Everyone likes to eat cake, but not me.
You must be thinking: Is she out of her mind?
Well, I can't confirm nor deny that, but you'll definitely be out of your mind once you try out these simple, but stunning vanilla and chocolate cupcakes.
You're probably wondering why I'm baking cakes when I don't even like to eat them. Here's why. Cakes are like art to me, and baking them is how I combine two of my favourite things in the world: art and food. I also received the passion for cooking from my mother and my grandma (who are both excellent cooks, by the way).
Okay - enough of that. Let's move on to the recipe.
Step 1: Ingredients
So beforehand, I should inform you that this recipe will make enough for 12 people. However, feel free to double the recipe to make more if you wish.
There will be two types of cupcakes: chocolate with vanilla buttercream icing, and vanilla with mocha buttercream icing. Here are the ingredients:
For the cake:
- 175g of self-raising flour, sifted
- 175g of softened butter, chopped into pieces
- 175g of caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 3 eggs
- 10 - 15g of dark cocoa powder, sifted
For the buttercream icing:
- 175g of softened butter
- 350g of confectionery/powdered/icing sugar, plus 3 - 5 tablespoons extra
- 2 - 3 tablespoons of whole milk
- 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- 3 - 4 tablespoons of cocoa powder, sifted
- 1 - 2 tablespoons of instant coffee powder that has been dissolved in water
And this is the equipment you'll need:
- 12-hole muffin tin
- 12 cupcake cases
- 3 large bowls
- Electric hand whisk, or alternatively a wooden spoon (although that will take much longer)
- Piping bag
Step 2: Cupcakes: Preparation
- Preheat the oven to 180*C/356*F/Gas mark 4.
- Grab your muffin tin and line the holes with your cupcake cases
Step 3: Making the Batter
- Simply put all of your cake ingredients into a fairly-large bowl, and mix with an electric hand whisk until smooth. This should only take a few minutes.
- Once smooth, add 3 tablespoons of whole milk in and whisk that also. The milk helps to lessen the thickness of the batter, so it becomes easier to pipe into the cases.
Step 4: Making the Chocolate Batter
- Split your mixture equally in half, and place the halves into separate bowls.
- In one half, add the dark cocoa powder bit by bit and mix with a whisk or a spatula until fully incorporated, and then add 1 teaspoon of whole milk so that each half has the same consistency (the cocoa powder will slightly thicken the batter). You don't have to add anything to the plain vanilla half if you're following this recipe exactly.
Step 5: Piping the Batter
- If you want your cupcakes to turn out as neat and equal as possible, then pour your mixture into a piping bag, and pipe it into the cupcake cases. The piping bag will allow you to control the amount you add, and will prevent any messiness. Or, just spoon the batter into the cases.
Step 6: Baking
- Next, place this into your oven, and let them bake for about 20 minutes - until they have risen and are firm to the touch. Poke a toothpick through the centre of the cupcakes, and it should come out clean. If there is mixture still present, then put them back into the oven for another 5 minutes.
Step 7: Buttercream: Making
- Pop your softened butter into a large bowl, along with half of the confectionery sugar, and beat with an electric hand whisk until it looks like large yellow crumbs.
- To this, add a tablespoon of the milk, and 1/2 teaspoon of your vanilla extract. Keep mixing this until it becomes creamy.
- Now, add in your remaining confectionery sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk, and beat this till it's creamy again.
Step 8: Making the Mocha Buttercream
- Just like you did with the cake batter, split your buttercream equally in half and place them in separate bowls.
- To one half, add 1 tablespoon of cocoa powder along with 1/2 - 1 tablespoon of coffee.
- After every tablespoon of cocoa along with coffee, add a tablespoon of confectionery sugar - it helps to thicken the buttercream - you definitely don't want a thin buttercream, because when you pipe it with a shaped nozzle, the design won't show.
- In total, you should have added 4 - 5 tablespoons of confectionery sugar, 3 - 5 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and 1 - 2 tablespoons of coffee. You can alter the amounts of the cocoa powder and the coffee to your liking.
Step 9: Piping
Choose how you want to pipe your buttercream.You could go for a classic swirl, which I found looks the best, or you could pipe little flowers all around the top, which looks quite pretty too. Or, you can just smother the entire top with buttercream. Which is awesome.
I got my piping bag from Amazon, it worked quite decently, but try to get ones with big nozzles if you're piping a swirl.
Step 10: Decorations
For the decorations (this is just personal preference) I used:
- Silver balls (I got mine from Asda)*
- Chocolate crunchies (from Asda)
- Chocolate sprinkles (from Asda)
- Dr Oetker's Chocolate Hearts
You can, of course, customise your decorations. I found that the silver balls and the chocolate hearts made the cupcakes really look wedding-themed, so I recommend you to use these.
*Asda in America is probably just Walmart. If you're American, I'm sure you can find these decorations over there.
Step 11: Bon Appétit
So, the cupcakes turned out gorgeous. They were light and fluffy, and had just the right amount of sweetness. My personal favourite was the chocolate cupcake. Even though I didn't eat it.
Try out this recipe if you want - you definitely won't regret it.