This is one of those recipes I have had floating around in my head for a while now. I first heard of Muffin Top Cookies a few months ago and immediately loved the idea. I love muffin tops! To be honest I could take or leave the rest of the muffin but the top, that's the best bit!
These beautiful cookies are unbelievably delicious. I decided to go all out and load them up with sweet, silky smooth, cream cheese and sharp, bright and bold raspberries, that absolutely burst with flavour.
To make my Muffin Top Cookies I adapted my most cakey cookie recipe to make them even lighter and more cakey, the raspberries and cream cheese are not folded into the batter but rather piled high on top of each cookie before baking.
Like most fresh fruit bakes these cookies are best eaten pretty sharpish, they will not keep for the next day, but trust me, that will not be an issue, they didn't last five minutes in my house.
Raspberry Cheesecake Muffin Top Cookies
Makes 12 Large Cookies
220g plain flour
10g milk powder
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
110g unsalted butter
65g brown sugar
75g caster sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla paste
100g fresh raspberries
70g cream cheese
30g icing sugar
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Line 2 cookie sheets with baking paper and set aside.
In a medium sized bowl sift together the flour, milk powder, salt, bicarbonate soda and baking powder.
In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large mixing bowl with a handheld mixer, cream together the butter and both sugars. We want our cookies as cakey as possible and therefore we want to use a cakey method to make them so beat the butter and sugars together for around 3 minutes.
Add the egg and beat until fully incorporated, scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the vanilla paste and continue to beat for 1 minute.
Gradually add the flour mixture, beating at the lowest speed until the dough just comes together.
Divide the cookie dough into 12 equal rounds, place on the prepared cookie sheets and flatten slightly.
To make the Topping:
With and electric mixer beat the cream cheese and icing sugar together until fully combined.
Chop the raspberries into halves and quarters.
Take a little teaspoon of cream cheese and dollop it in small quantities on top of each unbaked cookie. I prefer to do 3 little dollops rather than one large one. Place the halved and quartered raspberries on top of the cream cheese.
Bear in mind that your cookie will rise and spread significantly in the oven so what appears over packed now will not later. Your cream cheese and raspberry topping should stand as tall as the cookie dough round itself.
Place the cookie trays in the refrigerator for 20 minutes or until the cookie dough rounds feel firm to the touch.
Place the cookie trays in the preheated oven and bake for approximately 15 minutes or until the edges of the cookies are golden brown.
Remove from the oven and allow the cookies to cool on the cookie sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool.
I am really taken with these little muffins, they are beautifully lemon and orange scented, not overly sweet and have a wonderful cornbread quality to them.
I scatter each delicious little muffin with caramelised almonds before baking and serve them with a liberal dusting of icing sugar. These two little touches transform these beautifully simple muffins into something really special.
Start by making your caramelised nuts and allow them to cool completely before chopping into a chunky rubble.
85g roasted almonds
50g icing sugar
11/2 tsp vodka
Combine the nuts, icing sugar and vodka in a heavy based saucepan, place over a medium heat and stir continuously until the sugar crystallises around the nuts and begins to caramelise. The sugar will turn golden brown.
Remove the pan from the heat and spread the nuts out on a sheet of greaseproof paper to cool.
Once cool, roughly chop the nuts and set aside until needed.
Caramelised Almond, Honey and Olive Oil Muffins
170g plain flour
30g ground almonds
60g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp orange zest
1 tsp salt
225ml whole milk
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
60ml extra-virgin olive oil
85g caramelised almonds, chopped
icing sugar, for dusting (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a 12-hole muffin tray with muffin cases.
Sift together the flour, cornmeal, ground almonds, sugar, baking powder, lemon zest, orange zest and salt in a large mixing bowl.
In a separate bowl, whisk together the milk, eggs, egg yolk, honey and olive oil.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, add the wet ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until just combined. Do not over mix.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 muffin cases and sprinkle the top of each muffin liberally with chopped caramelised nuts. Bake the muffins for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown and well risen.
