Zesty Lemon and Raspberry Cupcakes

 After a quick break to sit my final year law exams at university I’m back! Seeing as it’s now officially summer time and raspberries are in season, I thought I’d upload my recipe for raspberry and lemon cupcakes. These cupcakes were inspired by the Hummingbird Bakery recipe but I’ve adapted it a little and made them my own way. I baked these cupcakes originally for my husband’s birthday and they turned out a treat! The sweet, juicy raspberries are a perfect pairing to the zesty lemon and together they add a yummy twist to the usual vanilla cupcake. They’re most certainly at the top of my list of favourite things to eat and they stayed moist for ages, not that they lasted very long with my husband around! You could also make this recipe into a large cake but I thought that cupcakes were more fun and less messy! Enjoy!

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Ingredients

110g softened butter or margarine
110g caster sugar (or xylitol for a sugar free version)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
110g sifted self raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
the zest of 1 lemon

For the Icing:

140g softened butter
280g sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp lemon juice
a few spoonfuls of raspberry jam
fresh raspberries or dried raspberries to decorate

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C and fill your cupcake tin with cupcake cases.
Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and add in the vanilla extract and lemon zest.
Fold in the flour. Then little by little, pour in the milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases until they are half full.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a knife or skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

For the buttercream lemon icing, melt the butter and milk in a sauce pan. Once melted pour the mixture little by little, stirring continuously into a bowl with the icing sugar in it and beat until smooth.
Then fold in the lemon juice, adding more milk or icing sugar if necessary, until the mix is silky and creamy.
Once the cakes have cooled, cut a small hole in the tops of the cakes, and add some raspberry jam!
Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe onto the cakes using a spiralling motion. I decided to colour half of my icing with blue food colouring but you can use any colour icing you like or just leave it as it is!
I then decorated half of the cupcakes with fresh raspberries and the other with dried raspberries.

These are perfect for a summer garden party or for an afternoon tea sat outside in the sunshine.

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Microwave White Chocolate and Cranberry Fudge

This recipe is a firm favourite in our house. I made it for the first time this Christmas and it was truly delicious, perfect for someone with a seriously sweet tooth like a certain husband of mine! We were having to be a bit thrifty this year after getting married in September, so I decided to make this fudge to use as gifts for all of our friends. Personal and delicious, the perfect combination! It’s super easy to make and they really do look very pretty when finished. The sharpness of the cranberries balances the richness of the white chocolate really well and makes this recipe dangerously moorish, wonderful as a homemade gift or just to nibble on as a tasty treat.

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Ingredients

Makes about 675g of fudge

300g white chocolate
100g melted butter
50g dried cranberries
225g sifted icing sugar
3-4 tbsp milk

For this recipe I used a 900 watt microwave

Method

Break up the chocolate into small chunks and place them into a microwaveable bowl. Heat it in the microwave on high for 2 minutes, making sure you stir it every minute until it has melted. Then tip in the rest of the ingredients and stir well. Put the bowl back into the microwave on high for another 3-4 minutes, beating it every minute until it is silky and thick.

Pour the mixture into a well greased rectangular tin (8 inches x 6 inches), smoothing the top and chill in the fridge until it is set. I would recommend chilling overnight if you can wait but four hours should be enough time. Then cut it into chunks and give it to a loved one for maximum friend/family points!

Here is a photo of how I wrapped mine:

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Classic Miniature Victoria Sponge Cakes

I’ve always been a massive fan of baking and you can’t beat a classic victoria sponge cake. It’s a perfect addition to a cup of tea whilst sat in the garden basking under the summer sun. These miniature victoria sponges are a lovely alternative to the usual cupcake and are so easy to make. My best friend introduced me to this vanilla sponge cake recipe and for that I will be eternally grateful. This recipe turns out perfectly golden and deliciously flavourful cake, which stays moist for days! I brought these cakes along whilst visiting a friend and he impressively ate five in one day! Happy baking!

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Ingredients

110g softened butter or margarine
110g caster sugar (or xylitol for a sugar free version)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla essence
110g sifted self raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk

The filling:

140g softened butter
280g sifted icing sugar
2 tbsp milk
a few spoonfuls of strawberry or raspberry jam

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C and grease a mini sandwich tin with butter. Here is the link to the one that I used: http://www.lakeland.co.uk/15170/My-Kitchen-12-Cup-Mini-Sandwich-Tin.

Mix the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale and fluffy. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and add in the vanilla extract.

Fold in the flour. Then little by little, pour in the milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture evenly into the tin until they are half full.

Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a knife or skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.

For the buttercream filling, beat the butter in a large bowl until fluffy and soft. Add around half of the icing sugar and beat until smooth.

Then fold in the remaining icing sugar alongside one tablespoon of the milk, adding more milk if necessary, until the mix is silky and creamy.

Once the cakes have cooled, cut them carefully in half using a bread knife.

Spoon the icing into a piping bag and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto one half of the cakes. Spread the jam on the other half and then gently push both halves together. Dust with icing sugar and they’re ready to go!

Serve them on pretty vintage china plates with a lovely pot of English tea!