My recent forays into the the baking world have been verging on neglectful, to say the least, recently. This is due to the fact that I’ve been attempting an overhaul on my eating in general, and baking doesn’t lend itself very well to being healthy! However, no matter how healthy I try to be, I really do love baking and sooner or later I get that itch to delve into one of my many (and I mean many) baking books and make something new.
As you can imagine, having a lot of freshly baked treats around the house is nothing short of dangerous when you’re trying to be good. I’ve tried to combat this in a number of ways, like making other people’s preferences so I’m less tempted to indulge, making half recipes and getting David to take whatever I make to work.
You’ll notice I haven’t mentioned doing ‘healthier’ baking. I’m sure there are some great recipes out there, but I’ve found that option just isn’t for me. I’d much rather eat a smaller slice of what I really want, than a larger piece of something mediocre.
But anyway, back to todays baking! A few weeks ago my friend Steff was having a birthday BBQ, so I immediately got onto the task of what desserts to take! Having just discovered the scrumptious brownies, they were a no brainer, and I decided to make some Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes. These cupcakes are without a doubt, the best cupcakes featured in The Hummingbird Bakery book. They feature a fresh strawberry layer and so I’d been waiting what seems like forever for strawberries to come into season again! The cream cheese icing compliments the sweetness of the strawberries brilliantly and makes for a real winner of a cupcake. Enjoy!
Strawberry Cheesecake Cupcakes
adapted from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook
You will need:
Cupcake (Makes 16-18):
- 240g plain flour
- 280g caster sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- a pinch of salt
- 80g unsalted butter/margarine
- 240ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 24 large strawberries, sliced
- 200g cream cheese
- 70g unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 310g icing sugar
- Digestive biscuits (Optional)
1. Starting with the cupcakes, preheat your oven to 170°C. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter/margarine. I usually refuse to use margarine in baking, but in cupcakes I find you can barely notice the difference, especially when using lots of butter in the icing later! Your mixture should look quite sandy when all combined.
2. Add the milk and vanilla and mix together until fully combined with no lumps. Add the egg and beat until incorporated into the batter.
3. Prepare your cupcake cases in your pan and divide the strawberries between them. Spoon/pour your mixture over the top of the strawberries, until your cases are around 2/3rds full. Place in the oven for 20-25 mins, until golden and a skewer or toothpick comes out clean when inserted. Leave the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before adding the icing.
4. For the icing, try and use an electric whisk or a stand mixer if you have them. I’ve done this by hand before, and although it tastes great still, I find it doesn’t quite get whipped enough to hold its shape when piping. This is quite a soft icing, so if you think it won’t hold its shape, put it in the fridge for a while to firm up.
Ok, first, combine the cream cheese and butter until completely combined. Mix in vanilla extract.
5. Add in the icing sugar in batches until you’ve put it all in. Give it a good blitz with the electric whisk. If you want to chill it, you can put it in the fridge now. You can use the icing in any way you like, I chose to frost them using Lakelands giant piping nozzles and topped them with some wafer daisies bought from Sainsburys. The Hummingbird Bakery suggests using digestive crumbs as sprinkles across the top, which looks great, but when I’ve done it in the past I found it doesn’t add much taste-wise as theres too much else going on.