Category: Cupcakes

Best for Baking: Silicone piping bag

 Silicone piping bags. Why I’m a new convert to after making these chocolate cupcakes

Silicon piping bag

Silicon piping bag

I must have walked past these silicone piping bags a ton of times. They sell them at Hobbycraft (a regular haunt of mine) and they’re available on Amazon too. I’ve always just used disposable piping bags in the past as I think they’re really easy to handle and just chuck away rather than clean up all that greasy butter cream when you’re done. But I figured at £5 it was worth a try. Good decision.

I had some cupcakes to make for Free Cakes For Kids so I thought that it was the perfect testing opportunity. When I make cupcakes for outside friends and family I measure the cake mix into each cupcake case. I know that sounds a bit OCD but it’s the only way I can get them almost even. I do try to be professional! The way I do this is by measuring each cupcake as I go. When using this piping bag it was a doddle.  The silicone piping bag has a smooth inside so the ingredients can be squirted out easily but it has a lightly textured outside so your sticky/wet hands can still grip it firmly. I have to admit I was surprised how easy it was to handle and control.

Silicon piping bag

When I fill a piping bag with cake mix I place it in a large jug, fold the edges over the top and then fill. If I’m filling a smaller bag I simply use a tall glass. This has been the easiest and cleanest way to fill a bag. Make sure that the bottom is folded up so no mixture can escape while you’re filling and if you need to stop half way through filling or decorating you can just pop it back in the jug or glass. Silicon piping bag

You can see how easy it is to fill cupcake cases using the silicone piping bag below. See? Not a drop out of place! Silicon piping bag

Once the cupcakes were baked and cool I added the buttercream topping. Test number 2. Again I made up the chocolate butter cream and filled the bag. This time I added a piping tip. As it’s a large tip I had to cut quite a bit off the end of the silicone piping bag so I think I would need to buy a second bag if I wanted to use it with some of my smaller royal icing tips but as I don’t use them that often I’ll see how I go.

Silicon piping bag

I was really happy with the end result. I think these are probably some of the most even looking cupcakes I’ve ever made and I put that down to using the silicone piping bag. So marks out of 10? I’d give it 8. Silicon piping bag

The end result was 24 pretty and yummy cupcakes boxed up and ready to deliver.

Super-flex silicone piping bag is available from

Do you have and use a silicone piping bag? What do you think about them compared with disposable ones? I’d love to know.


Chocolate cupcakes recipe

Chocolate cupcake recipe - cherries on top

I wanted to make some cupcakes to take to a friends party last Saturday night and after a quick search (in that little box up on the top on the right hand side of the page)  I discovered that I have hardly posted any cupcake recipes here on in the last three years! How strange is that? I mean I’ve made loads but they just never made it onto the blog.

I’ve always said that I’m not much of a cupcake sort of person. When I worked at Woman & Home and we got cupcakes sent in from PR’s I used to give the buttercream topping part to my deputy and she used to give me her cake (well kind of anyway) but what I mean is that I don’t like to gorge on a load of buttercream. So, when I make cupcakes that I am going to be eating and not giving away I tend to make the ones above with my new best ganache recipe. They’re more of a chocolate cup than a trad cupcake.

The cake part of the recipe is one I’ve been using for years but the ganache is from a blogger I met at Blogcamp a few weeks ago. I was looking for a gluten free cake recipe for a cake I am making in a few weeks time and the Free from Fairy told me about her great chocolate cake recipe but it was the ganache that is THE BEST I have ever tasted. It stays soft and firm all at the same time! (Thanks Vicki)

These cupcakes were – as Tim puts it – “a bit extra”. I am a bit extra but I have decided that I actually quite like being a bit extra and so when most people would probably just take a bottle of wine or two to a party we take a bottle of wine, a bottle of Shloer (so I look like I’m drinking wine!) and a dozen cupcakes. And whether they were extra or not they all disappeared pretty quickly!

