Banana Nutella Cupcakes

I’ve just had an idea…if banana + peanut butter are good on toast and banana + nutella are good on toast, how about all 3?? ¬†Breakfast is sorted for tomorrow!

I will admit now to slathering extra nutella and peanut butter on top of one these cupcakes…don’t judge ūüôā

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I have a nutella banana treat for you today, in the form of banana cupcakes with a nutella swirl. ¬†You all know how much I love peanut butter & banana (and apple & cinnamon. And peanut butter & jam. And…you get the picture :D), but banana & nutella is definitely in the top 3 favourites (ok, maybe top 5 :-)).

Anyone notice the heart swirl in the picture below? ¬†I’d like to say I did it on purpose…

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These cupcakes start with a straightforward cupcake base, with a few delicious add-ins ūüôā ¬†Start in the regular way by creaming butter and sugar until pale and soft (about 3 minutes, I used a handmixer). ¬†Beat in your eggs, one at a time. ¬†The mixture shouldn’t curdle, but if it looks like it’s going to, add in a small amount of the flour. ¬†Next, fold in the dry ingredients, which include cinnamon. ¬†I freaking love cinnamon. ¬†Particularly in any sort of banana cake ūüôā ¬†The baking powder and self raising flour makes these little cakes amazingly light, even though they contain banana.

Now. ¬†I’m going to make a suggestion that I didn’t actually do when making these cupcakes (but it’s a good idea, promise!) ¬†Slightly warm the Nutella before swirling it into the top of the cupcakes. ¬†As the kitchen was pretty cold when I made these, the Nutella was solid. ¬†Solid Nutella + swirling = not such a good idea ūüôā ¬†These cupcakes still taste great though and will keep for 2-3 days (but are best enjoyed soon after baking!)

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Ingredients (makes 12 cupcakes):

  • 175g unsalted soft butter
  • 175g caster sugar (superfine)
  • 175g self-raising flour (or all-purpose)
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 overripe bananas, mashed
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder (or 2 tsp if using all-purpose flour)
  • Nutella (enough for 12 teaspoons)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas 4/180C.  Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and fluffy (about 3 minutes using a handmixer)
  3. Beat in eggs one at a time until fully incorporated.  Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the mashed banana.
  4. Fill the cases 2/3 full with the cake batter. ¬†Place a teaspoon of Nutella on top and swirl gently with a toothpick or knife. ¬†Bake for around 20 minutes or until well risen and golden. ¬†Try not to eat straight out of the oven ūüôā
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Apple crumble cinnamon muffins

My cinnamon journey continues ūüôā ¬†I wanted to bake apple muffins as I knew these would keep for a good few days (and provide a perfect ‘healthy’ breakfast!) and nothing goes better with apple than cinnamon. ¬†This a twist on the apple loaf cake I blogged about recently with the addition of a delicious crunchy cinnamon crumble topping. ¬†I’ve become a bit of a fruit fiend in my baking recently…coming soon mini lemon sponges with lemon curd marscapone cream!

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I decided to grate some of the apple, as well as chopping it finely, which gave a lovely combination of textures. ¬†The addition of flaked almonds on top of the crumble gave an extra crunch, which contrasted really well with the muffin itself. ¬†There is cinnamon all over the place in these muffins…but you can never have too much in my humble opinion! ūüôā

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Ingredients (makes around 10 muffins):

  • 200g plain flour
  • 100g golden caster sugar
  • 50g light brown sugar
  • 2 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 90ml milk
  • 80ml vegetable oil
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 eating apples, skin left on. ¬†1 grated, 1 chopped finely

For the crumble topping:

  • 75g porridge oats
  • 50g butter
  • 25g dark brown sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • Flaked almonds

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/Gas 6 and line a muffin tray with muffin cases.
  2. Stir dry ingredients for muffins together in a bowl.  Add the oil, milk and egg.  Fold in, until just combined.  Do not overmix and this makes the muffins heavy.
  3. Fold in the apple and spoon mixture into muffin cases (nearly to the top).
  4. To make the topping; melt butter, sugar & cinnamon together, then stir in the oats.  Spoon the topping over the muffins and sprinkle with flaked almonds.  Bake for 20 minutes until golden brown.

