Cakes, Muffins & Cookies

snowmen cupcakes

I saw a version of these on Pinterest but they weren’t attached to a recipe so below is what I did! It took a while to work out how to get the icing really white to match the marshmallows, so keep reading to find out how!

The chocoalte cupake recipe was adapted from allrecipesUK, the icing recipe from goodfood.

To make 16 (cupcake size)

  • 60g good quality (70%) cocoa powder
  • 4 or 5 tablespoons boiling hot water (I had to use a lot more than this to boil extra)
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 120g self-raising flour
  • 1 level teaspoon baking powder
  • 3 eggs
  • optional – chopped chocolate (at least 100g – your choice though!)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C / Gas mark 6.
  2. Line your cupcake trays with paper cases – mine actually made 17 but I could have put a bit more in each so you’ll probably need about 14-16 cases.
  3. Sift the cocoa into a large bowl. Add 4 tablespoons of boiling water and mix into a thick chocolate syrup, adding more water if you needed. I’d say I needed about twice as much.
  4. Add the softened butter, sugar, self-raising flour, baking powder and eggs. Mix with electric beaters until smooth and evenly mixed.
  5. If extra chocoate always a good idea to you then at this point stir in the chopped chocoate/chocolate chips
  6. Spoon teaspoons of the mixture into the paper cases, filling them 3/4 full.
  7. Bake for 10 minutes, or until the sponge mixture has risen and the cupcakes spring back when you touch them.
  8. Remove from the oven; cool on a wire rack.

The icing / decoration

  • 150g unsalted butter, softened – Lurpak is the whitest one I could find!
  • 300g icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 200g Vanilla Marshmallow Fluff (100g if you like!)
  • 1 bag of large white marshmallows
  • chocolate writing icing

Directions

  1. Beat together the softened butter, icing sugar and milk until smooth. I used an electric whisk and covered with a tea towel while I was doing it. The longer you whisk, the whiter it goes.
  2. Gradually add the Vanilla Marshmallow Fluff large spoonfuls at a time, until all is incorporated. The recipe called for pretty much a whole jar here, I used just half because it’s quite thick, and I wanted it to stay fluffy – I was mostly using it to lighten the  icing.
  3. Transfer the icing into a piping bag with a large circular nozzle and pipe in swirls over the cooled cupcakes.
  4. Place marshmallows on top for their heads and add features using the writing icing.

un-iced chocolate cupcakes

snowmen cupcakes on cooling tray

marshmallow fluff
Found this in the spreads isle of Tesco!

Gooey Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate chip cookies in a jar

I have made so many different chocolate chip cookie recipes, but when I found this one I had to save it. If you like just baked, chewy, a little crunchy, sugary, chocolately goodness, then this is the recipe for you. I took it from here but I’ve converted it into UK amounts and added any details I noticed. The dough freezes nicely too so if you want to make extra and chuck it in the freezer, it’ll keep for when you’ve got less time (and save on washing up)!

To make 24 average sized cookies

  • 6oz / 170g unsalted butter, softened (I just left it out of the fridge for an hour)
  • 5oz / 150g brown sugar, packed
  • 1.5oz / 50g caster or granulated sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 7oz / 200g plain flour
  • 2 teaspoons cornflour (this is important, I’ve seen this in cookie recipes a lot recently)
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 6oz / 170g  chocolate chips – I used chopped plain Bourneville chocolate but you could use M&Ms or anything you fancy! I thought this wasn’t much chocolate but actually they’re pretty stuffed 🙂

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
  2. Sift the flour, cornflour, bicarbonate of soda and salt. Set aside.
  3. Cream butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Use a wooden spoon to mix in the flour mixture slowly (I did it in 3 bits).
  5. Mix in chocolate chips.
  6. Either grease baking sheets or cover in baking paper.
  7. Drop 1 tablespoon sized balls onto cookie sheet about 2 inches apart. These cookies will spread!
  8. Bake 8-10 minutes in preheated oven. They will still looked uncooked but I promise they’re not! (Image below)
  9. Leave to cool for 5 minutes on the baking sheet and then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. It’s worth leaving them to cool (the cookie dough is NOM if you’re desperate) because they continue to cook as they do so.
Cookies straight out of the oven
This was taken straight out of the oven. If you leave them for 5mins and then transfer them to the wire rack to cool…
...this happens. Delish!
…this happens. Delish!

