Banoffee cupcakes

A delicious twist on a classic dessert, banoffee cupcakes might just be my new favourite cupcake flavour! The recipe combines the two signature flavours of a banoffee dessert, banana and caramel.

You’ll start by making beautifully light and moist cupcakes flavoured with mashed bananas. Make sure the bananas are really ripe, the riper the better as this will only improve the flavour and texture.

The middle of the cupcakes is then scooped out (you can eat the middles!) and filled with a smooth and silky caramel sauce. I love cupcakes with a surprise centre, it just takes the bake to a whole other level. When you bite into them and discover the middle… mind-blown!

The cupcakes are decorated with a swirl of caramel buttercream. To keep things simple, as there’s quite a bit going on with this bake already, I opted for shop-bought caramel. I have made my own in the past, but this time I fancied taking a little shortcut. No judgement, please! If you feel up to making your own, I applaud you and this recipe will show you how, just remember to omit the salt.

A sprinkle of grated dark chocolate and a crunchy banana chip are the final touches to complete the banoffee cupcakes.

Banoffee cupcakes
Caramel filled cupcakes
Caramel buttercream

Ingredients (makes 12 large cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:
150g unsalted butter or Stork
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
150g self-raising flour
2 ripe medium-sized bananas
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon milk

For the caramel filling and buttercream:
1 can (397g) of Carnation Caramel
200g unsalted butter
400g icing sugar

To decorate:
A couple of squares of dark chocolate to grate on top
Dried banana chips

Method

Preheat oven to 180°C and line a muffin tray with 12 cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. Crack in the eggs, add half of the flour and mix until combined. Add the remaining flour and baking powder and fold everything together until you have a smooth mixture.

In a separate bowl mash the bananas until no lumps remain. Add to the cake mixture, along with the milk and fold together.

Bake for 18-20 minutes until golden on top and a toothpick inserted into the middle comes out clean. Transfer to a cooling rack and leave to cool.

Once the cakes are cool, make the caramel buttercream. Beat the butter until really soft and pale in colour. Sift in half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Sift in the remaining icing sugar and four tablespoons of caramel and mix together until smooth and fluffy.

Time to decorate. Make a hole in the middle of each cupcake (you can do this using a cupcake corer, apple corer, piping nozzle or teaspoon). Fill each hole with a teaspoon of caramel sauce. Spread or pipe the caramel buttercream on top. I used an 11mm open star piping nozzle to get that lovely swirl effect. Grate the dark chocolate on top of each cupcake and push a banana chip into the buttercream.

Snowman Cupcakes

Well aren’t these cute!

I’ve seen a few snowman recipe ideas around and thought this year I’d give one a go. However there’s a story to tell here…keep reading if you fancy a giggle!

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My first attempt was a huge….success disaster! Photo evidence below, try not to laugh 🙂

This got me thinking, how do I make sure my snowmen don’t look like they’ve spent a week on the beach in 30 degree heat!?

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Commence phase two…

I decided to add some height using white chocolate buttercream. No melted snowmen here! Then using Mikado biscuit sticks I added some ‘twig’ arms. For the eyes and mouth, I used melted chocolate and for the noses, orange sugar paste – nope they are not real carrots carved to be miniature in size like my gran thought 🙂

For the cupcake base, I used my tried and tested vanilla sponge recipe and added white chocolate chips and cinnamon spice for extra festive flavour.

I think it’s safe to say the second attempt turned out a bit better! I have to admit it’s not the quickest/easiest one I’ve posted, but they are great fun to make and the end result is so worth it. So put on your favourite Christmas music and your tackiest festive jumper, or one you don’t mind getting covered in icing sugar, and give it a go!

