Cupcakes, what can I say about them? They come in all different shapes, sizes and flavours, they are beautiful, delicate little palm sized snacks, jam packed full of goodness, enough to bring a smile to anyone’s face. This goodness is not necessarily the healthy kind but it’s the sort we all deserve from time to time. Anyone who has attempted to make cupcakes from scratch will know that there is an art form in mastering the perfect cupcake, an art form that I have not yet mastered! To all those people who use the little boxes you buy from the supermarket, after you read this you’ll be inspired to tackle cupcakes from scratch!
Sunday the 16th of March was the first in the series of three Kitchen Warehouse Easter Cupcake Bake-offs. It was held at the Cockburn Kitchen Warehouse store and was quickly filled with eager taste testers. The Bake off started with a demonstration by mother and daughter team Sandy and Kate from Sandy’s Cakes. They discussed their best tips for decorating cupcakes and proceeded to construct a spectacular cupcake basket at super human speed. Sandy also agreed to divulge some top-secret insider tips to help you make the perfect cupcake every time.
Sandy’s Top Five Tips
- 1. Use the best ingredients
- 2. Weigh your dry ingredients (cup measures do differ and can make a difference to the final result)
- 3. Have your ingredients at room temperature (not straight out of the fridge)
- 4. Do not over mix your cupcake batter
- 5. Don’t overfill your cupcake pans and once they are in the oven do not open the oven door to peak!
The Judges would have had a really tough time picking the winner, there were so many amazing cupcakes, both in looks and flavour. The great thing about this competition was that there is a people’s choice award. Yes that’s right, you have a say in picking a winner! The judges Sandy and Kate selected the winner of the KitchenAid KSM150 Stand Mixer. When asked what they would be looking for in the winning cupcake they responded with, taste, texture, moistness and of course looks… we do eat with our eyes as well as our stomachs after all. After the demonstration, chaos was unleashed inside the store. The tastings had started. People young and old swarmed in like a flock of seagulls chasing that one chip left on the beach, only this time there was a pile of cupcakes to devour. The array of different style cupcakes was amazing; from people who make and sell cupcakes to your home cooks who make cupcakes on the weekend for their children. Walking around the room there was one reoccurring theme, a cheeky Easter Bunny who liked to show off his… ah fluffy tail…
And the winner is, Jill Hibbert! The judges made an excellent choice in picking Jill Hibbert. Jill made an extraordinary Sticky Date and Toffee Cupcake. This cake ticked all the boxes but it would seem Jill was quite shocked when her name was announced.
As for the peoples choice award, Jackie Smallridge! Jackie created an amazing Carrot Cake Cupcake. Not only did this cake look the part, it was delicious. Jackie has kindly shared her recipe for you all to have a go.
The first week of the bake off went extremely well. It was great to see so many bakers getting involved and it was even better to see the store filled with eager taste testers. Come on down to the Osborne Park store this Sunday the 30th of March for some more cupcake fun. See you there!
Carrot Cake Cupcakes – Jackie Smallridge
Makes 24 standard cupcakes
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ teaspoon ground ginger
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1 cup buttermilk
¾ cup vegetable oil
1- ½ teaspoons vanilla extract
1 bag of carrots, peeled and grated
1 can crushed pineapple, drained
1 cup chopped walnuts
1 cup flaked coconut
½ cup raisins
cream cheese frosting
1. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a medium bowl and set aside.
2. Combine the sugars, buttermilk, vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla extract into a large bowl, stir until all ingredients are well blended.
3. Add the flour mixture, carrots, pineapple, walnuts, coconut and raisins, stirring until well blended.
4. Place cupcake wrappers into cupcake tines and pour batter in.
5. Bake at 175’c for 20-254 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean and tops are firm to touch.
6. Place Cupcakes onto a wire rack to cool completely.
7. Spread cream cheese frosting onto each cupcake and garnish with fondant carrots if desired
Cream Cheese Frosting – Jackie Smallridge
½ cup softened butter
1 packet cream cheese
450g sifted icing sugar mixture
½ fresh lemon (add to taste)
1. Combine the butter and cream cheese in a large mixing bowl, beat until light and fluffy.
2. Add icing sugar and lemon, mix well to combine.