Monday, 5 December 2011

Chocolate Orange Cupcakes

I baked these for a third birthday party last month. The recipe is one that has become a favourite of mine, and that honestly seems to work just as well with either butter or sunflower spread. Unusually, the kids finish them in their entirety - rather than just licking off the icing and discarding the cake beneath.

The recipe is based on Marguerite Patten's recipe for sponge cake, which has never failed for me, whether at Victoria Sponge size or tiny fairy cake size. You can't really see from the picture, but the cupcake cases have fire engines on the side - I tried to make bright red icing to go on top, but it tasted bitter, so I reverted to a pale orange instead.

Recipe and Method

Cakes (about 8 fairy cakes or 6 medium cupcakes)

Weigh the egg
Use same weight of sunflower spread and caster sugar, then cream together
Sift 1 tbsp cocoa powder then make up to the weight of the egg with self-raising flour
Beat the egg into the creamed spread and sugar, then mix in the cocoa and flour
Mix in the zest of 1 orange

Divide equally into cupcake cases and bake at 180 C for 8-12 mins, depending on size. They're done when a skewer comes out cleanly


25g sunflower spread
100 icing sugar
Juice of 1 orange

Beat the sunflower spread well, then stir in the (sieved) icing sugar, using a little orange juice to bring it all together. You shouldn't need more than a couple of tablespoons or orange juice. Makes enough icing to cover the tops of the cakes (as in my photo). If you want swirling icing then you'll need to double the quantity.

For larger quantities, just weigh the eggs and use that weight for all the other ingredients.

Recipe Evolution

This way of making sponge cakes using the weight of the eggs to determine the weight of the other ingredients was designed for use with old-fashioned balancing scales, so you could use the egg(s) as a counterweight for the other ingredients. It works brilliantly with digital scales, as you can be really accurate with the weights.


If you make 6 cakes per egg then these have 5 propoints each (using the recipe builder on the website), if you make 8 per egg then they have 4 propoints each

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