I have spent the last day of the holiday in the kitchen, filling the freezer with cozy food, cooking healthy lunch-box food and baking more cupcakes than I have friends and family. Just because I can. And the diet starts tomorrow. And I’m a big fat liar.

Anyway, the cupcakes. Because my oven is hopeless, previous attempts to bake cupcakes always ended up in (still edible) disaster: rows of burnt little sugar volcanoes just begging to be drowned in butter-cream and promptly disowned. So let’s put it this way: mine were never the cakes the Mommy’s cooed over at school bake sales, and while I know the bad workwoman always blames her tools, this time the tools were to blame so lets leave it at that.

And then along came the mini cupcake maker, and life became a fairy cake fest and all thoughts of low carb reducing plans went out of the window and many a happy hour was given over to hunting for the kind of basic  recipe that produced a light and fluffy sponge,  with bits of this and sprinkles of that to tickle visting cake eaters fancies.

So today with a jar of Tiptree Raspberry seedless jam and some almond essence to hand, I put two and two together and came up with a Bakewell Cupcake that has had me swooning all over the kitchen…


110g butter
220g golden caster sugar
2 medium eggs
150g self-raising flour
120g plain flour
120ml skimmed milk
1 teaspoon almond essence
Raspberry jam to taste


Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees, or gas mark four and line a twelve hole cupcake tray with paper cases.

Combine the sugar and room temperature butter, and beat until fluffy and pale. Add the eggs and beat until smooth.

Combine the flours and sieve together. Add the almond essence to the milk and set aside.

Add half the flour to the mixture, with half of the milk and beat well. Repeat with other half of flour and milk.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases and press a little dimple into the centre of the mixture in each one. Add a teaspoon of jam and swirl it into the mixture.

Bake until golden. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Mix up a basic white icing and dribble willy-nilly over the top of the cakes….

And there you have it: heaven in a cup-cake case. Go bake!