Wednesday, 1 October 2014

This Blogger Bakes!

Hi guys,

As some of you may know, in the UK last Fridsy it was Macmillan Coffee Morning. 

For those of you who aren't aware of this, it's a fun & sociable way to raise money for Macmillan Cancer Support. Essentially it's a bake sale, and for every cake that is sold the money is donated to charity. Usually when these events come up, I am the one eating all the cakes that everyone bakes & donating money to do so, but this time I felt inspired to get even more involved & whip up some tasty treats myself. It must be all those episodes of Great British Bake Off rubbing off on me!

I decided to make the cakes slightly more adult friendly (basically, I put alcohol in them!) and wanted to make more than one flavour, so I settled on Lime Mojito cupcakes and Chocolate Baileys cupcakes. Here's how I did them....

For Lime Mojito cupcakes you need the following ingredients. 

For the cake mixture:
150ml of whole milk
250g self raising flour
250g caster sugar
Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
3 limes
275g unsalted butter (left out overnight to turn soft)
4 medium eggs 
Sprig of fresh mint 
Half tbsp rum (not white rum)

For the icing:
300g unsalted butter (again left out to soften)
675g icing sugar
2 tbsp whole milk 
3 tbsp rum (not white rum) 
Muffin cases 

Makes 12 large cupcakes. 

Firstly, I'll start by saying that I was fortunate enough to use a mixer with these. Obviously if you are mixing by hand the times will inevitably be longer! 
I began by pre-heating the oven at 170 degrees (gas mark 3). I then poured the whole milk into a pan with the fresh mint and boiled it together for 4 minutes. This produces a minted milk which will help to create the mojito flavour! This needs to be left to completely cool, then sieve it into a bowl to remove the mint.

Next I created the cake mix. This involved putting all of the above cake mix ingredients in to my mixer slowly, starting with the self raising flour & butter. 

Next I added the caster sugar, eggs, milk & bicarbonate soda. This is all kept on a relatively low speed when adding the ingredients in, but once they all start to come together the speed can be increased. 

Finally I added in 1 and a half tablespoons of the minted milk, as well as 1 and a half tablespoons of the rum. If you wish to make these cakes non-alcoholic the rum can be replaced with lime juice!

Once the cake mix has been created, the mixture can be spooned evenly into 12 cases, I used muffin cases because although these cakes are classed as cupcakes they are large, and I would class them as muffin-sized (technical term obviously!!!).

Once evenly distributed, the cakes need to go into the pre-heated oven for 22 minutes. Once baked, they will be huuuuge, spongey & gorgeously golden! (Quick tip: to test that they are fully cooked once taken out of the oven gently press down on the top of the cake. This should spring straight back into place, as when it is spongey it is ready!). Leave this on a cooling rack to completely cool, as the buttercream icing can't be applied until they have.

This brings us nicely on to making the icing! To do this you need to measure out 300g of the softened unsalted butter and 675g of icing sugar. 

Firstly, as crazy as this may sound you should sieve the icing sugar. This will smooth out the powder & remove any lumps, which you don't want ending up in the buttercream! (Quick Tip: To get any lumps through the sieve push the icing sugar down on the sieve using the flat end of a spoon, this will break up the lumps & make them into powder & therefore useable).

Add the butter to the mixer and beat for 3 minutes until completely smooth. You then need to take half of the icing sugar and add this to the butter. (As with the cake mixture, always start the mixing on a slow setting & then gradually increase the speed once the ingredients start to come together!). Beat these together for 3 minutes, then add in the second half of the icing sugar and beat together for a further 3 minutes. I recommend a taste test at this point...purely because it is delicious ;) The final stage of this is then to add 2 tablespoons of the minted milk produced earlier, as well as 3 tablespoons of rum. Be careful to stick to these measurements, as if you add any more the buttercream will be too wet and won't set properly. You can then take the bowl out of the mixer as you are now finished with it. 

Next you need to take the 3 limes & grate the zest from them. This is to be added to the buttercream mix just made, but the  zest needs to be folded in by hand using a large spoon. 

Once this is all mixed together that's your icing done! I would recommend at this stage putting it into a piping bag & then leaving it to set in the fridge for 10-15 mins, just to make sure that it is really firmed up & easy to pipe. 

By this stage, the cakes should be completely cool and ready to pipe! (Quick Tip: to test that the cakes are completely cool touch the base of them. If the base is still warm then leave for a bit longer & retest!). To pipe them, take the chilled piping bag and slowly begin squeezing (from the to of the bag) the buttercream into the centre of the cake. Start in the middle and slowly move around it in a circular motion, forming a mound of cream with a pointy top! (Think how an ice cream vendor creates a Mr Whippy...that's the movements you need!) 

Once completed, you can decorate to finish. I used lime sparkly sprinkles (picked up from a local supermarket) but you can also use some more lime zest created using the same method as before. 

And that's the Lime Mojito cupcakes finished...TA DAAA!!

To create the Chocolate Baileys cupcakes, the method and recipe are very similar. I actually created both flavours at the same time, just alternated and halved the ingredients! 

The ingredients for the Chocolate Baileys cupcakes are as follows:

For the cake mixture:
190g self raising flour
190g caster sugar
Half a teaspoon of bicarbonate soda
210g unsalted butter (left out overnight to turn soft)
3 medium eggs 
1 and half tbsp cocoa powder
2 tbsp Baileys
1 tbsp whole milk

For the icing:
300g unsalted butter (again left out to soften)
675g icing sugar
2 tbsp whole milk 
3 tbsp Baileys
100g milk chocolate 
Muffin cases 

Makes 12 large cupcakes. 

The method is essentially the same as before. Obviously for this one there is no need to infuse the milk, so I went straight into the cake mix. As before, I added in the self raising flour, caster sugar and butter to the bowl and mixed until smooth. I then added in the eggs, bicarbonate soda and cocoa powder and blended for 1 minute, until smooth. Finally I poured in 2 tablespoons of Baileys with 1 tablespoon of milk and blended. 

Once again, this mixture was spooned evenly into cases and placed into the pre-heated oven (at 170 degrees/gas mark 3) and baked for 22 minutes. 

Once cooked, these also need to be left to completely cool on a cooling rack, in which time you will be ready to prepare the buttercream icing! 

To make the buttercream, you need to use the same method as above, so sieve the powder first & beat the butter for 3 minutes. Next, slowly add the icing sugar to the butter, mixing for a further 3 minutes until smooth. You then need to add the 2 tablespoons of milk & 3 tablespoons of Baileys, and blend for a further minute. 

Spoon this mixture into a piping bag and leave to set in the fridge for 10-15 mins. 

Once the cakes are completely cool, it's time to pipe again! Use the same method as before, starting in the centre and working your way round.

To garnish these, I grated up the milk chocolate and sprinkled the curls on top of the icing (Quick Tip: When sprinkling use a spoon rather than your hands, as a spoon won't melt the chocolate!)

And here is the finished result! Yay!!!

Don't I look so proud?!! And I have to say, they were rather yummy too! Most importantly, they did the job and helped to raise lots of money for Macmillan, which is ultimately what this was about. If you would like to make a donation yourself, you can go online to or call 0300 1000 200 

And that's it! Thank you for reading, I hope that you enjoyed it & even take inspiration from it! If you try these recipes out then please comment below letting me know, and send me pictures of the finished result! Also comment to let me know of any other cake recipes that I should try, and I will happily give them a go. Just call me Mary Berry.... ;)

Until next time xo

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