Christmas is all about cakes. And if you've got a crowd round at yours and want to impress with some festive cupcakes with a twist, try these delicious Sticky Fig and Pistachio cakes from Hummingbird Bakery. But if you're short on time, or baking's not your thing, you can always order them in on Deliveroo instead.
Hummingbird Bakery's Sticky Fig and Pistachio Cupcakes (16 servings)
Figs, honey and pistachio give these cupcakes a slightly Middle Eastern twist. Roughly chop the pistachios for decoration, sprinkling them around a dollop of fig jam.
Equipment: two 12-hole deep muffin trays, 16 paper cupcake cases, free-standing mixer or handheld electric whisk with a large bowl, a large mixing bowl, a metal skewer, wire cooling rack, sharp knife, piping bag, palette knife or a small spatula
For the sponge:
- 80ml vegetable oil
- 3 tbsp runny honey
- 220g caster sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 tbsp strong black coffee or espresso, cooled slightly
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 230g plain flour
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 tbsp baking powder
- 200g fig jam, plus extra to decorate
- 50g crushed pistachio nuts, to decorate
For the frosting:
- 210g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 350g icing sugar, sifted
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp double cream
- 2 tbsp runny honey
- 140g mascarpone cheese
- Preheat the oven to 175°C (160°C fan) or gas mark 4.
- To make the sponge, put the oil, honey, sugar, eggs, coffee and vanilla extract in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or you can use a handheld electric whisk) and beat on a medium speed until all the ingredients are well combined.
- In a separate bowl, combine the dry sponge ingredients, so mix together the flour, salt, cinnamon and baking powder, then slowly add to the egg mixture, continuing to beat until everything is smooth and well mixed.
- Spoon the mixture into the paper cases until they're about one-third full – to get an even amount of mix in each case, you could always use an ice cream scoop. Bake in the preheated oven for 18-20 minutes until the sponge bounces back when touched. To test if the cupcakes are cooked all the way through, poke each one with a metal skewer, and if it comes out clean then they're done. Leave the cupcakes to cool for about 15 minutes in the trays before turning them out onto a wire rack to cool completely.
- To make the honey frosting, beat the butter in a freestanding electric mixer with a paddle attachment (or you can use a handheld electric whisk for this too) on a medium speed for a few minutes to loosen it. Next add the icing sugar, vanilla extract, cream and honey and continue beating for two to three minutes until the mix goes light and fluffy. Add the mascarpone and beat everything together until the frosting is smooth and well combined.
- When the cupcakes are cold, use a sharp knife to hollow out a small section, approximately 2cm in diameter and 3cm deep, in the centre of each cupcake. Keep the sponge pieces that you remove. Spoon the fig jam into a piping bag and pipe it into the hollows, then pop the sponge pieces back in the hollows.
- To frost the cupcakes, spoon frosting onto each one and gently smooth it over with a palette knife or a small spatula to make a swirl shape. Add a little dollop of fig jam on to each one and sprinkle on the crushed pistachios.