Bonfire cupcakes recipe

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makes: 12
Skill: easy
Cost: cheap
Prep: 30 min
Cooking: 25 min
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  • Bonfire cupcakes are the perfect treat to make with the kids on the 5th of November.

    These bonfire cupcakes are made with a buttercream flame and chocolate sponge. Needless to say these cupcakes are totally delicious. Our mummy blogger Anneliese says: ‘Bonfire Night is a time to pull on the hats and gloves, huddle outside with loved ones and to warm ourselves beside a crackling bonfire. I love this time of year, as it’s the last opportunity where we eat outside before winter takes hold. We indulge in warming pumpkin soup and buttery jacket potatoes wrapped in foil. Despite all the filling fare, there’s always room reserved for cake! We make these super easy but very effective bonfire cupcakes on the 5th November, year after year. My elder son loves to sit and watch the glow of the bonfire while tucking into his very own edible version!’


    • For the cupcakes:
    • 150g unsalted butter, softened
    • 150g caster sugar
    • 175g self-raising flour
    • 1 tsp baking powder
    • 25g cocoa powder
    • 3 large eggs
    • 1 tbsp milk
    • Grated zest from one orange
    • For the buttercream:
    • 110g unsalted butter, softened
    • 440g icing sugar
    • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
    • Red and orange food colouring
    • You will also need:
    • 1 box of chocolate orange Matchmakers


    • To make this cupcake recipe, preheat oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4. Dig out your muffin baking pan and find 12 muffin-sized paper cases. We used brown paper cases to match the brown of the chocolate cupcakes but you can use any colour you wish.

    • While you gather up all the required ingredients, your child can place the paper cases into the muffin pan.

    • To keep things simple for small children, this is an all in one recipe; it doesn’t matter which order you add your cupcake ingredients to the mixing bowl, just make sure they all go in! Your child can help weigh each ingredient into the bowl and even crack the eggs – if you’re feeling brave.

    • Once all the cupcake ingredients are in the mixing bowl, it is time to get mixing. You can use a wooden spoon if your butter is super soft but it is far quicker to use an electric whisk. Whichever method you use, continue to mix until all the ingredients are combined and the mixture is smooth.

    • Your little helper can take over at this point and spoon the mixture into the awaiting paper cases. There is a generous amount of mixture, so each case can be filled to about half way.

    • Time to grab your oven gloves and carefully transfer the muffin pan to the preheated oven. Leave to cook for approximately 20-25 minutes. While the cakes are cooking you can get on and make the buttercream.

    • Place the softened butter into a mixing bowl and give it a whisk to break it up and soften it even further. This time it really is best to use an electric whisk!

    • Carefully weigh the icing sugar into another bowl. To avoid a mess of avalanche proportions, start off by sifting just a small amount of icing sugar into the mixing bowl to join the butter; the equivalent of about 2tbsps. Whisk the icing sugar into the butter. Carry on adding the icing sugar in stages and whisking after each addition. You can add a little more icing sugar after the initial whisk. It does take a few minutes but it is far less messy if you add it gradually!

    • Once all the icing sugar has been incorporated into the butter, it’s time to pour in the orange juice. Again add it slowly as you may need a little more or less to bring the buttercream together. Leave to one side for a moment.

    • Take the cooked cupcakes from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack. In the meantime you can get the buttercream ready for piping.

    • When it comes to adding colour to the buttercream you can opt for two different looks. For a more subtle appearance you can add stripes of colour. To do this take a cocktail stick, dip it into the red food colouring and draw a line down the inside of a piping bag. Then do the same with the orange food colouring, but draw the line down the other side of the piping bag. Add the buttercream to your piping bag (don’t forget to add a nozzle!) and ask your child to pipe the ‘flame’. All they need do is hold the piping bag above the middle of the cupcake and squeeze; they will create a tall flame.

    • To create a full-on colourful flame you will need two small bowls. Divide the buttercream between the two bowls and simply stir in the food colouring, so you are left with one bowl of orange buttercream and one red. Fill the piping bag with alternate teaspoonfuls of each. Use the same aim and squeeze ‘technique’!

    • Carefully break the Matchmakers in half and place around the ‘flame’ – eating any leftovers as you go, of course – I can’t resist these chocolaty crispy treats and may have scoffed more than my fair share!

    • Then it’s time to head outside to enjoy bonfire night and tuck into your delicious cupcakes. Enjoy!

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