Monday, 7 December 2009


I've been making cupcakes for... oh, years, certainly with a passion since Nigella brought out Domestic Goddess. Over the past couple of years though, they have become more and more popular and so I have been searching for the ultimate cupcake recipe.

I think I may have the right combination at last. My cookery book shelf is groaning under the weight of books - a lot of which I have bought just for the cupcake recipe.

I used Nigella's recipe for many years but always hated that little bump in the middle that they always made (why? The bump, not my dislike of it!). I used to cut it off in the days when I used royal icing so as to get a nice flat top.

Earlier this year I bought the Hummingbird Bakery book and made their cupcakes several times with mixed results. Sometimes, they would spill out of their cases and no matter how carefully I tried to put the same amount in each case, they would vary enormously. Although to be fair this could easily be disguised by the frosting, using more or less to get a uniform plateful of cakes.

I raved about this book in this post and now tried out the cupcake recipe. It is a winner! It is a generous recipe and the mixture does exactly what you'd hope - rise nicely and evenly. The cakes are just the right density (I think) and come out of their cases in one piece. First I tried the lemon cupcakes with the lemon buttercream. They were delicious but the buttercream was a little thick for my liking and difficult to spread.

I love the frosting from the Hummingbird book. It is light and frothy, not too sickly, and with the addition of a little milk and 5 minutes (I set my timer) of beating, easy to spread or pipe on.

So, for my second attempt, I used the coffee cupcake recipe from the Primrose book but with a coffee frosting from the Hummingbird book. I believe I may have cracked it! They were absolutely scrummy!

As a finishing flourish, I grated on some coffee chocolate but have my eye on some chocolate coffee beans. I think they'd look great in the dark brown cases too.

I think I will make some Christmas cupcakes - how about orange and cranberry?


  1. they all look delicious and very professional... my eldest daughter loves to cook and has a very sweet tooth... i think she would love to learn how to make all the gorgeous decorative toppings... i shall investigate the book...thank you for the recommendation.
    ginny x

  2. What I want to know is where you get the fabulously bright sprinkles in the first photo. Everywhere near me sells depressingly natural-shaded sprinkles and hundreds & thousands. Pretty, but not WOW. Probably because the scary food chemicals required to make the sprinkles have been long banned!

    But now I discover that there are vivid cake sprinles out there somewhere. Do tell me where!

    N. xx

  3. They all look delicious!!! Chocolate and orange would be a nice combination too, I just made some cookies using some orange zest and chocolate chips and they were very tasty!

  4. The Primrose book is so fabulous! But what a good idea to use the icings from the Hummingbird one. Your cupcakes look delicious! Perhaps you'll be opening your own bakery soon? K x

  5. I am still using the old Nigella standard. Perhaps I need to branch out.

    There's nothing as fun as a cupcake, is there?

  6. Yuuuuum. I hated the same thing about Nigella's cakes - and her icing is so sickly that we've ended up thrwoing out half of a coffee & walnut cake this weekend because after one slice we all felt sick.

    I remember I once made the Hummingbird icing and it was FABULOUS but each time I've done so since then it's sort of curdled when I beat in the milk. Hummm. Might have to actually get hold of the book rather than trying to remember the quantities ;-)

  7. My mouth is watering! I like that you found the perfect combination by mix and match of recipes!x

  8. mmm delicious, I've bought my sister the hummingbird book for Christmas, I may have to read it very carefully before I hand it over. my fave frosting of the moment is the one lucy of attic 24 puts on her carrot cake, vibrantly orange and divine xxx

  9. All your cupcakes look wonderful! I might just have to investigate both books!


Hi! Thanks for leaving me a comment, I really enjoy reading them and I will try to reply if I can find an email address for you...