Cinnamon Oven Baked Doughnut Holes

Cinnamon doughnuts in a bag

It was our anniversary this week so it was dinner and a movie time. I made these as a treat for the cinema. I also made the bag, description at the end of the post! The recipe was taken from here. I found it quite hard to follow but I got there in the end. Here is my version! I have converted it from US weights – if they look a bit random that’s why!

To make 12 – 14 in a muffin tin or 60 in a mini muffin tin (I didn’t have one of those)

  • 2.5oz / 75g margarine
  • 6.5oz / 190g caster sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 5oz / 150g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg (I didn’t have any, so I used cinnamon)
  • 8 tbsp / 120ml milk
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
Coating for this I just guessed and added more as I needed it so as not to waste any, here is the original amounts though:
  • 6oz / 170g unsalted butter
  • 8oz / 240g caster sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Directions

  1. Preheat your fan oven to 180°c.
  2. In a bowl, cream the margarine and sugar together. Add in the egg and combine well.
  3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, baking powder, salt and nutmeg together.
  4. In a third bowl, mix the milk and vanilla.
  5. Alternately add the flour mix and milk mix to the egg mix to the creamed marg and sugar.
  6. Scoop batter into well greased muffin pans and only fill half to two thirds full.
  7. Bake 15-20 minutes, until lightly browned. Timing depends on the size of muffin tin you use, but mine, in my regular sized muffin tin, took 19mins.
  8. Allow to cool in the pans for 3-4 minutes. Remove from the pans. You may need to loosen with a knife.
  9. Dip the muffins in butter and roll in a mixture of cinnamon and sugar.
  10. Best served warm!

Doughnut holes pre-sugar and cinnamonThe doughnut holes before the cinnamon and sugar…

Sugared doughnuts…after the butter, cinnamon and sugar. One mysteriously disappeared…

Inside the doughnutSoft and fluffy inside!

The doughnut bagThe home-made bag, instructions below:

Home-made snack bag

This is not my idea, but came from this wonderful webside! I did mine with two lots of paper – the outside layer was just cheap brown packing paper, the inside was baking parchment so the oil didn’t stain it. The ‘Owen’ was just me dooding on some scrap wrapping paper.

Chocolate Chip Muffins

Tin of chocolate chip muffins

OK, so I’m no photographer and I did only take this picture to Whatsapp to my bestie but they do taste really good! We couldn’t afford fruit so I adapted a blueberry muffin recipe and chucked in some chopped chocolate instead. I was really happy with these because the chocolate chips stayed put and didn’t all sink to the bottom. The recipe was taken from here if you want the blueberry version.

The recipe said it made 12 but to make sure I made 1.5 times the amounts they said and got 16.

To make 12

  • 110g butter
  • 250g plain flour
  • 250g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 125ml milk
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 130g chocolate chips (or how every many you fancy)

To make 16

  • 165g butter (I used unsalted)
  • 375g plain flour
  • 375g caster (I ran out so used 100g of light brown sugar)
  • 3 eggs
  • 190ml milk (semi skimmed seemed to work fine)
  • 3tsp baking powder
  • 3/4tsp salt
  • 200g chopped Bourneville plain chocoate (that was pretty generous – I prefer to use chopped chocolate rather than chocolate chips, mostly becuase I think it’s better chocolate, but also because I like that you get various sizes)
  • 1tsp vanilla

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Grease and flour a muffin tin or line with paper cases (muffin cases will give you the number above, cupcake cases will make more – clearly).
  2. Cream butter and sugar in a large bowl, apparently until light and fluffy. Mine went gluey. There was far too much sugar to go light and fluffy, but that didn’t seem to matter. Whisk in the eggs. It started looking better now.
  3. Sieve flour, baking powder and salt together into the butter sugar gloop. The recipe didn’t say when to add the milk to so I just chucked it in at this point.  I also added a teaspoon of vanilla, because everything is better with vanilla.
  4. Fill muffin tin 2/3 full. Bake at 180 C / Gas 4 for 25 to 30 minutes. My fan oven did them nicely in 25. I also sprinkled brown sugar on the top before I cooked them for extra crunch.

Best eaten warm and melty.

Cost

We’re on a budget so this was important to us… I don’t know exactly, and I did get the Bourneville for £1.20 from the dodgy shop down the road. It’s about £2.20 in Tesco, but I reckon 16 cost me about £3.50, so 21p each! Cheaper than the supermarket anyway.

