Cupcake crazy: The small cakes that have made a big impression

Cupcakes are, quite literally, on the rise.

The cupcake phenomenon has exploded into modern cuisine culture in recent years, helped along by famous TV chefs like Nigella Lawson and boutique cupcake shops such as the Hummingbird Bakery.




Cupcakes first made steps toward baking popularity in the United States where they first made a revolutionary mark for the time they saved in the kitchen.

They can be traced as far back as 1796, when a recipe in American Cookery, by Amelia Simmons, suggested that these convenient cakes could be 'baked in small cups'.

This not only meant less cooking time, but the advantage of using a cup as a simple measuring device to weigh out the ingredients in traditional recipes.

However, cupcakes have come a long way from simple sponges – now encompassing a wide variety of ingredients, shapes, sizes and decorations.

To celebrate National Cupcake Week, we've put together a selection of recipes for delicious baked treats for you to whip up a storm in the kitchen:

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chilli Chocolate Sauce

Savoury Seed, Carrot and Thyme Muffins

Peanut butter and jam cupcakes

Very-Berry Whoopie Pie

Keep baking cupcakes as simple as its origin with these handy cupcake-making tips:

- To get even-sized cakes every time without the use of a cup, simply measure the batter for each paper case with an easy ice-cream scoop.

- For perfect piping use a bag with a metal nozzle and always start the swirl from the middle.

- Add milk to your butter cream icing to stop it going lumpy and being too sweet.

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