Make a date for some sticky toffee cupcakes…

I’ve just spent the last few moments in quiet contemplation, savouring my final sticky toffee cupcake. I felt it should have the respect it deserved as one of the tastiest, morsels of deliciousness I’ve ever baked! I fear that I suffer from short term memory loss when it comes to my baking and always seem to pronounce the last thing I baked as the most delicious but in this case I think I might be right, check out these bad boys!…

To make these Hummingbird Bakery sticky toffee cupcakes for yourself you need…

180g pitted and chopped dates

180ml boiling water

80g unsalted butter, softened

150g soft light brown sugar

2 eggs

180g plain flour

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 tsp bicarbonate of soda

1/4 tsp salt

1tsp vanilla extract

Put the chopped dates in a bowl and cover them with the boiling water (it’s advisable to measure the quantity of water and not get carried away with the kettle as I did). Set them aside to soak for about 30 mins while you get on with making the cupcake batter. 

Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line a muffin tin (or two) with cases. I managed to get 16 cupcakes out of this recipe.

Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until soft and fluffy. Break the eggs in one at a time and beat until they’re incorporated well. Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt) into the butter and sugar mixture in a few batches, beating after each addition until you’re left with a smooth batter.

Finally add the vanilla extract to the date mixture and add the whole lot to the cake batter. *Cue a fair bit of expletive muttering as my cupcake mix turned into an extremely runny mess*…but panic not fellow bakers…it was not the disaster I imagined it to be…it just meant that spooning the (runny) mixture into the prepared cases was pretty messy 🙂 Pop them into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes. Trust me…you won’t be disappointed!

Once they’re ready, leave them to cool before frosting.

For the frosting you need…

160g unsalted butter, softened

500g icing sugar

50ml milk

100g tinned caramel or dulce de leche 

12-16 dates, pitted and chopped to decorate

Using an electric mixer, mix together the icing sugar and butter (I find it a lot easier if I’ve put the butter in the microwave for 30 seconds) until it has the texture of sand.

Gradually add the milk and whack up the speed until you have a light creamy butter icing. 

Finally stir in the caramel, trying not to eat too much of it straight from the tin 🙂

Use a palette knife to generously top your cupcakes with the frosting and finish off with a few pieces of chopped date…

Some of my dates had sunk to the bottom of the cupcakes, which was in no way detrimental to the taste and I think was a result of my slightly over-runny batter. So the moral of this story is…stick to the quantities in the recipe! 🙂

I had a lot of icing left and after asking twitter for advice have put it in a freezer bag in the freezer to use another day. When the time comes I’ve been advised to let it defrost overnight in the fridge and then whisk it up before using.

Shame…I guess that means I’ll have to make another batch very soon!

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