Regular readers of this blog will know, I am a fan of the Hummingbird Bakery and their cookbook ‘Cake Days’. I delve into this cookbook fairly often as I love the flavour combinations featured and I also adore their ever-so-simple cupcake recipes. In fact, this cookbook was responsible for my first successful bake, prior to this book I was an absolutely terrible cake baker!
When I visited my doctor a few weeks ago, he cheekily requested a batch of my cupcakes as I have been known to make the surgery a batch of sweet treats from time to time as I am such a regular! As I had some time last Wednesday, I decided to whip up a batch of the Hummingbird Bakery’s caramel cupcakes.
Makes 12 – 18
For the sponge:
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
Tbsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
Half tsp vanilla essence
150g dulce de leche
For the icing:
500g icing sugar
100g dulce de leche
1. Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees and line a muffin tin with cases.
2. Whisk together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until sandy in consistency.
3. Mix together the milk and vanilla essence and beat in the eggs. Pour into the dry mixture in batches and mix well until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth. Pour in the caramel and mix.
4. Divide the batter between the cupcake cases and bake in the oven for 18 – 20 minutes until golden and springy to touch. Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
5. Beat together the icing sugar and butter until combined and powdery in texture. Slowly add the milk and mix until light and fluffy. Add the caramel and mix well.
6. Top the cooled cupcakes with the icing by either using a palette knife or a piping bag. Use the leftover caramel to decorate by filling a piping bag and piping mall hearts or dots.
Dulce de leche is South American tinned caramel. Unfortunately, I was not able to find any at my local Tesco or Waitrose but I believe some supermarkets do stock it. I instead used Carnation’s tinned caramel which did the job perfectly. I used slightly less than one tin in the end including decoration. If you have the time to make your own Dulce de leche, check out this recipe from David Lebovitz.
I adapted the Hummingbird Bakery’s recipe very slightly by adding some cocoa powder to the cake batter and reducing the amount of plain flour accordingly. I really liked this twist on the recipe as the combination of chocolate and caramel is such a winner in my eyes and adds a little contrast without overpowering the caramel flavour. I love the thickness of this caramel, it makes decorating really simple and it really does melt in your mouth. I must admit that one cupcake did not make it to the surgery and my boyfriend and I shared it! It really was delicious; another winner from ‘Cake Days’.