If you’re as big a fan of baking cupcakes as we are, you won’t want to miss out on National Cupcake Week 2014! The big event, which runs from 15th September – 22nd September, celebrates one of our favourite sweet treats, as well as promoting local bakeries, raising money for their partner charity and encouraging you all to bake at home!
There is even a competition – the National Cupcake Week Championships – where you can showcase your best work in one of the following categories:
- Classic – Your cupcake must be traditionally flavoured, it can be decorated but not themed!
- Themed – Décor from Cath Kidston style to Disney
- Free-from – Free from any one allergen
- Made with alcohol – We love Baileys buttercream!
Entries are open until 15th August, find out more about the competition here.
The perfect cupcake
So whilst we were thinking about cupcakes – admittedly more about indulging in then rather than baking them – we decided we’d share some tips for making and enjoying the perfect cupcake.
Don’t scrimp on costs. Choosing the best ingredients will ensure your cupcakes taste the best they possibly can. So always opt for branded goods with a reputable name such as Dr Oetker and Silver Spoon.
Forget the diet … don’t substitute ingredients. If you’re going to make cupcakes, make the most of it. Eating a low fat cupcake doesn’t make that much difference – it’s still cake but just no where near as tasty! Follow the ingredients listed in your recipe book, such as whole milk, real butter and full fat cream cheese. Not only will low fat ingredients affect the chance that your cupcakes cook well, they’ll also reduce the luxurious taste they’re meant to have.
Baking is an exact science. Weigh out all ingredients carefully and follow the instructions exactly. Any substitutions or alterations can lead to a very different looking and tasting cupcake – as can failing to sift or use an electrical whisk if the recipe specifies to do so. In fact, investing in an electric whisk alone dramatically changed my cupcake making success!
Fill your cases two-thirds full. Typically, first time bakers over fill cupcake cases. However, it’s important to make sure you leaving a little rising room to help prevent your cupcake mixture from overflowing during baking.
Be patient. Don’t remove your cupcakes from the oven before they’re ready – we know it’s tempting but your cupcakes won’t fully recover from being taken out too early. Once time is up, test your cupcakes with a metal skewer, fork or cocktail stick. When the skewer can be removed cleanly from the centre, they’re ready. Cupcakes should be golden and well risen, but not necessarily domed when they’re ready to come out of the oven. They should spring back into shape when lightly pressed on top.
Cupcake wraps and toppers are a quick and easy way to make your cupcakes oh so pretty. This Truly Scrumptious cupcake set has an adorable floral theme.
Set aside some time to enjoy your cupcake. Cupcakes don’t taste as great eaten on the go. Instead, savour the flavour and delight in every bite by making an event of it. Pour a hot brew, and serve on your favourite china – like our Bombay Duck tea ware – and enjoy… just like you would in any quaint tea room!