Great for breakfast (or if you’re me, any time of day!)

Gingerbread bundt cake

I went to Lakeland the other day. ¬†For my non-UK friends, this is a shop that spells danger around every corner. ¬†It is a shop where I may pop in ‘just for a look’ and end up spending far too much money ūüôā ¬†Whilst visiting the shop over the weekend, I happily told Mr Baking-Joy that I’d be at the back, looking at the baking stuff. ¬†He then asked me if I’d be ok, or would I need supervision ūüôā ¬†The truth is, I do need supervision in that shop, otherwise I dance around shouting ‘ooo pretty’ and putting many items in my basket! ¬†However, on that day I tried to restrain myself and bought a square cake tin (for brownies and bars) and a bundt tin. ¬†I been using the word ‘bundt’ in many conversations over the last few days. ¬†In fact, I think I confused someone at work who thought I was using rude language ūüôā

Anyway…on the Christmas/cinnamon road I’ve been travelling down recently, I wanted to add a gingerbread bundt cake to my travels. ¬†The lemon icing is on a similar theme to my gingerbread cupcakes I blogged about recently. ¬†Gingerbread + lemon = yum.

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Ingredients:

  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 120ml treacle
  • 250g light brown sugar
  • 300ml milk
  • 4 eggs
  • 450g plain flour
  • 3 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 3 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 200g dried prunes, chopped
  • Icing sugar
  • Juice of 1 lemon

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 180C/Gas 4.  Spray bundt tin with cooking oil spray or grease with butter.
  2. Put butter, sugar and treacle into a saucepan and heat gently to melt
  3. Remove saucepan from heat, add the milk and stir.  Leave to cool before beating in the eggs
  4. Sift the flour and bicarb into a bowl and mix in the spices.  Pour in the saucepan mixture and mix together until you have a batter (I would use an electric mixer here, the mixture can go lumpy when you add the wet ingredients to the dry)
  5. Fold in the chopped prunes.  Pour the batter into the bundt tin and bake for around 1 hour
  6. Let the cake cool for 20-30 minutes in the tin, before turning the cake out.  Leave the cake to cool completely before drizzling over icing
  7. To make the icing…sift some icing sugar into a bowl and beat in the juice of a lemon. ¬†Add more icing sugar until a thickish icing is made.

Recipe adapted from http://www.lakeland.co.uk/

Gingerbread cupcakes with lemon icing

It rained last weekend. ¬†A lot. ¬†Apart from Mr Baking-Joy insisting I join him on a (very wet) walk, I planted my feet firmly inside the house. ¬†This meant I had a great excuse (as if I need one!) for baking lots. ¬†I mentioned in my last blog post that I love Christmas and one of the most evocative Christmas smells to me is gingerbread. ¬†I love the stuff ūüôā ¬†I have a lovely recipe for black beer gingerbread which I’ll be making soon and I also want a bundt tin to try a great looking gingerbread bundt cake. ¬†The subject of today’s recipe though is cupcakes. ¬†This recipe produces a very wet batter, which in turn makes the finished cupcakes fantastically moist. ¬†They would be lovely without any adornments, but the addition of lemon icing here takes them up another level! ¬†Gingerbread and lemon is one of those slightly unusual combinations, but¬†definitely¬†works ūüôā

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The moistness of the cupcakes makes them last really well…but they probably won’t be around for long ūüôā

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Ingredients:

  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 1 large egg + one large egg yolk
  • 125ml treacle
  • 175g plain flour
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1/2 tsp allspice
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ground clove
  • 1/4 salt
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 125ml hot milk
  • Juice of 1 lemon (icing)
  • 200g icing sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas 4/180C.  Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  2. Cream the butter and sugar together in a large bowl.  Add the treacle, egg and egg yolk and beat together.
  3. In another bowl, sift the flour and add the spices, cocoa powder and salt.  Mix the dry ingredients together.
  4. Fold the dry ingredients into the creamed sugar/treacle mixture. ¬†Don’t overmix as this will make the finished cakes heavy.
  5. Dissolve the bicarbonate of soda into the hot milk and pour the milk into the cake batter.  Mix this in until fully incorporated.
  6. Fill the cupcake cases 3/4 full with mixture and bake for 20 minutes, until springy to the touch.
  7. Cool on a wire rack until ready for the icing.  Sift icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice.  Mix until smooth, the icing should be spreadable but not too runny.
  8. Dollop icing onto cupcakes neatly (if you can, I have never managed this skill!)

