Sugar and spice, and all things nice…

12 Nov

Soooo, given that this blog is called Cupcakes and Glitter, I thought I had better get on with making some cupcakes with glitter..!

I was a bit bored this evening, and decided to dig out a recipe that I’ve had my eye on for a while now – Sticky toffee cupcakes with salted caramel frosting. However, I didn’t have any dates, and I couldn’t be faffed to go out and get some so I decided that I would adapt the recipe slightly to use up some apples I had instead. I peeled and chopped a couple of apples and then cooked them gently over a low heat for ten minute or so with some mixed spice and some dark brown sugar. I also added 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon to the cake batter, used soft light brown sugar instead of muscavado and just made plain caramel frosting. I found the recipe to be easily adaptable, and I had no problems with anything.

Cupcakes + day 1 of a new diet don’t really mix, unfortunately, but I had a tiny bite of the one I gave to my chief tester Mr H, and we both really liked it. The apple and the cinnamon made the cupcake every so slightly muffin-y almost. I decided that I would tart the cakes up a bit at the end, so I tried making some spun sugar to decorate them with (inspired by the wonderful Sprinkle Bakes) and I’d like to think I did pretty well for a first attempt! It was a lot easier than I thought it would be, so give it a go. And of course, there was glitter (though not that visible in the rubbish iPhone pics…)

Here’s the original recipe – I can’t wait to try it out!

Sticky toffee cupcakes with salted cream caramel


* 180 g dates, pitted and chopped
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 180 g self-raising flour
* 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
* 80 g unsalted butter
* 150 g muscovado sugar
* 2 eggs, lightly beaten

For the caramel

* 125 g caster sugar
* 80 ml double cream
* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the buttercream

* 1/2 tsp salt
* 1 tsp vanilla extract
* 160 g butter
* 200 g icing sugar


1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan170ºC/gas 4.

2. Place the paper cases into a 12 hole cupcake tin.

3. In a heatproof bowl, pour 180ml boiling water over the dates and leave to soak for 20 minutes. with a fork, gently break up the dates and stir in the vanilla.

4. Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl and set aside. Cream together the butter and sugar for a good 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.  Add the eggs gradually, beating between each addition, slipping in 1 tbsp flour about halfway through to prevent curdling.
Lastly, fold in the remaining flour and then the date mixture.

5. Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 15–20 minutes (the tops should spring back when pressed with a finger). Remove and leave to cool.

6. For the caramel –  Dissolve the sugar and 60ml water in a small, solid-based pan over a gentle heat, then increase the heat to a boil. Wait a few minutes, leaving the pan undisturbed but watching it like a hawk and, as soon as it changes to a wonderful caramel colour (like strong tea) and is thicker, remove immediately from the heat, stand well back, and add the cream.

7. Be very careful as it is searing hot and it may splatter a little. It will react, or ‘seize’, and you may think it has gone wrong; it hasn’t. Keep stirring, adding the salt and the vanilla. Leave until stone cold.

8. If using shop bought caramel sauce, such as dulce de leche simply mix it with the salt and vanilla.

9. For the buttercream –  Cream the butter and icing sugar for at least 5 minutes with an electric mixer and add the caramel or the dulce de leche.

10. Put the buttercream into the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle and pipe it on to the cakes, or spread it on with a palette knife.

11. Decorate  however you like (that’s me, not Good Food!)

All packaged up to be sent off with Rich to take to work, so I can’t be tempted AND I get brownie points for being a good wife! Genius!


5 Responses to “Sugar and spice, and all things nice…”

  1. Wiferama November 12, 2010 at 01:23 #

    Good God almighty, those are very very pretty and accomplished looking!!! My only consolation is that they weren’t the original salted caramel as that’s my new obsession and I suspect getting a train now would be awkward… Well done wifey, and well done on the WW stoicism!! Mwa xxxxxxxx

  2. The Aff November 12, 2010 at 09:02 #

    Lucky Ricker…

  3. normalityandme November 12, 2010 at 19:46 #

    If they have apple in them my dear then you CAN eat them on a diet…. don’t you know the rules?!!!
    They look scumptious x

  4. Rachie November 16, 2010 at 14:20 #

    OMG they look totally yummy! You are such a clever girl with the spun sugar! You must add these to your repetoire!! xx

  5. Rachel September 8, 2011 at 17:49 #

    These look absolutely delicious! And good wife brownie points = bonus! x

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