After going overboard on sprinkles I ended up with (among others) a bag of mini meringues. With it being strawberry season, Eton Mess cupcakes seemed like a perfect use for them. These cupcakes have chunks of strawberries in and are filled and frosted with strawberry buttercream.
Muffins… not cupcakes. For the uninformed, muffins are (usually) bigger than cupcakes and don’t have frosting. Starbucks and other coffee shops try to sell muffins as health food, but really they’re as much of a dessert as any other cake.
These banana muffins have chunks of strawberry in and use whole wheat flour for extra flavour.
Sweetcrust pastry with vanilla creme patissiere and strawberries on top. The pastry is extremely light and flaky due to the cream. It’s pretty much shortbread, so you can bake any leftover pastry and eat on it’s own.
I also made a gluten free one with crushed gluten free digestive biscuits. Instead of pastry, crush a handful of biscuits and mix with just enough melted butter to moisten. Don’t overdo the butter – it’s easy to misjudge at first and add more than needed. Once you the butter into the biscuits the mixture should hold together.
Chocolate brains filled with Angel Delight and marshmallows. This isn’t really ‘baking’, but these were fun to make and a quick Halloween dessert. I found some brain shaped moulds on Amazon, which I filled with Wilton candy melts. I made two flavours: marshmallow flavoured chocolate brains with marshmallows and strawberry Angel Delight and double chocolate – a chocolate brain with chocolate Angel Delight. You can also use regular white/milk chocolate instead of the candy melts to mould the brains.
Everyone goes mad for cakes on sticks. Recently it’s been lots of pies, but this week it was strawberry cake pops. I’d have preferred to use the Dr Oetker’s Eton Mess sprinkles which I used for strawberry donuts but they seem to have stopped selling them, whoch gave me the perfect excuse to break out the rainbow sprinkles instead.
After limited success with Victoria sponge in the past, I was dubious about trying this variation. These slices aren’t really the same as a regular Victoria sponge because they’re made in a square, not a circle. Despite the shape, they were easier to work with than a full sized sponge cake. The only change I’d make is using bigger slices next time – the smaller/thinner you slice each piece, the less ‘scaffolding’ there is to hold the strawberries and cream inside.
Strawberries are just coming in to season and given my love of donuts, I couldn’t not make these. There’s strawberry puree in the batter and they’re glazed with strawberry icing and Dr Oetker Strawberry Meringue sprinkles. The sprinkles make make them extra fancy and the pieces of meringue are crunchy too. Surely these must qualify as one of your 5-a-day?
One big lesson I’ve learned from making mini donuts is that you can never grease the pan well enough. I used loads of butter flavour spray and they came out without a problem, but I’ve tried (and failed) in the past at the “getting them out” stage.
Strawberries are just starting to come down in price, so it’s a good time to cram them into pies and cupcakes. This uses a wholemeal crust and is filled with rhubarb, strawberries and custard.
Cheesecakes are on the same level as lemon curd and custard as far as satisfaction from baking goes. They only take 10 mins of preparation and turn from raw ingredients into a delicious dessert like magic. These cupcake sized mini cheesecakes used a gluten free crust and were decorated with strawberries and blueberries to form the Union Flag (for St George’s Day on 23rd April). I didn’t sweeten the fruit, but the biscuit base and filling used enough sugar to provide sweetness.
I used gluten free digestives which didn’t seem to hold together as well during baking, but you could substitute these for regular biscuits of any type (I’ve been meaning to try gingersnaps).
White chocolate chip cookies with strawberries, guaranteed to at least raise a few eyebrows for Valentine’s Day. I had to order the dried strawberries for this online as they were impossible to find in any of the local supermarkets. You could substitute cranberries if you can’t find strawberries.