Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

Chocolate and Raspberry Cupcakes

Ok, so it’s January and you are all trying to cut down after the Christmas excess so, what am I doing make chocolate cakes? Ridiculously rich and chocolaty chocolate cakes at that.

Well, the answer is that bun scuffle is exactly one year old today and every birthday should be celebrated with cake. If that is not actually written into law then it should be.

Twelve months ago I started writing with no idea what I was doing – I still don’t know but I seem to have done plenty of it! To date I have written over 50 blog articles and published 76 recipes, I have cooked at home, borrowed kitchens, run the Unseen Restaurant, eaten out, shopped locally, made pasta, baked cakes, judged competitions, cooked with kids and met some wonderful people.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all the cooking and the writing and am massively indebted to all of you for reading my random thoughts. To celebrate all of this I did what I do and I baked cakes.

These cakes are based on an original recipe by Eric Lanlard in Cox, Cookies and Cake but as always I have tweeked it a little! The cakes themselves are light and flavoursome and the ganache topping is rich and sweet and decadent. They don’t taste of the coffee at all but it does help to bring a roundness to the chocolate flavour. I love chocolate but I think these could possibly be a tad too chocolaty (if that is even possible) without the sharp contrast that the raspberries impart. All in all a perfect balance – I have some left so come round if you fancy one.


For the Cupcakes

125g / 4 oz Butter

75g / 3 oz Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa solids)

150g / 5 oz Light Muscovado Sugar

2 Large Eggs

225g / 8 oz Self-Raising Flour

1 tsp Baking Powder

1 tsp Vanilla Extract

150 ml cooled Espresso or Strong Black Coffee

450g / 14 oz Raspberries

For the Ganache

200ml / 7 fl oz single cream

250g / 8 oz Dark Chocolate (70% Cocoa solids)

50g / 2 oz softened Butter


Pre-heat the oven to 200°C / 400°F / Gas Mark 6

Line a cupcake tin with paper cases (makes 10 – 12).

For the Cupcakes

Put the chocolate and butter into a bowl over a pan of simmering water until melted. Set aside to cool for a minute or two.

Whisk the sugar into the chocolate mixture then whisk in the eggs and the vanilla essence. Sift in the flour and baking powder and fold in. Stir in the cooled coffee a little at a time until well mixed.

Half fill each of the paper cases with the cake mixture. Reserve a nicely shaped raspberry to top each cake then divide the rest between the cake cases (2 or 3 in each). Cover with more cake mix until the cases are approximately ¾ full.

Bake for about 20 – 25 minutes until firm and springy to the touch. Place on a wire rack to cool.

Make the ganache: Break the chocolate up into small pieces and place in a bowl. Heat the cream to almost boiling point and pour over the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts and then stir in the butter until well combined.

Spoon or pipe the ganache onto the cupcakes and top each one with a raspberry.

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Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

Over the last couple of years cupcakes seem to have become the ubiquitous sweet treat.  When I was a child they were called fairy cakes and you were lucky if they were topped with a bit of icing and a sprinkle of hundreds and thousands.  Now they have become works of art.  Shops have been set up which are dedicated solely to producing miniature bites of flavoured sponge and buttercream and whole shelves of cupcake cookery books abound in book shops the world over.

When I need a bit of cupcake porn I visit my friend Lisa who makes the most beautiful cakes for all occasions including, of course, cupcakes.  If you want to share my guilty habit check out Vanillaboo and be prepared to drool.  Lisa has made dainty birthday cupcakes, elegant wedding cupcakes and fun cakes for children but she refuses to share her recipes with me – they are a closely guarded secret and if you are ever lucky enough to taste one you will understand why.

So when I realised it was National Cupcake Week (who decides these things?) I realised I was on my own.  I had been meaning to try out these meringue topped beauties for a while so this was my opportunity.

The spoonful of lemon curd melts into the mix giving a lovely gooey spot in the middle and the soft meringue adds sweetness and moisture to counteract the sharp lemon flavour.  The meringue is not fully cooked so think twice before feeding them to small children or pregnant women – oh dear – that means more for you.  Enjoy!


For the cakes

4 oz / 100g Butter (softened)

4 oz / 100g Golden Caster Sugar

4 oz / 100g Self Raising Flour

2 Large Free Range Eggs

1 tsp Lemon Essence

Zest of 1 Lemon

2 oz / 50g Lemon Curd

For the Meringue

2 Large Free Range Egg Whites

4 oz / 100g Golden Caster Sugar


Pre-heat the oven to 180 C / 350 F / Gas Mark 4

Line a cupcake tin with paper cases (makes 12).

Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy.  Add the eggs a little at a time and beat together.  Beat in the lemon essence.  Fold in the flour and grated lemon zest.

Spoon the cake batter into the paper cases and place a teaspoonful of lemon curd on the top of each one.  Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen and springy to the touch.

Turn out onto a wire rack to cool.  Once cool make the meringue.

Whisk the egg whites in a very clean bowl (even a hint of grease will stop them from stiffening) until soft peaks form.  Add the sugar and whisk until stiff peaks form.

You can pipe the meringue onto the top of your cakes for a professional finish or just spoon it on and swirl it with the back of a spoon as I did.

To toast the meringue place the cakes under a pre-heated grill for a minute or two until brown – do not take your eyes off them as they burn in a second.  Alternatively you can use a chefs blow torch if you have one.

If you have enjoyed reading this blog and would like to receive updates please “like” the bun scuffle Facebook Page or follow bun scuffle on Twitter using the links below. If you don’t use social Media you can email me and I will send you updates by email.