Even though I am not a massive fan of liquorice, this cupcake recipe has been floating around for a few years and always goes down a storm whenever I revisit it. I first made these cupcakes a few years ago for a friend and the way the sweetness of the butter cream balances out the flavour and takes away some of the harshness of the aniseed means they serve well as a sort of gateway to real stuff. Not a good idea if, like me, you’re hooked on everything else with sugar in and don’t want to add anything else to this list. However, I have many friends who are still sceptical, so thought I would post the recipe to prove it!
My recipe includes liquorice flavoured sponge based on a blog post from kayotic kitchen with a coconut butter cream.
Although they work really well there are several ways you can tweak this recipe to suit your own tastebuds. Unsurprisingly I didn’t put a huge amount of liquorice in it so you could easily add more if you wanted but at the same time I think the cakes are lovely with a few chunks of liquorice in to play with different textures. However these pieces can sink to the bottom of the cupcakes, so if you wanted them more evenly dispersed then you could maybe try using a thicker cake batter. You can also use a variety of different coconut products to make the icing, so you might want to try a few different types as they also can create different textures and consistencies. Either way though I have to admit (in all modesty of course) that they are something special, so if you decide to brave giving them a go I hope you enjoy!
Liquorice All Sort Cupcakes (makes approx. 16)
For the cupcakes:
- 200g Soft Liquorice
- 230g Golden Caster Sugar
- 230g Margarine
- 4 eggs
- 230g Plain Flour
- 2tsp Baking Powder
For the icing:
- 400g Unsalted Butter, room temperature
- 500g Icing Sugar, sieved
- 200ml Coconut Cream
- 1 bag Liquorice All Sorts
(Note: you will probably not use the full amount of these ingredients)
- Preheat the oven to 180C/ Fan 160C/ 320F.
- Cut the liquorice into small pieces and melt in a pan with some water. I used 6tbsp to start and then add more as you go along to stop the mixture from sticking.
- While keeping an eye on the liquorice, cream the butter and the sugar until pale and fluffy.
- Alternate between gradually mixing in the eggs, flour and baking powder until they are all added, making sure not to over beat.
- Once the liquorice has melted, gently fold it in to the cake batter. It doesn’t have to be fully melted if you prefer to have a few chunks in the mix.
- Portion into muffin cases and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once cooked, leave to cool completely.
- To make the butter cream, whisk together the butter and about half the icing sugar with an electric hand whisk until smooth and fully combined.
- Add about one quarter of the coconut cream and mix.
- At this stage, check the taste and consistency of the butter cream and, if necessary, add more of certain ingredients until it reaches the balance you want.
- Spread the icing onto the cupcakes and decorate with a liquorice all sort. If you want you can also swirl a little bit of gel food colouring through the icing for a spot of colour coordination.