Remove from the oven and place the muffins on a wire rack to cool completely before dusting with icing sugar to serve.
This is one of those recipes that I regard as dangerous.
Dangerous because I am hopeless to resist them and would happily devour all 24 glorious little mini muffins in one go.
These muffins really do live up to their name, with their ever so slightly crisp shell and beautifully soft and fluffy, lightly cinnamon and coconut scented interior, they are simply heavenly, if they were any more doughnut-ty they would actually be doughnuts.
These glorious little mini muffins will keep for 2-3 days if stored in an airtight container at room temperature.
Makes 24 Mini Muffins
For the muffins:
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
1/4 tsp cinnamon
150g golden caster sugar
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla paste
60ml coconut oil, melted
coconut oil or sunflower oil for greasing the muffin tin
For the coating:
75g unsalted butter, melted
100g golden caster sugar
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1 x 24-hole mini muffin tin
To make your muffins:
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease a 24-hole mini muffin tin with coconut oil or sunflower oil and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Add the sugar and stir to combine.
Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and pour the lightly beaten egg, buttermilk, vanilla paste and coconut oil into the well. Fold the dry and wet ingredients together just until combined. Do not over-mix.
Divide the mixture evenly between the cavities of the prepared muffin tray. Bake the muffins in the preheated oven for 12-15 minutes.
Remove the tray from the oven and allow the muffins to cool in the muffin tray just for a few minutes before tipping the muffins out onto a wire rack to cool, you may need to gently tease the edges of some of the muffins to get them to fall.
Whilst the muffins are still warm from the oven, dip the top of each one in the melted butter and then roll in sugar, coating liberally.
I make a lot of mini cupcakes and recently I seem to be making more than ever before. Today I thought I would share a few of my top tips for making mini cupcakes and add a few pictures of the adorable mini cuppies I have been making to give you a little inspiration.
Making mini cupcakes is of course basically exactly the same as making regular sized cupcakes but there are a few tips and tricks that will make your life so much easier.
Almost all cupcake recipes can be made into mini cupcakes. Mini cupcake pans hold around a third of the amount of batter as regular cupcake pans, so if you have a recipe that yields 12 full sized cupcakes, you will get around 36 mini cupcakes from that batter.
It helps to know the batter you are working with really well, our chocolate cupcakes for instance rise a lot higher than our vanilla cupcakes when baked, so I only fill the mini cupcake cases until half full with chocolate batter and two-thirds full with vanilla batter. Normally you will want to fill the mini cupcake cases until 2/3 full as with regular cupcakes but be careful, it is very easy to overfill mini cupcake cases.
I recommend starting with the original recipe and making a large batch of mini cupcakes, rather than cutting down the recipe. Some recipes do not scale down well.
Mini cupcake pans can be a pain to fill, it can take a long time, especially if you are making hundreds of mini cupcakes at a time and as we know cake batter does not like to wait. At the bakery we always pipe our cake batter into mini cupcake cases/trays.
I use a large disposable piping bag fitted with a 2cm round piping tip for this. It is much quicker and far easier to make all the cupcakes uniform in size by piping the batter into the cases, rather than scooping and spooning.
Mini cupcakes will bake in around half the time of regular sized cupcakes.
Around 10-16 minutes for mini cupcakes and 20-25 for regular sized cupcakes. It is really easy to over bake mini cupcakes so keep a close eye on them and check to see if they are baked after around10 minutes.
If you choose to add anything to the cupcake batter, chocolate chips, nuts or fruit for example, be sure to crush or chop them into very small pieces, it is very easy to overwhelm a mini cupcake.
It is also very easy to make a mini cupcake look too top heavy, small toppings work best, sprinkles, crushed nuts, biscuits crumbs, coconut and small chocolates or sweets work much better than large fondant toppers.
When it comes to piping mini cupcakes, I like to get a little fancy.
