Jam Doughnut Cupcakes

by isabelcanosa

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I don’t really know how I feel about Hummingbird Bakery. When I was working in the event industry I was yelled at by an entitled client that her baby shower cupcakes “must be Hummingbird!”, resulting in a 2 hour long round trip to fetch them, shaking in the aftermath of her wrath. It left a bad taste in my mouth.  I also wanted to order a large red velvet cake for The Dishwashers birthday a month ago and the total cost came in at around £50! Needless to say that idea was scrapped. On the other hand I do have two of their cookbooks, they do make good (if expensive) cakes and they have a very high ogle factor.

Last month their special cupcake was a Jam Doughnut Cupcake, which really sounded like perfection to me. What’s not to love with that idea? I love doughnuts, I love cupcakes, I love jam (I love fat, I love sugar and I may have a problem). But sooner than the thought of trekking to my nearest bakery to sample said masterpiece occurred, the cupcake was discontinued.   However…… once I get an idea/craving into my head, that’s it, so I set about trying to recreate the un-sampled cupcake at home.

Reading on their website they described the cake as consisting of vanilla cake filled with jam, with cinnamon buttercream icing, sprinkled with sugar and topped with a small round doughnut. I used the vanilla cupcake recipe from The Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook for the base of my experiment. From there I added cinnamon to the buttercream, filled them with raspberry jam and sprinkled a cinnamon sugar mixture on top. I searched the internet for a doughnut hole recipe to make the doughnut balls and came across one on here, braved the deep frying process and was awarded with about 30 doughnut holes! From all these elements a half plagiarised, semi original little cupcake was born, and oh boy what a jam doughnuty cupcake.

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The little doughnut balls on top were surprisingly easy to make despite the deep frying element.  I usually run and hide when a recipe mentions deep frying, but then when I finally do pluck up the courage I end up wondering why I worry! As long as you make sure you take all precautions this really is as easy as pie, and totally worth it. I have made changes to the original recipe, added cinnamon not nutmeg and covered the holes in a cinnamon sugar mix rather than icing sugar. I have also elaborated on the original recipe to give a more detailed step by step guide which hopefully makes this less daunting (I promise it’s easy).  From the 30 the recipe makes, at least half of them will turn out perfect and the rest can be eaten with molten chocolate! The holes don’t keep very well so would be best to make on the day of eating.

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For all of your mixing you can either use a hand held electric whisk or a freestanding mixer. I have used a mixer throughout but feel free to swap out. Although donuts are traditionally filled with strawberry jam I felt the raspberry (with a little added lemon juice), which is lightly tarter would cut through the sweetness of the rest of the cakes.

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p.s I got a new camera for my birthday! I hope it shows!

Ingredients
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Makes 12-16 cupcakes

Cupcakes
80g softened unsalted butter
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 tbsp. baking powder
¼ tsp. salt
240ml whole milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract
2 large eggs

Icing
160g softened unsalted butter
500g icing sugar
¼ tsp. cinnamon
50ml whole milk
½ tsp. vanilla extract

Filling
170g seedless raspberry jam
1 tsp. fresh lemon juice

Topping
½ tsp. cinnamon
85g granulated sugar

Doughnut balls
190g plain flour
75g caster sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1 egg
120ml milk
30g butter, melted
500ml -750ml vegetable oil (depending on size of pan)

Sugar coating for balls
120g caster sugar
½ tsp. cinnamon

Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F and line a cupcake/muffin tin with cupcake liners. Cream the butter and sugar in your mixer and add the flour and baking powder. Beat until the mix resembles fine breadcrumbs.

In a jug, whisk together the eggs, milk and vanilla and with the mixer on a low speed pour three-quarters of the liquid into the dry ingredients. Beat together and scrape down the sides. Pour the remaining liquid in and beat again on a medium speed until the batter is smooth.

Spoon the batter into the cases until they are about two thirds full. If you have any leftover batter (I ended up with 15 cupcakes) fill further cases in a separate tin. Put the cakes in the oven and bake for 18-20 minutes, until the top is springy and a toothpick comes out clean. If you have two tins in the oven remember to swap them over halfway through the baking time. Once baked remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

To make the buttercream, sift the icing sugar and cinnamon into a bowl and set aside. Cream the butter in your mixer, add the dry ingredients and beat until combined and sandy in consistency. Add the vanilla extract to the milk and, with the mixer on low, slowly pour the milk into the mixture.  Increase the speed to high and beat until light and fluffy. Set aside

For the doughnut balls, first create an assembly line. Take an empty dinner plate/chopping board and cover in kitchen towel and set aside, near your stove. Take another bowl, add the cinnamon and sugar, mix to combine and set next to the kitchen towels.

In a bowl combine together the dry ingredients. In a separate bowl add the egg, milk and melted butter and whisk. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and beat to combine. Set aside.

Pour the vegetable oil into a heavy bottomed saucepan to about 1½ inches deep. Place a good accurate thermometer in the oil (this one is my favourite thing ever) and heat until it reaches 190°C/375°F. Turn the heat to low to keep the temperature constant.

Take two teaspoons and scoop up half a teaspoons worth of batter (they puff up in the oil) and use the other teaspoon to scrape the batter of the first teaspoon and continue this action until a semi ball shape is formed, drop the batter ball into the oil. Fry until browned (2 minutes) turning occasionally and once browned remove with a slotted spoon and drain on the kitchen towels. Once drained (2 minutes) add ball to the sugar mixture and shake to cover.  Repeat the process with the rest of the batter in batches keeping only about 5-6 balls in the oil at one time to avoid the oil cooling.  Leave to the side to fully cool.

To fill the cakes, spoon the raspberry jam into a bowl and add the lemon juice, stir the mixture until the jam has softened a little and the juice is incorporated. Once the cakes have fully cooled, take a small sharp knife and cut a cone out of the centre of the cupcake. Take the cone and cut off the tip and discard (into your tummy). Fill the hole in the cupcake with the jam mix and replace the top of the cone over the top of the jam, sealing it inside.

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Mix together the sugar and cinnamon for the topping and set aside. Take each filled cupcake and smooth the icing on with a palate knife. Wipe the palate knife clean and even up the icing further in a swirling motion. Sprinkle over a layer of the sugar cinnamon mixture and top with a doughnut ball. Sit back and admire your hard work. Then eat your hard work.

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