Celebration Cupcakes Recipe – Because We Hit 2 Million Views!

celebration cupcakes

“Children take joy in their work and sometimes as adults we forget that’s something we should continue doing.”
~ Ashley Ormon


Sometime last Friday Cauldrons and Cupcakes hit two million views.

Two million views is cause for celebration. And we did. With cupcakes, of course!

Dear Readers, thank you so much for all of the love, support and community that you’ve blessed us with since my very first blog post. It’s true to say that often the reason I have hauled myself out of bed on my less-than-best lyme days was to spend some time with you. <3

This cupcake recipe is easy to make, moist, and can be endlessly varied. It was given to me many years ago by the mother of a boy I dated at high school. Because they were his favourite, so she thought I should know how to make them! I’ve given two of my favourite variations below. One is a Strawberries and Cream Cupcake, and one is for a Choc-Caramel Deluxe Cupcake. So easy. So yum. So party!

Let the celebration begin!!!

Bert, hopeful for cupcakes!

Bert, hopeful for cupcakes!

Cupcake Ingredients (Makes 12 large cupcakes):

3 eggs, 1/2 cup (125g) softened butter (Trust me, this recipe works so much better if the butter is soft), 3/4 cup castor sugar (superfine sugar), 1/2 cup whole milk, 1 and 1/2 cups self-raising flour (self rising), 1/2 cup custard powder, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract. 2 tablespoons cocoa and 1 extra tablespoon of milk put aside.

*Note – this mixture doubles easily to make 24 cupcakes. The cupcakes will also freeze well, uniced.


Preheat your oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit). Place twelve paper cupcake liners into a cupcake or muffin tin. (This helps them to hold their shape.)

Sift flour and custard powder together. Dump all ingredients except cocoa and extra milk into a large mixing bowl. Beat on low speed until combined and then  on medium speed for four minutes or until the mixture changes colour and becomes thick and creamy.

Spoon 1/2 of the mixture into the first 6 papers. Now add the cocoa and extra milk to the cake batter, mix well and then add to final six cupcake papers.

Bake in oven for twelve to fifteen minutes, depending on speed of oven. Cupcake will spring back when lightly pressed in centre. Do not overbake or they will become dry.

Cool cakes and remove paper liners.


choc batter


Strawberry and Cream Cupcakes:

Ingredients – one cup of slightly sweetened whipped cream, strawberry jam, fresh strawberries.

*Note: I used 1 cup of thickened cream, a teaspoon of vanilla essence and 2 tablespoons of icing sugar to make 2 cups of slightly sweetened whipped cream. If you’re a cream nut feel free to use a little more.

Method – Using a sharp knife cut a circular piece from the top of each cake. Then remove some of the core of the cake to make a well, being careful not to go too close to the edge or to break the cake.


Dice two or three strawberries (more if very small) and add to half a cup of cream. Mix well. Add a small spoonful of jam to the bottom of each cupcake well. Then fill to just above the top each cake with the strawberry cream filling.


Finish each cake by adding the remaining whipped cream. Cut the small circular piece of cake into two wings, press into cream and add a few slices of strawberry to garnish.


Choc-Caramel Deluxe Cupcakes:

Ingredients – one cup of slightly sweetened whipped cream, one can of Top ‘n’ Fill Caramel, one to two tablespoons of soft brown sugar, fresh raspberries

Method – Prepare cupcakes as above, by slicing off tops and making well. Fill well with caramel. Add brown sugar to whipped cream and beat well until combined. Top cakes with whipped cream, the cupcake lid cut into ‘wings’ and a fresh raspberry. If inclined, sprinkle a little extra brown sugar on cream.

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Easy Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

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“I’ve never met a problem a proper cupcake couldn’t fix.” 
~ Sarah Ockler, Bittersweet


Don’t you love Bert’s sweet little face sneakily captured in the cupcake photo above? He was seriously hoping that I would turn my back for just one moment…

That’s how much everyone wants one of these cupcakes!

This is a standard, moist vanilla cupcake that will decorate well. The icing(frosting) I made for these cupcakes has a sweet caramel-maple flavour which is rich without being overpowering. Best eaten within 24 hours of making, and they do freeze well too, but honestly, they won’t last that long.

Ingredients to make 12:

125g softened butter, 1 teaspoon of vanilla paste or essence, 3/4 cup caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 1 and 1/2 cups self raising flour (self-rising for my USA friends or make with these ratios: for every 1 cup of all purpose flour add 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1/2 cup milk


*Preheat oven. For a smooth top cook at 190 degrees celcius (375 degrees fahrenheit) and for a peaked top cook at 210 degrees celcius (410 degrees fahrenheit)

Line a 12 hole cupcake tin with cupcake papers.

