We hope you are cheering up this wet weekend with music and baking. This fabulous Hummingbird Bakery recipe is a con spirito favourite! With thanks to HarperCollins for giving kind permission to share this recipe.
Makes 12-16 cupcakes or one small sandwich cake
for the sponge
80g unsalted butter, softened
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
240ml whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs
150g tinned caramel or dolce de leche
for the frosting
500g icing sugar (I use 300g)
160g unsalted butter, softened
50ml whole milk
100g tinned caramel or dolce de leche (or more to taste - I use150/200g - but add bit by bit and check the frosting's consistency)
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees and line muffin tin/s with muffin cases.
Using a hand-held electric whisk/freestanding electric mixer with the paddle attachment, whisk together the butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt on a low speed until crumb-like in consistency.
Place milk and vanilla essence in a jug with the eggs and whisk by hand until combined. Pour 3/4 of this mixture into the dry ingredients and mix together on a slow speed. Then gradually increase the speed to medium and keep beating until smooth and thick. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, then add the remaining milk mixture and the tinned caramel, and continue to mix until all the ingredients are incorporated and the batter is smooth.
Divide the batter between the muffin cases, filling each one 2/3 full. Any remaining mixture can be used to fill one to four more cases in a separate tin. Alternatively divide between two small lined sandwich tins - these may take longer to bake. Place in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes until well risen and springy to the touch. Leave to cool for a while in the tin, then transfer to a wire rack to cool down fully while you make the frosting.
Using the electric whisk/freestanding mixer with the paddle attachment, beat the icing sugar with the butter on a low speed until combined and still powdery in texture. Slowly mix in the milk, and once it is incorporated, increase the speed to high and whisk until light and fluffy. Add the caramel and mix well.
Spoon the frosting onto the cakes once they have cooled and smooth with a palette knife.