Cupcakes are a favourite teatime treat and they’re super easy to make – simply follow the below recipes taken from the latest cookbooks


  • 2 cups (280g) flour
  • 1t (5ml) salt
  • 1t (5ml) baking powder
  • 2t (10ml) bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
  • ¾ cup (60g) unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 cups (260g) sugar
  • 1 cup (250ml) vegetable oil
  • 1 cup (250ml) strong, hot coffee
  • 1 cup (250ml) milk
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1t (5ml) vanilla essence

For the jelly filling:

  • 1 tin (365g) pitted black cherries in syrup, drained and syrup reserved
  • 1 cup (250ml) cherry liqueur or kirschwasser
  • 2t (10ml) agar–agar powder

For the cream filling:

  • ½ cup (125ml) cream – divide this into 2 x ¼ cups
  • ½ cup (125ml) cherry liqueur or kirschwasser
  • 5T (70g) sugar
  • 2T (30ml) corn flour
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 whole egg
  • 2T (30ml) butter
  • 1t (5ml) vanilla essence
  • Top with fresh whipped cream and garnish with Maraschino/glazed cherries


1. Preheat your oven to 180°C and line 24 cupcake moulds or muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Sift all the dry ingredients together. Add oil, coffee and milk and mix on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add eggs and vanilla essence and beat for 2 more minutes. Using a large spoon, carefully fill each of the cupcake liners to about ?–full. Bake for 17–20 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre of the cupcake comes out clean. Leave to cool slightly for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a rack. Once cooled, chill in the fridge for about 10 minutes.
3. Using an apple–corer, small round cookie cutter or a knife, cut holes in the top of the cooled cupcakes about 1½–2cm deep. Remove the excess cake from the divots and keep the tops as lids. Place in the fridge to chill so that the jelly will set immediately when it is poured into the cupcakes.
4. To make the jelly, mix the agar–agar powder with the reserved cherry syrup and the cherry liqueur in a saucepan and bring to the boil, making sure that all the agar powder is dissolved. Leave to one side to cool slightly. (Don’t allow the agar jelly to cool completely as it sets at room temperature.) Pour enough jelly into the chilled cupcakes to fill the holes halfway and allow to set.
5. To make the cream filling, place the cream, cherry liqueur/kirschwasser and sugar in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to the boil and remove from the stove.
6. In a medium bowl, whisk the corn flour with the other ¼ cup of cream and then beat in the 2 egg yolks and 1 whole egg. Pour ? of the boiling cherry liqueur/kirschwasser mix into the egg mix but remember to keep whisking as you add this so that the eggs don’t cook. Pour the mixture from the bowl into the hot cherry liqueur/kirschwasser mix in the saucepan in a thin stream whisking all the time again. Place the saucepan back on the heat and whisk constantly until the mixture reaches the consistency of very thick custard, remove from the heat and beat in the butter and the vanilla essence. Leave to one side to cool.
7. Spoon the cooled cream filling into the holes in the cupcakes filling them almost to the top and pop the little lids back on. Pipe fresh whipped cream on top of each cupcake and place a cherry on top, then sprinkle with grated chocolate.

Cook’s tips:

  1. For a non–alcoholic version, you can leave out the cherry liqueur and simply use the cherry juice from the tin.
  2. Use measuring spoons, not eating utensils, to measure small amounts. Don’t guess. Use the exact measurements and level off spoons with a straight edge spatula or knife.