Quality Street chocolate cupcakes

Quality Street chocolate cupcakes are definitely the sort of cake you could make and eat all year round but there is just something very comfortingly and joyously Christmassy about these with the addition of the Quality Street decorations. Any sweets in jewel bright wrappers have to be worth a bite. 

I love adding variations to simple recipes and this is just that; a no fuss chocolate sponge recipe tweaked with the addition of flavours of coffee and cinnamon to really intensify the cocoa with generous spoonfuls of indulgent dulce de leche in the cakes once baked. Such a treat. 

Fancy having a go with some other chocolate recipes? Why not try my Double Chocolate Baked Doughnuts – perfect party food ideas or for a gorgeous vegan treat Vegan chocolate and peanut butter scones

Ingredients for Quality Street chocolate cupcakes

170g self rising flour (remove 3 tbsp of the flour and replace with 3 tbsp of cocoa powder)

170g caster sugar

170g softened unsalted butter 

3 eggs

¼ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp ground cinnamon 

1 tsp instant coffee powder

Dulce de leche (approx 1 tbsp of this per cupcake)

For the chocolate icing:

400g sifted icing sugar

220g softened unsalted butter

50g sifted cocoa powder

1 tbsp milk

1 tsp instant coffee powder

1 tsp vanilla extract

¼ tsp salt

Mixture of Quality Street sweets to decorate

Edible gold balls or gold dust to decorate (optional)

Makes 12 cupcakes

Method for Quality Street chocolate cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 170°C, GM3. 

Line a muffin tin with 12 cases and leave aside while you make the mixture. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients.

In a separate bowl, sift the self rising flour, cocoa powder, instant coffee, ground cinnamon and salt.

Using a food mixer, or free standing whisk, combine the sugar and butter together until it forms a light, creamy consistency. This will only take a few minutes with a food mixer. Then gradually add one egg at a time, leaving plenty of time for the egg to incorporate into the mixture before adding the next and keep the mixer running at a fairly high speed while doing this; this will help the mixture from curdling. You can also add a tablespoon of flour after each egg at this stage to help prevent curdling too. 

Once the eggs have all been added, add in the dry ingredients and on a slow speed mix until they have only just combined. Then add the vanilla extract and fold into the cake mixture. 

Using a medium ice cream scoop or two spoons, portion the mixture out amongst the cake cases. Take care not to overfill the cases as the mixture will rise more as it bakes. Half fill each case with batter. 

Bake in the middle shelf of the oven, turning the pan ¾ way through cooking time to help the cakes cook evenly. This should take between 18-20 minutes. 

To test if the cakes are cooked, use a cake skewer and insert into the middle of one of the cakes and if it comes away clean then they are cooked. The cakes should also spring back when touched. 

Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely before icing. Cupcakes cool down really quickly so this will take less than 30 minutes. 

While you wait, you can prepare the icing. 

To make the icing add the butter to a food mixer and cream it for a few minutes to make sure everything is very smooth before gradually starting to add the icing sugar and cocoa powder (and coffee) mixture. Once the mixture is combined and everything is light and fluffy (the longer you mix, the fluffier the mixture will get) then add the vanilla extract and salt and mix for a final time. Add milk to the icing if you think it needs to have a looser, more spreadable consistency.

Before icing, take a teaspoon or apple corer to make a round hole in the centre of each cupcake and then fill each centre with up to 1 tbsp of dulce de leche for a cheeky surprise when you bite into them later.

Then, using a small palette knife, swirl the chocolate buttercream onto each cupcake and then decorate as you like with the sweets. Add edible gold sprinkles or gold dust for an extra touch of sparkle if you like.

The cakes should keep well in an airtight container for up to 3 days. 

Tips

For baking, make sure that all of your ingredients are at room temperature, including the eggs, it will help all of the ingredients combine together well. 

An ice cream scoop is a great tool to help ensure that your cupcakes are the same size when they are baked. 

Weigh out all of your ingredients in advance; yes this means more bowls and more washing up, but the positive is that you have everything ready before you start, so you only have to think about the process of making the cake, instead of rushing to find the next ingredient and weigh it out while the mixer is running.