Raspberry Ripple and Basil Cupcakes

This week I’ve been in my kitchen celebrating the arrival of my shiny new K-Mix – the very generous first prize from Kenwood for my Polish Spiced Christmas Cookies for Let’s Make Christmas hosted by Vanessa Kimbell. I am a very lucky girl indeed and I was super-shocked to hear that I had won out of one hundred and ten entries! Gifts were exchanged and prizes had been won at the Fortnum & Mason Gift Swap, but Vanessa had also opened the competition up to all by hosting an on-line event to run along side. You can see all the entries in Vanessa’s Ultimate Guide to making your own gifts here. Seriously, you would actually have to start making your Christmas gifts now if you even wanted to scratch the surface of all the edible treats that were on offer, including Jams, Pickles and Preserves, Drinkable Gifts, Sweet Gifts and Baked Goods. I was half hoping for a Let’s Make Valentine’s Day…but I think we might have to wait until Easter for another gift-themed blog event. 

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, I decided to make my inagural ‘K-Mix’ a batch of cupcakes. A little pot of basil sat staring at me on my kitchen windowsill and although I know it’s not a logical combination, I really wanted to use some of it to flavour my cupcakes. My thinking (hear me out) was that during the summer, basil and strawberries work really well together, so perhaps raspberries and basil would do too. I then started thinking of ice-cream and of how we love a drizzle of raspberry sauce and that led me to think that raspberry ripple cupcakes would be a lovely way of cheering us all up. Can anyone follow my thinking?! 

So, although British raspberries are not in season, I usually have some homemade raspberry coulis stored in the freezer, from the lazy, hazy summer or even late autumnal days gone by, but really, any good quality shop-bought raspberry coulis will work here.

As for the basil, just use a tiny amount, chop a few leaves and add them to the buttercream, or if you are not feeling brave enough, just add a spring for decoration along with your raspberry drizzle. 

K-Mix v Kitchenaid

The K-Mix is a dream to use and it is a very welcome addition to my kitchen. Having used a Kitchenaid Artisan stand mixer before, I was able to compare the two. I noticed that the K-Mix is a lot smoother when you first switch it on to mix, no sudden burst, no clouds of flour or icing sugar in your face. You get a K-Beater, dough hook and a whisk and a splash-guard that seems to fit onto the actual machine a lot better than the splash-guard on the Kitchenaid. There is a little lid you can lift on the K-Mix splash-guard so that you can add icing sugar in spoon by spoon and when making buttercream, the whole process seemed a lot cleaner and smoother. There is also a fold function, which is very handy as it means that the K-Mix will very gently fold your flour in, rather than mixing it in and causing the gluten to over-work. All in all,the K-Mix also seems to be a lot more streamlined, meaning that there are less nooks and crannies to clean. I am seriously impressed and were I to be in the position of looking to buy a stand mixer, I would have to think very carefully about my choice. The K-Mix is also British made…you can see how the ticks are stacking up in all the boxes.  

Thank you to Penny at Kenwood UK for arranging delivery of my prize and to Vanessa Kimbell. 

Raspberry Ripple and Basil Cupcakes

Serves 12
Prep time 15 minutes
Cook time 15 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Allergy Milk, Wheat
Meal type Dessert
Source Pre-preparable
Website BBC Good Food

Ingredients

  • 3 eggs, large, free-range
  • 150ml Plain, natural yoghurt
  • 175g Melted, Unsalted butter
  • 175g vanilla sugar (or use caster sugar and the seeds of a vanilla pod/teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 180g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 60g ground almonds
  • pinch salt
  • 2 basil leaves (optional, finely chopped)
  • 400g icing sugar
  • 200g unsalted butter (at room temperature)
  • 2 basil leaves (optional, finely chopped)
  • 4 heaped tablespoons Raspberry Coulis (e.g Sainsbury's Taste the Difference)
  • 12 Basil (Small leaves to garnish)

Note

The cupcakes will last for up to three days (un-iced) in an airtight container. Once iced, store the cupcakes in the fridge. Ours didn't last that long!

Directions

Step 1
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius and double-line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake cases.
Step 2
Mix the yoghurt, eggs and melted (cooled) butter in a jug or bowl.
Step 3
Sift the vanilla sugar, flour and baking powder into a separate bowl, add the ground almonds and a pinch of salt. Mix well. Pour in the yoghurt, eggs and butter into the dry ingredients and mix together until smooth. If using, add in the chopped basil leaves and mix.
Step 4
Use an ice-cream scoop or a tablespoon to fill your cupcake cases until about 2/3 full.
Step 5
Bake in your pre-heated over for 15-17 minutes, a stick should come out clean when they are cooked. Leave the cupcakes to cool for a few seconds in the tin, then take them out and leave them to cool on a rack.
Step 6
To make the buttercream, beat the 200g butter in a bowl until pale and then gradually add the icing sugar in small amounts. If the buttercream is a little thick, add a tablespoon of milk or water and beat again. Add the chopped basil leaves, if using.
Step 7
Put the buttercream into a piping bag and pipe a swirl onto each cupcake - or just dollop on!
Step 8
Using a teaspoon, carefully drizzle over a little bit of the raspberry coulis over the top of each cupcake. Add a sprig of basil to decorate.

I’m also sending these pretty cupcakes over to Kate at What Kate Baked who is hosting the February Tea Time Treats Challenge (alternating with Karen from Lavender and Lovage) - with the appropriate theme of Romance!

The cupcake recipe I used is adapted from a BBC Good Food recipe for Rose Cupcakes (which would also be romantic) – regularly cited as being one of the best cupcake recipes around, made with yoghurt to keep the crumb lovely and soft. 

