Make & Do: Hummingbird Bakery’s Apple Blossom Cupcakes

apple-blossom-cake-heroGet ready for your garden parties with these floral inspired cupcakes from Hummingbird Bakery, the home of quality American baking in London.

Inject some exciting floral flavor into your Garden Party spreads this summer! These were sold as part of Hummingbird Bakery’s summer floral range and proved really popular. This recipe is ideal for more experienced bakers, and variations can be made using different flower teas and essences. Makes 12-16 cupcakes.

For the sponge:

  • 4 tbsp apple iced-tea powder
  • 3 tbsp just-boiled water
  • 80g (3oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 280g (10 oz) caster sugar
  • 240g (8 ½ oz) plain flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 200ml (7fl oz) whole milk
  • 2 large eggs

For the frosting:

  • 4 tbsp apple iced-tea powder
  • 50ml (1 ¾ fl oz) whole milk
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) icing sugar
  • 160g (5 ½ oz) unsalted butter, softened

One or two 12-hole deep muffin tins

  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F and line a muffin tin with cupcake liners.
  2. Place the apple tea powder in a bowl, add the just-boiled water and allow to dissolve completely. Using a hand-held electric whisk or a freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, whisk together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until all the ingredients are well incorporated and resemble fine breadcrumbs.
  3. Place the milk in a jug with the eggs and apple tea and whisk together by hand. Pour three-quarters of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix on a low speed to combine. Increase the speed to medium and keep mixing until smooth and thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the remaining milk mixture and continue to beat on a medium speed until everything is mixed in and the batter is smooth.
  4. Divide the batter between the paper cases, filling them up to two-thirds. Any remaining batter can be used to fill up to four more cases in a second muffin tin. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until well-risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool slightly before removing from the tin, then place on a wire rack to cool down fully before adding the frosting .
  5. To make the frosting, dissolve the apple tea powder in a small bowl, with the milk. Using the electric whisk or the freestanding mixer with paddle attachment, slowly whisk the icing sugar with the butter until sandy in texture and no large lumps of butter remain. Gradually pour the tea-infused milk into the icing sugar and butter mixture. Once all the milk has been added, increase the speed to high and whisk until light and fluffy.
  6. Top each cake with a generous spoonful of frosting, then gently smooth over with a palette knife, adding a swirl at the top if you wish.
  7. To decorate with flowers, adorn the finished cakes with edible flower decorations of your choice (available from most cake decorating retailers).

Variations:

Cherry blossom cupcakes: Follow the previous recipe, replacing the apple tea powder in the sponge batter with 3 cherry blossom teabags. Put the teabags in a bowl, add 3 tablespoons of just-boiled water and leave to draw for 30 minutes. Add the brewed tea to the jug with the milk and eggs, retaining the teabags for use in the frosting. To make the frosting, first place the teabags in a small bowl with the milk, then leave to stand for 30 minutes. Remove the teabags from the milk, giving them a good squeeze to extract the maximum flavor, and mix the tea-infused milk with the butter and icing sugar, as in step 5.

Orange blossom cupcakes:
Make as for apple blossom cupcakes, replacing the apple tea powder in the sponge with 1 tablespoon of orange blossom water and in the frosting with 3 teaspoons of orange blossom water. For the sponge, mix the tablespoon of orange blossom water with the milk in a jug, add the eggs and whisk together before adding to the dry ingredients as in step 3. For the frosting, first mix the orange blossom water with the milk and then mix with the butter and icing sugar.

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