What's Cooking?

What I Baked: Vanilla and Berry Cupcakes


Alrighty, something a little bit different today. One of my favourite things is to go into bookstores (usually used bookstores for these to be honest) and have a flick through some cookbooks and baking books. I love the photography, the recipe ideas and I’m such a foodie! So I’m hoping to run this feature where I show you something I’ve cooked/baked and write a mini review of the recipe from the book… Still bookish, don’t worry.

Today’s book is Twist by Martha Collison, a former contestant from the UK Baking Show: The Great British Bake Off. I love this show, and really enjoyed watching her baking on it, so I decided to splurge and buy her baking book. Can we talk for a second about how expensive cook books are? Anyway, I’m sure this one will be worth it and so far, it has been.

I tried out her simple cupcake recipe as this was the first time I’d used this cookbook and wanted something that was relatively simple. As she says in her book, cupcakes kind of blew up a few years ago and the world went cupcake mad. Even though the hype has lessened now, you still can’t beat a good cupcake.

Here were my thoughts on the recipe from Martha’s book and the eventual bake:

  • The ‘cupcake blurb’ – she has a really interesting section at the beginning of each theme in her book. It explains her thoughts on this type of baking and gives some hints and tips for making the process easier (win!).
  • It includes a really nice illustration talking about which flavours would go nicely together, should you want to put your own spin on the recipe. This hands some of the inspiration for the bake over to you, which is quite a unique thing for a cookbook to do, and it definitely inspired me with this bake.
  • The instructions were really simple to follow and I enjoyed the layout of the recipe. There was never a moment where I was unsure of what to do.
  • Some of the ingredients were a little pricey, so I just substituted them for a cheaper alternative. I think she wanted vanilla bean paste, but I just chose to use normal vanilla extract instead and it worked just fine!
  •  The most important thing: the taste! I followed her cupcake recipe for the most part and only deviated from it at the end, to add some buttercream icing and berries. I can honestly say they were really delicious! Sometimes, when I’ve made cupcakes before, the sponge can be a little dry and you’re hoping the icing can counteract this, but there was no need for this here. Such a lovely sweet treat!

I really enjoyed this bake and had fun flicking through the pages of this cookbook. On the Amazon page for the book, check out the Look Inside section for a sneak peak at the pages. I’ll definitely be trying out and reviewing some more recipes from it soon!

I suggest a nice summery read to go alongside these cupcakes. Who doesn’t love to read and eat sugary goodness at the same time?!

Let me know if you’ve got a favourite baking/cookbook that I can hunt for at a reasonable price. There’s also so many lovely recipes online, which is a good place to start!

Happy baking, cooking and reading everyone!


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