These cakes just say autumn to me (not literally, that would be mental. And would I still have the heart to eat them if they could talk? I’m so glad they can’t talk.). I think it’s the warm, fudgey flavours of the toffee and the autumnal orange of the fudge and icing, and sticky toffee anything is just great comfort food. While this cake is still my favourite of any sticky toffee dessert, these cupcakes are delicious and definitely worth a make.
I have given the original quantites for the icing ingredients below. However, I only made three-quarters of this and still had some leftover, so you may want to reduce the icing as well.
The blog has turned into a bit of a baking blog recently. I promise there’s some savoury stuff coming up!
Sticky toffee cupcakes
Adapted from Hummingbird Bakery Cake Days by Tarek Malouf
For the cake:
180g (6.5 oz) chopped, pitted dates
180ml (6.5 fl oz) boiling water
80g (3 oz) butter, softened (as always, I used lightly salted, recipe says unsalted with 0.25tsp salt)
150g (5.5 oz) soft light brown sugar
2 large eggs
180g (6.5 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
0.5 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 tsp vanilla extract
For the icing:
160g (5.5 oz) butter, softened (I used 120g)
500g (1lb 2oz) golden icing (confectioner’s) sugar (I used 375g) you can use white icing sugar if you can’t find golden
50ml (1.75 fl oz) milk (I used 37.5ml)
100g (3.5 oz) dulce de leche or tinned caramel (I used 75g)
mini chunks of vanilla fudge, to decorate
Put the chopped dates in a bowl and cover with the boiling water. Leave to soak for around 20 minutes.
While the dates are soaking, preheat the oven to 190C (375F)/ 170C (340F) fan oven/Gas mark 5 and line a 12-hole muffin tin with cases. You will want another tin and some extra cases in case your mixture makes more than 12 (mine made 16).
Using a hand-held electric whisk, beat together the butter and sugar until soft and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and mix well after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to ensure that all ingredients are well mixed in.
Sift the flour, baking powder and bicarb into a separate bowl and add to the butter/sugar/egg mixture in three batches, mixing until just combined on a low speed after each addition. Once all the flour has been added, whisk the mixture until smooth. Add the vanilla to the date mixture and then stir this into the cake mixture by hand.
Fill the cupcake cases about two-thirds full of mixture. Bake for 16-20 minutes (mine took 16 minutes in a 170C fan oven). Allow the cakes to cool in the tin for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling, make the icing. With the whisk turned off, mix together the butter and icing sugar (if you turn it on you will be covered in icing sugar!). Scrape the butter to the middle of the bowl and whisk briefly. Turn the whisk off and scrape a little icing sugar towards the centre too, then whisk this in. Continue in a half-arsed manner until the sugar and butter is somewhat combined, then add the milk and happily whisk away until the ingredients are mixed nicely and you have a smooth icing. Add the dulce de leche and whisk until the caramel is evenly distributed throughout the icing. Ice the cupcakes, sprinkle with the fudge pieces and stuff your face.