There’s no doubt everyone’s life has been turn upside down due to the coronavirus pandemic. I’ve been at home for 2 weeks already as my university closed as a precaution, and now our country is in a nationwide lockdown for 3 weeks. So, it’s safe to say I’ve been quite bored these last few weeks. However, this is the perfect opportunity for me to get lots of baking done and focus on my blog, as I’ve been too busy to post anything before the pandemic was declared. My first recipe I decided to post is my “Quarantine Cupcakes”. This is a basic vanilla cupcake laced with tart dried cranberries, topped with a smooth vanilla buttercream and decorated with Cornflakes caramel brittle and more cranberries.
This cupcake is deliciously light and fluffy, with the dried cranberries offsetting the sweetness of the frosting. The addition of the caramel Cornflakes adds another texture as well as a toasted caramel taste. This basic vanilla cupcake recipe I got from a cookbook called “Cupcakes Essential Recipes” by Ann Nicol. This is definitely a cupcake worth eating in your pajamas while watching your favourite series in the comfort of your couch
Quarantine Cupcakes: Cranberry and Cornflakes
Ingredients (makes 24 normal sized cupcakes)
For the cupcakes:
- 225g / 8 oz butter, softened at room temperature
- 225g / 8 oz caster sugar
- 4 medium eggs, beaten
- 225g / 8 oz self-raising flour
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup to 2/3 cup dried cranberries
For the frosting:
- 150g / 5 oz unsalted butter, softened
- 225g / 8 oz icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp warm cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- food colouring if desired
For the Cornflakes caramel:
- 1/2 cup sugar
- few tablespoons water
- 1 tbsp butter
- 2 tbsp cream
- 1/2 cup cornflakes cereal
- 1 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 180˚C/350˚F, and line cupcake trays with paper cases.
- Cream the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Whisk in the beaten eggs gradually, adding a teaspoon of flour with each addition to prevent the mixture from curdling.
- Sift the remaining flour and baking powder over the mixture, then gradually whisk in the milk and vanilla extract. Stir in the dried cranberries.
- Spoon the mixture into the cupcake holders, and bake for 15 minutes until firm and golden brown, or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. Cool on a wire cooling rack.
- Heat the sugar and water in a pan over medium heat. Swirl the mixture occasionally until the sugar dissolves and starts to darken in colour. DO NOT STIR or the sugar will crystalise.
- Once the sugar is a light to medium brown colour, add the butter and cream. Be careful as the mixture will start to bubble. Take the caramel off the heat. Mix in the salt and cornflakes until all the cornflakes are covered in the caramel.
- Pour the mixture onto a tray lined with baking paper, and place in the freezer to harden. When it’s time to decorate the cupcakes, break up the cornflakes caramel into bite sized chunks.
- Beat the butter until light and fluffy, then beat in the icing sugar and warm cream in two additions. Add vanilla extract and food colouring if desired.
- Smear a tablespoon of icing on each of the cooled cupcakes, and smooth out with a spoon or palette knife. It doesn’t have to be perfect 🙂
- Decorate with pieces of the cornflakes caramel and dried cranberries.
This is one of my favourite recipes I’ve posted so far. It’s super easy and fun to decorate, and you don’t need to be a piping master to be able to use this icing. It’s rustic and homemade with lots of love, exactly what we need during this time of uncertainty. Hopefully this recipe will put a smile on your face like it put on mine, and will make quarantine just a little bit easier.
Here’s to next time. Remember to stay positive, stay safe, stay home and keep washing your hands, especially before baking!
Sending lots of love!
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