Monday, 25 March 2013

New Home Cupcakes

Amidst all of this new Spring season of baking and making, and after some busy St. Patrick's Day/Easter preparations I have something different to tell you all about... even if this post is a couple of weeks late :-)

...and now even later thanks to our internet and cable being down for 18 hours BOO! Anyway, it's here now!

We caught up with some friends at the beginning of March and went to visit their new place as they have moved back to Toronto.  We enjoyed some delicious food and played some games - a perfect evening!!

A new home meant a new idea for me to try out.  I wanted to bake some dessert for our dinner, as well as give a housewarming edible gift and here's what I came up with ... 

As I mentioned in my St. Patrick's Day post, I've been more excited by cupcakes recently and experimenting with various decorations to go on top - a little more than just frosting and piping.  I decided that a theme of 3 things would work nicely together and wanted to do all of these with fondant icing.  I then had to decide what flavour the cupcakes had to be!... I knew that my chocolate and mint cupcakes were coming up so I didn't want to do those twice in one week, and I also didn't want to only do a vanilla ... 

Then an idea came to me - I had heard and read about coca-cola cakes but had never tried one, either in taste or in baking!  So I did a little reading and research about it and noticed that there were two main ideas regarding them - one more sweet sounding than the other.  I went with the one that sounded not as rich and sweet as the other and in fact was Nigella Lawson's recipe that I read good reviews/comments about so was happy to try that.  I also liked the idea that the glaze had a good coca-cola flavour to it, and also would leave a good flat surface for the fondant cupcake toppers I created.  

Cakes all baked and ready to be glazed.
I definitely preferred the cupcakes that didn't dome over the
top of the case,the flat surface meant for a
good spread of the glaze.
Apologies I definitely forgot to take photos of the glaze as I went along, but hopefully you can see how it turned out on top of the finished product!

For the fondant cupcake toppers I chose a house, a key, and a plaque reading 'Home Sweet Home' and created this out of Wilton roll out fondant.  For this I only needed a tiny bit of fondant... I played around a little with the colouring, I mainly used a brown, a black and a yellow/brown colour for these small pieces.  I used a food decoration marker for the Home Sweet Home writing, and a dark chocolate and white chocolate writing icing pen for the windows and door on the house.  Kind of fiddly, but I love the detailed work that brought it all together.

All the cupcake toppers assembled, the cakes were cooled and glazed and all put together to create 12 cupcakes ready for our get together the next day.  Sadly I couldn't make them the same day as I had music classes all morning, and the first Toronto FC game of the season to attend in the afternoon!!  Which did mean I trusted Jonathan to get them to me safely after work without anything bad happening to them, and phew... all arrived safe and sound :-)

The cupcakes were SO moist, and so delicious!  I almost can't call them cupcakes as they were very different to a traditional spongey bouncy cake you usually think of for a cupcake.  But, they were in cupcake form so I will continue to!  The chocolate/cocoa powder was definitely the primary flavour you tasted, but the Coke definitely added to the moist and dense texture of the cake (something kind of like a steamed pudding).  The Coca-Cola taste definitely came through more in the glaze which, with that butter and icing sugar was of course, all of the deliciousness!  

Definitely something different with this Coca-Cola cake, but a fun one to try and a delicious one to eat!  Keep reading to see the recipe below...

My favourite one, the little house.
And here's the recipe, very slightly adapted from Nigella Lawson's Coca-Cola Cake.

For the cupcakes:
200g (7 oz) plain flour
250g (1/2 lb) golden caster sugar (I actually used white granulated superfine sugar, and all was okay!)
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 large egg
125 ml (1/2 cup) buttermilk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
125g (4 oz) unsalted butter
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
175 ml (3/4 cup) Coca-Cola

Nigella suggests using a 22-23 cm springform cake pan, lined with foil to prevent the batter leaking, then greased but I used a 12 cup cupcake tin (and a few extra silicone cupcake cases) to make 16 cupcakes lined with cupcake cases, in red and white to go along with the Coca-Cola theme!