I absolutely love buttercream fills, ruffles and swirls. The beautiful little pink cupcake above has been frosted with one of my all time favourite piping tips, the Atteco 855.
Unlike large cupcakes that are piped with a swirling motion, I generally like to pipe my mini cupcakes directly from the top, so instead of swirling the tip, hold the piping bag/tip above and directly in the centre of the mini cupcake and pipe without moving the tip at all.
For example to frost a mini cupcake like the little Tiffany blue cupcake below, use a French Star Tip, (also know as a fine toothed open star tip), hold the piping bag/tip above and directly in the centre of the mini cupcake and pipe without moving the tip from that spot. Simply apply pressure to the piping bag and allow the frosting to fill before releasing the pressure and moving the tip away.
Other piping tips I love to use for mini cupcakes include:
Fall has finally flung and in honour of my favourite season I thought I would create a little sugarcraft tutorial for you all.
This tutorial will show you in step by step photographs and instructions, how to create an adorable fondant pumpkin teddy bear to decorate your cakes and cupcakes.
Your finished bear will measure approximately 5cm tall and 3cm at the widest point, making this bear the perfect size for topping cupcakes.
If you would like to make a bear twice the size, simply double all the weights provided.
Make sure you knead your sugarpaste before use and keep any sugarpaste you are not working with wrapped and sealed in an airtight container otherwise it will dry out and become difficult to work with.
To make your bear you will need:
Approximately 10g of orange sugarpaste per bear.
Approximately 11g brown sugarpaste per bear.
Less than 1g of black sugarpaste per bear.
Less than 1g white sugarpaste per bear.
Less than 1g green sugarpaste per bear.
Edible glue or vodka.
For a little teddy bear like this edible glue is not really necessary, at Buttercream Bakery we use edible glue for very delicate pieces but mostly we use vodka. The vodka acts as an adhesive and the alcohol will evaporate completely, you will not be able to taste the vodka at all on the finished topper. Vodka can also be used to clean any marks or blemishes off your finished toppers or decorations. Edible glue can leave messy marks on sugarpaste and taste unpleasant.
A small clean paintbrush for applying edible glue or vodka.
A couple of toothpicks.
An artists scalpel or a small blade.
1 x Point and Auger Tool.
A point and auger tool is not entirely essential but will make your life easier and your little bear neater. In most cases you can use a toothpick in place of a point and auger tool.
Digital spice scales.
Again scales are not totally necessary, I do not usually use them to measure out pieces of sugarpaste when making toppers and decorations but I have for this tutorial simply to give you all an indication of what size the pieces should be. Some of the pieces, such as the eyes, ears and leaves are so small I cannot provide weights.
Fondant Pumpkin Teddy Bear
Cake Topper Tutorial
1. Take 9g of orange sugarpaste and roll into a plump pear shape measuring approximately 2.5cm tall. Push the length of a toothpick into the sugarpaste and curve the toothpick around the curve of the base. Repeat all the way around, creating evenly spaced, vertical lines around the entire pear shape.
2. Take 1.5g of brown sugarpaste and roll into a ball. Place your little finger just off centre and roll back and forth to create an indent, you should end up with something that resembles a peanut shape, with one bulbous end slightly larger than the other. Flatten the slightly larger end of each peanut shape, drawing it upwards slightly to create the paw of the leg. Repeat with another 1.5g ball of brown sugarpaste.
3. Attach the legs to the bottom sides of the bears body as shown, using a small paintbrush dipped in edible glue or vodka. You now need to texture your bears legs, take a toothpick and push the point into the sugarpaste, pull away at the sugarpaste creating a fur like effect.. The more different directions you pull the sugarpaste out in, the fluffier your bear will be. Continue until the bear’s legs are completely textured.
4. Take 2g of brown sugarpaste and split into two equal portions. Roll each piece into a ball and then a small sausage shape. Re-roll one end of each sausage into a slightly thinner point, so that your sausage shapes taper at one end.
