Cupcakes and inspirations

One of my many custom made cupcakes

Having fulfilled my duties as a Cypriot wife for the day (bathrooms cleaned; sheets changed; ironing complete, check), I treated myself to a day of chilling out at home, which was probably motivated by the wintery climate and the overcast weather that took us by surprise yesterday. I love being creative around the home but I also enjoy baking and cooking, particularly baking. Inspired by one of my favourite books, ‘Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery’, I decided to indulge in some therapeutic me-time, by spending a couple of hours baking in the kitchen.

Although I am a huge fan of chocolate (what girl isn’t?) I decided to bake some lemon flavoured cupcakes with lemon flavoured butter cream, and sprinkled with various colours. I took the recipe from the aforementioned book (picture below), which is amazingly colourful and filled with enchanting pictures. The recipes are fairly uncomplicated (although the list of ingredients can be a little off-putting), but the procedure is straightforward and isn’t time-consuming. If anything, I’m sure you will have fun baking these little cakes; the decorating at the end is by far my favourite part!

To make these little gems:

-Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Fill a 12-hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.

-Mix 110g butter with 225g caster sugar, using an electric mixer (for approx 5 minutes). Add 2 eggs, individually, mixing in between each addition.

-In a separate bowl, combine 150g self-raising flour with 125g plain flour. In a jug, add 90ml semi-skimmed milk, 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of sour cream. Gradually combine both the above (the bowl and the jug) with the original creamed mixtures, gradually adding a little of each (the flours then the lemon etc).

-Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases to about 2/3 full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until slightly raised and golden brown (insert a knife and if it comes out clean, they are ready).

-Once removed from the oven and completely cooled, you are ready to ice and decorate your cakes as creatively as you wish.

For a deliciously zingy complement to your lemon cupcakes, beat together 110g butter, 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed lemon juice, the grated zest from 1 or 2 lemons and 250g icing sugar. Add another 250g of icing sugar and beat again until smooth and creamy. Spoon the icing as delicately or heavily as you please. For toppings, use hundreds and thousands, heart shaped sugar or even crushed chocolate, such as toblerone or aero mint. You can even add a sugared lemon slice, which you can buy from the supermarket or bakery.

These cakes are ideal for birthdays and celebrations, or simply just for enjoyment at home. They look so inviting and will be devoured before you know it!

Enjoy!

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