About this recipe:As seen on my Facebook page "Cake and the Country" - I've been requested to put the recipe and photo on here. Beautiful little cakes which look so impressive but, with a little time and patience, are easily made and have that real wow factor! I've tagged these for Mother's Day - but everyone will love them.
Makes: 12 regular cupcakes or 18 tiny "fairy" cakes
125g unsalted butter at room temperature
125g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 medium eggs, ideally at room temperature
125g self-raising flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons semi-skimmed milk
3 tablespoons strawberry conserve
For the buttercream frosting
125g softened unsalted butter
250g icing sugar
1 tablespoon semi-skimmed milk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
a few drops red food colouring (optional)
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Method Prep:30min › Cook:25min › Extra time:30min › Ready in:1hr25min
Preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4. Line a muffin tin with muffin cases.
Using an electric mixer, beat together the 125g butter and caster sugar until soft, pale and fluffy. Add the 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract, the eggs, one at a time, and a spoonful of flour (with the baking powder) after each egg. Keep mixing really well and add the remaining flour. Now add the 3 tablespoons milk and ensure that everything is thoroughly incorporated. You need to have a soft dropping consistency to the mixture.
Divide the mixture equally into the muffin cases. Using an ice cream scoop ensures that the mix is equally divided - but you can use two spoons!
Bake in the preheated oven until a skewer inserted near the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and transfer the cakes immediately to a wire cooling rack. Leave until completely cold.
Now, taking an apple corer, or a very small sharp knife, remove the centre from each cake. Place the sponge "core" to one side.
Fill the centre with a little strawberry conserve.
Replace the sponge "core" and complete all the other cakes in the same way. This takes a little time - but it's worth it.
Now for the buttercream - we're nearly at the creative bit! Mix the 125g softened butter and icing sugar in a bowl - again take your time. Add the 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract and the 1 tablespoon milk and mix very thoroughly. At this stage, if you wish, you can divide the buttercream and add a few drops of red food colouring to one portion.
You can now spread the buttercream on the cakes, or take a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle. Put the bag into a jug to hold it steady, and spoon the buttercream into the bag. If you are using two colours, spoon the vanilla cream into one side of the bag, and the pink buttercream down the other side. Now you can see why I've suggested putting it into a jug!
Pipe a large swirl of buttercream onto each little cake.
Finish the cakes with slices of fresh strawberry, and then whatever you fancy - I've used white chocolate cigarellos but you could leave it with just strawberries, add edible glitter . . . anything!
The trick here is to leave yourself plenty of time to cut the centres of the cakes, pipe the buttercream and do the decorating. These cakes are easy to make but just need a little patience.
I love this recipe, the cakes are beautiful and light, it's like a cupcake version of a victoria sponge. I decorated each one by piping the buttercream in to swirls and adding one slice of fresh strawberry. - 21 Jul 2013