Chocolate cupcake recipe

Chocolate cupcake recipe

(Makes 12-18)

The cakes

  • 100g dark chocolate
  • 175g butter at room temperature
  • 175g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ tsp vanilla essence
  • 175g self raising flour
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp milk

The chocolate ganache recipe

  • 100g chocolate
  • 50g butter
  • 100g sieved icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • Cherries to decorate
  1. Pre-heat your oven to 180ºC (160º Fan oven) and fill a cupcake tray with paper cases.
  2. To make the cakes start by melting the chocolate in a saucepan with the butter over a low heat. Stir continuously. Set aside to cool a little.
  3. Whisk the eggs in a separate bowl and add the sugar and vanilla essence then whisk again to incorporate as much air into the mix as possible – this keeps the cakes light and fluffy. Add in the melted chocolate and butter and blend thoroughly.
  4. Add all the dry ingredients and fold in. Add the milk and combine.
  5. Fill the cupcake cases till they are half full. I like the ganache to sit on top of the whole cake so I make quite shallow cakes. If you want a deeper, bigger cake fill up the cases so they are ¾ full.
  6. Bake in the centre of your oven for 15 minutes or until the cake bounces back straight away when you press a finger lightly onto it. Avoid over baking as that’s what makes them dry.
  7. Place on a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.

To make the ganache

  1. Melt the chocolate and butter in a saucepan. Again stir continuously and don’t let it burn.
  2. Pour the mixture onto the sieved icing sugar and whisk with a hand held whisk. Always start off slowly unless you want your kitchen to resemble a snowstorm!
  3. Add the milk to give a really smooth finish. If you want a softer ganache add a little more milk.
  4. Place in a piping bag and pipe over the cooled cupcakes. The mixture can be quite runny and will settle once left for a minute or two.
  5. Place a cherry on the top of each cake to finish and enjoy!

cupcakes - chocolate



Chocolate ganache cupcake recipe

Chocolate ganache cupcakesI have made these cupcakes so many times and not once have I taken a photo of them so that I could share them with you guys. I’m not quite sure how that’s happened but this time- for my mum’s birthday, I was determined. The recipe is adapted from The Great British Book of Baking (never one to steal a recipe without a proper credit!) and they really are the best around! I’m pretty fussy about cupcakes. I like them to be light as a feather, moist and most importantly super tasty.

These were made to take with to a picnic with my family to celebrate my mum’s birthday. Now, there are two things I am very thankful for.

No.1. That I spoke to my sister the night before to discuss arrangements as I was planning on making a Victoria Sponge cake and she had already made one, and

No.2. That I took photos of the cupcakes at home and not just at the picnic as planned. The reason? Because neither the fairy cakes nor the Victoria Sponge cake made the 30 minute car journey unscathed. The Victoria sponge went it’s own way in the container and the cupcakes did a bit of a dance and landed on each other. Chocolate gloop everywhere!

Did it matter? Not one little bit. All were devoured (including the banana cake and bread pudding that mum made too).

Chocolate ganache cupcakes


(makes 18 cupcakes)

350g soft butter

350g caster sugar

6 eggs

300g self raising flour

40g cocoa powder

1 tsp baking powder

4 tablespoons milk

For the Ganache topping

200g dark chocolate- broken into small pieces

200g crème fraise (or you can use whipping or double cream)


 How to make Chocolate Ganache cupcakes

  1. Heat your oven to 180 ºC. Line a cupcake tray with cases.
  2. Mix the butter and the sugar together until well blended (for about 2-3 minutes)
  3. Add the eggs slowly
  4. In a separate bowl sieve the flour, cocoa and baking powder. Stir it all together then mix into the butter and sugar mix.
  5. Add the milk slowly and blend.
  6. Spoon the cake mix into the cases till they’re ¾ full. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until they bounce back when pressed lightly with a finger.
  7. Leave the cakes in the tin for 3-4 minutes then remove from the tin and cool completely on a cooling tray.
  8. While they are cooling place the crème fraise in a bain marie (glass bowl set above a pan of boiling water) until it is hot, then remove from the heat.
  9. Place the chocolate in the crème fraise and stir continuously until all the chocolate has melted.
  10. Pour the chocolate ganache over the cupcakes till the cake is completely covered.  I found that popping the cakes back into the cooled cake tin helped keep the shape. Add any decoration (we used flowers- see them here) before the ganache sets then leave them to set overnight.
  11. Enjoy!

Chocolate ganache cupcakes


Chocolate orange cupcake recipe – The guest post!

choc-orange-cupcake A couple of months ago I was asked if I would be interested in having someone guest post here on and to be honest I was more flattered than anything else. I hadn’t really thought about it before- seeing as I do most of the guest posting on other sites. But when the lovely team at offered me this recipe I jumped at the chance. You see I am not great at cupcakes. I think it may be because I expect the sponge to be soft and tasty and I have never been very happy with the recipes I have used… until now! This Chocolate orange cupcake recipe is really good. I mean who doesn’t love a chocolate/ orange combo?

