Fiona Cairns' gaint coffee cupcake recipe

(38 ratings)

Fiona Cairns says: 'Instead of making a batch of cupcakes, why not confuse everyone and make a monster!' Learn how to make a classic cake into a giant cupcake with Fiona's recipe

Preparation Time20 mins
Cooking Time35 mins
Total Time55 mins

Fiona Cairns says: 'Instead of making a batch of cupcakes, why not confuse everyone and make a monster!' Learn how to turn a classic cake into a giant cupcake with Fiona's giant coffee cupcake recipe. This recipe serves 10-12 people - ideal for parties.


  • 225g unsalted butter, softened
  • 60g hazelnuts, skinned
  • 225g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 225g light muscovado sugar
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 25ml very strong coffee


  • 300g unsalted butter
  • 400g icing sugar sifted
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract or seeds of 1 vanilla pod


  • nylon piping bag with large star nozzle
  • 2 x 125g packets milk or dark
  • chocolate fingers
  • 20 chocolate-covered coffee beans




  1. Preheat the oven to 180ºC/fan 170ºC/350ºF/gas mark 4. Lightly butter 2 x 15cm diameter, 7cm deep, round tins and line the bases with baking parchment.
  2. Scatter the nuts for the cake on to a baking sheet and roast in the oven for about 5 mins, shaking once and watching carefully to make sure they don’t burn, then remove from the oven and chop.
  3. Sift together the flour and baking powder into a bowl and set aside. In an electric mixer, or in a large bowl with an electric whisk, cream together the butter and sugar for about 5 minutes until very ligh and fluffy. Add the eggs very slowly, with the mixer or whisk running, adding 1 tbsp of the flour during the process to prevent curdling. Finally, using a large spoon or spatula, fold in the remaining flour, the nuts, milk and coffee until well blended.
  4. Pour the batter into the tins and bake for 30-35 minutes. Leave to cool completely, then put it in the freezer for about an hour (this makes it much easier to shape).
  5. Meanwhile to make the buttercream, beat the butter in an electric mixer until really pale and fluffy. Add your vanilla extract or seeds and the icing sugar and beat for at least 5 minutes, until light and creamy.
  6. Take 1 cake and, with a very sharp knife, cut down the sides at an angle so that it is narrower at the base (to mimic a cupcake case). Slice the cake horizontally and fill with buttercream, spreading it on the top surface too. Take the second cake and place on top. Shape it into a dome, then slice it in half horizontally and fill with buttercream.
  7. Spread a layer of buttercream around the sides of the bottom cake and put the remainder into the piping bag fitted with the star nozzle. Ice the top just as you would a small cupcake.
  8. Arrange the chocolate fingers vertically all around the sides of the cake for the 'cupcake case', pressing them into the buttercream. Sprinkle the chocolate coffee beans over the cake.
Top Tip for making Fiona Cairns' gaint coffee cupcake

You can buy special moulds to make baking giant cupcakes easier. Check out our step-by-step video recipe to see how it's done

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