I have been so ridiculously busy the last few weeks that my poor blog has been rather neglected of late. The main reason for this is that I am currently in the midst of house hunting! After much renting and moving back and forth, I’ve decided it’s time to get my bum in gear and finally get on the property ladder now that I’m earning again.
It’s something I’ve wanted for a long time and I’m desperate to settle in one place. It’s quite exciting but also overwhelming and scary!
Anyway, both my other half and my best friend had birthdays within a week of each other this month. Neither wanted a big cake but I couldn’t not create anything for them, despite my current time-poor situation. So one exhausted Saturday afternoon I made these delicious and decadent cupcakes, which don’t involve any fancy ingredients and are a doddle to put together.
Nutella is a life-saver when you don’t have the time/energy to whip up icing following the effort of making the actual cake, and ready-made popcorn is an impressive but simple decoration. And, most importantly, they’re extremely tasty!
If you’re reeeeally short on time, you could use packet chocolate cake mix instead of doing the sponge from scratch – I certainly wouldn’t judge you!
And if you like super-easy Nutella recipes, why not whip up a batch of delicious Nutella porridge bars?
INGREDIENTS – makes approx. 15-18 cupcakes
For the cakes:
- 225g/8 oz self-raising flour
- 140g/5 oz caster or granulated sugar
- 70g/2.5 oz brown sugar
- 225g/8 oz butter or margarine
- 4 eggs
- 3 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 tbsp strong coffee
For the icing/decoration (I have to confess that I didn’t measure these accurately!)
- Roughly half a jar of Nutella or other chocolate & hazelnut spread
- Roughly half a pack of ready-prepared toffee popcorn, e.g. Butterkist
For the cakes:
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (or 160 fan) and line a muffin tin with cupcake cases.
- Whisk the butter/margarine and sugars together in a large mixing bowl until pale then whisk in the eggs.
- Fold in the flour, cocoa powder, coffee and vanilla extract until a batter of a soft dropping consistency has formed.
- Pour the mixture into the cake cases until they’re each about three quarters full, then pop in the oven and bake for around 15-20 minutes until a cocktail stick inserted into the sponges comes out clean.
- When baked, leave the cakes to cool on a wire rack. At this stage the they can be frozen for decorating at a later date if you wish.
For the icing/decoration:
- When the cakes have cooled, dollop a generous amount of Nutella onto each one and smooth out using a palette knife.
- Top each cake with 5 pieces of popcorn.