Today was my third year of participation in the RSPCA Cupcake Day, and it was a success once again... Thanks to the support of my family, friends and colleagues I raised $360 for the RSPCA! Hurrah, and a big thank you to everyone for their support of this wonderful cause :)
Vanilla cupcake with vanilla buttercream
This year I decided to keep my cupcakes simple, but no less delicious. I made my usual favourite chocolate cupcakes topped with ganache, as well as something new - a lovely Nutella cupcake which went down a treat with my fellow Nutella-addict friends. The recipe comes from this The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook - if you are keen for me to do a post on this recipe, please let me know!
'Nutella Lovers' cupcake
I also offered vanilla cupcakes with four different butter cream flavours - vanilla, strawberry, lavender and passionfruit. And because I'm not at all a fan of essences (oh don't even get me started!), I used all natural ingredients to create scrummy flavours. My favourite of the four was the strawberry buttercream - Mmmmm!
Vanilla cupcake with lavender buttercream
Vanilla cupcake with passionfruit buttercream
Vanilla cupcake with strawberry buttercream
Here is my recipe for you, my lovely readers...
Ladybird's Strawberry Buttercream (enough to generously top a dozen cupcakes)
an original Diary of a Ladybird recipe
125g unsalted butter, at room temperature
pinch of salt
2 cups icing sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
250g punnet strawberries, washed and hulled
2 tablespoons caster sugar, plus extra to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice, plus extra to taste
pink food colouring (optional)
1. First start on the strawberry syrup that will flavour the buttercream. Blitz the strawberries to a fine puree. Combine in a a small saucepan along with the caster sugar and lemon juice. Stirring occasionally, bring to a simmer over low-medium heat. Reduce to low heat and stir frequently until the liquid has reduced to a thick syrup. Taste as you go, adding more lemon juice / caster sugar as required. Pass the syrup through a fine sieve and set aside in the fridge to cool.
2. Now start on the buttercream. Using an electric mixer, beat together the butter, vanilla extract and pinch of salt for a minute. Then beat in the icing sugar a third at a time, mixing well and scraping down the bowl after each addition to keep the mixture light and fluffy.
3. Finally, mix in the cooled strawberry syrup until well combined. If the mixture is a little wet for spreading/piping, simply add extra icing sugar. At this point you could also add a little pink food colouring if you wanted to enhance the colour, but I find that the syrup itself gives colours the buttercream nicely.
Till next time, dear readers