Stem Ginger Cow Cupcakes


Last weekend was another cross country race and that gave me another excuse to try out a recipe I haven’t done before and experiment with the decorating. I chose stem ginger cupcake as I wanted a flavour that would be warming in this cold weather, also I hadn’t made them before so it was good to tick off another recipe from the long list! I struggled a bit to think of something to theme the cupcakes with as this time of year seems to be quite uneventful, unlike Christmas. So I chose to make some cows and daisies that could incorporate a subtle red and yellow theme – by using red and yellow centers for the daisies – Serpentine running club colours.


I started by making stem ginger cupcakes, here is the recipe:

Stem Ginger Cupcakes (adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook)

Makes 12

For the sponge:

120g Plain Flour

140g Caster Sugar

1 1/2 tsp baking powder

½ tsp ground cinnamon

¼ tsp ground all spice

Pinch of salt

40g unsalted butter, softened

1 large eggs

1/4 tsp vanilla essence

120ml whole milk

200g stem ginger in syrup – finely chopped and reserve the syrup


For the frosting:

160g unsalted butter

500g icing sugar, sifted

50ml milk

1 lemon zested


Preheat the oven to 180 C. Line 12 hole muffin tray with cases.

In a large bowl or electric mixer, mix all the dry ingredients plus the butter until you’ve got a sandy consistency.

Pour in half the milk and beat until just mixed, then add the egg and vanilla to the remaining milk, whisk together quickly and pour the whole lot in. Mix it all together for a few minutes until smooth, scraping down the side of the bowl to catch any lumps of flour, then stir in the chopped ginger.

Fill each case two-thirds full, bake for 15 – 20 minutes until the tops are golden brown and spring back to the touch. Remove from the oven.

Remove from the tins and place on a cooling rack. Pour about 1 tsp of the reserved syrup from the stem ginger on to the top of each cupcake.

I made the buttercream from the recipe, but it was far too runny because of the additional milk. So I wouldn’t make it again, but instead make a lemon buttercream or may be vanilla.

To make the buttercream, using the electric whisk or freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment, whisk the icing sugar with the butter and lemon zest on a low speed until fully combined and the mixture is still powdery in texture.

Gradually add the milk and, once this has been incorporated, increase the speed to high and whisk until light and fluffy.

Put the butter cream into a piping bag with a star nozzle and set aside for later.


I spent the afternoon methodically cutting out all the shapes for the cows and daisies and then sticking them all together to build the cows. No surprises – it too longer than I anticipated!

I started by cutting out large circles from the white fondant and then making the ears one in white fondant and one in black with a small piece of fondant shaped into an ear shape and secured in place with a dab of water behind the white circle.

The noses were made with pink fondant and cut using the same round cutter that was used for the white circles. I cut a circle and then cut off the rest of the circle to make the nose shape with the cutter. I then used a small piping nozzle to cut out holes for the nose and a curved tool to make an imprint for the mouth. These were secured in place on the white circle with a light brush of water.

Next I cut out all the black shapes, 2 small circles with the same nozzle I had used to cut the holes out of the pink for the nose (as these black circles are place in these holes). I used another larger nozzle for the spot on the right side of the cows face and an oval cutter for the spot around the eye which I then cut the bottom bit off using the large round circle cutter that was used for the nose and the white base of the face. These were secured in place with a light brush of water.

The eyes were made by cutting small circles out of light blue fondant and even smaller ones with black fondant. They were secured in place with a dab of water.

The daisies were made with a small daisy cutter and red/yellow fondant rolled into a little ball for the center.

Eventually all the cows were finished and the buttercream was piped onto the cupcakes and the cows and daisies were added. They didn’t last long at the cross country race – I might need to invest in a cupcake carrier that holds more than 36 cupcakes!


Caramel Slice

IMG_4645[1] Most people know this as milllionaires shortbread. However, I’ve always called it caramel slice. It reminds me of when we were younger – when we went shopping with mum in Cambridge, sometimes she would treat us to a slice of cake at a cafe called Carringtons. I would always go for their caramel slice – for me it was the perfect combination of crunchy biscuit, smooth caramel and rich chocolate. When I found out that Sunday Baking Club were having a caramel theme last weekend this is the first thing that came to mind. Having made it, I decided to have a look on Cafe Carrington’s website to see if they still do caramel slice but discovered that it went into liquidation just over a week ago. So this caramel slice is in memory of Cafe Carrington’s and all the yummy caramel slices I had over the years. Click here to get the recipe!

Rustic Wedding Cake

P1170661I love a bit of piping, so when I managed to convince my manager at work that I should make his wedding cake, I was really pleased to find out that the design they wanted was very rustic and two tiers would be completely covered in piped swirls.  Click here to keep reading about this rustic cake.

First Birthday Cake

IMG_4562I spent most of the weekend in the kitchen. This would be some people’s worst nightmare, but for me it’s a pretty perfect weekend. It was also snowing/sleeting for most of the weekend so being inside was definitely the best place to be. Sunday’s challenge was to make something caramel related for the Sunday Baking Club weekly theme – so I spent most of the day stirring caramel while it thickened, and then waiting for ages for it to cool down (look out for the recipe next week). However, the task for Saturday was very different - making a first birthday cake.


Just before Christmas I was very excited to be asked to be a God Mother and also excited about being asked to do the Christening cake. The top tier of Matt and Beckie’s wedding cake had been stored for a couple of years, so I spent a few weeks feeding it with brandy before decorating it. I love the grey and yellow elephant theme they chose and had been asked to do a similar themed baby shower cake for the week before, you can see the cake here. They also requested some matching cupcakes, read on to find out more about these cute elephant cakes.

Pinwheel Cupcakes


One of the things I love about baking is seeing people enjoying eating my baked goodies. The most appreciative bunch of people has to be hungry runners from my running club after a cross country race! Click here to see the red and yellow cupcakes I have made.

2014: Our year in baking…

P1170242AIf you follow us on Facebook and/or Twitter you’ll probably have seen some baking over the last 12 months that hasn’t made it onto the blog. Sometimes we spend so much time baking that it’s hard to find the time to blog about our creations, especially since we also work. So here is a collection of things we made in 2014 that you might not have seen yet.


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