Friday, 30 September 2011

Macmillan Coffee Morning Cupcakes

There's a really great little toddler group that I've started going to since moving to Rainford (one of many!), they held a Macmillan Coffee Morning today so I baked these last night to add to the collection they'd be selling:

Very Berry and Almond Cupcakes (for the grown ups)
Vanilla and Raspberry Jam Cupcakes (for the children)

Left: Very Berry /  Right:Vanilla and Jam
Don't ask me why I decided to make two different kinds of cupcake at 8pm on a Thursday night for this thing... talk about hard work! My reasoning was that I'd make some nice ones the kiddywinks and then some nice ones for the adults. Anyway, despite the hard slog of picking two less than simple types o'cake, they turned out lovely and went down really well at the coffee morning. Well, they all sold (30p each - beat that! LOL) anyway so I'm taking that as a good thing!

I even got to use my new favourite piece of equipment...wait for it... duuurn de, duuuurn de, de de duuuurh (yes, that's the Jaws music)....


My new cooking syringe
Just how sinister does this thing look exactly? That's Jam in there in case anyone wondered (you never know). It looks like something I might my able to use on my thighs for a bit make-shift lipo? The irony of somthing meant for filling cakes used to remove my lardy bits... anyway... yes. I'll stop with the grotesqueness now.
I used this for filling the vanilla and jam cupcakes, it worked well - once I'd realised that I should use jam that has been sieved of all it's pips first. This thing get's blocked so easily, it took me an age to actually fill all, 6, yes only 6, cupcakes. Think I might stick to my piping bag next time. This would be good for other things though, maybe marinades or smoother substances than jam. Jam's just too thick for this?

Well, both of these recipes are listed below should you like to try them :)

Coop's Very Berry and Almond Cupcakes

These are also really nice to make at the moment as they're all in season still.

Ingredients (makes 8 big cupcakes):

175g of butter (at room temperature)
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
140g caster sugar
2 eggs
a small punnet of blackberries
a small punnet of raspberries
a small punnet of blueberries
50g flaked almonds
100g plain flour
40g self raising flour
60ml full fat milk
Vanilla sugar
125g cream cheese
300g icing sugar

(so not much then eh...!)


Firstly I'd start off by preparing the decoration for the top of the cupcakes (see below)

  • Take 8 of each berry (blueberry, raspberry and blackberry) and place in a sieve.
  • Run them under the tap and then carefully shake off any excess.
  • Roll them in the vanilla sugar very carefully then place on one side to dry.

Tip: You can make your own vanilla sugar by placing any old vanilla pods you might have used in a jar of ordinary caster sugar - after a few days you'll have lovely vanilla sugar (great for crumbles)

n.b you can also use egg white to coat the berries before covering them but I always like to take the side of caution and steer away from raw egg in anything uncooked.

Now the cakes:

  • Preheat the oven a relatively low heat (I found 120 for a fan oven was appropriate) - this is due to the dense mixture used, I feel a slower bake cooks them evenly and without explosions!
  • Line the cake tin (a muffin one obvs) with you chosen pretty cupcakes (one of fav things to buys!)
  • Place the 125g of the butter, the vanilla extract, sugar and eggs in an electric mixer (or use a handheld) and beat until light and fluffy and well combined.
  • Now fold in the flours, and milk - mix well.
  • Fold in a couple of handfulls of blueberries and add all the almonds - mix until evenly mixed.
  • Evenly distribute the mixture between the cases until they are half full.
  • Now place a raspberry in the centre of each and push until covered with mixure, repeat with blackberries. You can add more if you think they can take it.
  • Now smooth over the top of the cakes and add the remaining mixture on top.
  • The mixture should be quite high in the cases but not to the top.

  • Bake for around 35 minutes.
n.b you'll notice the mixture is quite thick but this really helps suspend the berries so they dont sink to the bottom.

Make the cream cheese frosting:
  • Using either an electric mixer or a handheld, beat the butter into the icing sugar.
  • Add all the cream cheese to this and beat on a medium speed until light and fluffy.

  • Using a spatuler (or knife) spoon on the mixture (be generous, this stuff is lovely! And much lighter than regualr buttercream)
  • Place one of each sugared berry on the top.
Et voila! :)

Now, here's the vanilla and raspberry jam ones:

Vanilla and Raspberry Jam Cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 8 large cupcakes):

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of bakinng powder
120g unsalted butter at room temperature
150ml whole milk
1 egg
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Jar of smooth raspberry jam
250g icing sugar

Make the cakes
  • Preheat the oven to a moderate heat (around 150 fan)
  • Place the flour, sugar, baking powder and 40g of the butter in an electric mixer or use a hand-held on a medium speed until a sandy consitency is reached.
  • mix the vanilla extract with 130ml of the milk and the whisked egg and then slowly pour into the mix bit by bit until just incorporated.
  • Spoon the mixture evenly into the cases.
  • Bake for approx 25 mins then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • Warm the jam in a bowl in the microwave for 30 seconds and sieve to remove pips if necessary.
  • Place in a cooking syringe or piping bag and fill the cakes with as much jam as you'd like.
Make the buttercream icing
  • Place the icing sugar and 80g of the butter in a mixer and beat until just mixed.
  • Add the milk, beat again until light and fluffy.
  • Add any food colouring you may like. (a couple of drops will do) and beat really well.
  • Place in a piping bag with your chosen nozel (I find a start nozel gives that lovely traditional whipped effect)
  • Pipe onto your cakes!
  • Add any other decorations you may like, I added little sugar butterflies I bought on-line.

Coops xxx


  1. These sound absolutely fab Sarah! They look amazing and so much hard work gone into them! I may be taking the very berry recipe and trying some myself! Not sure id trust myself with jam syringe haha! Well done on these fab creations xx

  2. I have found that jam syringing is a bit of a pain - and rarely works as well as you hope. In my experience you can usually get jam to "sit" between two layers of cake batter if the batter is thick enough (just add an extra tablespoon of flour). You put one teaspoon of the mix in the paper, then a half teaspoon of jam in the centre of that mix then add another teaspoon of cake batter to the top to cover the jam completely (stops it seeping out).
    Its way easier and just as effective.
    Clearly you are super excited about your lovely syringe however so I hope I haven't put too much of a dampener on any penchant for newfangled cooking utensils you may have.
    PS: Like the sound of the berry and almond recipe.