I had some cranberries left over from my chutney making sesh, so I decided to make some festive and fruity cupcakes. Their texture is kind of a hybrid between muffins and scones – and after Matthew took them into the Fire Training HQ they were declared ‘Scoffins’ – so that is their name forever more!
With all this snow, indoor activities like baking are high on the agenda for Sam and I. We seem to manage about an hour in the park walking Lily before the cold sets in and we trudge home to warm up with hot chocolates. It’s nice to have a tin of cakes to dip into to on such occasions!
Baking with kids is such a winner. The key is to give them lots of manageable jobs like putting the cake cases in the baking tray holes, cracking eggs, or adding ingredients into the mixing bowl. Get everything out you need in advance and weigh out all your ingredients.
Take a deep breath, accept there will be mess, they won’t do everything ‘properly’ and may just wander off half way through. Or like Sam keep me entertained by miming to Feed The World with a teaspoon!
I was given some rather lovely festive fairy cake cases by my friend Tara, they’re much smaller than cupcake cases and so ideal for kiddie-size treats.
The recipe I came up with is inspired by the Cranberry muffins in January’s Good Food Magazine, but I’ve adapted it to include a luxurious topping of cream cheese frosting which sweetens up the tangy cranberries in the cake. I wanted Sam to have a crack at piping the icing on top of the cakes which he took to with gusto.
If you were feeling really decadent you could even add some white chocolate chips to the cake mixture.
Cranberry scoffins with cream cheese frosting
Makes 24 fairy cakes
225g caster sugar
200g plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
85ml corn oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Pre-heat oven to 180’C. Put your fairy cake cases into two 12 hole cake tins.
2. Gently heat the cranberries in a pan with 25g of the caster sugar – keep an eye on them and stir to prevent them from catching on the bottom of the pan. Once the berries start to pop out of their skins remove from the heat and gently mash and allow to cool.
3. Sift the flour into a large mixing bowl then add the rest of the sugar, baking powder and a pinch of salt. Add the eggs, corn oil, vanilla and mashed cranberries. Mix together – it’s quite a thick and lumpy mixture.
4. Spoon into the cake cases – a heaped teaspoon and a half should be enough. You want them to rise but leave space for the frosting!
5. Bake for 15-20 mins until risen and golden. They will be firm and scone-like in appearance. Transfer to a wire rack and cool.
For the frosting
50g butter (room temp)
300g sifted icing sugar
125g soft cheese (cold)
1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Beat together the butter and icing sugar, then add the soft cheese and vanilla extract. Beat thoroughly for 5 mins until light and fluffy. Be careful not to over-beat it or it’ll go runny.
2. You can spread the frosting on with a knife for a rustic finish, or use a piping bag and nozzle to add a bit of flair! Decorate with festive sprinkles for maximum Christmas appeal!