The hex factor: Totally wicked witch cupcakes

The hex factor: Totally wicked witch cupcakes

MAKES 14-16

40g unsalted butter, diced

100g golden caster sugar

1 medium egg

100g plain flour, sifted

75ml buttermilk

pinch of sea salt

⅓ tsp vanilla extract

1 heaped tsp cocoa powder, sifted

red food colour paste (see method)

1 tsp white wine vinegar

⅓ tsp bicarbonate of soda

★ Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Arrange fairy-cake cases in fairy-cake tins. In a food processor, cream the butter and sugar together for several minutes until light and fluffy, then incorporate the egg. Add the flour in two goes and the buttermilk in between. Add the salt, vanilla and cocoa powder. Start to add food colouring a tiny bit at a time, until the mixture is a dusky red.

★ In a small bowl combine the vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, which will fizz. Add this to the main batter and combine. Fill the paper cases by roughly a third (about 2 tsp mixture each). Bake for 15-20 minutes until risen almost to the top of the paper. Leave to cool; the cakes will level a little.

DECORATING TIPS To make a frosting, combine 200g full-fat cream cheese with 100g mascarpone in a large bowl. Beat together using a wooden spoon until smooth, then fold in 75g sifted icing sugar and ⅓ tsp vanilla extract. Tint as desired with a little orange food colouring. Dollop a heaped teaspoon on top of each cupcake, chill for an hour then finish each one with bought or homemade edible decorations. We used Renshaw Ready to Roll Icing (from to make our witches’ hats.