Beat the butter, sugar and vanilla together until the mixture is pale, light and creamy in texture. The sugar should be completely dissolved. Make sure your butter is soft, or this step will take all day.

Now add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Lastly, fold in (that means add to the mixture and gently mix with a spoon, rather than beating madly) half the flour and milk, and the repeat with the other half of the flour and milk. Folding the flour and milk in gently will keep the mixture light and fluffy.

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Spoon the mixture into the cupcake papers.

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Bake for 15 minutes. Lick spoon and bowl clean while you wait. (The best bit!)

Remove from heat and cool cupcakes on a wire rack.

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Brown Sugar and Maple Syrup Buttercream Icing Recipe


125 grams softened butter, 2 cups of icing sugar, 2 tablespoons of maple syrup, 1/3 cup of soft brown sugar, 2 tablespoons of boiling water.

Note: For a plain vanilla icing, omit brown sugar and maple syrup and add one teaspoon of vanilla and a few drops of colour of your choice.


Beat butter until whipped and then gradually add icing sugar, 1/2 a cup at a time, beating well after each addition. If mixture becomes too thick, add up to a tablespoon of boiling water, beat well and then continue adding sugar. You may not need all of the boiling water. When the icing is very thick and creamy add the brown sugar and maple syrup and continue to beat until icing is very thick and smooth. Spoon or pipe onto top of cupcakes.

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You can also decorate these cupcakes with small candy decorations, sprinkles, nuts or choc-chips. We used pirate decorations today, because… well… PIRATES! 🙂

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Easy Reindeer Cupcakes Recipe

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“Reindeer are flight and motion and magic in moonlight beyond all recalling, made of Christmas dreams, spun from a place beyond all fearing.” ~ Anon


A dear girlfriend and her young daughter dropped by a few days ago for a cuppa and a chat. It was a perfect opportunity to try out this Christmassy recipe.

The fun of this recipe isn’t just in the eating! It’s a great activity to keep the kids occupied while grown-ups chat, or for a bit of family togetherness to get you in the Christmas Spirit.

You can make the cupcake batter from scratch using the recipe below, or use your favourite packet mix if that’s more convenient. You could also use ready-made icing/frosting.

Make the cupcakes at least two hours in advance so that they are cool before you ice them.

Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

Ingredients: 1/2 cup (125g)  softened butter, 1 tsp vanilla essence, 3/4 cup caster sugar, 2 eggs, 1 and 1/2 cups sifted Self Raising Flour  (self-rising for my USA friends or for every cup use 1 cup of all-purpose flour, 1 and 1/2 x teaspoons baking powder and a pinch of salt, sifted together), 1/2 cup milk, *Optional – 1/2 cup of small candy-coated chocolate sprinkles or mini M and M’s.


Preheat oven to moderate (160 degree celcius fan-forced or 180 degree oven – 350 degrees fahrenheit). Place paper cupcake liners into a 12 hole capacity muffin/cupcake tin.

Cream butter, vanilla and sugar in small bowl using an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well until combined. Stir in half the sifted flour and half the milk, then stir in remaining flour and milk.

If you’re using the sprinkles add them in now for a fun surprise in your cooked cupcakes. Fold through gently. After the cupcakes have baked, when you break them open they will be brightly flecked with colour!

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Pour mixture into 12 patty pans (in a 12-hole muffin tray.)

Bake for 15 minutes in a moderate oven. Cakes should spring back when pressed lightly in the centre. If not quite done cook a minute or two more.

Remove from oven and leave in tray five minutes and then remove and cool on wire rack.

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Chocolate Icing

Ingredients: 1/2 cup softened butter, 1 and 1/2 cups icing sugar, 2 to 3 heaped tablespoons of cocoa (use less cocoa for a milder chocolate taste), 4 tablespoons of milk


Sift icing sugar and cocoa into a bowl and add softened butter. Beat on low speed to begin, adding a little milk gradually. Then increase speed to medium and beat well, adding more milk if icing is too thick.

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Pretzels; Jaffas or red smarties or M and M’s for the nose; an assortment of other lollies for mouths, ears, eyes and general decorations. *Optional –  an icing/frosting pen or tube for making eyes, mouths and other cool designs

Assemble the cupcakes by spreading with icing, and then decorate to make little reindeer faces. The decorations must be placed onto the icing when it is still wet so that they stick!

For a group activity leave arrange the un-iced cakes on a platter, and place the decorations in some small bowls. Provide some butter knives or spoons for spreading the icing and cutting any sweets if needed.

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Sip tea or cold drinks, ice your cupcakes, chat happily and then feast on the reindeer artworks! Some of them may look like very strange reindeer – but that’s all part of the fun. 🙂

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Cupcakes will keep for four days, but are best eaten on the day they are made. They also make lovely party gifts.

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