Valentine cupcakes

This is a Nigella recipe. Both the sponge and topping are so quick and easy to make, that you’ll want to make them for more than just Valentines day!

For the sponge:

125g soft butter

125g caster sugar

2 eggs

125g plain flour

1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

2 teaspoons real vanilla extract

2–3 tablespoons milk

Cupcake topping:
2 egg whites

4 tablespoons golden syrup

100g caster sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

1 teaspoon real vanilla extract

Sprinkles to decorate

– makes 12 cupcakes –


1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C.

2. Put all of the ingredients for the buns, except for the milk, into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Pulse while adding the milk down the funnel, to make a smooth dropping consistency.

3. Divide the mixture into a 12-bun muffin tin lined with muffin papers and bake in the oven for 15–20 minutes. They should have risen and be golden on top.

4. Take them carefully out of the tin to cool in their papers, still on the wire rack.

5. Now for the topping. Place a glass bowl over snuggly over a saucepan of hotboiling hot water. Put all of the ingredients for the icing, except for the vanilla and sprinkles, into the bowl.

6. Whisk everything with an electric beater until the icing becomes thick and holds peaks like a meringue. This will take about 5 minutes, so be patient.

7. Take the bowl off the saucepan and on to a cool surface and keep whisking while you add the vanilla. Then keep whisking until the mixture cools a little. You want a proper peaked and whipped covering here, so spoon some icing over each bun, and then dollop another spoonful over in a swirly fashion.

8. Immediately shake over your choice of sprinkles, as the icing will set very quickly.

Enjoy with your loved one – or indeed, all by yourself!


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