Food / 18 September, 2018 / Ellie Thompson

12 of The Scrummiest Cupcake Recipes for National Cupcake Week

Cupcake Cones



  • 12 flat-bottomed cones
  • 160g butter
  • 40g dark chocolate, roughly chopped
  • 2 large eggs
  • 160g self-raising flour
  • 40g cocoa powder
  • 160g caster sugar
  • ½ tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2–3 tbsp sprinkles
  • 6 chocolate flakes, cut in half (optional)

For the frosting:

  • 150g butter, softened
  • 350g icing sugar
  • seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • few drops each of blue and pink food colouring (optional)
  • 12-hole cupcake tin
  • hand-held electric whisk or stand mixer
  • disposable piping bag
  • 2 x piping bags with 1cm straight nozzles


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (fan 160°C/350°F/gas 4) and sit the ice-cream cones in the holes of the cupcake tin to hold them upright.
  • Melt the butter in a small pan over a low heat, and then take the pan off the heat and add the dark chocolate. Leave the chocolate to melt.
  • Lightly beat the eggs. Put the flour, cocoa powder, sugar, bicarbonate of soda, eggs and salt in a large bowl with the melted butter and chocolate mixture. Mix to just combine with the hand-held electric whisk and spoon the batter into the disposable piping bag. Snip off the end to give you a wide hole, and then pipe into the ice-cream cones, filling them no more than three-quarters full or they will overflow while they are cooking.
  • Place the tin into the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes, or until they are baked. To check that they are cooked, insert a skewer into the centre of a cupcake cone – it should come out clean. Once the cupcake cones are baked, remove them from the oven and leave to cool completely.
  • While the cones are cooling, make the frosting. Put all of the ingredients apart from the colouring into a large bowl and beat well with the hand-held electric whisk or until the mixture goes light and fluffy. You can also use a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment to do this. To colour the frosting, divide it into bowls and stir through each food colouring, as desired.
  • Take a piping bag fitted with the 1cm straight nozzle and half-fill it with the frosting. If you have coloured your frosting, use a different bag for each colour. Pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes so that it looks like ice cream, as per the photograph opposite.
  • Add sprinkles to each one, and if you feel like it, stick half a chocolate flake in the top to make it look like our beloved Mr Whippy! Serve.

Malteser Cupcakes


For The Cupcakes

  • 200g softened butter
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 50g brown sugar
  • A couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • 4 medium size eggs
  • 200g plain flour
  • 10g baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 80g Maltesers

For The Buttercream:

  • 250g butter
  • 500g icing sugar sifted
  • A couple of drops of vanilla extract
  • 55g roughly crushed Maltesers


  • For the cupcakes: Preheat the oven to 180°C and line a cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  • Cream together the butter and both sugars until it is light and fluffy. I like to use an electric hand whisk to do this with.
  • Add all the vanilla and then the eggs on eat a time, whisking well after each addition. If the mixture begins to look like it has curdled add a couple of tbsp of the flour and beat well until the mixture looks smooth.
  • Using a metal spoon fold in the flour, baking powder and salt (add them altogether) and then stir in the Maltesers.
  • Divide the mixture equally between the 12 cupcake cases and bake in the oven for about 25 mins or until a skewer (or toothpick) inserted in to the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Once cooked remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin.
  • For the buttercream: Using an electric handwhisk, whisk together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla until it becomes pale and fluffy.
  • You can either dollop the buttercream on top of each cupcake and spread it around with a knife. Or for a more professional look fit a piping bag with a 1cm star nozzle and pipe the buttercream on top of the cupcakes. Sprinkle on some crushed Maltesers to finish.

