Friday, 7 June 2013

Friday's Kitchen: Strawberry and Vanilla Gnome Cupcakes

In celebration of this month's 'Say Yes To Gnomes' campaign on Life is Peachy, I thought I would share my recipe for Strawberry and Vanilla cupcakes, a perfect light summer treat and beautifully decorated with fresh strawberry gnomes.

These little fellas add something a bit different to your average cupcake and are a delicious light bite for the summer months or a themed afternoon tea!  I use a Hummingbird bakery cupcake recipe as my base recipe for most sponge cakes, it's the lightest mixture I've found in my experiments!

Ingredients (to make 12 cupcakes):
For the Cakes:
280g Golden Caster Sugar
240g Self Raising Flour (you can also use plain with a pinch of baking powder)
80g Butter (softened at room temperature)
240ml milk (I use semi-skimmed)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Pinch of Salt
2 Large Eggs
6 Large Strawberries

For the Icing:
500g Icing Sugar
160g Softened Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
50 mls milk 
12 Large Strawberries (chopped)
12 White Edible Pearls

Preheat oven to 190 C (fan oven) and line a cupcake/muffin tin with cases of your choice!
1. Place butter, sugar, flour and salt in a bowl and mix until soft and textured like breadcrumbs.  Can either be whisked by hand or with a mixer - ensure to sift flour and sugar for a softer finish.
2. Once the dry mixture is combined, beat the milk and eggs together, adding the vanilla extract at the end to flavour.  Pour half the milk mixture in and mix together until almost combined.  
3. Add the remaining milk mixture a little at a time until all incorporated.  Lastly, add the strawberries until evenly incorporated into the mixture.
4. Fill each cupcake case with the mixture until about two thirds full - pop in the oven for approximately 20 minutes, or until the sponge is golden brown and bounces back when pressed. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
5. Whilst the cakes are cooling - mix the icing sugar and butter, either by hand or with a mixer, until incorporated with a soft sandy texture.
6. In a jug, mix together the milk and vanilla essence.  Add to the icing mixture and continue to beat together until creamy and stiff in texture.
7. Once the cakes have cooled completely,pour the mixture into an icing bag and, using a star shaped nozzle, pipe small star shapes onto the cake tops, creating a flower scene on each cake.
8. For the strawberry gnomes, cut each strawberry in half (the pointed half should be slightly longer for a 'hat' appearance.  Squidge a blob of icing on each strawberry base, let a little drizzle out the 'front' of the gnome to create a beard and, finally, attached a pearl to create a nose.
9. To place on the cupcakes, drizzle an extra bit of icing on the base and secure in the middle of each cake.  

The result is really quite cute, I've also been experimenting with the idea of placing the strawberry gnomes on royal icing toadstools with white chocolate buttons.  Clearly this is a baking theme you can go to town with!

Here's to a great weekend!

E x

Thinking of giving these cute cupcakes a go?  Why not upload your results on my facebook page
Upload on to the 'Your Take on My Recipes' album and share your success!

Got a recipe idea you'd like me to try?  Email with your ideas, I would love to feature them!


MrsShilts said...

These look amazing! I'm thinking they would look awesome at Christmas, mini santas in the making!

Found you via the weekend blog hop

Emma Berry said...

Thanks for your comment Mrs Shilts! Funnily enough I got the idea from a photo someone had done of santas. I've got an idea for an epic Christmas Cake this space!

Thanks for reading my blog, I'll be sure to come over and check out yours!

E x

Clairejustine oxox said...

Wow these look amazing :)

Stopping by from the blog hop :)

Helen Neale said...

Stopping by from the Blog Hop - these look fab! Such a great idea, am pinning them now too :-)

Anonymous said...

Hello I am popping by via the Weekend Blog Hop. Those look amazing and I must nick this recipe and give it a try myself.

I am stopping by via the blog hop and I am a newbie blogger and I blog over at

Emma Berry said...

Thanks so much for your comment! And your follow! I see you are a fellow Nottingham dweller!

Emma Berry said...

Oh let me know how you get on...if you have Facebook head over to the page give us a like and upload your results! I look forward to reading your new blog!

Emma Berry said...

Thank you so much and for the pin too! Hopefully more inspiration to follow!

Kim Carberry said...

They look amazing!!

Laura Huggins said...

They look absolutely amazing! Like Mrs Shilts said they would also be awesome as Mini Santas. Looking forward to your Christmas Cake pictures

Thank you for linking up with The Weekend Blog Hop

Hope to see you again next week


Emma Berry said...

Thanks Kim and Laura! Hope to see you again next week, thanks so much for stopping by E x

MamaMummyMum said...

Found you on the weekend blog hop :)

These cakes look fab!!! xx

Emma Berry said...

Thank you! So glad you took the time to read my blog...i shall be stopping by to return the favour ASAP! E x