Raspberry and Vanilla Cupcakes

Raspberry and vanilla cupcakes

It was my mum’s hen do this weekend (!!) and I was in charge of decorating. I had also heard that there wasn’t going to be any pudding provided so I had to do something about that pronto. Raspberry is her favourite so I found a regular sponge recipe and adapted it. Here’s how lovelies –

To make 12

  • 110g/4oz butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
  • 110g/4oz caster sugar
  • 2 free-range eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 110g/4oz self-raising flour
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • Some raspberries – I used a 200g box and cut them in half and that was fine for 24 cakes. I could have been more generous though. 200g would be pleanty for 12 cupcakes.

For the frosting

  • 140g/5oz butter, softened
  • 280g/10oz icing sugar
  • 1-2 tbsp milk
  • a few drops food colouring
  • a few drops of vanilla extract
  • if you want it to look like the picture you’ll also need a large star shaped icing nozzle and bag

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and pop the paper cases in your cupcake tin
  2. Cream (beat) the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. My butter was a bit cold so I just cut it up nice and small.
  3. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.
  4. Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency.
  5. Fold in the raspberries until evenly distributed.
  6. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are just over half full. They will rise right to the top.
  7. The recipe I followed said to bake for 10-15 minutes, however mine were taking 15-20 so don’t panic. Just cook until they’re golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
  8. For the buttercream icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add the icing sugar a bit at a time and beat until smooth.
  9. Add one tablespoon of the milk, adding more milk if necessary, and mix until it is smooth and creamy.
  10. Add the food colouring and vanilla, if required, and mix until well combined. I halved my icing at this point so I could have cream and pink icing.
  11. Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe on the icing using a spiralling motion, from outside to inside.

Cost

This was less important this time as it was for a special occasion, but for 12 I’d say, £2 for the raspberries, 40p for the eggs, £1 worth of flour, sugar and butter (you won’t use nearly a whole pack of any), then another £1 for the icing. You could ice it just using a knife and use much less. Say £4.50 for 12 – 37p each. You could also use only half of the rapberries like I did in which case you’re looking at £3.50 or 29p each.

Cupcakes on the table

Mickey Mouse Cookies

Mickey Mouse Cookies

This was taken from the Disney Cakey & Sweets magazine. You can order it here! I didn’t make enough icing to fill in the ears, but please feel free to do so!

To make 10

  • 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened (do not use margarine!)
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 400g (14oz) plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 1/2tsp vanilla essance
  • Mickey cookie cutter (it came free with the magazine but you can also get it from the Disney Store)

Icing

  • 500g (1lb 2oz) icing sugar
  • 2 x 8g sachets of egg white powder
  • black & pink food colouring

NOTE!

The above is what the recipe says, however I just mixed icing sugar and water as I didn’t have any egg white powder & hadn’t read the recipe before I went shopping!

Directions

  1. Beat the butter and sugar until they are just creamy – don’t overmix.
  2. Add the vanilla essence and then beat in the egg until well combined.
  3. Add the flour and mix it until a dough forms – I used my hands here.
  4. Gather the dough into a ball and wrap it in cling film and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
  5. Pre-heat the oven to 180c/350F, gas 4.
  6. Place the dough on a lightly floured surface and, using a rolling pin, roll it out to approximately 5mm (1/4inch)
  7. Use the cookie cutter to cut out his face, leaving in place if it came with an embosser. Push the embosser gently but firmly into the cookie dough to mark the features.
  8. Transfer the cookies to a baking tray lined with baking paper and chill for at least 30 mins before cooking (I did it for 10 because I’m impatient and it turned out fine!).
  9. Bake for 8-12mins until they’re a pale golden colour. If serving un-iced, bake for a further 1-2mins.
  10. Allow the cookies to cool on the baking tray before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. If you don’t want to ice them, you can simply dust with icing sugar and serve.

To decorate (as per the instructions, otherwise just do the icing sugar and water thing)

  1. Reconstitute the egg white powder as per the instructions on the packet. Strain into a bowl and add 125g/4oz of the icing sugar and whisk.
  2. Add another 125g/4oz and whisk again. Repeat until soft peaks form.
  3. Put half the icing in a separate bowl and colour it with the black food colouring.
  4. Place a small amount in a piping bag fitted with a no 3 icing nozzle. I didn’t have one of these so I snipped a tiny bit off the bottom of my icing bag and did it that way instead.
  5. Pipe the outline of each cookie, then add a few drops of water to the rest of the black icing and fill in his ears and nose.
  6. Repeat with pink icing for the tongue, and white icing for the face. This looked terrible when I did it so I just left it as pictured!!

Here is a pic of the before…

Mickey Mouse not iced

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