Cavolo Nero Cupcakes with Chocolate Frosting

Developed by Veggie Desserts on behalf of Discover Great Veg


  • 50g cavolo nero leaves, thick stalks discarded
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • 150g butter, softened
  • 150g caster sugar
  • 2 large free-range eggs
  • 175g self raising flour

For the chocolate frosting

  • 100g butter, softened
  • 250g icing sugar
  • 6 tbsp cocoa powder
  • 1-2 tbsp milk


  • Preheat oven to 170C (Gas Mark 3) and line a 12 cup muffin pan with paper cases.
  • Tear the cavolo nero leaves into bite sized pieces and steam them for a few minutes until tender. Refresh by running under cold water to cool, then drain, squeeze out any excess moisture and chop up very finely.
  • Add the cavolo nero and the milk to a tall container, then puree until smooth with a hand blender.
  • In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in pureed cavolo nero.
  • Sift in the flour and stir gently to combine.
  • Fill the muffin cups ¾ full with the batter and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Allow to cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

For the frosting

  • Beat the butter with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Sift in the icing sugar and cocoa then add the milk and beat until smooth. If the frosting is too thick, add another tablespoon of milk. If it’s too thin, add a little powdered sugar, sparingly, until it reaches a thick frosting consistency.
  • Spoon the frosting into a piping bag and pipe over the cooled cupcakes.

Victoria Sponge Cupcakes

Cooking time: 40 minutes

Serves: 12



  • 100g of self-raising flour
  • 1 pinch of baking powder
  • 100g of butter
  • 100g of caster sugar
  • 2 eggs


  • 75g of butter, softened
  • 150g of icing sugar, sieved
  • 1 dash of milk


  • 50g of strawberries, sliced
  • 50g of blueberries
  • 50g of raspberries
  • 50g of blackberries


  • Preheat the oven to 170°C/gas mark 3. Put cupcake paper cases into a cupcake tin. Leave to the side.
  • For the cupcakes; mix together the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl until the mixture is light and creamy.
  • Using a sieve add the flour and the baking powder to the bowl. Add in the eggs, one at a time. Combine the ingredients until they create a smooth batter. You must be careful not to overmix the batter.
  • Put a few blueberries into each paper cup. Add batter to each until it is half way full.
  • Bake the cupcakes at 170°C for 10-15 minutes, or until they are lightly brown and spring back if you press them lightly with your finger.
  • Take them out of the oven and leave to cool.
  • For the buttercream; mix the softened butter, icing sugar and milk until it is smooth.
  • Add the icing to a piping bag. Once the cupcakes are cool to touch, pipe the icing on top of the cakes. Decorate the icing with fruit. They are now ready to serve and enjoy!

Raspberry Hot Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate Cake:

  • 1 box devil’s food cake mix
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 C. oil
  • 3/4 C. milk or buttermilk
  • 3/4 C. sour cream or yogurt
  • Marshmallow Fluff for filling

Raspberry Buttercream:

  • 1.2 oz. freeze dried raspberries, crushed and sifted to remove seeds
  • 1 C. butter, softened
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 3-4 C. powdered sugar
  • Fresh raspberries and sprinkles (or marshmallows) for decoration


  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line pans with cupcake liners.
  • Sift cake mix into a large bowl to remove any lumps and add eggs, oil, milk and sour cream. Stir until smooth.
  • Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full and bake for 15-20 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Let cool.
  • Use a small knife to cut out holes from the tops of the cupcakes and fill with marshmallow fluff! This gives is the “hot chocolate” feel with the marshmallow filling!

Raspberry Buttercream:

  • Beat butter until smooth.
  • Add in raspberries (crushed and sifted) and vanilla extract and beat again.
  • Slowly add in powdered sugar until you reach your desired consistency.
  • Add milk if it becomes too thick.
  • Pipe onto cooled (and filled) cupcakes and top with fresh raspberries and sprinkles.
  • You can also just top them with mini marshmallows or one big one!

Strawberry Shortcake Cupcakes


  • 1 cup cake flour
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 12 large egg whites, room temperature
  • 4 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1 zest from lemon
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • ¾ quart container of strawberries, hulled and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 8 ounces container cream cheese
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 4-5 strawberries, stems removed and finely chopped


