So, today is the first day of National Cupcake Week, and I have to say it’s getting off to a rather fabulous start.
I haven’t had a chance to bake any cupcakes yet, but on checking my emails this morning I was absolutely thrilled/amazed to find out that I have been shortlisted for this year’s National Cupcake Championships!
My bourbon pecan pie cupcakes have been chosen to go up against 14 others (including GBBO contestant Deborah Manger) in the ‘alcohol’ category of the amateur competition, which will be judged at Cake International in November.
I literally cannot contain my excitement about this – I couldn’t care less if I actually win, being shortlisted is awesome enough! AND, it’s being judged by the legendary Mary Berry – actual Mary Berry will be eating my cupcakes!!
To celebrate this, and the joy of cupcakes in general, here are a few of my favourites that I’ve baked and blogged before – I will also have some more to post later in the week, and tales of my weekend at the Cake and Bake Show – it’s been a busy month for baking!
So first I obviously need to start with the boozy delights that managed to get me shortlisted – bourbon pecan pie inspired, they are not for the faint-hearted as the whiskey definitely packs a punch, but even as a non-whiskey drinker I couldn’t get enough.
Last year I had competition success with these coconut, blackberry and raspberry crown cupcakes, which helped me place third in a regional Jubilee baking competition – the raspberry curd filling combined with a light coconut sponge and to die for cream cheese frosting was enjoyed by the judges as much as by me!
Cream cheese frosting is definitely my favourite, and the Hummingbird Bakery’s recipe which I tried recently on these strawberry cheesecake cupcakes is definitely the best I’ve made so far.
Continuing the fruity theme, and perfect for this time of year, are these apple and cinnamon cupcakes which I baked for National Cupcake Week in 2011. Apple and cinnamon is a combination that just screams autumn, whether it’s in a cake, crumble, pie, or even the cheeky apple and cinnamon mojito I tried a few weeks ago…
You couldn’t celebrate the world of cupcakes without at least one chocolate cupcake, and not only are these cherry chocolate brownie cupcakes super chocolatey and delicious, they’re also gluten free!
Last but not least, coffee and caramelised white chocolate cupcakes – if you haven’t tried caramelising white chocolate yet, you must! It’s so stupidly delicious, especially with a good pinch of sea salt thrown in. It pairs perfectly with coffee in these cupcakes, which went down a storm with all my taste testers earlier this year.
I can’t wait to see what fantastic creations everyone comes up with for this year’s cupcake week – and stay tuned for updates on how I get on at the cupcake championships in November!