Friday, February 27, 2009

Recipe Swap Cupcake Lovers

I run a small recipe swap on Flickr, Yummy Recipe Swap, and this was the recipe I recieved for Feburary's swap. It is a really great one for cupcakes. I love getting new recipes especially ones for desserts.

I decided to check out some cupcake variation ideas for decorating them once I make them and here are some of my results.

Monday, February 23, 2009

Recipe, Recipe, on the Wall, Whose the Fairest of them All?

I must mention fairy cakes here on my blog for the first time. Some recipe classics never go out of fashion and fairy cakes top the list! They are the stuff of childhood memories: just one nibble can transport you back in time and even today, no self-respecting children's birthday party should be without them.

That said, why should the kids have all the fun? With just a little tweaking, fairy cakes can be turned into grown-up fare as well, perfect for a mid-morning coffee break, tea in the afternoon or packed lunch treats.

The basic recipe is oh-so-simple so you can keep it plain or indulge yourself with extravagant toppings. Some die-hard purists may omit the vanilla extract, but I think fairy cakes are better with it. They are neither difficult nor elegant, but they are made specifically to attract the magical faries into a a childs world, or yours and mine. I love them and make them at all sorts of occasions even though my children are grown and out on their own. :)

I have included several recipes but the first one is your simple, basic one that is not only easy, but my favorite!! Enjoy...

Basic recipe for fairy cakes:

Makes 24 mini cakes or 12 larger ones.
For mini cakes you will need a 12 hole tartlet tin (these are 5cm at the rim and 1 1/2 cm deep) and you will need to use it twice. For larger cakes use a 12-hole bun tin (these are 6 1/2 cm at the rim and 2cm deep).

You can use the little paper cases according to the size tin you have. If not, butter the base and sides of the holes before filling with the mixture.

4 1/2 oz softened butter
4 1/2 oz caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 1/2 oz self-raising flour
2 tbsp milk

  • Preheat the oven to 375'
  • Either butter the tin or place the paper cases in the holes (see above).
  • In a mixing bowl beat the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. You can use an electric whisk or a wooden spoon.
  • Add the beaten egg, a little at a time, whisking to mix
  • beat in the vanilla
  • Sift in half of the flour and fold into the mixture
  • Add the milk and the rest of the flour and fold until well combined
  • Spoon into the tin and bake for 12 minutes or until risen and golden on top
  • Allow to cool for ten minutes on a rack before removing from the tin

Ideas for Toppings:

Lemon or Orange Glacé Icing with Cherries

4 oz icing sugar
2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice
12 glacé cherries, cut in half (these work best when making the mini cakes)

  • Mix the juice into the icing sugar
  • stir until well blended
  • Drizzle over the cakes when cooled
  • Top with the cherries, cut side down, while the icing is still soft

Chocolate Ganache Glaze

5 1/2 oz good quality dark chocolate
5 fl oz double cream

  • Break the chocolate into pieces and heat gently
  • with the cream in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water.
  • stir until the chocolate is melted and the mixture well blended.
  • Allow to cool slightly to thicken then pour over the cakes.
  • It will harden on cooling.

Fairy Cakes:

Ingredients (makes 30 mini fairy cakes):
4 ounces butter
4 ounces Sugar
4 ounces sifted Self Raising Flour
2 eggs
1 cup sifted Powdered sugar
Juice of a lemon (*and zest, optional)
Food coloring of your choice if desired
Cake Decorations


  • Put butter and eggs out of the fridge, to warm up to room temperature
  • Preheat oven to 375F
  • Put out 30 mini paper cases on a baking tray
  • Either by hand or in a mixer beat the butter and sugar together until pale, fluffy and light
  • (*optional - add lemon zest at this stage if you desire)
  • one at a time, beat the eggs in a separate bowl
  • beating hard, until all the ingredients are mixed well
  • gently fold the flour into the butter mixture until everything is combined
  • Do not over mix or beat the flour
  • Using a teaspoon, drop small heaped teaspoon dollops of the batter into the paper cases
  • Transfer the tray to the preheated oven
  • Leave at least 17 minutes without opening the door
  • They should be golden brown on the surface once cooked
  • If still a bit pale after 17 minutes, turn the tray in the oven and bake for a further 3 minutes
  • Transfer mini cakes to a cooling rack
  • Meanwhile add a few drops of colouring to the sifted powdered sugar in a medium bowl
  • Add fresh lemon juice, a small squirt at a time, beating hard, until all the sugar is blended into a thick fondant
  • Go gingerly with the liquid, you want it to be very thick
  • Stop adding lemon juice as soon as it reaches the fondant stage
  • carefully drop a dollop of the fondant onto the centre of each little cake
  • Leave it to spread over the surface
  • You can guide the icing with a knife dipped in hot water if you want more control over where it dribbles
  • Top with a candy or cake decoration of your choice.-Look for the fairies!


  • 1 c. raisins (golden)
  • 1 tsp. of each (or to taste)
  • cinnamon
  • nutmeg 1 tbsp
  • vanilla flavoring
  • 1 c. of flour
  • 1/2 c. unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 c. milk (whole or low-fat)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 9 inch square pan or cake pan (round). Mix flour, baking powder and spices, cream butter and add to flour mixture, add sugar, vanilla and raisins. Beat eggs and milk. Add to mixture, blend lightly.
Spoon into pan, bake for 25 minutes or until knife comes out clean. If made in cake round, cake will be only about 2 to 3 inches high and moist and heavy. Serve warm if you prefer. Also great with powdered sugar on top. Serve with pot of cinnamon spice tea. Yum Yum......

1 c. sugar
1 env. Knox gelatin
1 c. milk
2 eggs (separated)
1 c. whipped cream
Graham cracker crumbs

Cook sugar, gelatin, milk and beaten egg yolks until it bubbles.
Let cool.
Fold beaten egg whites and whipped cream.
Put crumbs on bottom of dish.
Pour fairy pudding over.
Add crumbs on top of pudding.