Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hot Cross Easter Mini Cupcakes

You might be wondering from the title of this post what a hot cross cupcake is. The answer is this, a cupcake infused with the spicy flavour of a hot cross bun. I love hot cross buns at Easter and I made my first batch last year, hopefully I'll be baking some over the Easter weekend this year as well. Recently Lakeland very kindly sent me the Easter Treats Mini Cupcake Kit to play with and I was pondering what flavour cupcakes to bake for ages. I then had a flash of inspiration, could I make a spiced cupcake that would remind people of the flavours of Easter in a small bite size treat? These little cakes are flavoured with mixed spice, filled with brandy soaked sultanas just to add a little grown up twist and finally topped off with a sumptuous vanilla buttercream.

The Easter Treats Kit is great idea if you want to do some baking with the kids over the Easter weekend. Or if like us you don't have children it's just a good excuse to make some cute little cakes. The kit contains 24 mini cupcake cases, 2 egg boxes with gift tags for presenting the cakes in and 12 adorable little card chick cupcake toppers.

Ingredients - makes 24 mini cupcakes or 12 regular cupcakes

For the cakes:
50g sultanas
2 tbsp brandy - you could use orange or apple juice if baking for kids or non drinkers
115g fine demerara sugar
115g butter
2 eggs
115g self raising flour
3/4 tsp mixed spice

For the buttercream:
150g butter
300g icing sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

  • Soak the sultanas in the brandy or fruit juice for at least an hour
  • Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 bun tins with paper cases.
  • In a mixing bowl beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, beat in the eggs one at a time then fold in the flour and mixed spice. Finally stir through the sultanas and any leftover brandy/juice. Divide the cake mix between the paper cases filling each one about halfway. Bake for 12-15 minutes until risen, golden and the sponge bounces back when lightly pressed.
  • Cool the cakes on a wire rack and leave until completely cold.
  • For the buttercream beat the butter until light and fluffy then add the icing sugar and vanilla extract and continue to beat until smooth. It's easiest to do this with an electric hand whisk and adding the icing sugar gradually. 
  • Spoon the buttercream into a piping bag fitted with a large start nozzle and pipe swirls onto the cupcakes then finish with a chick topper. Regular readers will know that I am not a confident user of a piping bag but I held my nerve and gave it a go and I think I might be showing signs of improvement. 
As well as the chick toppers I also melted a 100g bar of  white chocolate to make some mini chocolate eggs and chicks using a silicone mould that I bought last year. I decorated these with a little bit of pink piping icing made with a few spoonfuls of icing sugar, a couple of drops of water and some red food colouring. The icing needs to be thick enough to pipe so add the water slowly.

I also couldn't resist putting the chick topped cakes on the pretty floral cake stand my friend bought me for Christmas. If you look at this you can pretend that Spring is here. For my non UK readers we are experiencing one of the coldest March's in the last 50 years and a lot of people just want the sun to shine again!

Disclaimer: I was sent the Easter Treats Kit from Lakeland to review, I was not paid for this post. All views and opinions expressed are my own.


  1. Very clever cupcake-bun combo and LOVE the idea of the brandy infused sultanas.

  2. Absolutely love this idea, being a huge fan of hot cross buns it's a very nice alternative. Also how cute are those toppers. Heading on over to Lakeland to check them out :)


  3. A cupcake infused with hot cross bun spices sounds like a winner to me as I'm a fan of cupcakes and HCB's! I love the little Easter kit decorations too! :-)


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