Cinnamon butter apple cake

I’m taking a break from the holy grail that is peanut butter + chocolate to bake with the other holy grail (yes there are two :-)) that is cinnamon. ¬†I’ve been having major cinnamon cravings recently, which I think is the winter weather setting in. ¬†I love the stuff. ¬†Cinnamon on porridge, cinnamon toast (the subject of my breakfast this morning!) and most of all, cinnamon in baking. ¬†It makes the whole house smell amazing and I’m going to try and get it into as many recipes as possible over the coming weeks ūüôā

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Today’s recipe is a fairly simple apple loaf cake, with the addition of a cinnamon butter topping. ¬†Yuuuum. ¬†I’m writing this blog post in advance to be published later, just to get my mind off the cake that is sitting cooling in the tin. ¬†If I wasn’t typing, I’d be eating the cake. ¬†In fact, I may have to go and defend said cake from Mr Baking-Joy, who has just wandered into the kitchen shouting ‘cake! ¬†cake!’ ¬†in a manner much like the Cookie Monster ¬†ūüôā ¬†Cinnamon loves apples (and butter and sugar for that matter), so it made perfect sense to me combining them like this. ¬†Enjoy ūüôā

Ingredients:

  • 175g soft, unsalted butter
  • 175g golden caster sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 eating apples, grated
  • 4 rounded tablespoons natural yoghurt
  • 60g sultanas
  • 20g butter (topping)
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar (topping)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (topping)

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to Gas 3/160C.  Grease and line a 2lb loaf tin with baking paper (or use a loaf tin liner)
  2. Beat together the butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Beat in the eggs, one at a time, adding a spoonful of the flour to stop the mixture from curdling.
  3. Sift in the flour and cinnamon and add the yoghurt.  Tip in the grated apple and sultanas and fold everything together until all the ingredients are incorporated.
  4. Put mixture into the loaf tin and bake for around 1hr 30 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.
  5. Make the topping by melting the butter gently and stirring in the cinnamon and sugar.  Spoon over the cooling cake and leave to completely cool in the tin.

Patience, Joy, patience ūüôā

 

Apple cinnamon cake

Nothing says autumn to me more than apples and cinnamon…and it smells fantastic as it’s baking. ¬†I made this recipe for the first time today…I liked the sound of having an ‘apple layer’ in the middle of the cake, rather than having the fruit spread evenly throughout. ¬†I am a mixed spice and cinnamon fiend (recipe for making your own mixed spice coming soon!) and there is plenty here to keep cinnamon fans happy ūüôā ¬†You could use¬†bramley¬†cooking apples here, but any variety of UK eating apples would be great, especially as they are all in season!

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Ingredients:

  • 225g soft butter
  • 225g light¬†muscovado¬†sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 225g self-raising flour, sifted
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 100g sultanas
  • 400g apples, cored and grated (I used Cox’s)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • Cinnamon sugar for dusting

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.  Grease and base line a 9 inch/23cm deep cake tin.
  2. Cream the butter and muscovado sugar together.  Beat in the eggs one at a time, adding a small amount of flour each time to stop the mixture curdling.
  3. Quickly mix in the flour, baking powder, nutmeg and 1 tsp of the cinnamon.  I used my electric handmixer, but only mix until the flour is just incorporated.  Fold in the sultanas.
  4. Add half the cake mix to the tin and level it out.  Add the grated apple in an even layer and sprinkle with the other tsp of cinnamon.  Add the other half of the cake mix on top and level out.
  5. Add a sprinkling of cinnamon to a small amount of muscovado sugar and mix together.  Sprinkle this cinnamon sugar over the top of the cake.
  6. Bake for around 1 hour until the cake has risen and is golden brown.

Perfect with coffee…enjoy ūüôā