Monday, 1 December 2014

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

I love Christmas baking. 

Lets face it, baking in general is seriously awesome but there really is something special about Christmas baking isn't there?

I look forward to breaking out the Christmas recipes every year. In my house we have lots of old favourites, recipes that I bake year after year without fail but I also love creating new Christmas recipes, far to many of which end up on my Christmas favourites list.

Each year, (earlier than I should probably admit), I pull out all my old Christmas magazines and all my Christmas cookbooks and sit down with a cup of tea to browse, scribbling down notes and ideas as I go. It is one of my favourite little traditions.

One treat that is permanently on my Christmas to-bake list are Oatmeal and Raisin Cookies, they are my boyfriend's favourite cookies so it just wouldn't be Christmas without them. 

This year, I decided I wanted to make a really Christmas-y version of our favourite cookies, these not so little beauties are the delicious result.

My boyfriend described these cookies as 'Oatmeal and Raisin on crack' and I have to say, it's a pretty apt description. 

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cookies

Makes 20

240g plain flour
95g rolled oats
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
11/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt 
1/2 tsp cinnamon 
170g unsalted butter, melted 
160g brown sugar 
85g golden caster sugar 
1 large egg 
1 tsp vanilla paste 
125g dried cranberries 
100g white chocolate, chopped into chunks 

Preheat the oven to 170C 

Line two cookie trays with baking paper and set aside. 

Place the dried cranberries in a small bowl, pour boiling water over the cranberries, just to cover and allow to sit for 5 minutes before draining and setting the cranberries aside to cool. 

Melt the butter and allow to cool slightly before proceeding. 

Combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt in the bowl of a food processor and blitz to break up the oats and combine. 

In a medium mixing bowl, beat together the melted butter and both sugars. Add the egg and beat for 2-3 minutes. Add the vanilla paste and mix until evenly distributed. 

Add the flour mixture, cranberries and white chocolate and mix just until blended. 

Roll heaped tablespoons of the dough into balls, (dusting with a little icing sugar if the mixture is too sticky), place the dough balls on the prepared cookie trays and flatten slightly. 

Bake the cookies for 12-14 minutes or until the edges are golden brown but the centres are still slightly soft. 

Allow the baked cookies to cool on their trays for a few minutes before placing on a wire rack to cool completely.


Thursday, 20 November 2014

Chocolate Macaron Recipe

This is without a doubt one of my favourite macaron recipes.

These beautiful macarons are soft, chewy, gooey and delicious. I have been making them for years and I can honestly say this recipe has never failed me. 

This recipe is a French Meringue macaron recipe, which means, no boiling sugar syrup and no separate batches of egg whites. This makes everything loads simpler and much more manageable, making this a great recipe for beginner macaron makers. 

Chocolate Macarons

Makes 18 macarons

For the Macarons:

250g icing sugar
125g ground almonds
20g cocoa powder
4 large egg whites
30g caster sugar

2 baking sheets, lined with parchment paper

1cm plain piping tip and piping bag

For the Chocolate Ganache:

75ml double cream
150g milk or white chocolate, finely chopped
25g unsalted butter

To Assemble:

1cm plain round or star piping tip and piping bag

To Make the Macarons:

Preheat oven to 150 C.

In a large mixing bowl, sift together the icing sugar, ground almonds and cocoa powder.

In the bowl of a stand mixer or in a large bowl using a handheld whisk, whisk the egg whites just until stiff, but not dry, sprinkle the sugar over the egg whites and continue to whisk until very stiff.

Now in two additions gradually fold in the sifted ingredients with a rubber spatula. To fold, use the spatula to cut through the batter and the fold the mixture up and over.  Once the batter is ready it will fall off of the spatula in a thick ribbon, when the ribbon falls into the bowl it should begin to sink back into the rest of the batter.

Fit your piping bag with the piping tip and sit it over a tall glass, turning the top of the bag back on itself, creating a cuff.  Fill the piping bag with macaron batter and pipe small 5cm rounds a couple of cm apart onto your lined baking sheets.  Rap the baking sheet hard on the counter top to remove air bubbles and then leave them sit at room temperature for 30-60 minutes to form a skin.  You can tell when a skin has formed by gently touching the top of one of the rounds, you should come away with a clean finger. If any batter sticks to your finger, allow them to sit for longer.

