Food & Drink
Lauren from King’s Cake Emporium is a self-taught home baker who spends her free time creating delicious, fantastically decorated treats for special occasions. One day she’ll open her own bakery, but for now, she’s sharing her baking tips, tricks and know-how with Places&Faces.
A themed bake is the time to try something different and let your creativity run wild. This recipe is perfect for light, fluffy cupcakes every time. A “bung it all in method” for the sponge makes this bake quick and simple to rustle up for your trick or treaters… or for yourself!
Makes approx 12-16 cupcakes
For the sponge:
• 175g self-raising flour
• 2 tbsp cocoa powder
• 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
• 150g sugar
• 2 eggs
• 150ml vegetable oil
• 150ml milk
• 2 tbsp Golden Syrup
For the buttercream:
• 250g baking butter
• 400g icing sugar
• Food colourings
• Sprinkles and mini marshmallows to decorate
Heat your oven to 160 degrees Celsius and line a cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
Put all the ingredients for the sponge into a large bowl and whisk together by hand or with an electric mixer for around one minute.
Scrape around the edges of the bowl and mix again for a further minute until you have a smooth batter. Divide this batter between your cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Check if baked with a skewer/cocktail stick, if this comes out clean, the cakes are done. While these cool completely, make the buttercream.
Let your baking butter come to room temperature and then beat until smooth. Sieve your icing sugar then slowly add this into your butter and mix. Once this is all combined, you can add any colourings of your choice. Separate into individual bowls to mix through the different colours.
To pipe the buttercream you will need a piping bag and nozzle. Sitting your piping bag over the rim of a pint glass will make it easier to fill the bag.
To get the multi colour swirl, just spoon a little of each colour buttercream down the sides of the bag. Pipe the buttercream in a swirl on top of the cooled cupcakes. Top with sprinkles of your choice.
For the finishing touch add two marshmallows to each cake and dot with a little bit of melted chocolate to create the spooky, googly eyes!
If you want to mix things up a little, a teaspoon of a flavoured extract such as orange or mint into the sponge and/or buttercream mix will set the chocolate flavour off a treat.
Buttercream can be made with real butter but this can be expensive. Baking butter is a great alternative and will give delicious results.
A liquid food colouring can negatively alter the consistency of your buttercream. Gel food colourings will be more effective and will give a more intense colour. Grab these in the baking aisle of your nearest supermarket.
Piping a neat swirl can take some practice. If you don’t feel confident or don’t have a piping bag, you can always dollop on a little buttercream and smooth it around with a small spatula or the back of a spoon.