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the cupcakes:

150g unsalted butter
150g golden caster sugar
150g self-raising flour
2 medium eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsps ground cinnamon
100g white chocolate chips
1 tbsp milk (optional)

For the snowmen:

Buttercream body: 125g unsalted butter, 250g icing sugar, 150g white chocolate, 1 tbsp milk
Heads: 12 white large marshmallows
Eyes and mouths: A few squares of milk/dark chocolate
Noses: Orange sugar paste, you will only need a small amount
Arms: 1 pack Mikado biscuit sticks
Buttons: different coloured icing pens
Cocktail sticks

 

Lets get baking…

Start with the cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C/400°F/gas mark 6. Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Mix in the eggs and vanilla extract. Fold in the flour and cinnamon until the mixture is smooth. Now fold in the white chocolate chips. If the mixture is too thick add a tablespoon of milk to loosen it slightly.

Evenly fill the cupcake cases about 3/4 full with the mixture and bake in the oven for 12-14 minutes until golden brown on top and springy to the touch.

Whilst your cakes are cooling you can begin the decoration…

Eyes and Mouth
Melt the squares of milk/dark chocolate in the microwave in 20 second blasts. Using the tip of a cocktail stick, dot the eyes and mouth onto the marshmallows. Set aside and leave to dry.

Noses
For the noses, take a small peice of sugar paste and roll into a cone shape. Cut the end of the nose with a knife to make a sharp flat surface (this will be the end that will attach to the head). Set aside and leave to dry out and harden.

Once for the sugar paste has dried, use an icing sugar and water paste to stick the nose on to the marshmallow head. You will need to hold it in place until it feels firm.

Body
In a microwaveable bowl melt the white chocolate in 30 second blasts until smooth. Beat the butter for at least 5 minutes until really pale in colour (if you have an electric whisk use it, it will save your arms from aching!). Now sift in half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Repeat with the remaining icing sugar. Pour the white chocolate in, add the milk, fold until the buttercream is smooth, creamy and light.

To assemble a snowman…

Start with the body
Using a piping bag with a large open circular nozzle, pipe the buttercream in a swirly motion starting from the middle and circulating outwards and upwards. If you don’t have a piping bag you can achieve something similar with a spoon, using the back to create definition.

Add the head
Place a marshmallow on top of the buttercream swirl.

And the arms
Snap a Mikado stick in half and push into each side of the buttercream.

And finally the buttons
Using the icing pens dot buttons on the body of the snowman.

Repeat this for all 12 cupcakes. If you think they’re simply too cute to eat, they will last in the fridge for up to five days or on the counter for two.

Malteser Bunny Cupcakes

Malteser brownie cupcakes, topped with white chocolate grass, edible flowers, and an irresistible Malteser bunny. These cupcakes have a wow factor look and taste, and will give you a chance to test your piping skills.

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

80g self-raising flour
65g cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
100g light brown sugar
100g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
80ml sunflower oil
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
120ml buttermilk
2 x Teasers chocolate bar, chopped into small chunks

For the decoration:

125g unsalted butter (soft, at room temp.)
250g icing sugar
100g white chocolate
Green gel food colouring
3 packets of Mini-Malteser Bunnies
12 edible flower decorations – I used these ones from Sainsbury’s, most supermarkets will have some in their baking section
Piping bag fitted with a grass nozzle

Let’s get baking…

Preheat your oven to 180°C and line a 12 hole cupcake baking tray with your favourite liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, two sugars, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.

Now pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet, followed by half of the buttermilk. Mix together until combined. Repeat this step until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Throw in the chopped Teasers bars and mix through. Fill each cupcake case with the mixture about 3/4 of the way, leaving a little gap at the top to allow them to rise.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now for the icing and decorating…

Beat the butter until pale in colour and fluffy. Sift in half the icing sugar and add 1/2 tbsp of milk, beat until no lumps remain.

Sift in the rest of the icing sugar, 1/2 tbsp milk and vanilla extract and beat together for approx. 3-5 mins until the buttercream is soft, smooth and fluffy.

Melt the white chocolate in the microwave in 10 second blasts. Pour into the buttercream and mix through.

Add a couple of drops of green food colouring and mix through until the desired colour is reached. Transfer the icing to your piping bag fitted with a grass shaped nozzle.

