the cherry on top

Baking is such a simple pleasure of mine, but it has been far too long since I baked some sweet delights. Over the past few weeks I have been consumed by The Great British Bake Off with utmost glee and hungriness, and it made me determined to done my Cath Kidston apron again and get back into the kitchen. Mary Berry is pretty much my baking idol – she makes everything look so delectable, with the gentleness of touches, and seems to just love the comfort of home baking. Her elegant Battenburg looks like a dream.
Rob, knowing my adoration for Mary Berry and all things sweet and baked, bought me the ‘How to Bake’ book, which I have pretty much embraced as my baking bible. It has all the recipes featured on the shows, some simple, others a tad more technical. I have devoured it from cover to cover and wanted to give one of the recipes a go today.
I therefore present you with my Cherry Bakewell Cupcakes.

Ingredients: (makes 12)

150g unsalted butter, 150g caster sugar, 100g self-raising flour

3 eggs, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 60g ground almonds

1 tablespoon milk, raspberry jam

250g icing sugar, lemon juice, glacé cherries

Preheat oven to 190c/375f/gas mark 5

Firstly make sure you butter is nice and soft and then beat it in the food mixer until it is fluffy and creamy. Next add in the sugar, flour, baking powder, ground almonds, milk and eggs and combine together until you have a light, smooth mixture.

Place your cupcake cases in the baking tray and evenly divide the mixture between them, smoothing the mixture flat with your fingertip. Bake for 15-20 minutes until golden brown and firm to the touch. You can test your cupcakes are baked completely by skewing the middle. The skewer will come out clean once the cakes are done.

Let your cupcakes cool completely and then take an apple corer and gently remove the middle of the cakes, about two-thirds of the way down. The soft sponge centres make a perfect appetiser whilst you finish off making your cupcakes! 

Take 4 tablespoons or so of the jam and stir it separately in a bowl. This will make the mixture looser so it runs sweetly into the holes. Use a teaspoon to fill the centres up almost to the top, but be careful not to overfill them otherwise the jam will mix in with the icing.

To make up the icing, sift the icing sugar into a bowl and add the lemon juice to make a thick, yet spoonable consistency. You could forego the lemon and just make the icing plain by adding small measures of water until the desired thickness is reached. Dollop the icing into the centre of the cupcakes and gently ease the mixture to the sides until the whole surface is coated. Let the icing harden for a few minutes before popping on the crowning jewel, the glacé cherry.

And there we have it, a perfect Sunday afternoon treat; quick, easy yet wonderfully indulgent.

Just as a little side note, it is the final few hours to place your votes in the Cosmo Blog Awards. I am honoured to be nominated in the Established Beauty Blog category. If you did wish to vote for Pearls & Poodles then you can just click here, enter your email address and then go to the Established Beauty Blog category. That’s where you’ll find me. 

Thank you to anyone who does vote for me, but as cliched as it may sound, I am just chuffed to be nominated and nestled amongst many other super duper blogs. The results are going to be announced at an evening do in London on October 26th, so I had better find me a dapper dress for the occasion.


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  1. 16th October 2011 / 5:29 pm

    They look sooo yummy!!! x

  2. 16th October 2011 / 5:31 pm

    One word… YUM! x

  3. 16th October 2011 / 5:31 pm

    milly, you are amazing!! feeling so inspired to go and bake now! xx

  4. 16th October 2011 / 5:34 pm

    I love these. Millie you're so talented. It's weird because I hate jam but these look delicious.

  5. 16th October 2011 / 5:41 pm

    I really want to go and make these now, they look delish! xx

  6. 16th October 2011 / 5:45 pm

    these look great! Love how the icing reaches the edges of the case perfectly, definitely something I couldn't do! ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  7. 16th October 2011 / 5:55 pm

    I can't believe how neat you've done each one.If that was me there would be icing dripping down the side of the case ๐Ÿ™‚

  8. 16th October 2011 / 5:58 pm

    Omg they look so nice, mmmm.

    Holli x

  9. 16th October 2011 / 6:05 pm

    These look so yummy! And your photos of them are just perfect. x

  10. 16th October 2011 / 6:12 pm

    these look soo scrumptious, i havent baked in a while actually.. i may try out your recipe this week ๐Ÿ˜‰ x

  11. 16th October 2011 / 6:27 pm

    I think I have been oogling this blog post for the past 20mins – they seriously do look delicious – yum :).

    Thanks for blogging ๐Ÿ™‚

  12. 16th October 2011 / 6:48 pm

    the cupocakes look divine!
    Krissy xoxo

  13. 16th October 2011 / 6:51 pm

    Wow, they look soooo delicious! xx

  14. 16th October 2011 / 6:55 pm

    These look so good! I like cakes like this where there isn't a mountain of butter cream on the top. I think I've gone off butter cream!!! I need to start making cake with good old traditional icing – i'm going to get the boyf to bake me this. He can't bake, like!! but i'm going to his house next week for a little break from work, and i'm going to show him this recipe of yours and we'll see how the cakes turn out!! (probably no where near as neat as yours) xxxx

  15. 16th October 2011 / 7:42 pm

    They look yummy! XOXO

  16. 16th October 2011 / 7:45 pm

    Ooooooh YUM! They look fantastic Milly & I'm sure they taste just as good! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Love Aysh xoxo

  17. 16th October 2011 / 7:47 pm

    oh wow they look soo good! xx

  18. 16th October 2011 / 7:52 pm

    They look great!
    I watched The Great British Bake Off religiously! The photos look really good!

  19. 16th October 2011 / 8:45 pm

    These cakes look amazing, I love GBBO! X

  20. 16th October 2011 / 9:02 pm

    They look so yummy!

  21. 16th October 2011 / 9:25 pm

    These look so yummy! I will have to try and make these, but let's just say baking is one of those skills i just don't have haha ๐Ÿ™‚ xx

  22. 16th October 2011 / 10:16 pm

    Oh wow!! I didn't know they did a book for the Great British Bake Off – definitely need to get my hands on this! Your cooking looks great ๐Ÿ™‚

  23. 17th October 2011 / 4:45 am

    Another one to print out for my Mum ๐Ÿ˜‰ xx

  24. 17th October 2011 / 11:38 am

    These look so yummy! I think I might try them on my day off ๐Ÿ™‚ Didn't think to do cherry bakewells before, and I love them so much.

    You get your cakes so flat…mine always seem to rise into a bit of mountain?! haha.


  25. 17th October 2011 / 11:42 am

    You have a talent – they look incredible! I think everyone loved that show, I was hooked and pretty sure I can't bake to save my life;)

    Caz x

  26. 17th October 2011 / 9:45 pm

    They look so delicious! xx

  27. 18th October 2011 / 12:48 am

    Pretty and so delicious looking. I WANT!

  28. 18th October 2011 / 9:39 am

    I'd never thought of using an apple corer for things like that, I'm definitely going to try that pronto! Not only do they look amazing from the outside, but really cute once you bite into them. xoxo

  29. 18th October 2011 / 1:55 pm

    OMG YUM!!! :O i need some hehe
    ill eat them all!! :O hehe
    check out Triple F and leave a comment (Fivefridayfavourites)

  30. 18th October 2011 / 6:42 pm

    These look amazing, I'm definitely going to give them a go! x

  31. 19th October 2011 / 3:16 pm

    MM your blog always makes my hungry! Think I will be calling into the supermarket on my way home from work to get some baking ingredients. These look DELICIOUS x