Food + Drink

Let them eat (cup)cake!

June is a special month for those with a sweet tooth. Thursday 13th has been declared National Cupcake Day and is the perfect time to celebrate all that is great and good about these sweet treats. It’s not just about enjoying the soft, moist sponge and the light, creamy icing though – Cupcake Day is all about raising money and awareness of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. By purchasing a cupcake from a business or individual raising money for this cause, you’ll be helping researchers get ever closer to finding a cure for these debilitating conditions. Maybe you like the idea of making your own cupcakes and raising money yourself. If that’s the case, here are some amazing recipes that are sure to sell out swiftly.

Honey spice cupcakes with ginger cream from the Cookery School at Little  Portland Street (14)


170ml honey

150ml golden syrup

100ml strong coffee freshly made with boiling water

3 eggs, lightly beaten

260ml double cream

50ml sunflower oil

290g plain flour

60g demerara sugar

3 tsps baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch salt

Grated zest of 1 lemon

¼ tsp allspice

2 tsps cinnamon

3 tsps ginger

3 tsps mixed spice

1 tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp ground cloves

30g stem ginger, finely chopped


For cream:

300ml double cream

30g stem ginger, finely chopped


  1. Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda, salt, spices and lemon zest into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Break the eggs into another bowl and beat lightly. Add the syrup, honey and cream to the eggs and mix together then add the oil and coffee to the mixture.
  3. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and add the chopped stem ginger. Mix until blended – do not overmix. The batter should be quite runny in texture.
  4. Pour the mixture into cupcake cases and fill to just over three-quarters full.
  5. Bake in the oven at 170°C for 25-30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
  7. Whisk 300ml double cream until thick and stir in the finely chopped stem ginger. You can also add some of the ginger syrup from the jar. Serve with the slightly warm or just cooled cupcakes.


Marshmallow cupcakes from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook (revised and expanded edition) (16)

credit: Kate Whitaker

Very sweet and gooey, you can use either chocolate or vanilla frosting to top these cupcakes, with bits of marshmallow to give texture. Decorate with your choice of sprinkles and edible glitter.



240g plain flour

280g caster sugar

3 tsps baking powder

¼ tsp salt

90g unsalted butter at room temperature

240ml whole milk

2 eggs

½ tsp vanilla extract

16 pink marshmallows

150g mini marshmallows,


For the frosting:

250g icing sugar, sifted

80g unsalted butter, at room temperature

25ml whole milk

2 drops of vanilla extract

Edible glitter, to decorate

Two 12-hole cupcake trays lined with 16 paper cases



  1. Preheat the oven to 175°C/160°C fan.
  2. Put the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.
  3. Whisk the eggs, vanilla extract and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated – scrape any unmixed ingredients from the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Continue mixing for a couple more minutes until the mixture is smooth. Do not overmix.
  4. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until one-third full and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched. A skewer inserted in the centre should come out clean.
  5. Leave the cupcakes to cool for 15 minutes in the trays before turning out onto a wire cooling rack to cool completely.
  6. Put the marshmallows in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water. Remove from the heat as the marshmallows begin to melt and stir off the heat until they have all melted.
  7. When the cupcakes are cold, use a sharp knife to hollow out a small section in the centre of each cake, approximately 2cm in diameter and 3cm deep. Keep the sponge pieces. Fill with a dollop of melted marshmallow using two teaspoons dipped in hot water to scoop the melted marshmallows from the bowl. Top with the sponge pieces and leave to cool.
  8. For the frosting, beat the icing sugar and butter together in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or use a handheld electric whisk) on medium-slow speed until mixture comes together well.
  9. Turn the mixer down to slow speed. Combine the milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl, then add to the butter mixture a couple of tbsps at a time. Once all the milk has been incorporated, turn the mixer up to high speed.
  10. Continue beating until frosting is light and fluffy; at least 5 minutes. The longer the frosting is beaten, the fluffier and lighter it becomes.
  11. Stir the mini marshmallows into the vanilla frosting by hand until evenly dispersed.
  12. Spoon the frosting onto each cupcake, gently smoothing over with a palette knife and making a swirl of frosting on each one.
  13. Decorate with edible glitter.


Strawberry chocolate brownie cupcakes (12)

Add a fresh and fruity punch to your brownies with this easy strawberry brownie recipe. It’s as simple as adding chopped berries to the batter. Make either as individual servings in muffin tins or a traditional pan of brownies. Either way the addition of strawberries is delicious.



400g strawberries

110g plain chocolate

120g butter

250g sugar

1 tsp vanilla extract

80g plain flour

75g sliced almonds (optional)

75g chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate bar

2 large eggs



  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.  Butter 12 muffin cups, or coat with cooking spray. Chop 300g strawberries, reserving the smallest berries for garnishing.
  2. Place chocolate and butter in a medium glass mixing bowl. Microwave on medium power for 2-3 minutes or until butter is melted. Stir until chocolate is completely melted then stir in sugar, eggs and vanilla. Mix in flour, chopped strawberries and almonds if using until just combined.
  3. Scoop batter into muffin cups, filling half full. Bake for 16 minutes or until brownies are just set on top and no longer shiny. Remove from the oven and sprinkle chocolate chips or chopped white chocolate evenly on top of brownies. Return to oven for 1-2 minutes or until chocolate softens. Remove from oven and spread chocolate with the back of a teaspoon or knife.
  4. Cool completely in the pan. Run a knife around edges and lift to remove from pan. Before serving, cut remaining strawberries in half and place one on top of each brownie.


Raw tiramisu cupcake cheesecakes (vegan/gluten free) (5)


Base ingredients:

1/2 cup almonds

1 tbsp raw cacao

4 Medjool dates

3 tbsp cold coffee

Pinch salt


Chocolate layer:

2 tbsp raw cacao

1 tbsp cacao nibs

1/2 cup chestnuts

1/2 cup soaked cashews

2 tsp maple syrup

1/2 cup almond milk

4 tbsp cold coffee

2 tbsp coconut oil, melted

1 tsp vanilla powder, paste or essence

2 Medjool dates

Pinch sea salt


Vanilla layer:

1/2 cup cashews soaked overnight

1 tsp vanilla powder or essence

3 tbsp coconut oil, melted

2 tsp maple syrup

1/4 cup water



Coconut cream



  1. To make the base, blitz the almonds in a food processor until you get a crumb-like consistency. Add the dates, cacao, coffee and salt and blend again until everything combines. The mix should stick together between your fingers.
  2. Add the mixture to the bottom of 5 silicone cupcake cases. Press down firmly with you hands being careful not to press the mix up the sides.
  3. Pop in the fridge while you make the filling.
  4. Wash out your food processor then add the chocolate layer ingredients and blitz until the cashews are super creamy. This may take a few minutes and you will need to scrape the sides a few times.
  5. Remove the bases from the freezer then top with half the chocolate mix. Return to the fridge to firm up.
  6. Wash out your food processor then add the vanilla layer ingredients and blitz until super creamy. This may take a few minutes and you will need to scrape the sides a few times.
  7. Remove the bases from the freezer then top with the vanilla layer. Return to the fridge for a few hours then top with coconut cream.


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