Sunday, 22 August 2010

Cupcake kebabs

I’d seen cupcake kebabs on the internet but they were full size and interspersed, on the skewer, with marshmallows and other bits and bobs. I fancied ‘all killer, no filler’ so decided to make four different mini cupcakes and skewer them so they remained horizontal i.e. the right way up – the ones Id seen skewered them vertically. I think they ended up looking like the little figures in table football.

Everyone loved these skewers because you got a wide range of flavours on each one. The mini cupcakes equate to a quarter of a normal sized cupcake so each skewer is only actually one cupcake! Oh yes, I’m a master at justifying eating lots of cake!

I balanced it so there were two light, and two dark cupcakes. I chose vanilla sponge with vanilla Swiss meringue buttercream, butterscotch sponge with butterscotch Swiss meringue buttercream, blackberry sponge with blackberry Swiss meringue buttercream and chocolate sponge with....chocolate ganache. You lose a mark if you thought it was going to be chocolate Swiss meringue buttercream!

Although this sounds like a lot of work it wasn’t because the sponge cooks very quickly and I made one batch of Swiss meringue buttercream and split it into separate bowls before adding the flavours.

The blackberry Swiss meringue buttercream was amazing. I know many of you find Swiss meringue buttercream too sweet so I recommend you try this version – the slightly tart, acidic blackberries calmed down the sweetness and created a fresh, fruity tasting sticky buttercream. It’s one of my favourite buttercreams I’ve ever made...and to think it only came about by chance, because Tesco didn’t have any raspberries!

The butterscotch chips came from a supplier of US food stuffs and were very popular – I used them whole in the sponge and melted them to add to the buttercream:

Special thanks must go to my new best friends at Tate and Lyle for sending me a selection of all their lovely sugars. I think there are certain brands where you just know you’ll get a great product every time, and Tate and Lyle are such a brand. For this recipe I used the caster sugar. Those of you on facebook might want to check out Tate & Lyle’s “
We love baking” page and also the “Taste & Smile” website.

For the plain cupcake sponge:
62g unsalted butter, at room temperature
62g caster sugar
1 egg
62g self raising flour
1 tablespoon milk

Then add either vanilla extract (to taste), 80g mashed blackberries or 80g butterscotch chips

For the chocolate cupcake sponge:
62g unsalted butter, at room temperature
62g caster sugar
1 egg
50g self raising flour
1 ½ tablespoons cocoa powder
1 tablespoon milk

For the swiss meringue buttercream – this will make enough for the vanilla, blackberry and butterscotch cupcakes:
4 egg whites
250g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter, at room temperature

Then add either vanilla extract (to taste), 80g mashed and sieved blackberries, heated until reduced by half or 80g melted butterscotch chips

For the chocolate ganache:
142ml whipping cream
½ tablespoon liquid glucose
100g plain chocolate, roughly chopped


The method for all the cupcakes is the same, so please follow this method for both. Each recipe makes between 18-24 mini cupcakes.

Preheat the oven to 190°C/fan oven 170°C/375°F/Gas mark 5.

Line a mini cupcake pan with paper cases (each recipe makes between 18-24 cupcakes).

Beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Beat in the eggs, flour and milk – then add your flavouring/cocoa/fruit of choice.

When the mixture is smooth and well combined, spoon into the paper cases.

Bake for 10-12 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cupcakes comes out clean. Mine took 12 minutes.

Leave to cool on a wire rack and remove from the tin when cool enough to handle.

When the cupcakes are cool, you can make the Swiss meringue buttercream. Place the egg whites and sugar in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Stir pretty much constantly to prevent the egg from cooking.

After 5-10 minutes, when the sugar has dissolved (when you cannot see any crystals on the back of the spoon), remove the bowl from the pan of simmering water and whisk until the meringue has puffed up and the mix is cool.

Add the butter to the meringue and whisk until the butter has been completely incorporated into the meringue. At first it will look a disaster – it will collapse and look curdled but don’t worry! Stop when the mixture is smooth, light and fluffy.

Separate the Swiss meringue buttercream into three bowls and add you flavouring/fruit to each. Beat again until whipped and light.

Spoon into a piping bag and pipe over cupcakes.

To make the chocolate ganache: Bring the cream to the boil in a saucepan.

Remove from the heat and stir in the liquid glucose.

Place the chocolate in the cream and stir until the chocolate melts.

Leave to cool and then whisk to lighten the texture. If it isn’t thick enough to pipe, refrigerate for 30 mins and try again – it was an extremely damp humid day the day I made it and I found it needed refrigeration.

Pipe or spread over the chocolate cupcakes.

Slide one of each type of cupcake onto a wooden skewer.

Bask in the glory of the wonderful thing you have made.



Katie said...

WOW what a great idea - now that my kind of kebab!! Delicious and so pretty. Love the sound of the blackberry buttercream. I loose a point though - I thought it was going to be chocolate meringue - opps hehe

Blessed Rain said...

Flavors and visually they look amazing! Glad they went over well and I also love that you kept them the correct way on the kabob - I don't like the sideways skewer.

Cher said...

This is such a cute idea for a party. I am already filing this idea away for the next time I make cupcakes for people. LOVE IT. :]

Jacqueline said...

OK, I am completely in love with this idea. They look amazing and I am glad for the recipe for that butercream. I am leaving happy, although I'd leave happier if I could have a cupcake skewer :)

Pam said...

