Cakes not being my favorite, I rarely make them unless the kids ask for it as a treat on birthdays and other special holidays. So far, they've preferred the simple hearty flax-bran-loaded muffins or fruit tartlets or mini pies that I offer as desserts anytime they feel like having a sweet treat.
When I do make a few different kinds of sweets on and off, of course, fruit pies turn out to be one of the top favorites, especially during the berry season when we pick berries from local farms, and later in fall when apples and peaches and cherries rain from the sky.
Cupcakes being my daughter's favorite pastime, along with cake pops -- dreaming up the varieties and drooling over pictures of them in books and web -- I end up making a few with her, based on her current choice.
Speaking of cake pops, and birthdays, she made these Shaun and Shirley cake pops along with some oddly crazy chicks for her brother's birthday. As cloying as I find the candy melts for cake pops, it seems like an easy, quick, satisfying treat that kids can make and decorate on their own. Less work for me, and I don't have to eat it anyway. Microwave Mug Cakes are the easiest to make, which can then be used to make the cake pops.
Back to the Honey Orange Walnut cupcakes, this time, it was the Greek delicacy Melamakarona that inspired them. Honey and Citrus. Fresh and sweet for a springtime indulgence.
Drizzling some freshly squeezed orange juice mixed with honey onto the cupcakes before serving make them moist, almost juicy. The cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg add that warmth and sweetness that enhances the sense of indulgence.
Typically, I don't have self-rising flour handy, so, I mix a small batch every time a recipe calls for it: simply mix 1 cup flour, with 1½ tsp baking powder, plus ¼ tsp salt.
3/4 cup self-rising flour
¼ tsp cinnamon
1/8th tsp ground cloves
1/8th tsp ground nutmeg
5 Tbsp softened unsalted butter
2 Tbsp heavy whipping cream
⅓ cup superfine sugar
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp orange zest
¼ cup minced/chopped walnut pieces
¼ tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp honey
2 Tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice
- Sift the Dry ingredients into a small bowl
- Beat the Wet ingredients until light and fluffy
- Fold in the dry ingredients into the whipped wet ingredients and mix gently till well incorporated
- Spoon into muffin cups
- Bake in a 375°F oven for about 20 minutes
- Remove from oven, allow to cool a bit, then prick the cupcakes with a toothpick so it can hold the drizzled toppings
- Topping: Stir the honey, cinnamon, and orange juice till well blended, and drizzle spoonfuls on each cupcake; sprinkle minced walnuts and serve warm or chilled