University of Birmingham graduate with a passion for food & cooking as part of a healthy lifestyle

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Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Chocolate and vanilla jam cupcakes

I made these for my 19th birthday the other week, for friends and family. I hadn't made cupcakes for a really long time so loved doing it, and actually discovered that piping icing isn't so bad! I've never been that good at piping technique but realised that with some good piping bags stuffed full of lots of icing, it really is quite simple and fun to be creative with it. I wanted the contrast of chocolate and plain vanilla sponges as well as the contrast with the plain cream icing and pink icing so that they looked good on my cupcake stand. Make sure you use cute, colourful cupcakes cases to make these scrummy cupcakes look even more appealing. I use this recipe time and time again, I have probably posted them on here before. It's so versatile - you can pretty much do anything you like, adding fruit to the sponge, using different coloured icing and decorations etc etc. Just have some fun!

For the sponges (makes 24)
- 225 margarine/butter (or both)
- 225g caster sugar
- 4 eggs, beaten
- 225g self raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp semi skimmed milk
- 1 tsp vanilla essence
- cocoa powder (for the chocolate cupcakes)

1. Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 4 / 180 degrees. Line a few cupcake trays with cupcake cases.
2. Beat together the marg/butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs, adding flour occasionally if curdling occurs.
3. Sift the remaining flour and baking powder into the bowl, then gradually whisk in the milk and vanilla essence.
4. Spoon half of this mixture into cupcake cases.
5. Sift cocoa powder into the other half of the mixture, stirring and adding more until it is dark brown in colour. Spoon this into the remaining cupcake cases.
6. Bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave to cool on a cooling tray.
7. Once cooled, you can begin making the buttercream. But first, take the vanilla cupcakes and cut a small hole in the middle of each to fill with a tsp of jam. I used raspberry but any flavour would work well.
8. Cover with the cut out bit of sponge, and they are ready to be iced!

For the buttercream
- 150g unsalted butter
- 225g icing sugar
- 2 tbsp hot milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- pink colouring (for vanilla sponge cupcakes)

1. Cream together the butter and sugar with the milk until smooth and silky. Stir in the vanilla extract.
2. Spoon this into a large piping bag with a nozel in (I ordered large, plastic disposable icing bags off amazon - you just snip off the end, pop in the nozel, fill with icing and are easy to use!) and start icing the chocolate sponge cupcakes - I go clockwise in a swirling pattern to get the effect you can see in the pictures.
3. Once all the chocolate cupcakes are done, add some pink food colouring to the remaining icing and stir until fully combined. Pipe this on to the vanilla cupcakes in the same way as the chocolate ones. Voila! You can decorate with fruit (strawberries or raspberries) or sprinkles or whatever really, but I just wanted to keep them simple.

Enjoy :)

Oh, and just wanted to show you this cute apron my friend bought me for my birthday, I love it, can't wait to wear it!!

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