What a great thing! Very clever with the kebabs! They all look delicious and I must try the buttercream. I'm new here and so happy to find your blog! Great post!

Leanne at Beale's Kitchen said...

What a great idea! Mini cupcakes are my new favourite thing so I might have to try these sometime. Thanks for sharing your recipe :)

Anonymous said...

CC, I'm just a random person on the internet, obviously, and it's your blog so you call the shots (so why am I even bothering, actually?) but I felt moved to let you know that I really, really hate your 'sponsored advertorials' when you get sent stuff. Tate and Lyle make sugar? Well, blow me down.

Nice recipes an' all, but teetering on the edge of not being worth wading through salesy sycophancy for, for this reader at any rate.

I'm mildly intrigued by your own thought processes and ethics about the whole thing, though. Qualms? Do you need to do this? Plenty of bloggers that get offered stuff don't, it seems to me.

Anyway, again, who the hell am I to be 'disappointed' in you? But I am, a bit. Sorry. Happy baking.

C said...

What a fantastic idea - they look absolutely stunning and all the flavours sound fab too!!!

When can I come round??? Looks like mini cupcakes are now firmly on the to-do list!

BookWyrm said...

The kebabs are adorable!

and just for another point of view, I had no problem with your plug at the end of your post. You were saying thanks for sending you something and giving them a plug. If someone had a problem with it they can just skip that last bit.

Maisie said...

What a brilliant idea. Love it. Will be great for my family get-togethers. I am going to have ginger instead of butterscotch.

The Caked Crusader said...

Thank you Bookwyrm for your lovely comment. I have to say I was somewhat taken aback by "Anonymous"'s rage - funny how internet trolls only have attitude when it's under the veil of anonymity.
I almost deleted it but then thought why give them the satisfaction? I bake for fun and if a nice firm wants to give me freebies for linking to a relevant website I have no qualms at all...I mean, we're talking sugar, not weapons of mass destruction!

Maybe "Anonymous" (if that is their real name!!!) needs some free sugar - they certainly could do with some sweetening up!

Flowers said...

I loose a point though - I thought it was going to be chocolate meringue - opps hehe
I really like your post you done a great jobs . Thanks for sharing valuable information.

JEN said...

I'm a huge fan of CC's blog and I was very taken aback by "Anonymous" spiteful comments. If this blog would be non-stop plug of ads etc. then maybe you could say it was a bit too much, but really "Anonymous" what pills were you on? Get a life, or better yet, eat lots of sugar, that might sweeten you up!!

Anonymous said...

Oh wow....they look goooooood

Cats_cupcakes said...

What a good idea! These look sooo cute. I'm definitly going to have a go!

Anonymous said...

CC, I do apologise, reading back I did come across... well, not how I meant to - and in fact, that doesn't read like me even to me. I must indeed have been in a bad mood.

I dispute the 'rage', the 'troll' and the 'spiteful', though. I just meant to offer an opinion - and, as I said, one you had every right to discount - on this one aspect. I know it's raised as an issue by some other bloggers I read, and I find it an interesting ethical area. But that's just me, clearly. And thank you for engaging enough to state your thoughts on the matter.

I also failed to set the background from which I spoke, just because to me it kind of went without saying, but it probably would have diminished my perceived trollishness: that in general I think your blog is just lovely. Its tone, its 'Cake is good' philosophy, its beautiful, simple design, its mouthwatering photos, its tempting and useful recipes (I don't bake that often, but I've tried a couple - in fact, I think I originally found you through searching for a ginger cake, and I found exactly what I wanted here) - and not least its lack of ads. Which is why I had that kind of 'Ugh, really?' reaction of disappointment the first time I noticed you plugging a company in a post. But that, as we're all agreed, is something you have every right to do if you want to.

Anyway, apologies again for any bad feeling - and I really did mean it when I wished you happy baking!

(I was only 'Anonymous', by the way, because I don't have a blogger link that would make a name meaningful, really, not for any malicious purposes; I could equally have typed in 'Chris' but that's hardly less anonymous in reality, is it?)

Indie.Tea said...

Oo, how adorable! What a great idea, what lovely presentation.

Cakelaw said...

LOL - these are so cute!!! I like the blackberry ones in particular. Thanks for the photo of the butterscotch chips - I have always wondered what they'd look like.

Baking Addict said...

Wow you've really outdone yourself this time. They are such a brilliant idea. Thanks for the meringue buttercream recipes. Im debating what to make for my birthday, think these will go on the shortlist :)

pigpigscorner said...

So cute! Love the idea of sweet kebabs =)

Emma @CakeMistress said...

You. Are. Awesome.
Cupcake Kebabs FTW. They look sooo great!

Lisa said...

You are genius.

Brownieville Girl said...

Heaven on a stick!!

Michelle said...

Amazing! Makes me want to bake @ 10pm!!
I have tagged you for a award on my blog
M x

Margaret said...

Oh my goodness CC - what have I come back to!
I think I must be out of touch at the moment, have never come across cupcake kebabs but just love the idea.

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...


Hazel said...

What a fabulous idea! I bet they would make fantastic gifts.

mubashar said...

I loose a point though - I thought it was going to be chocolate meringue - opps hehe. link building services

Dublin florists said...

This is such a great idea to make mini cupcake. I will definitely use this wonderful idea.
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