It’s Monday. It’s my first week without public holidays for a while. Someone has been drilling incessantly all morning right outside my flat. My long-awaited Amazon delivery is missing a book. Already my plan to approach this week with a positive attitude is under threat. What better way to bring back the upbeat feelings than with cake? And pretty little boozy cakes at that!
I first tried these at a Cocktail Cupcakes class I attended last year – they’re from the Hummingbird Bakery’s cocktail range. It was nice to make them all by myself this time. The strawberry pieces are really fresh and summery, the batter is lovely and light, and the rum lends it all a refreshing edge. Perfect for celebrations, or for combatting the Monday Blues!
Strawberry Daiquiri Cupcakes
100ml white rum
170g caster sugar
150g strawberries, hulled and chopped
40g butter, softened
120g plain flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
1 batch icing: 80g butter, 250g icing sugar, 1/2 tsp lime zest, 4 tsp milk
1. Put the rum and 30g of the sugar into a pan and bring to the boil. Allow it to reduce by half, then set aside to cool slighty. (Mine simply burst into flames – happily, my cool-headed boyfriend let it burn out and all was fine. Should this happen to you too, just remove it from the heat and wait for it to burn out.) Place the chopped strawberries in a bowl, and pour over the rum reduction. Leave to soak for about 40 minutes.
2. Preheat the oven to 170C and line a muffin tray with paper cases.
3. Place the butter, remaining sugar, flour, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Use a hand-held mixer to whisk them together until they resemble breadcrumbs.
4. In a jug, whisk the egg, milk and vanilla together. With the electric whisk still running on low, gradually pour the liquids into the dry mixture until it makes a nice glossy batter.
5. Remove the strawberry pieces from the rum, but reserve the liquid – you’ll need it later. Place a few pieces of strawberry in each paper case.
6. Top up with batter, about two thirds full – mine rose quite a bit actually, so definitely don’t overdo it! Bake for about 20 minutes until light golden-brown.
7. Remove to a wire rack. While they are still warm, spread about 1/2 teaspoon of the rum reduction over each cake (don’t discard the rest of the reduction yet, you still need it for the icing). Leave to cool completely.
8. Make the icing: use your electric whisk again to beat together the butter, icing sugar and lime zest. Separately, mix together the milk with 4 teaspoons of the rum reduction, and pour it into the butter mixture with the whisk still running on low speed. Beat until smooth and glossy, then ice the cooled cakes. Top with any decoration you want – a piece of strawberry would look very fetching!