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  • Writer's picturetamarandrusier

con spirito concerts for care homes

Updated: Apr 19, 2020

At this time of isolation we are preparing the first con spirito virtual concert for care homes. We hope it will make a difference for elderly residents to see and hear our young musicians introducing and playing their favourite pieces. We are delighted to be receiving the first video performances from our talented students - keep them coming! The deadline is 26 April.

con spirito concert at Mary Feilding Guild, 2019


cake break Sundays

This week's recipe is from the Hummingbird Bakery 'Cake Days', with kind permission from Collins/HarperCollins.

con spirito cupcakes

Hummingbird Bakery Vanilla Cupcakes


for the sponge:

80g unsalted butter, softened

280g caster sugar

240g plain flour

1 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

240 ml whole milk

1/2 tsp vanilla essence

2 large eggs

for the frosting:

500g icing sugar (I use 300g)

160g unsalted butter, softened

50ml whole milk

1/2tsp vanilla essence

food colouring (optional)

sprinkles, nuts etc.

1. Preheat the oven to 190 degrees and line a muffin tin with muffin cases (I use a fairy cake tin and cases). This recipe makes 12-16 muffins or about 30 fairy cakes.

2. Using a hand-held whisk or freestanding electric mixer with paddle attachment, slowly beat together butter, sugar, flour, baking powder and salt until ingredients are well mixed and resemble fine breadcrumbs.

3. Mix together the milk, vanilla essence and eggs by hand in a jug. With whisk/mixer still at low speed, pour 3/4 of the milk mixture into the dry ingredients and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl until fully incorporated. Add the rest of the milk mixture and beat again at a medium speed until the batter is smooth.

4. Spoon the batter into muffin cases, filling up to 2/3 full. Pop into the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes or until springy to touch (fairy cake size will only take 10-11 minutes). Leave to cook slightly before removing from the tin and placing on a wire rack to cool completely.

5. To make the frosting, whisk the icing sugar with the butter on a low speed using the electric whisk/mixer with paddle attachment, until fully combined and sandy in consistency. Add vanilla essence to the milk and pour in while still mixing on a low speed, then increase the speed to high and whisk the frosting until light and fluffy.

6. To colour frosting, divide it into separate bowls and add a few drops of your chosen food colouring to each bowl. Be careful not to add too much colouring or it won't taste nice.

7. Once the cupcakes are cool, add the frosting, smoothing and swirling with a palette knife, and decorate with coloured or chocolate sprinkles, chopped nuts etc.

Do send us photos of you enjoying your cakes to !

next week's recipe will be Penny's famous chocolate brownies :)

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