Thursday, 8 December 2011

Something Festive: Candy Cane Cupcakes

Apologies for the break from posting. Have managed to get myself a Christmas job and so sadly the baking has gone back to part-time!

Have spent hours today churning out 46 cupcakes (a triple batch) so that the Other Half has something to festive to take into the office tomorrow. So I went through my recipe books and found a recipe for candy cane cupcakes!

Now as you can see from the photo I veered away from the traditional colour combination of red and white. This is because I've been trialling a new red food colouring. Natural colouring so no E Numbers, no alcohol and completely vegetarian. However when I tried to use it to make red sponge, I didn't get the colour I wanted, so went with a more quirky purple!

The recipe uses a basic vanilla cupcake recipe for its base, and the icing is a standard frosting with the addition of peppermint essence. So they're really easy to turn out and add a little festive feel to your baking. For the best results, sprinkle with edible glitter! Mine being dark red wouldn't have worked but I encourage you to try it.

What do you think? Festive?

You will need:

For the cupcakes
  • 80g unsalted butter at room temperature
  • 280g caster sugar
  • 240g plain flour
  • 1tbsp baking powder
  • 1/4tsp salt
  • 240ml whole milk
  • 1tsp vanilla essence
  • 2 large eggs
For the icing
  • 500g icing sugar
  • 160g unsalted butter, softened
  • 4tsp peppermint essence
  • 50ml whole milk
  • 2-3tsp liquid red food colouring
  • Transparent edible sugar (or whatever colour you like!)
To make

Preheat the oven to 190°c (Gas Mark 5) and line a muffin tin with muffin cases

Mix together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until you get a consistency a bit like breadcrumbs

In a jug, put together the milk and vanilla essence. Add the eggs and hand whisk the mixture. Pour three quarters of it into the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed. Increase the speed to medium and continue to mix until smooth and thick. Scrape all the mixture from the sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture and keep on at a medium speed until you once again have a smooth batter

Spoon the batter into the muffin cases. Don't fill any case more than about 2/3. This amount should produce 12-16 cupcakes. 

Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes, until they are well risen. Leave to cool in the tray for a few minutes before putting on a wire rack to cool completely. Make sure they are done cooling before icing.

Using your mixer or electric whisk, beat together the icing sugar, butter and peppermint essence on a low speed. Mix until you reach a sandy consistency

Gradually add the milk and slowly mix until everything is incorporated. Then turn up to high speed and beat until light and fluffy. 

Divide the icing into two and add the food colouring to one batch

Fill a piping bag (or whatever icing tools you have available) with half red and half white icing. Try to arrange it so that the two colours sit side by side and do not blend. Pipe a swirl and the colours should line up like a candy cane!

Sprinkle on glitter! (optional)

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