And that’s where Heather comes in. She’s a mum of one who lives and breathes all thing cakes and cupcakes. After starting working life in the Ministry of Defence and NHS, she decided she wanted to do something more creative with her life.  After meeting her now husband, who already ran a business, she decided that she would turn her love of baking into a business and 4 years on and the Cake Decorating Store is going from strength to strength. Have you seen it? It’s got everything you need and a whole lot of baking stuff you just really, really want! Check it out. 

I can’t think of anyone I would want to be my first guest poster so without any further ado here’s over to Heather….


Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

Just like Emma, I always have a cupboard full of chocolate and need a way of using it up and taking it out of temptations reach. So, what could be nicer than chocolate and orange cupcakes…..and surely this will count towards your one of your five a day? I wish! The amount of chocolate in these is obscene but that’s what makes them so delicious. This recipe also has a few extra steps, but bare with it, as the result is an amazingly moist and rich cupcake that will last for days (given the chance).

Here’s how I make them:

Cupcake Ingredients:

115g good quality dark chocolate (70% cocoa if possible)

85g unsalted butter, softened

175g soft brown sugar

2 large eggs, separated

185g plain flour

¾tsp baking powder

¾tsp bicarbonate of soda

Pinch of salt

250ml semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature

1tsp orange extract (try to use the extract not essence or flavoring)


Orange Frosting Ingredients:

115g unsalted butter, softened

400-450g icing sugar

1 tsp orange extract (I got mine from Lakeland)

1 tbsp milk


To decorate:

Cocoa powder

Chocolate cigarellos (or Cadbury Flakes)


How to make Chocolate Orange cupcakes

Before you start, pre-heat your oven to 170°C (fan) / 375°F / Gas Mark 5. Line a muffin tray with 12 cases.

Melt the chocolate in bowl over simmering water and leave to cool a little. Using a stand mixer (with a beater attachment) or hand whisk, cream together the butter and sugar. Don’t underestimate how long this will take, it will be at least 5 mins. And in my experience you can’t over beat! The mixture should be paler in colour and fluffy.

In a separate bowl beat the egg yolks together for 2 mins then slowly add to the egg/sugar mixture, beating in well. Next, pour in the melted chocolate and beat in well.

Weigh out the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt) and sieve together. In a jug measure out the milk and add the orange extract. (If your milk is straight from the fridge the just give it a quick blast in the microwave to warm it up). Then add to the egg/sugar/chocolate mix, alternating between the wet and dry ingredients. Make sure you beat well between each addition.

Almost done! The last step is to add the egg whites which you will need to whisk together in a clean bowl until they form soft peaks. Using a metal spoon, gently fold your egg whites into the batter. Fold till they are just combined and that no egg white is visible.

Spoon your mixture into the cases, filling about two-thirds full. Place in the centre of the oven and bake for approx 20-25 mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Once cooked, leave in the muffin tray for 5 mins before turning out onto a wire rack to cool.

To make the frosting combine all the ingredients and beat together until the mixture is smooth and creamy. You may need to add a little more sugar or milk to achieve the correct piping consistency.

Once the cupcakes are cooled, decorate however you wish. I used a large round piping tip and piped two circles of buttercream then simply dusted with cocoa and topped with a cigarello. But you can use Cadbury flakes, grated chocolate….anything goes really. As long as it’s chocolate!

Hope you enjoy them,

Heather x 


Hello, It’s Emma again.

If the recipe wasn’t enough encouragement for you to make these delicious cupcakes, has given me some of the essential items needed to make them to giveaway worth £19.98. Here’s what you can win:

Dark chocolate cigarellos & Cupcake piping set with 3 nozzles & Cupcake cases as seen below with the finished cupcake! 


To win the set all you need to do is share this recipe on Facebook or twitter and leave me a comment below letting me know that you have done so. Simple as that! A random number generator will select a number from the comments on Friday at 20.00 GMT so get your skates on bakers. It’s time to get sharing and commenting.


Good luck and thank you Heather.


p.s. Just in case you didn’t know – you can link and post a Tweet/ Facebook share / share a pin by clicking on the icons below! Good luck x

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