Bake the macarons for 12 - 15 minutes. The macarons should no longer wobble when pushed gently. Remove from the oven and allow the macaron shells to cool on their sheets for a few minutes before removing and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make the Ganache:

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Gently heat the cream and butter in a small saucepan. Bring just to a boil and then immediately pour over the chocolate. Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes before stirring the ganache until smooth. Allow the ganache to cool completely and then whisk until thick.

To Assemble:

Pair up your macaron shells. Fill a piping bag fitted with a piping tip of your choice with ganache and pipe ganache onto the flat side of one macaron in each pair, top with the remaining macaron shell and repeat until all of your macaron shells are sandwiched together.

Happy macaron making!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Mini Battenberg Cakes

It was my birthday not too long ago and my lovely boyfriend treated me to the most scrumptious and pretty darn swanky afternoon tea. Yes that's right, I prefer birthday tea to birthday cocktails, I'm just rock and roll like that.

Anyway, one of the glorious little bakes I had the pleasure of devouring that day was a little slice of mini Battenberg cake. I was pretty taken with it, it wasn't that it was the best Battenberg cake I had ever eaten, it was just the cutest little Battenberg I had ever seen and as we all know I'm a sucker for all things cute.

I was of course making mini Battenberg cakes within days, I just couldn't help myself.

My little cakes went down a storm, they were so yummy! I loved making them and they were nowhere near as fiddly and time consuming as I had expected.

This recipe makes two marzipan covered rectangular cakes measuring approximately 20cm x 5cm, I then cut each one in half to make 4 little cakes measuring approximately 10 x 5cm. Each of the four little cakes will cut into around 6-8 little slices.

I have used natural marzipan for my Battenberg cakes, just out of preference but you can use white marzipan instead.  To up the pretty factor of my little cakes I lightly dusted the marzipan with shimmering gold lustre dust, which transformed my Battenberg cakes into wonderfully festive looking little treats.

Mini Battenberg Cakes

Makes 4 mini cakes 

225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
225g unsalted butter, room temperature
225g golden caster sugar
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla paste
pink or red food colouring paste
250g apricot jam
500g golden marzipan
2-3 tbsp icing sugar for rolling
Preheat the oven to 180C.

Grease a 20cm/8in square cake tin with butter.

Firstly you need to line your cake tin and create a division so that you can bake the two different coloured sponges at the same time.

Cut two 30cm x 20cm strips of baking paper to fit your cake tin. Line your cake tin with one sheet of baking paper and then grease the top of the baking paper. Do not apply the second sheet of baking paper yet.

Take a sheet of baking foil and fold into a 20cm long rectangle that fits directly inside and across the centre of your square cake tin.  Take your 2nd strip of baking paper and fold it in half, place the foil rectangle in the crease you have just created. Make two more folds at the base of the foil so that the baking paper stretches outwards either side of the foil divide.  Place the foil rectangle into the cake tin, making sure it is perfectly centred and stick the excess parchment to the bottom of the cake tin.

To Make the Cake:

Sift together the flour baking powder and salt.

Using an electric mixer cream together the butter and sugar for around 5 minutes or until very light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add half of the flour and beat until just combined, add the milk and vanilla and once again beat just until combined. Add the remaining flour and beat just until blended. 

Weigh the mixture and divide into two equal portions.

Add just a little red food colouring to one of the portions and mix until the colour is even throughout. 

Spoon the pink batter into one half of the prepared cake tin and smooth the surface with a spatula.  Add the uncoloured cake batter to the other half of the cake tin and again smooth the surface with a spatula.

Bake the cakes in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are well risen and spring back when lightly pressed with a finger. A toothpick inserted into the centre of each cake should come out clean. 

Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes before removing and transferring to a wire rack to cool.

Once the cakes are completely cool, trim the edges with a long serrated knife.  

Cut each coloured sponge in half lengthwise so that you are left with four long strips of sponge (two pink and two white). Now cut each strip in half lengthwise again so that you have four long thin strips of white sponge and four long thin strips of pink sponge.

Neaten the strips as necessary and stack them into two separate little cakes, creating the two by two checkered pattern. 

