I don’t really make cupcakes much these days – I felt like I drew a line under it and said “I’ve done that” and moved on. But my original Pimm’s cupcakes has always been one of my most popular posts and certainly the most pirated – I still can’t believe the audacity of some people who copy and paste the recipe and then steal the photos for their own blog! Soz, rant over! Well anyway, lots of people have left feedback on that post and I’ve worked really hard to improve the recipe. I honestly can’t wait to take these into work – they taste just like a little hint of summer. For me, summer officially begins with the first Pimm’s of the season…Pimm’s no.1 cup, chilled lemonade with orange, strawberry, mint and cucumber topped with a good amount of ice. I took a little bit of all these flavours and put them into this cupcake. The sponge is soaked with Pimm’s and then a little is added into some of the buttercream flavours. The piping gives a nice tie-dye effect too!
- 170g self raising flour
- 1tbsp cornflour
- 2tsp baking powder
- Pinch of salt
- 170g unsalted butter at room temperature
- 170g caster sugar
- 1tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 9tsp Pimm’s No.1 cup
Preheat oven to 160°C/320°F/Gas Mark 3. Line muffin tins with 18 cupcakes cases.
Sift together the flour, cornflour, baking powder and salt three times to ensure even distribution.
Cream the butter, sugar and vanilla extract on medium/low speed for 5 minutes until really creamy, then add eggs in one at a time, mixing really well after each addition.
Add the flour mix on the lowest mixing speed, until just before it is completely mixed in. Then finish it off by folding the mixture by hand.
Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, then bake in the oven for 15 minutes until the cupcakes feel springy on top. Immediately place them on a wire rack. Whilst they are still warm, poke holes in them with a toothpick and drizzle ½ teaspoon of Pimm’s on each one. Leave to cool and infuse – preferably overnight as the flavour will be better.
Take the strawberries and remove the leaves, then quarter. In a small saucepan, add the strawberries and sugar and place over a gentle heat for 10 minutes. Mash with fork to release more juices and cook for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and press through a sieve. Discard the sieve contents and place the juices back in the saucepan and return to the stove. Heat gently again and reduce the mixture by half. Set aside and leave to cool.
Very finely chop the cucumber skin, mint leaves and orange rind but keep them separate.
To make the buttercream, cream the icing sugar, butter and milk together for 10 minutes in a mixer until really smooth. Divide the mixture into four bowls.
Strawberry buttercream: Add 3tbsp strawberry juices to one of the bowls.
Cucumber buttercream: Add all the cucumber skin, plus one tsp Pimm’s and a little green food colouring (keep this a very pale green).
Orange buttercream: Add the orange rind, plus one tsp Pimm’s and some orange food colouring.
Mint buttercream: Add the mint leaves, plus one tsp Pimm’s and some green food colouring (make this a medium green).
Take a piping bag and star piping nozzle. You’ll need to dispense all the buttercream into the bag in one go – no refilling. Take a little of each buttercream and “wipe” it down the walls of the piping bag, so you can fit all four colours around. Layer it up until you run out of buttercream.
Pipe a swirl on top of each. Top with pop rocks for a fizzy lemonade effect.