  • Begin by combining the 3/4 container of chopped strawberries and 2 tablespoons sugar in a small bowl. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to use.
  • To make the angel food cake cupcakes, line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Sift flour and salt into a bowl and set aside. Separate egg whites from yolks. Zest the lemon and set the zest aside. Juice the lemon. Add the egg whites to a mixer and beat on medium high until foamy (about 1 minute). Add the lemon juice to the egg whites and beat until soft peaks form.
  • Continue to beat, adding about 1 tablespoon sugar at a time, until stiff peaks form, about 2 minutes, using 1 1/4 cups cups sugar in total. Add the vanilla and beat to combine. Transfer the mixture to a large bowl. Sift the flour mixture over the egg-white mixture, about 1/4 cup at a time, folding the flour into the egg whites using a rubber spatula each time. Be careful not to over mix, you want it to stay really fluffy.
  • Spoon the batter into the prepared cupcake tins (about a heaping tablespoon in each one) and smooth the tops of each. Bake until golden, or approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pan. While waiting for the cupcakes to cool, prepare the frosting. Combine the cream cheese, the remaining 3/4 cup sugar, vanilla extract and lemon zest in a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer. Whisk on medium speed until smooth.
  • While the mixture is still whipping, slowly pour in the heavy cream. Whip until stiff peaks form. Fold in the finely chopped strawberries. Once the cupcakes have cooled, use a small paring knife to cut out the center of the cupcake. Fill with some of the strawberry-sugar mixture.
  • Add the frosting to a plastic bag and cut a small corner off the bottom of the bag. Pipe the icing on to the cupcakes and top with a strawberry slice.

Rainbow Cupcakes


  • 250g (8oz) butter, softened
  • 250g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs
  • 250g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • gel food colour, in a variety of colours
  • coloured sprinkles, to decorate

For the cream cheese icing:

  • 200g (7oz) butter, softened
  • 400g (13oz) icing sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 150g (5oz) light cream cheese


  • Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180ºC, fan 160ºC. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper cases.
  • Using a hand-held mixer, beat together the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Whisk in the eggs and then fold in the flour, vanilla extract and milk.
  • Divide the cake batter evenly between 6 bowls. Add enough food colour gel to each bowl to give a strong shade.
  • Spoon the mixture between the paper cases, one colour at a time. It’s best to drizzle around the edge and then encourage it to fill in the centre. Don’t mix too much or the colours will run.
  • Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until light and spongy to the touch. Cool on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, make the icing by beating together the butter and icing sugar until light and creamy. Whisk in the vanilla extract and cream cheese. Put into a piping bag and swirl some icing on top of each cake. Scatter over the sprinkles.

Carrot Cupcakes


For the cupcakes:

  • 3 medium carrots, peeled and grated
  • 100g soft light brown sugar
  • 80g unsalted butter, softened
  • 80g Golden syrup
  • 2 medium eggs
  • 150g self-raising flour
  • ½tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 1tsp ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

For the icing:

  • 50g unsalted butter, softened
  • 110g low-fat cream cheese
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 1tsp vanilla extract
  • 25g desiccated coconut, for garnishing


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • Line a 12 tin cupcake tray with 8-10 cupcake cases.
  • Combine the butter, sugar and golden syrup in a large saucepan and melt together over a medium heat, stirring to combine. Remove from the heat, then stir in the self-raising flour, salt, bicarbonate of soda, ground cinnamon, grated carrot and eggs. Mix well until you have a smooth batter
  • Spoon into the cupcake cases and bake for 20-25 minutes until risen and a cake tester comes out clean from the centre when inserted. Remove when ready and allow to cool on a wire rack.
  • Meanwhile, prepare the icing by combining the butter, cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together in a large mixing bowl. Beat using an electric whisk until smooth. Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a star-shaped nozzle. Once the cupcakes are cool, pipe the icing on top in a swirl. Sprinkle the desiccated coconut on top and serve on a cake stand.

Chocolate Cupcakes Recipe

PREPARATION + COOKING: 20 + 30 minutes + freezing
STORAGE: Can be kept in an airtight container for 3-4 days or frozen for up to 1 month.


  • 125ml/4fl oz/1/2 cup light olive oil, plus extra for greasing
  • 60g/21/4oz/1/2 cup coconut flour
  • 30g/1oz/1/4 cup cocoa powder
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
  • 5 eggs
  • 100g/3½oz/heaped ½ cup xylitol
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract


  • 12tsp no added strawberry jam


  • 150g/51/2oz dairy-free dark chocolate
  • 60g/21/4oz coconut butter
  • 2tbsp xylitol
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • or use melted chocolate to drizzle over the cakes


