Creative cupcakes

Once a month I meet up with my fellow Prof Writing MA alumni for an evening of reading and critiquing, eating and drinking. This month none of us were feeling particularly creative and didn’t have any new work to share, so we decided just to stick to the eating and drinking.

So in the absence of an earth shattering work of genius, I took banana and vanilla cupcakes. They went down well. If only it were as easy to finish a first draft of my novel, I’d be a happy woman!

The recipe is adapted from the banana and chocolate cupcakes in The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, the most scrumptious baking book ever, bought for me by the lovely Mandy for my birthday.*

The amounts below are halved from those specified in the book as I knew there would only be a few of us and didn’t think we could make it through all 12 the original recipe allows for!

60g plain flour
70g caster sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter at room temp (I used margarine)
60ml whole milk (I used semi-skimmed)
1 egg
60g mashed banana

– Preheat the oven to 170 degrees C/325 F/Gas 3.
– Mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon, ginger, salt and butter until everything is combined.
– Slowly pour milk into the mixture, beating well until all the ingredients are mixed.
– Add the eggs and beat well.
– Stir in the mashed banana evenly.
– Spoon mixture into paper cases (two thirds full) in cupcake tray about and bake for about 20 mins until light golden and the sponge bounces back when pressed.
– Cool on a wire rack until cold.

Make the vanilla frosting

125g icing sugar, sifted
40g unsalted butter at room temp (I used margarine)
15ml whole milk (I used semi-skimmed)
couple drops vanilla extract

– Beat together the icing sugar and butter
– Combine milk and vanilla extract in a separate bowl and add to mixture a few drops at a time on a slow speed.
– Once all the milk has been used, turn mixer up to high and beat frosting until light and fluffy.
– Spoon onto the cooled cupcakes and finish off with a dusting of cocoa or some chocolate shavings.

*Special thanks also to Ruthie for the wonderful gift of the delightful V&A two-tiered cake stand which is so elegantly showing off my cupcakes.

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