need a thick layer of icing on top.

The recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery book ‘Cake Days’ which I can’t recommend highly enough. This book is crammed with cake recipes that appeal to both classic and adventurous tastes!

The recipe requires a 23cm (9in) diameter spring-form cake tin. I’ve never tried it as a layer cake and I don’t know how it would work. I’d guess you’d need to double the icing quantities though, as the layer of icing is very thin.

This cake takes a while in the oven, and it is possible that it may burn on top. If you think it is burning, cover the top with a layer of tin foil and continue cooking!

If you have any questions, leave them in the comment section below!

Chocolate Guinness Cake

Ingredients

For the sponge:

250ml Guinness

250g unsalted butter

80g cocoa powder

400g caster sugar

2 eggs

1tsp vanilla extract

140ml buttermilk

280g plain flour

2tsp bicarbonate of soda

½ tsp baking powder

For the frosting:

50g unsalted butter, softened

300g icing sugar

125g full fat Philadelphia

Cocoa powder for dusting

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 170 degrees c. Line the base of the tin with baking parchment and grease the sides.

2) Pour the Guinness into a saucepan, add the butter and gently heat until it has melted.

3) Remove the pan from the heat and add the cocoa powder and sugar.

4) Mix the buttermilk, eggs and vanilla extract into a separate bowl and add this to the mixture.

5) Sift the remaining ingredients into a bowl. Using a mixer on a low speed, pour in the contents of the pan. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and continue to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated.

6) Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for roughly 45 minutes. The sponge will bounce back when lightly pressed and a skewer inserted into the middle will come out clean. Allow the cake to cool slightly in the tin, then turn it onto a wire rack and leave to cool completely.

7) Using a mixer, beat together the butter and icing sugar until there are no large lumps of butter and the mixture is a sandy texture. Add the cream cheese and continue to mix. Increase the speed to medium and beat until the frosting is light and fluffy.

8) Spread the icing onto the cake and dust with cocoa powder.

Tips

I recommend you sieve the cocoa powder so there’s no lumps.

Be very careful when you put the cake in and out of the oven. Spring-form cake tins sometimes have a mind of their own!

The layer of icing should be very thin. Don’t worry if you can see the sponge through it!

Scrummy Chocolate Swirl Shortbread

Shortbread isn’t a recipe that I’ve really mastered. It takes a lot of patience (which I’m lacking) and arm strength (again, lacking). I was a bit skeptical to try this recipe, but I’m glad I did! It turned out really well, and although it’s not the most photogenic, I definitely think it’s worth a blog post!

The shortbread is really easy to make, although I did find the instructions on how to roll it a bit confusing. I’ve included some pictures below to make it a bit easier!

The recipe is by Green and Black’s and it comes from the book Unwrapped: From the Cacao Pod to Muffins, Mousses and Moles. To be honest, I’m not the biggest fan of this recipe book. Every recipe I’ve tried hasn’t worked well. I had a flick through and there are some recipes I want to try, so I’ll definitely give it more of a chance!

I didn’t use Green and Black’s chocolate for this recipe, but of course you can if you want to! I used chocolate chips because that’s what I had, but I think it would be easier with little shards.

It can easily be made vegan! Just replace the butter with vegan margarine, and use dark chocolate in the middle!

This is slightly off topic, but I wanted to get your opinions on something. I’m moving back to uni soon and I won’t be able to bake (how will I ever cope!). I know I have followers that just follow me for my recipe posts and I don’t want to disappoint anyone. Would you rather I just stopped the recipes until Christmas or post recipes I haven’t made in a while using old photos? Please let me know!

Scrummy Chocolate Swirl Shortbread (adapted from Green and Black’s Chocolate Recipes: Unwrapped: From the Cacao Pod to Muffins, Mousses and Moles)

Ingredients

Shortbread 1:

150g plain flour

½ teaspoon salt

50g caster sugar

125g unsalted butter

Shortbread 2:

125g plain flour

25g cocoa powder

½ teaspoon salt

50g caster sugar

125g unsalted butter

100g chocolate, chopped into pieces

Method:

1) Preheat the oven to 150 degrees fan, and line a couple of baking trays with greaseproof paper.

2) To make the first shortbread, sift the dry ingredients into a bowl. Rub the butter in until the mixture combines. Knead lightly, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

3) Make the second shortbread in exactly the same way.

4) Roll out both doughs on a lightly floured surface into equal sized rectangles that are about 1cm thick.

5) Place the plain shortbread on a sheet of greaseproof paper. Put the chocolate shortbread on top. Scatter the chocolate across the surface, putting the bigger pieces in the middle.

6) Carefully roll the shortbread like a Swiss roll, as tightly as you can. Use the greaseproof paper to help.

7) Pinch the ends to stop the chocolate falling out, then squeeze the roll until it is 22cm long.

8) Using a sharp knife, slice the roll into 1cm pieces. Lay out on your baking tray.

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9) Bake for 25 minutes, or until the plain shortbread is a light golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

Tips

Don’t worry if the chocolate breaks through when rolling it!

Mine took about 20 minutes, but my oven was already hot.

Raspberry Brownies and Muffins

Fun fact- I really dislike fruit. I know that sounds incredibly childish but I’m just not a fan! Everyone always thinks it’s weird, but honestly, give me a salad over fruit any day!

Unless the fruit is covered in chocolate. That’s a different story. Banana and Nutella is a match made in heaven.

I was at my gran’s house when one of her neighbours popped around with a punnet of fresh raspberries. They ended up going home with us! Does anyone else leave their grandparents’s house laden down with random items or is it only me?

They looked delicious, and I was desperate to bake with them. After a quick internet search I decided on two recipes- white chocolate and raspberry muffins, and raspberry brownies. I followed the recipes exactly as they were, so just click on the links if you want to make them!

The muffins worked brilliantly. They’re so light and fluffy, and I had no problems with the recipe at all! The only thing I’d say would be to remember to leave some white chocolate for drizzling- 50g was enough for me. Here’s a picture of the finished product!

The inside is gorgeous, if I do say so myself!

The brownies turned out well too. I read the recipe wrong and started to melt the chocolate and butter in a Bain Marie. It was halfway done before I’d realised, so I was surprised they turned out as well as they did!

Although the recipe is simple, they took ages to make! You have to leave the chocolate mixture to cool so the eggs don’t scramble.

They also took a while to cook. At first, I cooked them at 160 degrees c for 25 minutes, turning them after 15. At the 25 minute mark, the brownies looked cooked, so I pulled them out and left them to cool.

It was only when I started cutting them, I realised how squidgy they were. I relined the tin and baked them for an additional 20 minutes at 175 degrees c. By the time the middles had cooked, the top was slightly overdone. It wasn’t noticeable in the taste though, and I dusted the tops with icing sugar to disguise it a bit!

Overall, I’d say these turned out well! They’re a great way to use leftover fruit, and as a self-confessed fruit hater, I really enjoyed them!