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!

Ingredients

  • 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.

Ingredients

  • 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.

Ingredients:

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

Method

  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

Prizes for Vegan competition in March!

Our competition ‘PS. It’s Vegan’ on Sunday 9th March will be a celebration of all things vegan, in a cupcake!  If you’re entering the competition as a baker, we have some fantastic prizes up for grabs.  And if you have an Eater ticket to judge, your prize is to eat lots of yummy cupcakes!  Get your tickets here

Global Tribe Cafe£20 gift voucher for Global Tribe Cafe

The Global Tribe Cafe offers a mouthwatering selection of vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options (as well as a vast range of loose leaf tea!)  Their menu includes lots of traditional cafe favourites done in a vegan way, such as the TLT which is tofu, lettuce and tomato – very tempting!

‘The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town’ recipe book

Mellissa Morgan a.k.a Ms Cupcake runs London’s first entirely vegan bakery.  Thankfully for us Northerners, she’s revealed her fabulous dairy-free recipes in her book ‘The Naughtiest Vegan Cakes in Town’!  The recipes include cupcakes, muffins, tray bakes, biscuits… the list goes on.  All very naughty and all completely vegan! Continue reading

Vegan Baking 101 by Jessie Collin

Jessie won Best in Show with her Devil's Food cupcakes

Jessie won Best in Show with her vegan Devil’s Food cupcakes for the theme ‘Disney’

Our IronCupcake baking regular Jessie Collin has a very well-hidden secret – every cupcake she enters into the competition is actually vegan!  Given that she has won a fair few prizes and blogged about her recipes on Mad Hatter’s Pantry, we asked Jessie to give us her top tips for baking.  Take it away, Jessie!

“DON’T PANIC!  Vegan baking may seem scary but it’s really not that hard!  Milk can be substituted for a non-dairy version – I usually find soya milk (the regular stuff not the light stuff) produces the best cakes as it’s thicker and creamier than most of the others. However, most varieties will work although you might get different results from other non-dairy milks. There are all sorts of products out there now, such as soya yogurt, cream, and cream cheese. Continue reading

Cake My Day competition with Leeds Roller Dolls

roller-dolls-e1391778437215At February’s IronCupcake, The Leeds Roller Dolls are giving away two tickets to their very own cupcake competition – and two tickets to one of their matches!  But who are the Leeds Roller Dolls, and what is Cake My Day all about?  Here’s Heather from the Dolls to explain…

“Roller derby is a full contact roller skating sport which combines skill, strength and strategy, all on roller skates.  The Leeds Roller Dolls was formed in 2007 and we have two competitive teams, the Rebel Roses (A team) and the Whip-Its (B team).  We’ve travelled around Europe to compete in bouts and Rebel Roses are currently ranked in the Top 15 European teams!”

So what do cupcakes have to do with roller derby?

“We’re holding our third Cake My Day cupcake competition for to fundraise for Leeds Roller Dolls on Saturday 1st March, 12.30pm at the Heart Centre, Headingley.  We’ve raised over £800 so far from Cake My Days to pay for tournament entry fees, governing body fees and other costs like replacing hire kit, or even ice packs for the first aid bag!  Cake My Day is a lively, fun and family-friendly event, and most important of all, there’s CAKE!! “

And you’re open to bakers and eaters?

“Yes, bakers need to register by emailing gemma.peregrine@gmail.com and you’ll need to bring 5 cupcakes for competition entry (plus an additional 7 if you wish to enter the ‘most sold’ category.)  Baker tickets cost £2 and Judges tickets cost £3 on the day, including a complimentary cup of tea!  But one lucky IronCupcake winner will receive a Baker and Eater ticket for free, plus two bout tickets!’

What happens at a Leeds Roller Dolls match or ’bout’?

“Bouts are fast-moving, high impact games played on a flat, oval track.  Even if you don’t have a firm grasp on the rules, the aggressive contact and the skill level of the teams is enough to keep you entertained!  You can sit right by the side of the track if you’re over 18, and it’s incredibly fun to watch!”

Sounds fantastic! How can I find out more?

“You can visit the Leeds Roller Dolls website to read all about our bouts, or visit the Cake My Day Facebook page if cupcakes are more your thing!”