Sunday, 20 March 2011

Chocolate Cupcakes With Candied Walnuts and Pumpkin Spice Frosting

'A woman scorned will bake cupcakes'
This is the day I chose cupcakes over my degree. The worst part is, you think I'm joking. I've never been so serious.

{1 and 1/2 cups} plain flour
{1/3 cup} cocoa powder
{1 tsp} baking soda
{1/2 tsp} sea salt
{1 cup} granulated brown sugar
{1/2 cup} grapeseed oil (or any mild vegetable oil)
{1 cup} soya milk
{1 tsp} vanilla extract
{2 tsp} apple cider vinegar
Spiced Buttercream Frosting
{1/2 cup} dairy-free, vegan butter (I used Vitalite), softened
{1 and 3/4 - 2 cups} icing sugar (make sure it's vegan)
{1 tsp} vanilla extract
{1 tbsp} pumpkin spice (see below)
[If you need to adjust the consistency, use 1 tbsp of unsweetened soya milk]
Candied Walnuts
{1/4 cup} maple syrup
{1/3 cup} brown sugar
{1/4 tsp} sea salt
{1/4 tsp} ground cinnamon
{1 cup} walnuts, toasted
Pumpkin Spice
{1 tsp} cinnamon
{1/2 tsp} ginger
{1/2 tsp} nutmeg
[Mix these spices together and measure out 1 tbsp for the Spiced Buttercream Frosting].

Look, a cake in a cup.

Yes, a cupcake.

Oh dear...


1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line a muffin/cupcake tray with paper cases. Start with the Cupcake mix. In one bowl, stir together the dry. In another, the wet (except the cider vinegar). Add the two mixtures together. Finally, pour in the vinegar and stir quickly. Scoop chocolate mixture into cases and slide straight into the oven (middle level). Lick out the bowl. Total baking time: 20-25 minutes, approximately. Check frequently. When you stick a knife into a cupcake and it comes out clean, they should be ready. Cool on a rack.

2. Time for the Spiced Buttercream Icing (you can do this whilst the Cupcakes are baking). Whisk up butter until it's nice and fluffy. Add the other ingredients and smooth together with the back of a spoon. When mixed well, whisk again until it achieves a whippy consistency. Set aside.

3. Candied Walnuts. In a dry saucepan, lightly toast the walnuts, but don't burn. Set aside. In a different pot, heat the rest of the ingredients, stirring well. Line a tray with baking paper. Pour the syrupy mixture over the walnuts and mix until all the walnuts are coated. Stick in the oven for a few minutes until the sauce starts to get thick. Leave to cool and harden.

4. Back to the Spiced Buttercream Icing. I piped it. But I'm sure you can just scoop it on there and it tastes just as good. NOTE: wait until the Cupcakes are COMPLETELY cool before adding the icing. Otherwise it will melt all over the place.

Don't they look pretty?

5. When the Candied Walnuts are cool, use them to decorate the tops of the Cupcakes.

And watch out for cupcake theives.

It's people like him that make me feel too scared to bake at night.

Goodbye University degree, hello spiced buttercream frosting.

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