Saturday 18 April 2015

Pretty Please with a Cherry on top - Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting and Chocolate Ganache

Well hello dear readers! It has been over eighteen months since I last posted, can you believe that?! Why has it been so long you may ask? Well after moving back home to Australia from the UK and jumping head first into my teaching job, I seriously haven't had time, not to mention the energy after the working week to bake, photograph, edit and write a post. I felt like I really needed the time to focus on my job and get my head in the right space and I know that this would mean doing a mediocre job in the baking and blogging world. 

It's my favourite season; autumn. The change in weather and the gorgeous scenery at the moment has really made me home-sick, well I guess my home-away-from-home sick. I am really missing Ol' Blighty. I miss rugging up and discovering new villages, pubs and tea-shops and having all the time to appreciate these things. When I thought more about why I have been missing England so much, it was also my fortnightly ritual of baking up something wonderful and new, staging props and photographing for the blog. I haven't done that since June 2013 and I have a virtual folder bursting at the seams with photos of cupcakes and sprinkles ready to grace the interwebs. 

Another reason which has brought me back to blogging is the release of Sweetapolita's book. Rosie Alyea was my inspiration for starting this blog many years ago and I was very excited to have received my copy in the post on Friday. Combine memories and nostalgia with a new baking book, a free Saturday night AND a new Almond Cream KitchenAid and voila - you have yourself a new post. Here's a new recipe to sweeten your Saturday. Enjoy, here's hoping it's not too long until I visit the lovely blogosphere again xxx

Don't they look darling? Almost like a old fashioned sundae. I thought it was very fitting to use a Sweetapolita inspired recipe so here are...

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes with Strawberry Frosting and Ganache
Recipe from Rosie @ Sweetapolita 

275grams or 2 ½ cups cake flour


100 grams corn flour
175 grams plain flour

1 tablespoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
1 cup full cream milk
2 large egg whites
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
300grams caster sugar
115 grams butter

1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and center the oven rack. Line 2 muffin/cupcake pans with your favourite standard-size cupcake liner, and put the first cupcake pan on a baking sheet. (You will place the second cupcake pan on the same sheet in the oven once the first tray is baked.)

2. Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a medium-sized bowl. Whisk together the milk, eggs and vanilla extract in a medium bowl or large glass measuring cup.

3. In an electric mixer fitted with the whisk or paddle attachment (I used the whisk), cream the butter and sugar on medium speed until very pale and creamy, about 5 minutes.

4. With the mixer still on medium speed, alternate additions of the flour mixture and milk-egg mixture, beginning and ending with the flour mixture (3 dry additions, 2 wet), beating after each addition until incorporated. Continue mixing on medium speed for 2 minutes.

5. Divide batter evenly among your cupcake liners–about 2/3 full–and bake until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs only, about 16 minutes.

6. Carefully remove the cupcakes from the pan and let cool on wire racks. Repeat with second tray.

Strawberry White Chocolate Frosting

227 grams unsalted butter, at room temperature
175 grams white chocolate
½ vanilla bean, seeded and scraped
Pinch of salt
375 grams sifted icing sugar

1. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, whip butter for 3-4 minutes on medium speed (I use “4″ on my KitchenAid). Butter will become very pale & creamy.

2. Melt chocolate in microwave in a small heatproof bowl, or over a pot of simmering water on the stovetop, stirring often. Let cool.

3. Add melted chocolate to butter and beat until incorporated. Add vanilla bean and salt and mix on medium speed for 1 minute. Add sifted icing sugar, beating on low speed until just combined, increasing to medium speed until well combined. (I added some pink food colouring and strawberry essence to mine.)


260 grams dark chocolate 
1 cup double cream

1. Place the chocolate into a medium bowl. Heat the cream in a small sauce pan over medium heat. Bring just to a boil (watching very carefully) then swiftly remove from the heat and pour over the chopped chocolate. Let it sit for 1 minute and then whisk until smooth.

2. Allow the ganache to cool slightly before pouring over a frosting. 


  1. Lovely to have you back in blogland. I have made your Italian Layered Continental Cake several times. It's a winner and always well received. It's my go-to sponge recipe now.

    I look forward to make this new recipe too and checking out the cookbook.


    1. What a lovely comment Carolyn! I am so pleased you have enjoyed making the continental cake, it's such a lovely one. Thanks for stopping by xxx


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