Cupcakes are a perfect rainy (or in our case, snowy) day activity. As usual, I was battling with the stealing little hands who were as ever, eager to pinch these lovely little morsels as soon I had taken a few snaps…  

Tea Time Treats Blogging Challenge

Happy Valentine’s Day! Are you a die-hard romantic or a Valentine’s Day sceptic?!

Where do you ‘stand’ on the K-Mix versus Kitchenaid debate?!

Comments

  1. says

    These are beautiful! I love the ripple – so pretty for Valentine’s Day but simple and delicious enough to please the men. Wonderful recipe. And as for the mixers? I have never been lucky enough to own a stand mixer :-(

    Happy Valentine’s Day, Ren! xo

    • Ren says

      Thank you Jamie. I can’t believe you don’t own a stand mixer with ALL the baking that you do!!

      Love cupcakes, always such a treat, I don’t make them often enough. They always make everything seem better!

      Have a wonderful weekend

      xx

  2. says

    I think Basil goes really well with soft fruit, so I’m sure I would enjoy those cup-cakes. They are contraband in our house though. Since my wife is diabetic we don’t normally eat sweet things. :-(

    • Ren says

      Mark, I seem to keep making things/offering giveaways that are contraband in your house! Sorry about that, will think of some nice seasonal, non-fish recipes soon for that lovely veg plot of yours :-)

  3. says

    I am lucky enough to have a very old green Kitchenaid so would always go with that as I know it lasts a lifetime. I have had it for a long time and it is a joy to use.
    Your cupcakes are a delight, love the ripple effect and agree with you that yoghurt is such a good idea in sponge recipes :-)

    • Ren says

      Thanks Laura, the BBC recipe I linked too is a real winner and they stay nice for a few days although they never last that long in our house!!

  4. Magnolia Verandah says

    Love your little cupcakes – lucky you took some photos before they disappeared. Must try yogurt in sponge recipes.

    • Ren says

      Ha ha, yes there are always little hands and fingers creeping in, moving things around! I am very used to taking photots very quickly!!

  5. says

    Congratulations, my dear, well deserved prize!
    I have a Kitchenaid classic, it was only £149 new so at that price, I didn’t worry about which to get.
    If I were looking again, I would take your comments, and price differences into account.
    The K Mix looks beautiful!

    • Ren says

      Wow Kavey, that’s a brilliant price, I think you can do so much more with them too, for example, with the dough hooks etc, I tend to only think about making cakes!! I quite like that there are lots of funky K-Mix colours now, like the stripey ones :-) But this baby blue one is very beautiful. I’m a very lucky girl to have won!

  6. says

    I love my K-Mix, and the fold function and clow start are fantastic.

    The other main difference is that when you open the top of the machine the K Aid keeps going, but the K Mix has an auto stop. Fantastic for not coating your kitchen with batter.

    The K mix does not have a beater blade, I am hoping that I can end that sentence with a yet, and there will be one soon.

    • Ren says

      Hi Helen, yes I like the slow-start function and the fold function – very clever. I don’t think I’ve noticed the auto-stop yet but good point. I’m sure I once saw a beater blade for a Kenwood? But in any case, it isn’t too bad to just use the platic soon they provide and give it a little scrape by hand. I found that the beater blade on the Kitchenaid was quite harsh when in use, so I think it knocks more air out…there are always pros and cons! Have a lovely weekend x

  7. says

    Beautiful Valentine’s cakes. Thanks for the Kmix/Kitchenaid comparison.I’m wanting to buy one of them and have been researching online. Your comparison is great and buying British is a great reason to get the K Mix.

  8. Ren says

    Hiya, just replied and the reply went missing! Claire who writes Things We Make (blog) did a very in-depth comparison. She is @ClaireTweet on Twitter so you could look up her posts too. Someone said that the Kenwood Chef was also worth looking into, but I haven’t compared the prices etc on those. Glad you like the post, thanks for commenting :-)

  9. says

    Congratulations on your awesome prize! The cupcakes look gorgeous – love the flavour combination and the photo with the little hand :) I already have a kitchenaid so won’t be investing in another mixer. The K-mix sounds really good and I’m getting mixer envy :)

    • Ren says

      Thank you so much, Ros. He he the little hand always makes me laugh. I set things out and they go missing!!! Glad you enjoy mixing with your stand mixer, hope you have an exciting colour?!

  10. says

    No ren .. not Lucky .. just brilliant ! Really .. your blog is fabulous, beautifully written and superb photo’s. Your recipes are lovely and I am utterly delighted that you won .. it was a tough competition!

    Well done !!

    xx

    • Ren says

      Aah thank you Vanessa and thank again to the folks at Kenwood UK for offering such a fabulous prize and to you for hosting.I really hope there is a Let’s Make Easter :-)

      • says

        I think Valentine cupeakcs are bteter than the actual size cakes because you can decorate them anyway you want. Small, sweet & lovely!

  11. Ren says

    Thank you Karen, it is a gorgeous prize and it will be very well used!

    Looking forward to seeing all the romantic tea time treats!

    Have a lovely weekend

    x

Trackbacks

  1. [...] It’s Valentine’s Day and the sweetest cakes that I saw whilst out and about this morning were simple chocolate cupcakes with a single gold-sprayed Rolo on top. I didn’t have time to make anything fancy and I haven’t baked cupcakes in a little while now, so I’m a little out of practice. However, baking always relaxes me and I am reminded of  how quick and fun it can be to make a quick batch at a fraction of the cost. Sometimes, simple best. You don’t have to get all fiddly and pipe the frosting, just take a reasonably flat knife and spread your topping over the top. If you fancy something a little different, try my Raspberry Ripple and Basil cupcakes instead. [...]

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