About my baking challenge

I discovered the joy of baking for the first time ever in 2013, shortly after my dear mum passed away from cancer. During 2014 I tried to bring these two things together in a positive way , have fun and raise some money for Ashgate Hospice in Chesterfield where my mum passed away. Throughout the year I tried out new techniques and recipes from time to time ... and then sold some of my bakes for charity in my workplace. Since then I have continued to bake with some ups and downs .. and this blog charts my baking experiences, good and bad!

Tuesday 2 December 2014

Cranberry and white chocolate cupcakes

Whilst putting together my "menu" for my charity bake sale last week, I decided that I wanted a couple of different flavours of cupcakes as they are easy to bake in larger batches (to raise more money!! :-) ). I was really tempted by this recipe I saw on the Hummingbird Bakery blog as it seemed nice and Christmassy, and at the same time allowed me to offer a different flavour from the predominantly chocolate cakes in my repertoire.

I made a slight adjustment to the frosting recipe, but that was primarily for a practical reason as I had some "leftover" white chocolate ganache (see below!)

Cranberry and White Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Blog

For the cake:
70g unsalted butter, softened
210g plain flour
250g caster sugar
2 tsp baking powder (the recipe said 1tbsp but I was bit nervous of that!!)
1/2 tsp salt
210 ml milk
2 large eggs
60g dried cranberries
1 tsp grated orange zest

For the frosting: (this differs a bit from the Hummingbird recipe)
2-3 tbsp white chocolate ganache
300g icing sugar, sifted
160g unsalted butter, softened

2 * 12 hole deep muffin tins

1. Preheat the oven to 170°C/150 C(fan)/Gas Mark 3, and line the muffin tins with cupcake cases. The recipe says it makes 12-16 based on using large American-style muffin cases. I wanted to use Christmas style cases and only had medium ones - my mixture made 21 of these in the end!
2. Mix the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt together using a hand-held or free standing mixer until they form a crumb-like consistency.
3. Whisk together the eggs and milk in a separate jug.
4. Gradually pour half the liquid into the crumb mixture with the mixer on low speed and mix thoroughly until combined. Then turn up the mixer to medium and beat until batter is smooth and thick with no lumps. Then turn down the mixer speed and gradually add the rest of the liquid, continuing to beat until the batter is smooth and combined.
5. Add the cranberries and orange zest, and mix until evenly distributed.
6. Spoon batter into prepared cases, filling each one approx. two-thirds full.

7. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until the sponge bounces back when lightly touched.  Leave the cakes to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then place on a wire rack to cool completely.
8. Beat the butter for the frosting until light and whippy, then gradually add in the icing sugar, beating until smooth. Add in the white chocolate ganache (or melted chocolate - approx 60g), then turn up the mixer to high speed and beat until light and fluffy.
9. When the cupcakes are completely cold, smooth a generous amount of frosting onto each one and smooth with a palette knife. Decorate each cupcake with a dried cranberry and sprinkle with a little orange zest.

I have always previously made cupcakes using a Victoria sandwich-type recipe, so this was quite different both in the proportions of ingredients and the method of combining. I was a little nervous, but it seemed to work really well. The cupcakes baked really evenly, and rose evenly to give a nice rounded appearance but not too much of a "dome", so they were also easy to decorate.

Personally I though the amount of icing sugar in the original recipe (500g) was a bit excessive so I toned this down, and instead of using melted chocolate I used some chocolate ganache (50% white chocolate, 50% double cream). This was simply because I had originally intended to decorate these with white chocolate ganache, but when I made it it was quite "yellow" in colour and very runny, so I thought I'd better revert to buttercream ... and incorporate the white chocolate flavour so as not to waste it all!!

Overall I was very pleased with these cupcakes - one of them had its wrapper tear in the tin so it was the only cake from my whole charity bake which I kept  back to taste and didn't sell ... I frosted it and then my husband and I split it between us.  The sponge was very light and soft and the flavour yummy .. clearly some of my colleagues agreed as they soon got snapped up!

I would like to enter these Christmas treats into the following challenges:

(hosted this month by Kat at The Baking Explorer, and alternately by Stuart at Cakeyboi)

AlphaBakes (December) - X is for Xmas
(hosted this month by Caroline Makes and alternately by The More Than Occasional  Baker)

Love Cake (December) - December Delights
(hosted by JibberJabber UK)

That's all for today.



  1. Such delicious treats, perfect for the Christmas season! Thanks for entering into Treat Petite!

  2. What a lovely fruity combination for a cupcake. I'm not surprised they sold out! Thanks for linking up.