5. Attach the tapered end of the bear's arms to the bear's body using a small paintbrush dipped in edible glue or vodka. I want the bears paws to sit on his cheeks so I have simply affixed the arms curving upwards at this stage. You could also place them at the bears sides or affix the paws together. Texture your bears arms as you did the legs, using a toothpick to pull away at the sugarpaste. Remember the more different directions you pull the sugarpaste out in the fluffier your bear will look.
6. To create the bears head, take 4g of brown sugarpaste and roll into a ball, place your finger approximately one-third of the way down the ball and roll gently to create a slight indent. You should now have a plump pear shape, similar to the shape of the bear’s pumpkin body only shorter (approximately 1.5cm tall) and plumper at the top.
7. Use a small artists scalpel to create the bear's muzzle, push the blade into the sugarpaste creating a vertical line running down the centre of the bottom half of the bear's head. The line needs to stop slightly short of the base of the head as shown. Take a toothpick and insert the point into the sugarpaste at the bottom of the line you have just created. With the point still inserted in the sugarpaste pull the toothpick downward slightly to create a little mouth.
8. Push the point of a toothpick into the sugarpaste to create two eye holes. How big the eye holes are, how high or low they sit on the bears face or how close together or far apart they are will all affect your bears character, so have a play around. I like to place mine just wide enough apart that they will sit just above and either side of the bears nose.
9. To make the bears ears take two tiny lentil sized pieces of sugarpaste, roll each piece into a ball and then flatten each ball slightly so that you have two small plump discs. Push the length of the blunt point of a point and auger tool into each of the discs around halfway down, as shown. Affix the ears to the top sides of your bears head, as shown.
10. Affix the head to the bears body, using a small paintbrush dipped in edible glue or vodka. Once again take your toothpick and gently pull away at the sugarpaste, texturing the bears whole head front and back, not forgetting the ears. Affix the bear’s paws to his cheeks using a small paintbrush dipped in edible glue or vodka.
11. To make the bear’s little pumpkin beret, take 0.3g of orange sugarpaste roll into a ball and flatten into a plump disc. Repeat with 0.2g of white sugar paste. Stack the discs together and turn over so that the orange disc faces upwards, straighten the edges of the stacked disc, making flat edges and corners to create a more jagged look. Draw the orange edges down slightly over the white in a few areas. Use a small artists scalpel to imprint four lines on the orange side of your beret in a star pattern, creating 8 small segments. Do not cut the sugarpaste, just push the blade in gently to imprint the pattern.
12. Affix the little pumpkin beret to the top of the bears head, between his ears, I like to place mine slightly off centre. Take a small piece of brown fondant and roll into a little stalk that tapers slightly at one end. Place the length of the point of a toothpick into the wider end, creating a little indent that runs halfway up the little stalk.
13. Affix the wider end of the stalk to the centre of the pumpkin beret using a small paintbrush dipped in edible glue or vodka.
14. To make the little leaves that decorate the bear’s pumpkin beret, take two tiny pieces of green sugarpaste, shape each into a teardrop and then flatten.
15. Very gently push the blade of an artists scalpel into the little leaf or teardrop shape, creating a vertical line that runs up the entire length of the leaf. Be careful not to cut the leaf, you just want to imprint the line. Add two or three evenly spaced diagonal lines coming off of the central line on each side. Affix the little leaves to the pumpkin beret.
16. Take the smallest piece of black sugarpaste you can, split it into two even smaller pieces and roll each piece into a small ball. You want each ball to be around the size of a poppy seed, each one needs to be small enough to fit inside the bears eye sockets.
17. Take another small piece of black sugarpaste and roll into a small egg shape for the bears nose. Use a small paint brush dipped in vodka and dabbed on a paper towel, to brush the inside of each eye socket. Pick up each tiny black ball with a small paintbrush and insert one into each of the eye holes you created in Step 8. If they are still two big, simply take one of the balls and split it in half and try again. Finally affix the bears nose to the top of the line you made on the bears muzzle in Step 7.
