This year we are back in Ireland for Paddy’s Day! Yay!
To celebrate I made some cupcakes. I had some ingredients sitting in my cupboard, so I went for two different recipes.
Green Cupcakes (Vanilla Cupcakes)
For this recipe I followed these instructions on the BBC website.
110g butter softened at room temperature
110g caster sugar
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
110g self-raising flour
1-2 tbsp milk
For the buttercream icing:
140g butter, softened
280g icing sugar
1-2 tbsp milk
a few drops of green food colouring
Pre-heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
Cream the butter and sugar together in a bowl until pale. Beat in the eggs a little at a time and stir in the vanilla extract.
Fold in the flour using a large metal spoon, adding a little milk until the mixture is of a dropping consistency. Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they are half full.
Bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until golden-brown on top and a skewer inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean. Set aside to cool for 10 minutes, then remove from the tin and cool on a wire rack.
For the buttercream icing, beat the butter in a large bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
Then add the remaining icing sugar with one tablespoon of the milk, adding more milk if necessary, until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
Add the food colouring and mix until well combined.
Spoon the icing into a piping bag with a star nozzle and pipe the icing using a spiralling motion onto the cup cakes in a large swirl.
I went all green and put some of the green food coloring in the mixture as well. But this is totally optional, or only for the Paddy’s Day crazies out there!
Guinness Cupcakes (Ginger Cupcakes)
170g Irish butter, softened
200g dark brown soft sugar
2 tbsp black treacle
170g self-raising flour
2 tsp ground ginger
First, beat the butter and sugar. Soft brown sugar is the way to go here – you want the toffee, fudgy taste that it adds.
Make sure it’s really pale and fluffy before you move on to the next step.
Add in the eggs, one at a time, beating well between each addition, then add the black treacle. Mix well.
Now, sieve the flour and ginger, and add in to the mix.
Stir gently, without overworking the mixture. Spoon into muffin cases and bake at 180 degrees/gas 4 for about 15 – 20 minutes until just springy in the middle. Remove to a rack to cool.
Meanwhile, if you want to make cream cheese icing, (this was the one I made) just whisk about 100g of cream cheese like Philadelphia with a squeeze of lemon and 200g sieved icing sugar.
Or you can just spoon over some whipped cream. Or ganache. Or just normal glacé icing. Or just leave them plain.
NOTE: As a little trial, you can reserve a bit of the mixture and add in a couple of tbsp of Guinness. The result is pleasingly earthy and not at all unpleasant. Is adds more of an adult taste, but well worth a try.
That’s another great reason to celebrate!
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!