My mother has been making the same great white cake with chocolate icing since I was little. Apparently, the recipe came from our next-door neighbours, and we’ve taken it on as our own! I decided to use the cake recipe to make cupcakes, but to make them a little more ‘autumnal’, I wanted to make them ORANGE. Ok–I don’t use food dye very often, and am wary about mixing it up. The cupcakes came out a little less fantastic-orange as I had wanted, but were still tasty :).
For the Cake:
- 2 cups of plain flour (I only had self-raising, and it worked fine–I just put in a little less baking powder)
- 2 tsp baking powder (1.5 if using self-raising flour)
- 1/2 tsp dslt
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup butter or margarine (I used Flora light)
- 3/4 cup milk (a little less if using a lot of food colouring)
- 1/2 tsp or so of vanilla essence
- 2 eggs
- yellow and red food colouring
- Preheat your oven to 350 F/170 C/160 or so if you have a fan assisted oven.
- Mix the flour, sugar, butter, salt, baking powder, and the milk for about 2 minutes, or until well combined.
- Add in the eggs and vanilla, mixing well. Once this has come together, add the food colouring. Basically, I put in 2 parts yellow to 1 part red. I added in the red (about 2 drops) then a fair amount of the yellow. This is what I got:
- Fill a cupcake baking tray with liners, and fill 3/4 of the way. Put into the oven for 20-25 minutes, rotating the tray when there’s only 10 minutes left of baking time. The cupcakes will be done when a toothpick comes cleanly out of the middle.
- When the cupcakes are out of the oven, place onto a cooling rack. What I like to do next is brush a little bit of milk on the tops so that they don’t go hard and slightly crunchy.
For the Icing (this will make PLENTY):
- 1 stick of butter or margarine (8 Tbsps)
- 2 2/3 cups of icing sugar
- 1/2 cup of powdered cocoa
- 1/2 tsp vanilla
- First of all–if you’re using butter or harder margarine, you might need to add about 1/3 cup of milk. I used Flora light, a soft margarine, so I omitted the extra liquid.
- Cream the butter (if you’re using it, if not, then don’t bother whipping it up any more).
- Alternate adding the icing sugar and cocoa, but make sure to sift both before adding. Add these a little at a time, and mix well with the butter after each addition.
- After all the dry ingredients are added, add the vanilla and the milk (if necessary).
My husband requested that a few cupcakes have buttercream icing, so I made a bit of that according to the recipe on the side of the box. That turned out rather runny, but it ended up setting rather nicely.
I decorated each cupcake with a slice of honeycombed liquorice, and a few Reese’s pieces, because I had some at hand. Ideally, it would have been nice to decorate these with candy leaves or Halloween items like ghosts and pumpkins.