Your Pumpkin Teddy Bear is now finished!
I would absolutely love to see your teddy bears and I am more than happy to help if you need any assistance. You can comment directly on this post and you can find me on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
I have a totally scrumptious recipe for you today.
Seriously, prepare yourself for new realms of deliciousness.
This is definitely one of my favourite cupcake recipes, the cinnamon and maple sponge cake is so beautifully light and fluffy, the silky smooth vanilla bean cream cheese frosting is quite simply the stuff dreams are made of and each gorgeous little cupcake is finished with a generous dusting of cinnamon sugar.
I created this recipe for Buttercream Bakery after trying a number of delicious French Toast cupcake recipes, while most were totally scrumptious many resulted in slightly sunken cupcakes.
These cupcakes rise beautifully, have never sunk on me and are packed full of flavour.
Make sure all of your ingredients are room temperature before you start baking, read the recipe all the way through before you begin and allow your cupcakes to cool completely before you frost them.
Buttercream Bakery French Toast Cupcakes
65ml maple syrup
35ml sour cream
1 tsp vanilla paste
195g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
110g unsalted butter, room temperature
175g caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 170C.
Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases and set aside.
Combine the maple syrup, milk, sour cream and vanilla paste in a small saucepan. Place the pan over a low heat and warm the mixture gently, whisking occasionally, until all the ingredients combine. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Sift all the dry ingredients together into a medium bowl and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar with an electric mixer, until light and fluffy, 2-3 minutes.
Add the egg yolks and beat until fully combined.
Add half of the flour mixture and gently fold into the batter. Add the liquid ingredients and beat with and electric mixer just until combined. Add the remaining flour and beat the mixture just until smooth, no more than 30 seconds.
Whip the egg whites in a medium mixing bowl with an electric whisk, until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the batter, until no streaks of white remain.
Divide the batter evenly between the 12 cupcake cases and bake for 18-20 minutes or until well risen, golden brown and a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
Vanilla Bean Cream Cheese Frosting
130g unsalted butter, room temperature
160g icing sugar
200g cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla paste
In a large mixing bowl, with and electric mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until smooth and creamy. Add the cream cheese and beat until fully combined. Scrape down the sides of the mixing bowl add the vanilla paste and continue to beat for 2-3 minutes.
Cinnamon Dusting Sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tbsp icing sugar
Sift the cinnamon and icing sugar together into a small bowl.
Fit a piping bag with a plain round piping tip and fill with the vanilla bean cream cheese frosting. Pipe swirls of frosting on top of each cupcake and using a sieve, sprinkle generously with cinnamon dusting sugar.
I am convinced that I am not alone in my life long quest for the answer to what is surely one of life's most perplexing questions.
The blondie vs brownie debate has been raging for as long as I can remember and I'm sure many of you have often pondered the very same question.
Life is hard but the answer to that blondie vs brownie question is reassuringly simple.
The answer is both, I'll take a blondie and a brownie please and if you could conveniently stack those on top of each other, that would be just fab.
All hail the mighty Blondie and Brownie Layer Bar.
The brownie layer is chocolatey, gooey and fudgey, just as a brownie should be. The blondie layer is a little cookie-like, action packed delight. It is literally packed full of white, milk and dark chocolate chunks, honey roasted nuts and I even added some peanut butter chips and butterscotch chips I picked up on my recent travels. The blondie layer is notoriously versatile so feel free to use any combination of chocolate, chocolate chips and nuts you fancy.
Blondie and Brownie Layer Bars
For the Brownie Layer:
95g unsalted butter, room temperature
95g dark chocolate
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla paste
125g golden caster sugar
60g plain flour
For the Blondie Layer:
100g unsalted butter, melted
160g light brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla paste
120g plain flour
pinch of salt
125g mixture of white, dark and milk chocolate, chopped
(you can also chocolate chips, butterscotch chips and peanut butter chips)
75g mixed honey roasted nuts
1 x 8" square brownie pan
Preheat the oven to 180C.
