I remember the first time I baked a cake from scratch. It was a chocolate cake from a kids cookbook and I was so excited because I was baking it for my grandpa’s birthday. But I was also lazy and so I skipped an instruction that my 12-year-old brain deemed unimportant – I didn’t sift the flour. As a result, my cake batter was lumpy with little clumps of flour that no amount of beating could seem to get rid of, and instead of being gorgeously chocolatey, the cake had a bit of a flour taste to it.
Since then I’ve learnt to follow baking recipes pretty much word for word: if it says to sift the flour I will sift the flour, if it says to use 125g I will use not 124g or 126g, but 125g. And if it says to use icing sugar I will use icing sugar instead of something else.
I’ve also learnt that you can have a bit of leeway with recipes if you have good reason for it. If the dough seems far too wet to be able to be rolled out nicely, add some flour. If a batter doesn’t taste like what it should, add some more flavouring to it. For me, when it comes to baking, following instructions, tasting your dough/batter and a bit of common sense usually leads to a good result :)
When I read a recipe for Milo cupcakes with condensed milk icing on raspberri cupcakes, I instantly wanted to make them and taste the awesome combination of Milo and condensed milk in cake form. Even though it was so easy (just dump the ingredients in a food processor and away you go!), I made sure I followed the recipe carefully so I didn’t end up with a floury, lumpy cake. And it paid off, because I was rewarded with the smell of Milo wafting through the kitchen and soft fluffy cupcakes that had an awesome crunchy top. The cupcake is also the perfect vehicle for the sweet condensed milk icing and these were so addictive that they were polished off in a couple of days! (I swear I didn’t eat them all….)
Milo Cupcakes with Condensed Milk Icing
Recipe from raspberri cupcakes
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tsp vanilla extract
180g sour cream
170g unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
For the icing:
150g slightly salted butter (or unsalted + a pinch of salt)
300g icing sugar, sifted
5 tbsp sweetened condensed milk
1. Preheat oven to 180ºC. Fill cupcake tray with liners.
2. If using a food processor, place flour, sugar, baking powder, bicarb soda, Milo, vanilla, sour cream, butter, and eggs in the food processor and pulse until the mixture is combined and smooth. If not using a food processor, sift flour, bicarb soda and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Cream butter and sugar with an electric mixer in a large mixing bowl and then beat in eggs one at a time until combined. Add sour cream, vanilla and Milo and beat until just combined. Fold in the flour mixture.
3. Fill cupcake liners until 3/4 full and bake for approx 15-20 mins or a skewer inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean. For the best texture, the cakes should be dark golden brown on top and firm to the touch and after cooling for 1 minute out of the oven. Cool on a wire rack.
4. To make the icing, remove butter from the fridge 30 mins ahead of time. Beat butter until light and fluffy and then beat in icing sugar until combined. Add sweetened condensed milk and beat until combined. Pipe or spoon over the top of cupcakes when they are cooled and drizzle some extra condensed milk over the top. Finish with a sprinkle of Milo. Can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge overnight.