Let’s Be Pen Pals

Hello Lovelies,

How was your week? Last weekend I hosted my darling Mother’s 80th birthday celebration in our home. I’ve talked before about how amazing she is, but I swear she just keeps getting more and more incredible. It was so special to be able to honour her and celebrate how wonderful her life, and consequently my own childhood, has been. I realise that every day I get to spend with her at this age is a gift. What a treasure she is to me.

My monthly market stall is on this weekend at Lennox Head. Being fairly new to the whole market scene I am most definitely cutting my teeth on the whole experience, trying to refine and improve my stall each time. One of my favourite elements is choosing the cupcake menu. Finding out what flavours people like and others they aren’t so fussed on has been an interesting aspect of the journey. Because my head is constantly filled with flavour combos I am dying to try, the markets are a great opportunity to bring some of them to life. 

When I was a teenager in senior high school, I would often walk across the road at lunch time with my friends to a small, run down old shopping centre called Southgate, where we would buy musk sticks. I will always remember meandering back to school with my friends, obliviously happy, chatting away, talking about boys and gossiping about who liked who as we munched on our perfectly pastel pink treats. They were most definitely the good old days.

Musk has always been my favourite flavour and I’ve wanted to find a way to incorporate it into cupcakes for a long time. I have tried using musk essence, but it has mostly been hit and miss flavour wise. Often it tastes too rosy, too much like a chemical, or just plain yuck. Recently I found a recipe for musk cream using crushed musk lifesavers. Inspired, I thought I would give it a try in my Swiss meringue buttercream. 

Lamingtons are also something I have wanted to try. Not the standard slab lamington, but in cupcake form. What better combination could there be than musk laminations. Oh yes! You’d better believe it. 

So with my market coming up, I thought it was the perfect time to try out this recipe. If it worked, I’d add it to my market menu, if not, well, it will be back to the drawing board. Thankfully, both the cupcake and frosting were a win – win. 

The neat thing about pink lamingtons is that you use raspberry jelly to coat the cake, which adds another element of flavour as well as giving the coconut something to stick to. Plus it makes your cupcakes the most adorable pretty pink, and we all know that there can never be too much pink in the world.

 I was thinking about slicing the tops off the cupcakes to create a lamington ‘lid’, but decided to bake an extra half cupcake batch using a silicone dome mould instead of cupcake liners to get the rounded tops. They turned out pretty well and were easy to dip into the half set jelly and roll in coconut.

And for the record, my musk meringue buttercream is absolutely insane. I think I just stumbled upon my all time favourite frosting flavour. Tasty musk powder whisked into silky smooth buttercream, oh my beating heart. Musk lovers the world over will be singing hallelujah, I promise you.

Musk Lamington Cupcakes


A delicate vanilla cupcake filled with raspberry jam, dipped in raspberry jelly, tossed in coconut and topped with delicious musk Swiss meringue buttercream.
Servings 18 cupcakes

Ingredients

  • 1 85g box raspberry jelly
  • 1/2 - 1 cup raspberry jam
  • 1 cup desiccated coconut
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 cups plain flour, sifted
  • 1 1/2 cups castor sugar
  • 1 tsp bicarb soda
  • 1 tsp baking powder

Musk swiss meringue buttercream

  • 2 x 34g pkt musk life savers
  • 6 egg whites
  • 1 1/4 cups castor sugar
  • 300 grams salted butter, cold and cubed
  • pink food gel, optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Line two muffin trays with 18 cupcake liners
  • Prepare jelly in a bowl as per the instructions. Refrigerate until partly set, so it's thick and will hold onto the cupcake (around an hour. Keep checking on it every 20 min)
  • In a medium bowl, using a hand whisk, mix eggs, vanilla bean paste, oil, sour cream and water. Whisk until well combined
  • In a separate bowl sift together flour, castor sugar, bicarb soda, baking powder. Whisk until well combined.
  • Carefully pour wet mixture into dry mix and hand whisk until well combined and smooth.
  • Using an ice cream scoop, fill cupcake liners until each 2/3 full.
  • Bake in a moderate oven for 18 minutes or until lightly brown and firm to touch. Cool.
  • When cool, slice the top off each cupcake. Use an apple corer to take out the centre of each cupcake. Fill with raspberry jam. Carefully dip the top of each cupcake into the half set jelly and dab in a bowl of coconut. Take the seperate top half and immerse completely into the jelly, covering all sides. Roll into coconut. Put on a wire rack to set.
    Alternately, make another half batch of cupcake mixture and fill 3 half dome silicone moulds with mixture. Bake for around 10 minutes until firm to touch. Dip into jelly and roll in coconut. Use these as lamington toppers.
  • Pipe musk buttercream onto cupcakes and put lamington cake on top.

Musk swiss meringue buttercream

  • In a food processor or nutri bullet, process musk lifesavers until they become a fine powder. Set aside.
  • In the bowl of an electric mixer, place egg whites and castor sugar. Set bowl over a medium saucepan with an inch of simmering water in the bottom. Using a hand whisk, mix egg white mixture for a few minutes until thick and gooey. Leave for a couple of minutes then whisk again. Do this until all the sugar is dissolved and you can't feel any grains between your fingers.
  • Move mixer bowl back onto the stand. Use whisk attachment and whisk on high until stiff peaks form. Turn mixer onto low and add butter, two cubes at a time until all combined.
    The mixture will deflate and look soupy. It may then seem to curdle and look like scrambled eggs. Keep mixing, it will eventually come together. When it does, add musk powder and pink food gel paste. Mix until well combined. Put frosting on cupcakes and add lamington cake on top.

Well, it is shaping up to be a busy weekend. I’m baking eight batches of delicious cupcakes  and some sweet muffins for the market. Every time I stand in my kitchen, whisk in hand, apron clad, my heart is aglow. Baking certainly is my happy place and and I can’t tell you how much joy it gives me to bring my treats to you. If you can’t make it to the market, perhaps you might like to make a batch of these delicious musk lamington cupcakes.

Whatever you are doing this weekend, take good care, keep creating and chase those dreams.

Until next week,

Love Anna xx

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