Pipe the buttercream in short upward movements…

Place a edible flower on each one, followed by a bunny sitting upright.

Peanut Butter Oreo Cupcakes

Chocolate fudge sponge with a secret Oreo biscuit base, and topped with creamy peanut butter icing. 

For 12 cupcakes you will need

1 pack of Oreo cookies

80g self-raising flour

65g cocoa powder

1tsp baking powder

100g golden caster sugar

100g granulated sugar

2 large eggs

80ml vegetable/extra-virgin olive oil

1 tsp vanilla extract

120ml buttermilk

For the icing/decoration you will need….

250g smooth peanut butter

375g icing sugar, sifted

100g unsalted butter, at room temperature

4-6 tbsp whole milk

1 pack of Oreos – if you want to transform your Oreos in adorable penguins check out my simple step by step recipe here!

Method

Preheat your oven to 180C and line a 12 hole cupcake baking tray with your favourite liners.

Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder into a bowl. Stir until combined.

In a separate bowl, mix together the eggs, two sugars, oil and vanilla extract until smooth.

Now pour half of the dry ingredients into the wet, followed by half of the buttermilk. Mix together until combined. Repeat this step until all the ingredients are fully incorporated.

Place an Oreo in the bottom of each cupcake liner and fill each one with the cake mixture just over half way.

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the centre of one comes out clean. Leave to cool.

Now for the icing…

Beat together the butter and peanut butter until smooth.

Now beat in half the icing sugar, half of the milk and the vanilla extract.

Beat in the remaining icing sugar and milk until the buttercream is smooth and creamy. If the mixture feels too stiff add another 1/2 tbsp of milk at a time until you have the right consistency.

Decorate your cupcakes with the buttercream (I used a star shaped icing nozzle and piping bag) and finish by placing an Oreo on top.

Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes

Celebrate summer with these gorgeous strawberry cheesecake cupcakes. Whether you’re having a picnic, a summer BBQ, a garden party or just a day in the sun, these cupcakes are the perfect bake to enjoy on a warm summers day.

The recipe starts by making light and fluffy vanilla sponge cupcakes. The middle of the cupcakes are then scooped out and filled with a sweet and sticky strawberry jam. For the decoration, the cupcakes are topped with a swirl of sweet and tangy cream cheese frosting, a sprinkle of crushed digestive biscuits and a fresh strawberry.

Taking all the flavours and textures of the traditional dessert, these strawberry cheesecake cupcakes will not disappoint!

Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes
Strawberry cheesecake cupcakes
Cupcake corer
Strawberry jam filled cupcakes

Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes)

For the sponge:
150g Stork tub
150g caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
150g self-raising flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon milk

For the cream cheese frosting:
225g icing sugar
100g unsalted butter, soft at room temperature
100g full-fat cream cheese, cold from the fridge

For the filling/decoration:
1 jar of strawberry jam
12 fresh whole strawberries
4-5 Digestive biscuits (crumbled)

Method

Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake baking tray with 12 cupcake cases.

Start by making the cupcakes. Beat the butter and sugar together until pale and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and beat in the eggs one at a time, along with a tablespoon of the 150g flour each time to stop the mixture from curdling. Add the remaining flour and fold the mixture together.

Divide the mixture evenly between the cupcake cases. Bake for 15-18 minutes until the cupcakes are a golden brown and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Transfer cakes to a cooling rack and leave to completely cool.

Once the cupcakes are cool, scoop out the middle of each using either a cupcake corer, apple corer or teaspoon. Fill each cupcake with a teaspoon of strawberry jam.

Now make the cream cheese frosting. Beat the butter and icing sugar with an electric mixer for a couple of minutes until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese and fold into the mixture until just combined. Be careful not to over do it, as it can quickly become runny.

Time to decorate. Spread or pipe the frosting on top. I used an 11mm open star piping nozzle to get that lovely swirl effect. Crush a few digestive biscuits and sprinkle over the cupcakes. Finish by placing a fresh strawberry on top.