Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes

Originally posted 07/06/2014

I’ve always thought there’s something so cute and jolly about (albeit not strictly traditional) Mr Kipling style individual bakewell tarts, with their dazzlingly white fondant icing and bright red cherry decorations sitting atop jam-filled sponge and pastry. I’m not even a fan of almonds but I love them! They were the inspiration for these pretty and easy to make cupcakes, which I think scream retro village fete cake stall. I’m always reluctant to use glace icing due to being paranoid its runniness will make my creations look like a three-year-old was let loose in the kitchen but luckily keeping it at quite a thick consistency meant they looked a tad more sophisticated.

INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 20-23

For the cakes:

  • 170g/6 oz self-raising flour
  • 100g/3.5 oz ground almonds
  • 225g/8 oz caster/granulated sugar
  • 225g/8 oz butter/margarine
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp almond essence

For the glace icing/jam filling:

  • 115g/4 oz icing sugar
  • Half a tsp of almond essence
  • Water or milk
  • 12-14 tsp (approx.) strawberry or raspberry jam (raspberry is traditional but I used strawberry as my friend at work is allergic to raspberries)

METHOD

For the cakes::

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan) and line two baking trays with 18 paper cases.
  2. Whisk the margarine/butter and sugar together in a large mixing bowl until pale then whisk in the eggs.
  3. Fold in the flour, ground almonds and almond essence until a batter of a soft dropping consistency has formed.
  4. Drop the mixture into the cake cases using a teaspoon until they’re each about three quarters full.
  5. Pop in the oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted into the sponge comes out clean.
  6. When baked, place on a wire rack and leave to cool. At this stage the cakes can be frozen for decorating at a later date if you wish.

For the filling & icing:

  1. If your cupcakes have risen up to form dome tops in the oven and you’d prefer a flat surface to put the icing on to avoid excessive drizzling, use a serrated knife to slice the tops of the cakes off (don’t throw them away – scoff them later!)
  2. Using a teaspoon or small sharp knife, carefully cut a small hole (about 2cm deep by 2cm wide) in the top of each cupcake. Don’t discard the bits you’ve cut out!
  3. Drop about a teaspoon of jam into each hole and then gently push the sponge part that was cut out back into each one so that the tops of the cakes are even.
  4. Place the icing sugar into a bowl then add the almond essence and enough milk or water and stir to form a thick but slightly runny mixture.
  5. Spread the icing onto the top of each cupcake in a thick, even layer using a teaspoon or pallette knife and top with a glace cherry.
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