I made these for the Iron Cupcake competition in Leeds for the theme “summer berries”. I took the idea of the traditional Eton Mess (fresh cream, meringue and strawberries) but used buttercream. The inside of the cupcake is stripy, which is a nice surprise when you bite into it!
60mins – Prep time: 40 mins – Cooking time: 20mins
- 4oz golden caster sugar
- 4oz margarine (I use Stork)
- 4oz self raising flour
- 2 medium/large eggs (get them out of the fridge beforehand to warm up to room temp)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste/3 drops vanilla essence
- Red food colouring
- 100g butter
- 220g icing sugar
- 1tsp vanilla essence
- 15 strawberries
- 2 tbsp soft brown sugar
- Meringues – you could make your own or you could just use one of those meringue nests you can buy from the supermarket
- Strawberries to decorate – try to use the smaller ones for decoration and larger ones for the sauce
Oven temp: 160°C/320°F
- Before making the cupcakes, make the strawberry sauce. Remove stalks and slice strawberries into about 6 pieces each. Place them in a saucepan with the sugar and simmer over a gentle heat for about 10 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. The strawberries will go very slushy.
- Use a masher to gently squash all the strawberries and simmer with the lid off for another 2 minutes.
- Run the sauce through a sieve to remove all the pips and pulp and leave to cool.
- Lay out cupcake cases. If you use silicon you can lay them on a flat baking tray, if you use paper ones, I advise using a bun tin to make the cakes hold their shape
- Whisk the eggs and sugar for at least 4 minutes with an electric hand whisk and beat air into the mix so it fluffs up.
- Bit by bit, sieve in the flour and baking powder and add bits of butter, whisking the mixture each time to ensure a smooth texture, until fully mixed, then mix in the vanilla paste or essence.
- Divide the mixture evenly into two bowls. In one bowl mix 4tbsp of strawberry sauce. Add red food colouring the batter is strongly coloured.
- Take a spoonful of the white batter and spoon into the middle. Gently make a well with the base of a spoon in the middle. Repeat with pink mixture. Fill cupcake cases about two thirds full.
- Put the cupcakes into the oven for 15-20 minutes until they feel spongey and the tops have got some colour.
- Once out of the oven, place on a wire cooling rack to cool down
- To make the buttercream, cream the butter on its own for a couple of minutes using an electric hand mixer, then add the icing sugar and vanilla essence and beat until light and fluffy.
- Make a cupcake swirl, but after you’ve scooped the buttercream on, gently drip on strawberry sauce so that it gently makes a strawberry ripple in buttercream.
Need help learning the swirl? Watch this fab video from youtube
- Take your meringues and crumble it – I made my meringue quite fine to show off the sauce underneath but you can make it as chunky as you like. Sprinkle over the top of the buttercream.
- Garnish with a strawberry, then try not to eat them all at once!