I still remember my first cupcake. It came from a much loved Ladybird children’s cookbook, alongside recipes for banana flummery, gingerbread men, flapjacks and a jam sponge. There were savoury recipes as well, such as stuffed eggs and welsh rarebit, but I think it’s quite telling that I remember the sweet recipes more clearly, and more fondly. The cake was plain, about half the size of what current cupcakes are, and topped with nothing more than a single glace cherry. The chewy glistening cherry was like the prize on top of the miniature cake.
In a similar simplistic vein, for Laurie’s Cupcake Hero event, I adapted the Orange and Poppyseed Bars recipe from The Crabapple Bakery cookbook to tie in with Laurie’s chosen theme for September : Lime. A light and fluffy cupcake bursting with fresh lime flavours, gets nothing more than a simple lime frosting made from lime juice, more zest, a bit of butter and icing sugar, with a skirt of poppyseeds around its edge. In the original version, the cakes are also topped with sugar flowers, which you can also include if you’re in a decorating mood.
Lime and Poppyseed Cupcakes :
2/3 cup poppy seeds
1 1/4 cup milk
3 3/4 cup plain flour
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
300g softened unsalted butter
zest 5 limes
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla paste
(+ lime frosting and extra poppyseeds to decorate)
Soak poppy seeds in the milk for at least half an hour. Preheat oven to 170’C. Line muffin trays with cupcake papers.
Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In another bowl, cream the butter for 1-2 minutes. Add the lime zest and beat for 1 minute. Add the sugar a third at a time, beating well after each addition, until all the sugar is incorporated and the mixture is light and fluffy.
Add the eggs one at a time, beating for 1 minute after each addition. Add the vanilla paste and beat until combined.
Alternate between beating in a third of the flour mixture and the milk mix, until thoroughly combined with the creamed mixture. Spoon this resulting mixture into the cupcake cases, filling each about 3/4 full.
Bake for about 18 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack before frosting.