First of all I just have to ask - how could you not want fruity cocktail cupcakes? Especially when they are named zombie? I mean, come on, it was Halloween and everything! As you can probably tell I was really hoping the zombie cupcakes would win the poll last week, however, it was not meant to be, because Zebra cake won the poll in a landslide.
So what is a zebra cake you might be asking? Well it is simply a cake that has stripes of chocolate and vanilla - hence looking like a stripy zebra. The great thing about these cupcakes is that they are super easy to make and they have a great visual impact. Here is how you make them...
Zebra Cupcakes (adapted from Baking Bites)
Makes 20 cupcakes
1 cup caster sugar
1 cup milk
1 cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp almond extract (I just added extra vanilla extract instead)
2 cups plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
- Preheat the oven to 180C and line 2 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl, mix together eggs and sugar until mixture is light and creamy and the sugar has mostly been dissolved.
- Stir in the milk, vegetable oil, vanilla and almond extracts.
- In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder and salt. Pour into wet ingredients and whisk to combine.
- Measure out just over two cups of vanilla batter and place it back in the medium bowl. Sift cocoa powder over the bowl and whisk until fully incorporated.
- Put 1 tsp of vanilla batter into the center of each cupcake liner and let it spread slightly on its own. Put 1 tsp of chocolate batter in the center of the vanilla. It will push out the other batter and, as it sits for a moment, will also spread itself. Alternating spoonfuls of the two batters, repeat the technique until you fill each cupcake liner about 2/3 to 3/4 full (for me this was about 6 tsps).
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until the cupcakes are light gold and a tester inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.
- Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 10 minutes, then cool on a wire racks.
Now to finish off these zebra cupcakes I thought I would get a bit smart and swirl some chocolate and vanilla swiss meringue buttercream together, and this is how you do it...
Vanilla and Chocolate Swiss Meringue Buttercream
4 egg whites
270g caster sugar
250g unsalted butter
1 tbsp vanilla extract
100g dark chocolate, melted
- Combine the egg whites and sugar in a heatproof bowl and whisk over a saucepan of simmering water until sugar is dissolved and the mixture is as hot as you can get it without the egg whites cooking. To test rub the mixture between your fingers and if you can't feel any sugar granules then it is ready.
- With the whisk attachment on your mixer whisk the egg white and sugar mixture on high speed until a stiff meringue is formed and the mix has cooled down to room temperature. This should take about 10 minutes.
- Now put the paddle attachment on your mixer and with the mixer on a low speed add a tablespoon of butter at a time. Once all the butter is incorporated turn the mixer up to medium speed and mix until the mixture is light and fluffy again. This should take about 4-6 minutes. A tip: for the first time ever my SMBC would not firm up! So I put the runny mixture into the fridge for 10 minutes and then beat it and it was fine. I have now learnt that SMBC does not like hot weather!
- Now put half of the mixture into a separate bowl. In the mixer bowl add the vanilla extract and mix on medium speed until the extract is combined and you have a good piping texture.
- Put the other half of the mixture into the mixer bowl and add the melted dark chocolate, mix on medium speed until the chocolate is combined and you have a good piping texture.
- Now Grab two piping bags and put some vanilla SMBC into one bag and some chocolate SMBC in the other bag.
- Then snip off the ends of the two piping bags and pop them in another piping bag.
- Swirl your SMBC onto each cupcake.
Two bags of frosting...
Both bags of frosting together, ready to pipe with...
And finally the frosted cupcakes...
Now after all that hard work, time to taste the goods - first strip off your cupcake (how rude!) and admire the stripes...
I cut mine in half to fully admire the zebra stripes, so pretty...
Me - 10/10 - absolutely perfect, the cake is nice and moist, not too sweet and just perfect really. The SMBC was so nice and creamy - great!
Mat - 9/10 - a great way to finish off the A..B..Cupcakes project - a great tasting cake.
I'll post up a wrap up of the A..B..Cupcakes project tomorrow - until then have a lovely day!