Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Cocktail Cupcakes

Hey sports fans! Hope you're all well and looking forward to the ever longer evening and hotter weather. Thats right we're in the last week of winter which means you can start looking towards all those summer parties and enjoying long drinks in the golden hour. That's where the idea for these fabulous cocktail inspired cupcakes came from!

They are completely alcohol free, so more of a mocktail I guess, but that just means everyone can enjoy them! I came up with four different flavours, Dark & Stormy, Piña Colada, Strawberry Daiquiri, and Mojito. These are all my favourite cocktails anyway. Even if I do reserve Piña Coladas strictly for the pool side on holiday. They are really yummy, light and full of flavour, My whole family loved them. So I'll share with you these little twists on the classic cupcake recipe for a fresh and fruity revival.

Cake Mix: I used the same basic cake recipe on all of them. 225g Butter and the same of caster sugar creamed together until pale and creamy. 4 eggs beaten separately and added in gradually to keep the mixture from curdling (if it does just keep mixing, or add in a spoonfull of flour) then fold in 225g of self raising flour. This makes four of each flavour, so depending on how many you want to make adjust your recipe accordingly

Candied Fruit: I put a little wedge or slice of candied fruit on 3 of the 4 finished cupcakes. To candy fruit all you need is sugar and water. Depending on how large your pan is and how much candied fruit your making will determine how much sugar and water you need. A basic rule though is for every 1/2 cup or sugar you need 1 and 1/2 cups of water. Simply bring the water and sugar to boil in a saucepan - or a deep frying pan which is what I used. Once boiling turn the heat down to a simmer and throw in the fruit. Leave the fruit in until it goes clear, that was about 15 minuets for me. But it depends on the fruit your using and what thickness the slices are as to how long it takes. Can be anywhere from 15-50 minuets. Top Tip: You can make all the candied fruit together but you might get some flavour and colour swaps (which is what happened to mine - live and learn right?)to avoid this simply make them in batches.

Dark and Stormy

This is the cocktail I usually have if I'm at a bar with my boyfriend, it's not a pink cocktail and he really likes this one as well. I used the spiced rum part of this cocktail for the icing, making a spiced vanilla frosting to compliment my ginger beer flavoured sponge. Garnished with a lime wedge as you would expect if you were ordering this drink at a bar.

- Basic cake mix as above 
- 1 teaspoon of Ginger Beer Syrup
- A 2cm Chunk of fresh ginger

- 4 heaped teaspoons of icing sugar
- 2 heaped teaspoons of butter
- 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
- The seeds of 1 vanilla pod
- The zest of 1/2 orange
- 4 wedges of candied lime

How to: Once you have your basic cake mix you need to peel and finely dice your chunk of ginger. When I say finely I mean as small as you can get them because unless you're serving it to my mum no-one is going to want a huge chunk of ginger in their cupcake. Then add in a teaspoon of ginger beer syrup. I used the ginger beer syrup from my soda stream, but you can make your own, it just takes a lot of patience, You need to reduce down a can of ginger beer for a few hours until it makes a thick syrup. Mix the diced ginger, ginger syrup and cake mix together, take care not to over mix as this can stop the cake from rising. Pop 3 teaspoons worth of mix into 4 cupcake cases and put them in the oven at 180˚C for 15-20 minuets or until golden brown and bounces back when you press it.

Leave them to cool completely before icing. Mix the icing sugar, butter, cinnamon, orange zest and vanilla seeds together until completely mixed through and smooth. Put into an icing bag, or an icing syringe and pipe a little swirl on top of your cupcake. Then press a candied lime wedge into the top and done.

Piña Colada

This is a deliciously thick and smooth cocktail, and is just the epitome of a summer holiday in a glass. Its main flavours are coconut and pineapple, and served with a pineapple garnish on the side of the cup. I have taken this holiday theme on board when I decorated it by sticking in a little flamingo cocktail stick next to the candied pineapple garnish.

- Basic cake mix as above
- 1 tablespoon of desiccated coconut

- 4 heaped teaspoons of icing sugar
- 2 heaped teaspoons of butter
- 1 teaspoon of pineapple juice
- a bowl of desiccated coconut
- 4 wedges of candied pineapple

How to: Stir in your tablespoon of coconut into the basic cake mix you've already made. Again use 3 teaspoons worth of mix per cupcake case and bake at 180˚C for 15-20 minuets. Or until they spring back once pressed. Again leave to cool completely.

Mix together your icing sugar, butter and pineapple juice together into a smooth mixture. This one is going to be a little runnier than the previous one because there is extra liquid in it so you might need to add in a little more icing sugar to thicken it up again. Smooth this icing thickly over the top of each cupcake and then dunk icing side down into the bowl of desiccated coconut so the top of each cake is completely covered in coconut. Then simply press in your wedge of pineapple and stick in a flamingo decoration or even one of those mini umbrellas.

Strawberry Daiquiri

This is 100% a girls night out cocktail! I can guarantee once it starts getting warmer you will be able to see me sat outside a bar, sunglasses on, chatting about anything and everything to one of my friends on any given night of the week. Unless I've finished work late, in which case I'll still be doing this with the girls from work at the bar across the road from us, having a natter about the life of a barista. Whatever the occasion this is a sweet, summery drink.

- Basic cake mix as above 
- 4 small strawberries (Or one gigantic one!)
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract

- 4 heaped teaspoons of icing sugar
- 2 heaped teaspoons of butter
- The zest of 1/2 lime
- 1 teaspoon of lime juice
- 4 slices of candied strawberry

How to: Chop your strawberries into small chunks, discarding the green leaves. Mix in the chopped strawberries and a teaspoon of vanilla extract into your basic cake mix. You want the strawberry pieces to be well dispersed in the mix so each cake has a few chunks. Divide among the cupcake cases and bake at 180˚C for 15-20 minuets or until they spring back when pressed. Once out of the oven leave to cool completely before icing.

Mix together the icing sugar, butter, lime zest and lime juice until smooth and combined. Your icing again maybe a little bit slacker than you would like, because of the added juice, if this happen just add in some more icing sugar. One mixed together put into a piping bag and pipe little swirls on top of each of your cupcakes. Then simply lay a candied piece of strawberry over the top.


This a delicious and refreshing summer cocktail. It's zinging and fresh and full of flavour. The cool flavours in this one are ideal after a long hot day sunbathing and soaking up the sun. The perfect summers evening tipple.

- Basic cake mix as above
- Zest of 1/2 lime
- Juice of 1/2 lime

- 4 heaped teaspoons of icing sugar
- 2 heaped teaspoons of butter
- 4-6 chopped mint leaves 
- A sprig of mint for each cupcake

How to: Into your basic cake mix you simple need to add in the lime zest and juice and stir until it is evenly distributed throughout the mixture. The mix then needs dividing between the cupcake cases and baking at 180˚C for 15-20 minuets or until the cake spring back when pressed lightly in the centre. Leave them to cool completely before icing.

For the icing you are simply mixing together all the ingredients , apart from the sprigs of mint. Once the mixture is smooth, transfer it to a piping bag. Pipe a little swirl of the icing on to the top of each cake place your spring of mint in the top. 

+ thats it! Beautiful and impressive cocktail themed cupcakes perfect for any party, or simply as a fruity and flavourful treat! They are seriously good! Yum, yum, yummmm.


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