We’re going on a summer holiday!

Raspberry ripple sponge with vanilla icing and a flake, in an ice cream cone

We’re all going on a summer holiday!

IronCupcake:Leeds will be having a summer break this year!  We’ll be coming back bigger and better than ever before in September, with a brand new name and lots of new ideas too.

But don’t worry, it will still be about baking and tasting delicious and inventive cupcakes!  Here’s some more info to answer your questions.

Why are you having a summer break?

So that we can have time and space to plan our future events at IronCupcake HQ!  I’m very lucky to have photographer Kaz and helper Jonny at the events, but the rest of the time I’m juggling a full time job plus volunteering with Girlguiding with IronCupcake.  We also want some time to find out what you’d like to see in the future, too. Continue reading

Afternoon Tea at Filmore and Union

Filmore and Union Afternoon TeaOur next cupcake challenge has the theme ‘Afternoon Tea with a Twist’.  We’re very excited to announce that the first place winner of ‘Best in Show’ will receive Afternoon Tea for Two at the deli Filmore and Union!

With cafes in Moortown, Harrogate, and most recently the Victoria Quarter, Filmore and Union celebrate fresh, healthy food at its best.  Their acclaimed menu certainly is afternoon tea with a twist – you could be enjoying orange and lavender cake alongside Greek yogurt and fresh fruit, basil pesto and sliced tomato topped with Parma ham, and a freshly juiced ‘health shot’ to finish!  All alongside the classic pot of your favourite tea. Glass of prosecco is optional!

Tickets to enter the challenge as a Baker are still available – it’s a friendly competition and we always welcome new and novice bakers!  Or better yet, join the Bakers Panel and you can taste all the entries too.  To read more about Filmore and Union’s healthy delights, visit their Afternoon Tea menu.

Battenberg Cupcakes

Battenberg cupcakesIt’s your favourite afternoon tea cake, in a cupcake!  I made these Battenberg cupcakes half pink and half blue for a baby shower, but you could go for the traditional pink and yellow.  They look great when you take off the case to reveal half and half colours!

My cupcakes in the photo are topped with favours from Lovemarzipan, making them extra almondy and extra yummy!


  • 175g margarine
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 3 medium eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp almond extract
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 50g ground almonds
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • Pink and blue food colouring

Continue reading

Double-chocolate Easter nests

Easter nest cupcakesA fun twist on the traditional cornflake Easter nests, these cupcakes are actually triple chocolate if you count the Mini Eggs!  The trick to making these cupcakes more-ish is adding extra cocoa to your buttercream to make it super-duper chocolatey.


  • 170g margarine
  • 170g sugar
  • 3 eggs, whisked
  • 30g cocoa powder
  • 140g self raising flour

Continue reading

Macmillan’s Big Easter Bake

Big Easter BakeIf you’d like to do some baking this Easter, why not join in with the Macmillian Big Easter Bake on Friday 11th April!  It’s a great way to practice your Easter cupcakes for ‘Eggscellent Easter Chocolate’ on Sunday 12th April, and you’ll be raising money for a great cause too!  We spoke to Carly from Macmillan Cancer Research about how we can all get involved.

“The reason I am supporting Macmillan is because every day in West Yorkshire, 30 people are told the devastating news they have cancer. Macmillan Cancer Support provides essential emotional, financial and medical support, but they are funded almost completely by donations so they can’t do it without help! Every penny raised through taking part in The Big Easter Bake will make a massive difference. Continue reading

Jessie’s vegan Lemon and Poppyseed Cupcakes

Jessie’s winning vegan cupcakes were inspired by the Vegan Society’s sunflower logo.  And here’s her star recipe, adapted from Vanilla-Yogurt Pound Cake in Veganomicon.  You can read more of Jessie’s recipes on her Mad Hatter’s Pantry blog.


Jessie's Lemon and Poppyseed Sunflowers

  • To decoratejuice of 1 lemon
  • up to 3/4 cup soy milk (see recipe)
  • 1/2 cup plain soy yogurt
  • 1/2 cup blended silken tofu (blend before measuring)
  • 1 1/4 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp lemon extract
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups plain flour
  • 3 tbsp arrowroot powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 tbsp poppy seeds

A batch of your favourite vanilla icing, with lemon zest and extract added to taste
dairy-free chocolate vermicelli

1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a 12-hole muffin tray with paper cupcake liners and set aside.
2. Pour your lemon juice into a 3/4-cup measuring cup and fill the remaining space with soy milk. In a large bowl, beat this mixture together with the soy yogurt, blended tofu, sugar, oil and extracts. Beat until smooth.
3. Sift in the dry ingredients (except the poppy seeds – just tip these in) and stir in with a wooden spoon until combined and no large lumps remain but do not overmix. The batter will be very thick.
4. Fill cupcake liners about two-thirds full (I use an ice cream scoop to make sure I get the same amount into each paper case). Reserve any extra batter to make a single layer cake with.
5. Bake for around 20 minutes, depending on your oven – I would check them at 18 minutes as they can brown quite quickly. They are done once a skewer or cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once cooked, remove from the oven and allow to cool in the tray for 10 minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
6. Once cooled, you can decorate them with your favourite icing. If you want to make them look like sunflowers, there is a wonderful tutorial here, which was a great help when I was practising!

Easy vegan brownie cupcakes

It may rule out the usual ingredients of butter, eggs and cream, but dairy-free baking isn’t nearly as hard as it looks!  This recipe for vegan chocolate brownie cupcakes from BBC Food uses your normal storecupboard ingredients with one added extra – sweetened soya milk – which you can find in most supermarkets.  And best of all, they taste delicious!

  • 170g self-raising flour
  • salt
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 170g caster sugar
  • 5 tbsp sunflower oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 230ml sweetened soya milk
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C.  Put 12 cupcake cases into a tin.
  2. In a bowl sift together the flour, salt, cocoa powder and sugar.
  3. Add the oil, soya milk and vanilla extract, and mix carefully together until completely mixed.
  4. Spoon the mixture evenly into the 12 cupcake cases, until each one is around two thirds full.
  5. Bake for about 15-20 minutes, until the cupcakes spring back when gently pressed.
  6. Leave to cool for five minutes, then take out of the tin and place on a wire rack.

Recipe adapted from BBC Food Vegan chocolate brownies