Some days just call for a cupcake, a wet rainy Sunday is one of these occasions. There is nothing nicer that having the rain pounding on the windows while you mix and stir creating an oasis of calm. The smell of baking cakes then wafts though the house, promising the perfect bite with a cuppa. The cakes then need to cool, I find somewhere safe where they will not get pinched while they are still warm. A wet rainy Sunday calls for something a bit more special than a Butterfly cupcake. A giant cupcake might fit the occasion but is not so easily shared. This Sunday I made fruit and nut cupcakes.
The cakes contain a mixture of fruits and nuts, with a hint of almond essence, a flavour that makes me think Christmas is coming. They are luxurious cakes that would not be out of place aboard the Orient Express. I felt that they needed to be made a bit more frivolous and decided to add some dinosaurs. The Cake Decorating Store had recently sent me a set of their dinosaur cake toppers which were perfect. I even had dinosaur themed cupcake cases.
I have to admit the ready made icing with the grass effect piping tip was genius. I always have an argument with a piping bag. Icing seems to end up everywhere except on the top of the cake. This was a pleasure to use, you just add the tip to the tube and squeeze. The icing goes where you want it to and my cakes looked like they had a lawn on the top.
I finished the cakes with edible wafer leaves that looked like they came from a prehistoric jungle, dinosaur chocolate eggs and some rather cute dinosaur sprinkles. Reusable dinosaur cake toppers completed the cakes, they are wooden. I love the effect of the cute dinosaurs stalking though the forest.
I still have a lot to learn when it comes to icing cakes but these decorations made things easy and I think the cakes look effective. My son was taken with the look of the cakes but it did not stop him eating them. They disappeared very quickly.
Fruit and nut cupcakes
- 150 g 5oz butter
- 150 g 5oz light brown sugar
- 200 g 7 oz self raising flour
- 1 tsp almond extract
- 150 g 5 oz mixed dried fruit
- 25 g 1 oz almond slices
- Preheat the oven to 180C Gas Mark 4
- Cream the butter and sugar until fluffy
- Add the flour, eggs and almond extract and mix until light and creamy
- Fold in the nuts and mixed fruit
- Divide the mixture between 12 cupcake cases
- Bake for 25 minutes until firm to the touch.