Saturday 9 February 2013

Toffee Popcorn Cupcakes

Hello to anyone who is stopping by after seeing this recipe in the Macmillan Little Book of Treats! I was very pleased to be included in the charity recipe book along with Mary Berry, Antonio Carluccio, Gizzi Erskine, Rachel Khoo and so many other amazing cooks!

I originally created this recipe for a competition run by the Hummingbird Bakery to design a new cupcake, which I didn't win. I liked the cupcake so much though that I decided to enter it in a competition to appear in the Macmillan charity recipe book.

I wanted to combine the American feel of the Hummingbird Bakery with something a bit more British, and I also had a look at their website to make sure I didn't enter a cupcake flavour that they already made. I thought of popcorn right away and thought it would work from an American perspective and it was also a bit different to what they currently offer - and popcorn is becoming increasingly popular over here.

I decided to make toffee flavour cake with toffee buttercream and popcorn on the top, drizzled with a toffee sauce. I also knew I wanted to get cupcake cases that looked like retro popcorn buckets and I managed to find something on Etsy (see below).

So for this recipe, which makes about a dozen, you need:

For the cake:

175g unsalted butter, softened
175g light brown (muscovado) sugar
3 eggs
175g self-raising flour
6 tbsp soda water
1 packet of Dr. Oetker fudge chunks

For the frosting:
butter and icing sugar to make buttercream - I didn't actually weigh the quantity as I kept adding icing sugar until it got to the right consistency

For the toffee sauce:
50g brown sugar
50g butter
3 tbsp double cream

Plus a bag of popcorn

Preheat oven to 180C. Cream the butter and the sugar

Add the eggs and mix well

Add the flour

I was sent these fudge chunks by Dr Oetker to review

Add the fudge chunks and the soda water

 Put a spoonful of the mixture into each cake case and then cook for 20 minutes

To make the toffee sauce, put the butter and sugar in a pan and heat until the sugar has dissolved. Add the cream and heat gently until thickened.

The sauce will turn a lovely caramel colour

Make some buttercream with butter and icing sugar - it needs to be quite stiff

Add half the toffee sauce to the buttercream and mix in

When the cakes have cooled, spread some toffee buttercream on top

Either get some ready made popcorn or pop some in the microwave or your popcorn maker if you have one

Stick pieces of popcorn onto the top of each cupcake

Drizzle the rest of the toffee sauce over the top.

Now for the final touch - I got these popcorn cupcake wrappers from Etsy. I just had to download and print them out, cut them out and stick around the cupcake cases with sellotape. You can find similar wrappers online or could even make your own.

I think these look really cute, and would be great for a party.

A close-up of the inside of the cake. You can see the fudge pieces have held their shape, which is great - I like the fact that they don't just melt away when the cake is baking. The bag is a handy size and just right for a batch of cupcakes. You could also use the fudge pieces on top of a cake to decorate - I will definitely be using these again.

I was really pleased with these - if you take a bite of the whole thing, the popcorn on top gives a really interesting change of texture, the toffee sauce oozes down just right, and the sponge is light and fluffy.

Dr. Oetker sent me a selection of products to review, though I was not required to make positive comments. I used their fudge chunks in this recipe and was really pleased with them.

 For new visitors to my blog, I should also point out that I regularly enter blog challenges - that is, when another blogger asks for recipes to be sent in that fit a particular theme. There are plenty of these challenges around, and I run one myself called Alphabakes where my co-host Ros from The More Than Occasional Baker choose a different letter of the alphabet each month, and ask bakers to make something beginning with that letter or using an ingredient that begins with that letter. You can take part even if you don't have a blog - just email us a photo! Check out the Alphabakes tab on the side bar to find out what this month's letter is.

So when I made these cupcakes I sent them to to Tea Time Treats, hosted by Kate of What Kate Baked and Karen of Lavender and Lovage, as their theme was cupcakes and muffins.


  1. What a good idea...I would imagine your concept would stand a good chance...toffee cake, toffee buttercream and popcorn with toffee sauce...what's not to like. I love the little popcorn wrappers too! :-) Is there a link to the other entries?

    1. There are some really imaginative and professional-looking entries! You can see them here

  2. i've got the popcorn--my friend makes it in her popcorn maker,and gives it to me.

  3. Such an inspired idea! How did you get on? And thank you for entering another fab cupcake recipe into Tea Time Treats!

    1. I didn't win - the winning entry was a bacon and maple syrup cupcake, which I didn't think sounded very nice!

  4. I used the Dr Oetker fudge pieces and found that they did not hold their shape, melted and congealed at the bottom of the cake and toffee flavour didn't really come over in sponge or buttercream, although sauce was ok

  5. I have the 'little book of treats' from M&S and am about to try your popcorn cupcakes. In your ingredients for toffee sauce, you have dbl cream - but in both the book and here it's not mentioned when to add it?!

    Hoping mine will look as could as yours do :-)

    1. hi, thanks for stopping by my website! I'm sorry that part of the recipe was missed out; I'm sure Macmillan said they tested out recipes before including them in the book as well. The double cream needs to be added to the toffee sauce so put the butter and sugar in the pan and heat until the butter has dissolved, then stir in the cream and heat gently and the sauce should thicken and turn a caramel colour. Thanks for pointing it out - I will update the recipe here but unfortunately can't do anything about the book!

  6. Thanks so much for replying - I thought I was going mad and completely missing it!
    If they taste as good as they look in your pics I'm sure my hubby will be pleased :-)

  7. Hi there Caroline, Thanks so much add this recipe for my Virtual Bake Sale, please remember to add a donation to the justgiving page for the cost of the ingredients to complete being apart of the bake sale. Thank you for your support.

    Rachel x


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