The Best Cupcake Recipe

Before I start this post I want to apologise for not posting this week- it’s all been a bit busy with packing, moving back home for summer and unpacking again! But now I’m at home, so will have plenty of time for baking and blogging recipes- yey! This does mean that some of the recipes appearing here may have more recipes included and may be more expensive as I can raid the cupboards in the kitchen, but I will still be adding up the cost of each recipe for you all. I will try and keep them simple and resist the temptation to get too carried away! That’s enough ramble though, so here’s my actual post:

Cupcakes are something that everyone can appreciate and range from very simple ones to very intricate complicated ones. Decorating cupcakes is one of my favourite baking things to do, but it does take time and effort so when I’m at uni all I ever do is shove some frosting on them (the student laziness strikes again). In this post I’m going to share with you the cupcake recipe, and in the next post I’m going to discuss and give recipes for different frostings, some more complicated than others. In my years of baking (that makes me sound about a million years old) I have tried so many different cupcake recipes, but the one I’m going to post today is the best one I’ve ever found, and possibly the best one ever. The recipe comes from the Hummingbird Bakery and is in all of their recipe books. I love it because I find a lot of cupcake recipes quite dry, but this one creates the perfect texture for me, and I’m yet to find a person who doesn’t like them! For those of you who haven’t heard of Hummingbird Bakery, research them. Now. They have the most amazing bakes ever, and they have a way of making every bake look amazingly tasty. Unfortunately they only have shops in London in the UK, which makes me very sad, but they do have a great blog and four great recipe books. This is beginning to sound a bit like I’m sponsored by them or something now, so I’m going to stop talking them up and get on with the recipe, but seriously check them out- this is their website :
(and Hummingbird Bakery, if by some chance you’re reading this- a shop in Manchester would be amazing!)

The Recipe:
This recipe makes chocolate cupcakes.
Overall price to make: £1.88
Baking Time: 20-25 minutes
(I haven’t put a preparation time as it can take me between half an hour and an hour depending on how much singing/dancing round the kitchen I do, if I have an electric mixer, if I’m chatting to someone etc.)

70g Unsalted Butter
170g Plain Flour
250g Caster Sugar
50g Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
210ml Whole Milk* (see Helpful Hints)
2 Eggs

This recipe makes around 16 cupcakes.
1. Preheat the oven to 170 C (325 F or Gas Mark 3) and line the muffin tins with cases (I find it makes 16 cupcakes).
2. Soften the butter- I tend to just stick it in the microwave for about 5-10 seconds depending on how high power your microwave is.
3. Mix the butter, flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt together. You may want to add these and give it a little mix after you add each or you’ll find the dry ingredients just explode everywhere when you start to mix it and it all gets very messy! The ingredients that haven’t ended up on the kitchen counter, you or the floor should form a crumb-like consistency.
4. In a separate jug, mix together the eggs and milk with a fork.
5. Mixing slowly, pour half the eggs and milk mixture into the crumb mixture and stir until it’s all combined. Mix more quickly when it’s combined to form a smooth and thick batter-like mixture. When any lumps have gone (try squishing them a bit with your spoon or whisk), add the rest of the milk and egg mixture and mix until the mixture is combined and smooth.
6. Make sure that there isn’t any flour or other dry ingredients at the bottom of the mixture- a really floury cupcake is not what you want!
7. Spoon the batter into the cases- they should fill about 2/3 of the case.
8. Bake for 20-25 minutes in the oven, or until the sponge bounces back when you touch it (give it a poke and see if it springs back).
9. Leave to cool completely before frosting if you’re going to decorate them.

Helpful Hints
Baking Powder- This looks expensive for what it is but trust me it’s worth having- it keeps for ages and you can just store it until you need it, you never need much of it in each recipe.

Whole Milk- Most students won’t have whole milk just lying around in the fridge, however if you’re a tea or coffee fan you might have semi-skimmed milk in the fridge. Instead of whole milk you can use semi-skimmed milk and a little bit of butter, which is way easier and I can’t taste the difference! For this recipe, you’ll need about 1.5 tbsp of melted butter (just add it to the semi-skimmed milk). Overall, you need 2 tablespoons of melted butter to 1 cup (237g) of semi-skimmed milk to create a whole milk alternative.

Vanilla cupcakes- if you want to make vanilla cupcakes instead of chocolate ones, then swap the cocoa powder for more Plain Flour (210g) and add a teaspoon of Vanilla Extract. Otherwise, the recipe is the same.

If you want to decorate your cupcakes watch this space for next week’s post on frosting!

The finished product looks something like this (although these have frosting on):
Cinder Toffee Cupcakes

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