Grease and line the brownie pan and set aside.
Start by weighing out all of the ingredients for both the brownie layer and the blondie layer.
Set all of the ingredients aside in two separate areas, one area for your blondie ingredients and one for your brownie ingredients.
Melt together the chocolate and butter for the brownie layer and set aside to cool.
While you are waiting for the chocolate mixture to cool, make your blondie layer: Beat together the melted butter and sugar for 1-2 minutes, beat in the egg and vanilla and continue to beat for a further minute. Fold in the salt and flour, folding until completely combined. Add the chocolate and nuts and fold through until evenly distributed.
Transfer the mixture to the prepared brownie pan, spread out in an even layer and set aside.
Now make your brownie layer: In a medium sized mixing bowl, beat together the eggs, vanilla and sugar until light, pale and fluffy. Take the cooled, melted chocolate mixture and gradually whisk in the egg mixture a little at a time until fully incorporated. Fold in the flour and salt.
Pour the brownie mixture into the brownie tin, directly over the top of the blondie layer. Bake in the preheated oven for around 30 minutes, a cake tester inserted into the centre should have a few chocolatey crumbs attached and the top of the brownie layer will be dull and crackled.
It's cupcake time again and I have lots of cuteness to share.
Today I have all sorts of cupcakes and little creations to show you and I thought I would start with one of my favourites, one of our spectacular little Candyland Cupcakes.
Our Candyland Cupcakes have been around for a while now but they are still one of my favourite designs. All that candy! It's like a sugar dusted dream come true on top of a cupcake.
I just had to include some of our little Gorilla Cake Toppers in this post because I have made and shipped so many in the last few months. I love making these little guys, their little faces, hands and feet are so expressive.
We make a lot of Cinderella carriages at Buttercream Bakery and you may have seen our larger cake topper carriages but in true Buttercream Bakery style, anything we make big, we also make small, really, really, small.
I absolutely love making these little cupcake sized carriages and they look unbelievably pretty atop their cupcakes.
Talking of pretty, meet Birthday Bunny....
How utterly adorable is this little Birthday Bunny cake topper? I love her little stripy Easter egg belly and sparkly number 1.
Glitter, bunnies, bows and pastels, I just love it.
Another pretty pastel cutie next....
With pink frosting, white sprinkles, pale pink and soft white frills, a tiny cupcake topper and tiny teddy, this really is the sweetest cupcake of all time.
Teddy got his wings!
How sweet is this little guy? As if our little teddy bears weren't cute enough, now they flutter too!
Angel Ted sits atop a scrumptious white chocolate cupcake.
I have another miniature next and it's a brand new design. Our Miniature Cake Table Cupcake features a whole array of tiny confectionery but for me it's the bunting that steals the show.
The little table was so fun to make, I can't say I've ever made a table before.
From a new design to an old favourite, our Blushing Bear cake toppers have always been on my favourites list. Their sweet little faces make them a popular choice for baby showers and I was delighted to have them featured in a lovely post on Giftizzi.com
At Buttercream Bakery we love making cowboy cake toppers and although I normally make our Cowboy Cake Topper Sets in classic colours, I love this set featuring a red cowboy hat and blue and brown cowboy boots.
I made this stylish set as part of a custom order for a client. I absolutely loved the adorable blue and brown boots and have been meaning to make a pair in pink ever since.
Last but by no means least I wanted to give you a closer look at our Miniature Tea Party Cupcakes.
I designed these super sweet cupcakes for an exclusive tutorial featured in the April issue of Cake Masters Magazine. I believe you can still order the issue from the App Store, so if you would like to learn how to make these cupcakes, head over and get yourself a copy.
That's it for today, I hope I satisfied your cupcake craving!
Enjoy the rest of the week, have a brilliant weekend and of course Happy Cupcaking!