  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4. Lightly grease 12 holes in a muffin tin with oil.
  • In a food processor, combine the coconut flour, cocoa powder, salt, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
  • Put the eggs, oil, xylitol and vanilla extract in a bowl and beat together. Gradually add the dry ingredients beating to form a smooth batter.
  • Spoon a tablespoon of the mixture into the prepared muffin holes. Spoon a teaspoon of the jam on top and cover with the remaining mixture.
  • Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and firm. Leave to cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then turn out and leave to cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the frosting, place all the ingredients in a saucepan and heat through over a low heat. Leave to cool, then tip the frosting into a freeze proof container and freeze for 30 minutes to chill and thicken. Remove from the freezer and beat whip the frosting in a blender until it is thick and fluffy. Spread over the cakes and decorate with a few chopped strawberries, if wished.

These healthy, mouth-watering, gluten-free cupcakes contain a delicious berry jam in the centre and are topped with a creamy, dairy-free chocolate frosting. They are a perfect nutritious tasty treat for all ages and would make a wonderful addition to a children’s party.

Coconut Cupcakes with Coconut-White Chocolate Frosting


  • 2¼ c. all-purpose flour
  • 2 tsp. baking powder
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ c. sweetened flaked coconut
  • ¾ c. unsalted butter
  • 1½ c. sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • ½ tsp. coconut extract or vanilla extract
  • ¾ c. light coconut milk (not cream of coconut)
Coconut-White Chocolate Frosting:
  • 1 c. white chocolate baking chips
  • ½ c. unsalted butter
  • 1 brick cream cheese
  • ½ tsp. coconut extract
  • 2½ c. confectioners’ sugar
  • Garnish: sweetened flaked coconut, toasted


  • Heat oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners.
  • Whisk flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl; stir in coconut.
  • Beat butter and sugar in large bowl with electric mixer until creamed, about 2 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, until blended. Beat in coconut extract.
  • With mixer on low speed, alternately beat in flour mixture and coconut milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, until just blended.
  • Spoon about 1/4 cup batter into each muffin cup. Bake 20 to 23 minutes until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove cupcakes from pan to wire rack to cool completely.
  • Melt white baking chips in a small glass bowl in microwave as package directs. Beat butter, cream cheese and coconut extract in large bowl with electric mixer until creamed and blended. Beat in melted white chocolate until blended. On low speed, gradually beat in confectioners’ sugar.
  • Spread 2 Tbsp frosting onto each cupcake; sprinkle tops with toasted coconut.


Banana Cupcakes


  • 125g (4oz) Everyday Value butter, at room temperature
  • 125g (4oz) caster sugar
  • 2 medium Everyday Value eggs
  • 125g (4oz) Everyday Value plain flour
  • 2tsp baking powder
  • 2 small/medium Everyday Value bananas, mashed


  • Preheat oven to Gas 4, 180ºC, fan 160ºC. Line a bun tin with 12 cupcake cases.
  • In a mixing bowl, cream Everyday Value butter and sugar until fluffy. Gradually beat in the Everyday Value eggs until mixture is smooth. Fold in Everyday Value flour, baking powder and Everyday Value bananas.
  • Divide between cases and bake for 20-25 minutes. Cool. Can be stored for up to 3-4 days.


Dairy and Egg-free Vanilla Cupcakes


  • 100g (3 1/2oz) self-raising flour
  • 50g (2oz) caster sugar
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 100ml (3 1/2fl oz) soya milk
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 1/2 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

For the icing:

  • 200g (7oz) icing sugar
  • 4 tbsp soya milk
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • drop of food colouring
  • sprinkles, for decoration


  • Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C.
  • Place cupcake cases into the hollows of a 12-cup bun tin. Measure out the flour, sugar and baking powder into a bowl.
  • In a separate bowl, measure out the soya milk and the oil, then stir in the lemon juice and vanilla extract. Tip the soya milk mix into the dry ingredients and whisk quickly until everything is combined. Quickly distribute the mixture evenly across the cake cases. Bake for 25 minutes until slightly browned. (An inserted skewer should come out clean.) Cool on a wire rack.
  • To make the icing, stir the icing sugar, soya milk, vanilla extract and food colouring together until you have a thick, smooth liquid. Drop a heaped teaspoonful on the top of each cake, allow to spread out fully. Decorate while still wet with sprinkles or sweets as desired. Allow to set.

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