To Decorate:

Gently heat the apricot jam and pass through a small sieve.

Brush the warm jam between each strip of cake to stick the cake strips together.

Dust icing sugar over a large flat surface and roll out half of the marzipan into a rectangle that is both wide enough and long enough to cover the entire cake. 

Brush the top of one of your cakes with jam and place it jam side down onto the centre of the marzipan. Brush all the remaining sides of the cake with apricot jam and draw the marzipan up and around the cake. I like to seal my cakes so that the marzipan join runs directly along the centre of the base.

Carefully turn the cake over so that the seam is on the underside of the cake. Smooth the marzipan and ensure all edges are neat and straight. Trim each end of the cake, removing any excess marzipan and revealing the checker board pattern.

Repeat with you remaining cake, once again dusting your surface with icing sugar and rolling out the second half of the marzipan into a rectangle.

Once again brush the top of the cake with jam and place it jam side down onto the centre of the marzipan. Brush all the remaining sides of the cake with apricot jam and draw the marzipan up and around the cake. 

Carefully turn the cake over so that the seam is on the underside of the cake. Smooth the marzipan and trim each end of the cake to remove any excess marzipan and reveal the checker board pattern.

Cut each cake in half so that you are left with four roughly 10cm long rectangular cakes.

Slice to serve.


Thursday, 13 November 2014

Modelling Chocolate Recipe

I have been having lots of fun with modelling chocolate recently, it really is such a joy to work with it.

Modelling chocolate is so versatile and great for not only modelling but also moulding, covering cakes and making cut outs. You can achieve a brilliant level of detail using modelling chocolate, it is fantastically strong, making it brilliant for sculpting figurines and it blends seamlessly into itself making it much easier to achieve a beautifully smooth finish.

Making modelling chocolate is so easy, it only has two ingredients and you pretty much just have to mix them together! What could be simpler?

You can scale this recipe up or down as you wish, depending on how much modelling chocolate you need and you can adjust the ratio of chocolate to golden syrup to make the finished modelling chocolate softer or firmer depending on what you need it for.

As I am usually sculpting and modelling cake toppers with my modelling chocolate I like mine just a little on the firmer side but if you want to roll it out and cover a cake you may want to increase the amount of golden syrup just a little. Anywhere up to 125g of golden syrup to 250g white chocolate will be absolutely fine, giving you a ratio of 2:1 chocolate to syrup and resulting in a very soft modelling chocolate.

 This modelling chocolate has a brilliant texture and tastes wonderful. You can replace the golden syrup with light corn syrup if you are in the U.S. and do not have access to golden syrup.

White Modelling Chocolate

250g good quality white chocolate, chopped
100g golden syrup
sugar/candy thermometer

Place the chopped chocolate in a heatproof bowl and place the bowl over a pan of barely simmering water.  Gently melt the chocolate stirring occasionally until completely melted.

Warm the golden syrup so that it's approximately the same temperature as the chocolate, I usually warm mine to 40C but check the temperature of your melted chocolate with a candy thermometer and warm the syrup to the same temperature. Pour the golden syrup into the chocolate and with a rubber spatula, fold the syrup into the chocolate just until the two ingredients are fully combined.

Do not over mix the modelling chocolate at this point, if you over mix at this stage the mixture will separate and become very oily. The modelling chocolate will not be modelling chocolate consistency at this stage and your instinct will probably be to knead or mix but do not!

Pour the mixture into a freezer bag or scoop onto a piece of plastic wrap, seal airtight and let the modelling chocolate set overnight at room temperature.

When you are ready to use the modelling chocolate, break off a workable amount and knead it in your hands. As the chocolate warms, it will become malleable and soft. Knead until very soft and then allow to firm up at room temperature for a minute or so and it will be ready to use.

Colouring Modelling Chocolate

Always use colouring pastes or gels to colour modelling chocolate, you can mix these into the chocolate as you would fondant.

Do not use liquid colour, it will ruin the modelling chocolate.  Colouring modelling chocolate can get messy, the chocolate does not absorb the colour as quickly as sugar paste or fondant so you may want to wear gloves.


