Sunday, 15 June 2014

extra virgin olive oil, honey and orange cupcakes

... you know that moment when you're craving for something sweet and homemade but all you have in the kitchen is some extra virgin olive oil, an egg and one solitary orange in the fruit bowl that perhaps you should have thrown out a while back?  Well these little cupcakes are for that moment... why is it that, however much butter I buy it always seems to run out just when I get a craving for sponge?

I was utterly exhausted earlier in the week and for some reason the craving for a light and buttery traditional victoria sponge wormed its way into my brain and so you can imagine by disappointment to find that the butter had cleverly all been used up and you see, one of the downsides to living in the middle of nowhere is that you can't simply run to the corner shop at a moments notice... I have to painstakingly plan carefully, get in a car and drive for 20 minutes before I reach a shop and by that time the food worm has either destroyed me completely or the craving has gone, which actually never really happens so i'm not sure why I'm telling you this. Other than the fact that I am exceedingly lazy and I don't want to have to get into the car, my neighbour Tracey is out and even though I have a set of keys i'm not sure I can let myself in to steal butter... so its simply a case of getting inventive in the kitchen...

extra virgin olive oil, honey and orange cupcakes
as you can see these turned out a little more muffin than cupcake but they are actually and surprisingly very tasty... the citrus of the orange and the gorgeous local honey cuts through the richness of the olive oil but not entirely so you still have that sweet/savoury thing going on which is rather lovely and the fact that these only have one egg in them is pretty awesome seeing that they are so light and open and spongy in texture, almost bread-like or brioche-like... i'm really rather impressed with myself.  The icing was an afterthought and is literally icing sugar, Greek yoghurt and orange juice but again, it cuts through the oil and the cakes mop it up marvellously.  I actually think they're very summery, entirely grown up and totally chic...

for the cupcakes - makes 9 cupcakes
1 large free-range egg
100g light brown sugar
2 tablespoons local honey
175ml milk - I used skimmed
120ml extra virgin olive oil
240g self-raising flour
the zest of one orange

for the icing
200g icing sugar
2 tablespoons TOTAl Greek yoghurt
the juice of one orange

pre-heat the oven to 170C and line your cupcake tin with paper cases

in a bowl, beat the egg, then add the milk and oil and beat again as you add the sugar and honey and beat till the sugar has dissolved

add the flour and orange zest and beat again, there should be plenty of air in the batter, to me it looked very whipped

fill the paper cases a third full and bake till risen and golden, roughly 20 minutes

make the icing by combing the ingredients into a thick paste and then either drizzle away with gay abandon or leave in the bowl and dip your cupcakes!

eat and of course, enjoy!


  1. This sounds like a perfect combination, so beautifully flavoured. Lucky for you that you didn't have butter then

  2. OMG! Those look DIVINE Dom and look at all that drizzle......lush!

  3. I know what you mean about a desire to bake- we've been away for three weeks and I haven't baked for over a month, I couldn't wait to get back into the kitchen!

  4. A triumph of the art of improvisation! BTW: does butter freeze?

  5. I'm impressed! Invention test....... here you come! They look delicious and sound divine!

  6. They sound exotically continental, the olive oil sounds gorgeously rich, and they looks scrumptious. Wonderful.

  7. These sound absolutely delicious! I love baking with oil in cakes although I usually use sunflower oil. I love how you can create amazing recipes like this with whatever you have at home which just goes to show that you don't always need fancy ingredients or fancy equipment!

  8. A wonderful improvisation, Dom! There's nothing more satisfying than making something out of nothing! Something delicious, at that.

  9. A brioche-like orange and olive oil muffin? I'm completely sold!

  10. It's amazing what you can do when needs must ! They look lovely and I may have to give them a go, even if I do have butter in the fridge !

  11. Delicious!!!
    Have a nice week

  12. This is such a lovely combination of flavours - I really like using olive oil in cakes and it works so well with floral flavours like honey and citrus.

  13. These look just incredible Dom and I now have an urge to stuff the butter and go for the olive oil instead. Hmm, maybe stuff wasn't quite the right word - or maybe it was. Honey always adds a touch of luxury.


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