Monday, October 25, 2010

cupcakes: serves one hundred

I remember when I was a little girl,  maybe 5,  we lived opposite an old woman, I think she lived alone. She baked the most wonderful cupcakes, always iced pink and with sprinkles.  My mum, an Italian immigrant would never have seen a cupcake in her life.  The old  woman knowing Mum was busy with 6 children, would bring round an old duck egg blue plate with her delightful cupcakes for us to devour and fight over. She gave Mum one tip: Your eggs, milk, butter all had to be at room temperature. 


That little old woman died when I was still quite young, we missed her and her cupcakes.  Mum began to make those same wonderful little cakes.  I think that  whole experience shaped me, it is why today I love baking for my children, that my kids will as I do today have a memories of the things I cooked and baked for them.

Depending on where you are from you may or may not know that the cupcake has made a comeback in the last say 3 years, the rise in the popularity of the cupcake in this country has been a big one. I was asked to bake 100 for a 21st birthday, I hadn't done catering in a little while as I'd been busy having babies. I was a little nervous about how I'd manage, what with a 1 yr old and a 3 yr old at home. I then went into super organisation mode, a mode  which I wish would spill into the rest of my life.

I have a recipe of Tessa Kiro's which I love, from her book Apples for Jam.  However this time I wanted to trial a different recipe.  

My research involved a trip to the library, and I left clutching Primrose Bakery's gorgeous book devoted entirely to the said cupcake. But I didn't end up making theirs either as I'd already made a batch that I was really happy with! This recipe came from a cupcake workshop my daughter had attended out at beautiful Heide (an amazing gallery/homestead) last school holidays.  I must credit Cafe Vue for this recipe.  

I Knew when  Eliza my 3 year old ate everything beyond icing that they were good. These kept really well in an airtight container for 3 days, do not even think of refrigerating these or any other cupcakes, they will dry out and not be as good.
For all practical purposes 100 made and iced in a day was more than I could manage, so I knew that baking them 1 day ahead keeping then airtight overnight and then icing them the following morning would be very do able. The 3 large boxes I'd bought to transport them served as the best airtight container I had.
Here they are, the larger cake you see was made using the same mixture and  measured only 11 cm, the tiny cake tin it was baked in is too cute.
I was thrilled to receive a text saying "My cupcakes are so pretty" that made it all worth while. I ended up with a spare 20 which I gave away.
225g butter at room temp
1 1/2  cups  caster sugar
2 tbsp cornflour
2 tsp vanilla essence
4 eggs at room temp
2 1/2 cups self raising flour
3/4 cups of milk at room temp
pinch of salt.

Preheat oven to 170 deg c
Mix together butter and sugar I used an electric beater, beat till pale and fluffy 
Add the eggs one at a time 
Add the vanilla essence and corn flour
sift the flour and add to the mix, Mix till beginning to combine
Add the Milk and pinch of salt, mix for 2 minutes scrapping the sides to really combine well.
Spoon the mixture into patty pans fill  halfway.
Cook for 18 minutes or till lightly golden and springy. Don't be tempted to open the oven as cool air getting may make them sink. 
When you turn them out allow them to cool completely before icing, if possible ice and eat the same day. I found them to be just as good day 2. 
Store the ones you don't eat, if there are any left, in an airtight container. 
Remember don't refrigerate them.


  1. Are these the cupcakes from the phone call I received whilst driving home, only leaving mum's just after our big sister arrived with your donation. She phoned and warned I'd be sorry for not making that U-Turn, didn't realise how inviting the cup cakes looked, regret will haunt me forever...

  2. Yes they are Sis, you missed out. I am making more for Circe's 1 st birthday lunch, so you can try them then, hey.