It seems in the last couple of weeks I have gone from being a Wholesome Cook to a sugar obsessed, baking
queen person. I assure you we have been eating right, I just haven’t been able to post about the savoury dishes as much as I’d planned to because I’ve been coming across so many new and exciting goodies to bake!
But before I get the balance of sweet and savoury amongst my posts back on track, I need to tell you about these little cupcakes.
A couple of days ago Mr Chipconnoisseur’s kids and I attended the Sun-Herald Sydney Family Show at Moore Park. In amongst all the rides and tonnes of arcade fun we found a little cupcake decorating stall sparkling with glittery sugar crystals and dozens of various sprinkles.
It was so much fun decorating our own cupcakes with fluffy icing, sugary toppings and the whole caboodle! I felt like a kid again, back in the days when sugar was my best friend and just before drawn out visits to the dentist’s began. We also decorated a special cupcake for Mr Chipconnoisseur to surpise him with after dinner. He loved it.
The next morning the little girl, her imagination awakend by the previous day’s experiences, was keen to bake and decorate some more cupcakes, but wanted to do so on her own. This time it was me who got relegated to the duties of a cook’s assistant. I used Nigella’s cupcake recipe which I saw for the first time about 10 years ago, because it’s one of the easiest ones around. To make and to remember. We just made half a batch. I rewrote the recipe a little, with no disrespect to the goddess who wrote the original of course, to make for an easy kids version. The little girl wanted to keep it in her own recipe folder for future use.
As far as the icing goes, fate had it that I read a post by Alison about the perfect icing on the morning of our outing. I was surpised to hear that it contained plain flour which I found interesting to say the least, but I was considering giving it a go. When I tasted the icing at the fun fair, it was light and fluffy and I thought it just might be the flour-type icing I read about earlier. So we made it and it was perfect indeed!
Later in the morning, I got a message from Laura at Starloz saying she was baking hot cross buns and if we wanted to, we could meet up and exchange the goodies. So we wandered down the road with a couple of cupcakes in hand around afternoon tea time to be treated with some yummy home-made hot cross buns and a glass of milk. I’m liking having Laura nearby.
Makes 12 cupcakes
Nigella’s cupcakes and the perfect cupcake frosting
This recipe is great for kids to make on their own or with a little assistance from grown-ups.
- 125g self-raising flour
- 125g unsalted butter, softened (we used dairy free margarine)
- 125g caster sugar
- 2 eggs
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 tbsp plain flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 1 tsp lemon juice
- food colouring
- sprinkles to decorate
Preheat oven to 200C ( 180C fan forced, 400F, gas mark 6). Line a 12-hole miffin tray with paper casings.
To make the cupcakes, place all cupcake ingredients except for milk into a mixer bowl and process until smooth and well combined. Add milk and mix for another 30 seconds or so.
Divide mixture between paper cups. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, remove from oven and allow to cool.
In the meantime, start on the icing. Combine flour and milk in a small saucepan and whisk together. Place over medium heat and continue whisking until the mixture starts to thicken on the bottom – whisk to create a smooth paste, you should be able to see the bottom of the pan. Remove from heat, transfer into a bowl, cool at room temperature.
Once cooled, cream butter and sugar in a bowl using an electric mixer, until light and fluffy. Add lemon juice and flour mixture and beat continuously for 7 to 10 minutes on a high speed, scraping the sides of the bowl from time to time. This will yield a light, highly aerated frosting.
Divide between 2-3 bowls and add your favourite food colouring. Mix in for a smooth colour.
Spoon mixture into the corners of medium glad wrap zip lock bags, twist and tie the opening tightly with a rubber band. Cut off the tip and pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.
Decorate with your favourite sprinkles.