Monday, 19 April 2010

Gluten Free, Vegan cupcakes

This was an experiment of mine. One of my friends is vegan, her brother is on a gluten free, dairy free diet. None of these things are condusive to good cake. So I decided to try to make a cake without any eggs or butter, and while I enjoyed the challenge, I wasn't happy with the results really. Very, very dense, and a bit savoury tasting. I wouldn't really choose to have one, and thats my test of a good cake. Might be worth a try for a vegan though, as my friend seemed pretty happy with them.


4 Tablespoons dairy free spread
2 cups Granulated Sugar
500g passata
2 teaspoons Baking Soda
3 cups rice flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 teaspoons Cinnamon
2 teaspoons Nutmeg
½ teaspoons Ground Cloves

150g icing sugar
Teaspoon lemon juice/lemon extract
Water to form a thick paste

  • Cream together spread and sugar. 
  • In a separate bowl, combine the passata and baking soda. Once combined, mix into the creamed sugar mixture. 
  • Add all other cake ingredients in the order listed. 
  • Spoon into cupcake cases and fill almost to the top.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes
  • Place on a wire rack to cool
    Add the lemon juice to the licing sugar, add water until it forms a thick paste, then drizzle over the cooled cupcakes

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Pineapple cake with lime soured cream frosting

Firstly appologise for the photo! This cake was made for my Grandma's birthday on Saturday in a bit of a rush - and everyone was keen to tuck in as soon as it was finished.

I loved the sound of this cake, fresh, moist and with a tartness that suits spring. It should have had lime zest on the top, but one of the bunnies got into my carrier bag and was away with the second lime!

The recipe for this cake comes from Gizzi's Kitchen Magic This book is fast becoming my new kitchen bible. Not nessisarily for baking things, but for general cooking its fantastic. It goes right back to basics, showing you how to make simple sauces like hollandaise, gravy and mayonnaise, and then how to vary those sauces to make something a bit moe interesting. Recipes are easy to follow, well tested, and most importantly, photographed. They're also appetising and fresh, something I really rate. I'm quite experienced in the kitchen, but I still find the quality of these recipes second to none.

Anyway, back to the cake in hand. I messed up a bit by completely forgetting to put the pineapple in and had to take it out the oven after 5 mins to add it in! This is likely to have made it a bit more solid and less light and fluffy as obviously I let the air out of it. Despite this is was still a lovely, light cake, and very moist. I was dissapointed that I couldn't taste the lime in it at all, maybe the second lime zest would have made all the difference! I also found the recipe made far too much frosting, I think you could comfortably knock 1/3 off the quantities here and still have enough.



200g butter at room temperature
200g light muscavado sugar
4 large eggs
200g self raising flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon mixed spice
225g tin of crushed prineapple or finely chopped pineapple chunks
zest and juice of one lime

200ml soured cream
juice and zest of 1 lime
100g icing sugar
200ml double cream
  • Heat oven to 170C
  • Line a 20cm cake tin
  • Put the butter and sugar in a mixing bowland beat together until pale and fluffy
  • Add the eggs one at a time and mix in
  • Sift over the flour, baking powder, cinnamon and mixed spice and stir in using a metal spoon
  • Finally stir in the pineapple, vanilla and lime juice and zest
  • Pour into the tin and bake for around 30minutes, until a skewer comes out clean
  • Leave to cool in the tin (stood on a cooling rack to avoid a soggy bottom!) for 15 minutes then transfer directly onto the cooling rack
  • When completely cool make the frosting by whipping the double cream until stiff.
  • In another bowl mix together the soured cream, lime zest and juice and sieved icing sugar. 
  • Fold the cream into the soured cream mixture gently
  • Top the cake with the icing, and grate some lime zest over to decorate.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Lemon & Elderflower Cupcakes

Todays recipe is adapted from my new favourite cupcake book, Eat Me!: The Stupendous, Self-raising World of Cupcakes and Bakes According to Cookie Girl. I like this one because it has cute, vintage inspired piccies, and the recipes are really unusual.

The icing on this cake was a very thin icing sugar, water and elderflower mixture. I decided to try a more fluffy frosting. This wasn't very successful to be honest - it was very runny, and had no taste of elderflower at all, despite trebling the quantities of elderflower stated in the original recipe. I have included the original icing recipe for the icing as I can't really see any way to make a thick frosting have an elderflower taste as either the butter or cream cheese completely overpowers it.

The lemon cake however was brilliant, the texture was really light and fluffy. The lemon taste was very mild however, so I have upped this a bit in the recipe below.


200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
225g granulated sugar
45g ground almonds
grated zest of 2 lemons
2 eggs
90ml sunflower oil
250ml low fat yoghurt
1/2 tbsp lemon essence
225g icing sugar
1 tsp elderflower cordial
4 tsp water
  • Heat oven to 180C and line a muffin tray with 12 cases
  • Sift flour and baking powder into a large bowl. Add the sugar, almonds and grated lemon zest and mix.
  • In a seperate bowl beat the eggs with the oil and yoghurt. Add the lemon essence. 
  • Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir  until everything is smooth and combined. 
  • Spoon evenly into the paper cases no more than 2/3 full (it rises a lot!) and bake for 20 minutes until a skewer placed in the centre comes out clean. 
  • Place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool.
  • Sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the elderflower cordial. Add the water a little at a time to make a thick icing. 
  • When the cupcakes are cool spoon a tablespoon of icing onto each one and spread evenly.