Wednesday 10 October 2012

Strawberry Swirl Cupcakes

 When I made my puppy cupcakes for a bake sale at work, I knew they would take a long time to decorate and I wouldn't end up with very many. So I wanted to make something else as well that would be quicker and easier! I had some pink icing in a can I wanted to try, as I was sent it a while back by Dr. Oetker to review, and I thought strawberry cupcakes would go well with the pink icing. I usually choose the icing to go with the cake rather than the other way round, but not this time!

I looked through some of my recipe books and found the one I wanted to make: strawberries and cream cupcakes, from the Primrose Bakery book 'Cupcakes from the Primrose Bakery'. I did adapt it slightly though, as I didn't use their recipe for the icing and the recipe suggests making a small hole in each cupcake and adding a sponful of jam, which I didn't do as the cupcakes seemed light and moist enough, and I didn't really have much time.

You need:
225g caster sugar
210g self-raising flour
1 tsp baking powder
25g cornflour
125g strawberries, hulled and crushed
225g unsalted butter at room temperature
4 eggs

I started trying to crush the strawberries with the back of a fork but they were quite firm and this wasn't working at all, so I chopped them into small pieces instead. I didn't think that would make any difference as they end up going into a blender anyway! Put sugar, flour, cornflour, baking powser and strawberries into a food processor and pulse.

Add the bitter and the eggs and process. The mixture has taken on a lovely pink colour.

Any more and it would have been overflowing from my food processor!

Pour into cake cases and bake at 180C/ 160fan for about 25 minutes.

The cakes were still fairly pink once they were cooked, which I thought was nice.

Dr. Oetker recently sent me a selection of products to review, including this Easy Swirl Cupcake Icing in pink (it also comes in chocolate and vanilla). It comes with four nozzles that give different effects, and the nozzles are very easy to change over.

The icing is very easy to use; once you've got your chosen nozzle on the end, we found it easiest to press with a thumb as you can then use the rest of your hand to hold the can, and the other hand to hold the cupcake.

This is the result from the first nozzle:

and from the second:

the third:

and the fourth. The nozzles are quite small, so you get a very thin stream of icing. That's perhaps not ideal if you're trying to cover an entire cupcake like we did below, but it would be very good for going around the edge of a cake, or doing an outline on a cookie. I also noticed some amazing cupcakes that someone brought into the bake sale at work - actually made by the wife of one of our senior managers - where she had used a similar nozzle to pipe little patches of green icing over the cake to look like clumpsof grass, and then she had added edible butterflies. They were really good!

We had enough icing to decorate 11 cupcakes from the can, so it's not a cheap option but is quick and easy, doesn't make a mess or mean faffing around with piping bags, and is actually quite fun - I think this would be good for kids! I think I would definitely use it again if I was decorating cookies.

Dr. Oetker had also sent me some shimmer pearls, which come in a nice selection of pastel colours.

This is the view from the top - the plastic pieces across the top mean you can just turn the jar upside down and sprinkle, without them all coming out at once, which is a really good idea.

Having said that, you don't get the most even distribution of pearls if you do just turn it upside down over the cupcake - there's probably a better technique to doing this that I'm not aware of!

A nice selection of strawberry cupcakes, but I do feel they look a little haphazard!

I had some strawberries left over to I sliced a few and placed them on top of the cupcakes

As I had run out of the pink icing I also covered a few in vanilla buttercream and topped them with a strawberry. I think these look a little more sophisticated than the pink ones but they all went down very well at the cake sale!

I'm sending this to Calendar Cakes, hosted by Rachel of Dollybakes and Laura of Laura Loves Cakes, as their theme this month is "The great village show", celebrating all things British in honour of St. George's Day. Strawberries are a particularly British fruit (think Wimbledon) so these cupcakes would be perfect for a village show.


  1. Beautiful! I would certainly buy one!

  2. These look fab! I've used this recipe many times and it's always popular. I've been dubious about the icing in the can but might give it a go.

  3. Love, love, love strawberry cupcakes and these look great, but I think I actually prefer the look of your buttercream. What does the Dr Oetker taste like though? :)

    1. Good point, can't believe I forgot to mention that! It tastes fine, I guess it depends whether you find ready made icing tastes too artificial but I quite like it!

  4. lovely as usual.

  5. These look JUST divine Caroline and so pretty too!


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