For the icing:
225g (7 oz) icing sugar
2 tablespoons (30g) butter
3 tablespoons (45ml) Coca-Cola
1 tablespoons (15ml) cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.  Preheat the oven to 180°C/ 350°F
2.  In a large bowl, combine the flour, sugar, bicarbonate of soda and salt.  In a measuring jug beat the egg, buttermilk and vanilla.  For this recipe I just went old school and used a mixing bowl and wooden spoon instead of using the Kitchen Aid stand mixer like I usually do!
3.  In a heavy-based saucepan, melt the butter, cocoa and Coca-Cola, heating it gently.  This frothed up like crazy which was very cool!  Pour into the dry ingredients, stir well with a wooden spoon, and then add the liquid ingredients from the jug, beating until it is well blended.
4.  Pour into the prepared tin and bake on the warm sheet for 40 minutes or until a tester comes out clean.  As Nigella did 1 cake in a large tin her cooking time of 40 minutes was longer than my 16 cupcakes.  I reckon mine were in for around 20 minutes, but definitely check them!
5.  Leave to stand for 15 minutes in the tin before unmoulding, then unclip, unwrap and turn out on a wire rack, making sure you've got a sheet of newspaper of something underneath the rack to catch any icing that drips through.  For this step I just removed the cupcakes from the tin and left to cool on a wire rack, I did also put a baking sheet underneath to catch any drips but I got to miss the steps to do with the Springform tin.
6.  Sieve the icing sugar and set aside.  In a saucepan, combine the butter, Coca-Cola and cocoa and stir over a low heat until the butter has melted.  Remove from the heat, add the vanilla and spoon in the sieved icing sugar, beating as you do so, until you have a good, spreadable, but still runny, icing.
7.  Pour icing over the cake while the cake is still warm, spread gently and leave till cool before transferring to the serving plate.  At this point I also topped the cakes with the fondant decorations before the glaze had completely cooled so they could set into it slightly.

Happy New Home guys!  Thanks for having us over :-)


  1. Very, very cute idea! How sweet! Thanks for sharing at Pinworthy Projects.

    1. Hi Carrie, thanks for stopping by! :-) Have a great week!

  2. These are super cute, Hannah! Thanks so much for sharing at Marvelous Mondays! :)

    1. Hi Julie, thanks so much! Great to have you here :-)

  3. These are just so cute! I'm tweeting about them here

    I found you on Sew Chatty's link party x

    1. WOW thanks so much!! So kind of you, checking out your blog now :-) Happy Easter! ♫

  4. These are adorable and a fun gift! Would love if you can link this to our weekly link party :-)


    1. Thanks so much Linda! I just linked up - just in time before the party ended :-) I'll be there every week, thanks!

    2. Thank you so much for joining our party! We look forward to more of your posts :-)

  5. These are c-u-u-t-e! I love Coca Cola Cake, and I know these would be delicious! :) Your decorations are perfect for a housewarming party!!

    Joy @

    1. Yey thanks so much Joy :-) SO glad you like them and that you stopped by. Coming over to your blog now!

  6. Cola cake is always a great cake! Can't wait to see more of your blog! Now a new follower! Have a great Easter weekend!


    1. Amazing to have you following me, thanks so much for stopping by :-) Checking out your blog now! Happy Easter!

      Hannah ♫

  7. these cupcakes look so cute. I'd love for you to link them up at a party I'm hosting :D

    1. Thanks so much for inviting me over to your party. I linked up and I'll for sure be back :-D

      Thanks for stopping by!

  8. Your cupcakes are featured on ALL MY BLOGGY FRIENDS today!

    1. WOW! Thank you so SO much for featuring me on your blog. It's great to see them up there! I love linking up to your parties, and I've Facebooked your blog to let my followers know :-)

      Thanks for letting me know! Great to have you here!

  9. Super cool Cupcakes!
    Thank you so much for sharing on Tutorial Thursdays, I hope to see you again this week.

    1. Yey thanks Natalie! Thanks for coming over and checking them out :-)

  10. These cupcakes are so cute!!! I LOVE your blog name too! :) Thanks for sharing on Sweet & Savoury Sundays! Hope to see you there this Sunday! :)

    1. Thank you SO much Lorraine!! It is great to share each week, I'm glad I found your blogs :-) Thanks about the name, it was a long thought process but I'm VERY pleased with it hehe!

  11. I ate these! They were delicious and also a perfect housewarming gift =)

  12. These are just so cute! :) Makes me want to move house! Thanks for sharing them with us in the Tasty Tuesdays link party! Please come back tomorrow & share again :)


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