Summer cupcakes to flavour three ways
- June 2012
- Makes 24
- Hands-on time 20 min, cook time 15-20 min, plus infusing
These cute cupcakes are ideal for a summery afternoon tea. They have a simple vanilla sponge base and their toppings can be flavoured in three ways: blueberry, cherry ripple or lemon and earl grey.
- 15.8g (9.6g saturated)
- 53.4g (41.7g sugars)
- 250ml semi-skimmed milk
- 250g unsalted butter, softened
- 375g golden caster sugar
- 5 large free-range eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300g self-raising flour
- 150g plain flour
For the lemon and earl grey flavouring
- 2 Earl Grey tea bags
- Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
For the cherry ripple flavouring
- 150ml cherry compote
For the blueberry flavouring
- 150g blueberries
For the lemon butter icing
- 150g unsalted butter, softened
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
- 500g icing sugar, sifted
- Milk to loosen (optional)
- A few drops of red and a few drops of blue food colouring (optional)
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Put one-third of the milk into a pan with the Earl Grey tea bags. Bring almost to the boil, then remove from the heat and steep for 30 minutes. Remove the tea bags and discard.
- Meanwhile make the cherry ripple flavouring. With a hand blender or liquidiser, whizz the cherry compote until smooth.
- For the cupcakes, line 2 x 12-hole cupcake or muffin tins with 4cm-5cm deep cake cases (or use silicone tea-cup cake moulds from oliverbonas.com, as shown). In a big bowl, beat the butter with the caster sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition, scraping down the bowl with a plastic spatula. Add the vanilla, then sift over the flours. Whisk, then divide among 3 bowls. Add the Earl Grey-infused milk to one bowl and divide the remaining milk between the other bowls. Mix with a wooden spoon until the batter is at dropping consistency (it drops off the spoon in thick clumps).
- Next, add the flavourings. Mix the lemon zest for the lemon & Earl Grey flavouring into the bowl with the Earl Grey-infused milk. Gently fold the cherry compote into another of the bowls for a ripple effect. Fold the blueberries into the last bowl.
- Divide the mix among the cupcake cases (8 of each flavour). Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden, risen and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack.
- For the icing, beat the butter until light and fluffy, then mix in the lemon juice, zest and icing sugar until spreadable. If it’s too thick, loosen with a little milk. You can pipe the icing on to the cakes as it is using a large disposable piping bag (from lakeland.co.uk) fitted with a large star nozzle, or divide it into 3 and mix a little blue food colouring into one of the portions and a little red into another. You can even pipe 2 colours at once, look out for piping bags with a clever split nozzle and two sections, with one section for each colour. Or, see our video for how to make your own simple piping bag.
If the blueberry cakes need longer to cook, remove the others when ready, then cook the blueberry cakes for 2 minutes longer.
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