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How to make and bake cupcakes with Lily Vanilli and Tate & Lyle

Tate &LyleConfused as to what cupcakes are? Don't be, you probably know them as fairy cakes.

Making and baking a batch of beautiful cupcakes at home is easier than you think. Just a little imagination and soon you'll be serving your own delicious cake couture creations.

Baking your own cupcakes can be very satisfying and creative, especially when it comes to icing and decorating them yourself. You can create cupcakes using most sponge cake recipes (making sure you adjust the baking time) but the indulgence comes in adding voluptuous towers of frosting, fruit, sprinkles and personal decoration.

Domed cupcakes are better dressed with lofty swathes of frosting, piped upwards and swirling into a peak. Think retro dessert Bombe Alaska updated with a 2009 twist.

Whereas flat-topped cupcakes are also in vogue and look gorgeous with anything! Best decorated with the back of a spoon to create a smooth texture they look irresistible with latticed drizzles of Fairtrade dark chocolate.


Tate & Lyle baking range of sugar products are all Fairtrade certified. Moreover, it is the only Fairtrade sugar on the market that made the decision not to pass on the extra cost to the consumer, as it believes that Fairtrade should mean fair for everyone.

Tate & Lyle's Fairtrade Baking Sugar is all made from cane sugar, which is the preferred sugar for baking and chosen by the vast majority of chefs.

So indulge yourself in one of the most fashionable trends this year with a little TLC (tea and little cakes) knowing that Tate & Lyle is not passing on the Fairtrade premium. It's Fairtrade sugar at a fair price so shoppers don't have to pay the extra.

Tate & Lyle's commitment to Fairtrade
Tate & Lyle's Fairtrade Caster Sugar, Icing Sugar and Royal Icing Sugar are all sourced from Belize, the sugar company's first Fairtrade accredited grower-partner, from whom it has purchased sugar for over 35 years.

Cupcake couture with Tate & Lyle Cane Fairtrade Sugar is simple to make and bake at home and can add a touch of high fashion to any occasion. Indulge with TLC - tea and little cupcakes - and enjoy the moment.

Lily Vanilli's Divine Dark Chocolate & Avocado cupcakes


Lily Vanilli, renowned for her cupcake sculptures, has baked this deliciously unique cupcake using Divine Chocolate and Tate & Lyle fair-trade sugar.

Divine's rich dark chocolate combines beautifully with the creamy ripe avocados and toasted walnuts to create a truly melt-in-the mouth, unique and luxurious taste. Avocado replaces butter in this cupcake's frosting, making it a slightly healthier option.

Here's how to recreate your very own couture cupcake creation with Divine Chocolate and Tate & Lyle fair-trade sugar.

Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Icing SugarIngredients for Dark Chocolate & Avocado cupcakes

For the cake mixture:
2 x 100g Divine dark chocolate
200g unsalted butter, very soft
200g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade caster sugar
4 large free range eggs, at room temperature
100ml sour cream
200g self-raising flour

For the topping:
2 cups very ripe avocado flesh (use the ripest you can find before the flesh has turned brown - cut out any brown bits)
1½ cups Tate & Lyle Fairtrade Icing Sugar
1½ tsp lemon juice

12-hole muffin tray lined with paper muffin cases

How to make Dark Chocolate & Avocado cupcakes

  • Heat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4
  • Break up the chocolate bars and melt gently. Remove the bowl from the heat and leave to cool.
  • Put the butter and sugar into a food mixer and beat until light and creamy.
  • Beat in the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  • Stir in the sour cream on low speed, followed by the flour and finally the melted chocolate, mixing gently until thoroughly combined.
  • Spoon the mixture into the muffin cases and bake for 25 minutes until firm to the touch.
  • Remove the muffins from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.

Meanwhile make the topping:

  • Using a hand mixer, blend the avocado with the lemon juice until you achieve a smooth consistency, working out any lumps.
  • Slowly blend in the sugar, increasing the speed of the mixer as you go (feel free to add more or less sugar to achieve a consistency andtaste you like).
  • Spread over the cooled cakes.
  • Using a zester, create some dark chocolate shavings and sprinkle some onto the frosting and top with a cooled toasted walnut.

Lily Tip:

  • For the perfect chocolate cupcake use chocolate that has no less than 70% coco solids.

Lily Vanilli's Lavender, Honey & Almond cupcakes

Lily Vanilli's Lavender, Honey & Almond cupcakes
Lily Vanilli's Lavender, Honey & Almond cupcakes

The aromatic sharpness of lavender combined with soft honey flavours and toasted almonds give these cupcakes an intensity of flavour that is luxuriously decadent and festive.

Lavender and almond infused milk in the batter of this cake give it a gentle but rich floral undertone that offsets perfectly with the sharpness of the flower buds in the buttercream.