Salted Caramel and Coffee Layer Cake

This beautiful cake is such a winner, with light and fluffy coffee cake layers, whipped, creamy coffee and caramel buttercream and lashings of silky smooth salted caramel, everyone who tries this cake loves it.

I mean seriously, just look at that caramel! It's like a salted caramel covered dream.

Best of all this cake really is very simple to make and decorate. 

 I absolutely love the addition of chopped nuts to decorate but they are by no means essential so feel free to omit them if you prefer.

Caramel and Coffee Layer Cake

For the Caramel:

300ml double cream
100g caster sugar
120ml golden syrup

50ml sour cream
1/4 - 1/2 tsp sea salt

For the Cake:

225g unsalted butter. room temperature
225g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
100g dark brown sugar
125g light brown sugar
4 large eggs
40ml very strong coffee (2 1/2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in 40ml boiling water)
2 tbsp milk
1/2 tsp vanilla paste

For the Coffee and Salted Caramel Buttercream:

30ml boiling water
2 tsp instant coffee
1 tbsp milk

300g unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
80ml salted caramel

To Decorate:

75g mixed roasted nuts, roughly chopped

To Make the Caramel:

Combine the double cream, golden syrup and caster sugar in a large heavy based saucepan, place over a low-medium heat and bring to the boil. 

Allow the caramel to bubble away for 10-12 minutes, until dark amber in colour and the caramel thickly coats a rubber spatula. The caramel will thicken further once cool.

Add the sour cream and sea salt to taste, mixing until evenly distributed, allow the caramel to cool at room temperature for 15-30 minutes. Pour the caramel into a heatproof bowl, cover with cling film and leave the caramel to cool completely before using.

To Make the Cake:

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C, Gas Mark 4. Lightly butter 2x20cm diameter, 4.5cm deep sandwich tins and line with baking parchment. 

Sift together the flour and baking powder and set aside.

Using an electric whisk, cream together the butter and both sugars for about 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add 1 tbsp of the flour along with the third egg to prevent curdling.

Finally, using a large spoon or rubber spatula, fold in the rest of the flour. Add the milk, coffee and vanilla and mix just until blended.  

Divide the batter between the cake tins and bake for 20-30 minutes or until the cakes spring back to the touch, or a cake tester inserted in the centre comes out clean. Leave the layers to cool in their tins for around 15 minutes before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

To Make the Coffee and Salted Caramel Frosting:

Dissolve the instant coffee in the boiling water and add the milk. Set aside to cool.

In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter using an electric mixer until very soft and smooth. Add approximately half of the icing sugar and the coffee mixture to the butter and beat for 1 minute. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining icing sugar and 80ml of salted caramel and beat for 5 minutes.

To Assemble the Cake:

Level both cake layers, place one layer on a serving plate or cake board and spread coffee and caramel buttercream over the top.  Top with the second layer of cake and use the remaining buttercream to frost both the top and sides of the cake. 

Now you want to pour your salted caramel over the top of the cake, if you want the caramel to almost cover the cake, drizzling down the sides like mine, pour the whole lot on top, (maybe reserving a couple of tablespoons for a salted caramel latte or two), if you would prefer the caramel to cover the top and just drizzle a little of the way down the sides, use half of the remaining caramel instead.  Sprinkle the top of the cake with chopped nuts if you wish and serve with good coffee.


Friday, 31 October 2014

Happy Halloween!

Happy Halloween Everyone!

Ding dong the diet is dead, bring on the candy and cake!

Whatever you are up to tonight, have an absolutely wonderful, sugar fuelled, family filled time.


Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Raspberry Cheesecake Muffin Top Cookies

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.

To Assemble:

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.


Tuesday, 14 October 2014

Caramelised Almond, Honey and Olive Oil Muffins

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.

Caramelised Nuts

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
45g cornmeal
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 honey
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.


Thursday, 9 October 2014

Mini Coconut and Cinnamon Sugar Doughnut Muffins

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.

Doughnut Muffins

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
190ml buttermilk
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.


Tuesday, 7 October 2014

Miniature Cupcake Inspiration: Top Tips and Tricks For Making Beautiful Mini Cupcakes

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:

So there you have it, my top tips for mini cupcakes, I hope you find them useful.

I will do my best to answer any questions that you may have, so please feel free to comment below.

Happy Cupcaking!