Top these cupcakes with lightly toasted almonds for a perfect flavour accompaniment and crunch and/or with edible silver glitter for a gorgeous Christmas treat!

Ingredients for Lavender, Honey & Almond cupcakes

Vanilla cupcakes:
280 g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch salt
113g unsalted butter, softened
205g Tate & Lyle fair-trade caster sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
4 floz whole milk
1/2 teaspoon good vanilla extract

Lavender Honey Icing:
50g soft butter
450g Tate & Lyle Fairtrade icing sugar (approximately - depending on the consistency you want to achieve)
3fl oz lavender milk (see below)
1fl oz double cream
1 tsp honey
Flaked almonds and lavender and edible silver glitter to decorate

How to make Lily Vanilli's Lavender, Honey & Almond cupcakes

  • Sift together flour, salt and baking powder in a small bowl.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter with an electric mixer until smooth.
  • Add caster sugar and beat for 5 minutes until very light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs, one at a time, beating to combine after each addition.
  • Add the flour mixture in three parts, alternating with the milk and vanilla, beginning and ending with the flour. Be careful not to over mix.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, spoon the batter into cupcake liners - about three-quarters full.
  • Bake for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the centre comes out clean.
  • Cool the cupcakes in the pan for a few minutes then transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

For the frosting:

  • Toast flaked almonds on a baking sheet in a hot oven for approximately 5 minutes - until lightly browned - and allow to cool.
  • Whisk butter in a metal bowl until smooth, then add 300g icing sugar, milk, honey and double cream. Blend until smooth and slowly add remaining icing sugar until you have the consistency you want.
  • Ice cupcakes and dust with a sprinkling of lavender buds, cooled toasted almonds and silver glitter.

For the lavender milk:

  • Measure out around 1.5 times the milk your recipe requires (to allow for evaporation) and add lavender buds at a ratio of 2 tbsp buds to 1 cup milk to a small pan.
  • Heat ingredients to a scald stage (just before boiling), then turn off heat and leave to cool completely.
  • Strain the flowers with a sieve and re-measure milk before adding to your recipe.


Edible glitter is available from cake shops and online baking retailers

Makes 13

Lily Vanilli's tips for cake couture:

  • Try topping cupcakes with desiccated coconut, mango or dried pineapple slices, to create a totally tropical cake.
  • Don't worry about getting each cake perfectly identical, the charm is in the home baked quality and personal touch, fresh ingredients beat sprinkles every time!

For more information about cupcake couture expert Lily Vanilli visit:

HOW TO MAKE CUPCAKES - easy to follow guide to making cupcakes
information below published courtesy of

Basic Cupcake Recipe

Tate & Lyle Caster SugarThe basic mixture for a cupcake recipe is the same as for many large sponge cake recipes with the basic mixture consisting of:

50g / 2oz self raising flour
50g / 2oz Caster sugar (superfine)
50g / 2oz Butter or margarine (shortening)
1 Egg

These quantities are enough to make about 10 very small cupcakes, about 5cm / 2 inches in diameter and can be doubled or trebled as required, however make sure to keep the same proportions of ingredients i.e. if you wish to treble it to make 30 small cakes the amounts would be:

150g / 6oz Self Raising Flour
150g / 6oz Caster Sugar (superfine)
150g / 6oz Butter or Margarine (shortening)
3 eggs

Mixing the cupcake ingredients

Although the traditional method is to cream together the butter and sugar, then add the egg, mixing well, before adding the flour, good results can be achieved by just placing all the ingredients in the mixing bowl at the same time (with the exception of any additional fruit if using) as does mixing the cupcake ingredients in a food mixer or processor.

How much mixture to put in the cupcake paper case or tin

A heaped teaspoon of cupcake mixture in each paper case or cupcake hole will make small cupcakes about 5cm / 2 inches in diameter. You can maker larger and deeper cupcakes by placing more of the cupcake mixture in the cases or cupcake hole however, never fill the case or hole more than two-thirds full.

At what oven temperature should cupcakes be cooked?

In general 190°C, 375°F, Gas Mark 5 although if you have a fan assisted oven, you should reduce the temperature accordingly.

For how long should cupcakes be cooked?

If you are using the above guidelines or a heaped teaspoon of cupcake mixture per cake, 15 minutes should be long enough however, you can test whether the cupcake is cooked through by pushing a wooden toothpick into the centre. If it comes out clean, then the cupcake mixture has cooked through. If you decide to make slightly larger cupcakes, they will need an extra 5 minutes or so.

This video shows you how to make cupcakes in easy step by step instructions. To obtain the recipe go to

Tate & Lyle's commitment to Fairtrade
Tate & Lyle's Fairtrade Caster Sugar, Icing Sugar and Royal Icing Sugar are all sourced from Belize, the sugar company's first Fairtrade accredited grower-partner, from whom it has purchased sugar for over 35 years.

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