Dairy Free Cupcakes with Chocolate Icing!

Recently we’ve been cutting down on dairy products (no particular intolerance, just to see if we feel any better!) and so I have been exploring new recipes with this in mind…

Based on the Hummingbird Bakery recipe for simple vanilla cupcakes, I just made some substitutions. Also, you’ll need to use muffin cases to get 12 cakes. If you use the English cupcake cases you will need about 18 – 24!

Ingredients – Cakes

120g plain flour
140g caster sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g ‘Lacto-Free’ spreadable butter (by Arla), at room temperature (only takes 15 mins!)
120ml UHT soya milk (fresh would work too)
1 egg
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

Ingredients – Chocolate Icing

Please note – these measurements are direct from Hummingbird, however I actually divide them all in half, if not by three, as it’s way way too much!

300g icing sugar
100g ‘Lacto-Free’ spreadable butter (by Arla)
40g cocoa powder, sifted
40ml UHT soya milk (fresh would work too)

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 3/ 170c/ 325f

Making the Cakes

Put the flour, sugar, baking powder and butter together in a large bowl and mix together, either by hand (like crazy me) or by being sensible and using a handheld electric whisk. Mix on slow speed until you get a sandy consistency and everything is combined. Gradually pour in half the soya milk and beat until the milk is just incorporated.

Whisk the egg, vanilla and remaining milk together in a separate bowl for a few seconds, then pour into the flour mixture and continue beating until just incorporated (scrape round the edges to mix it all completely). Continue mixing for just a couple of minutes until it’s all smooth.

Spoon the mixture into muffin cases until two-thirds full and bake in the preheated oven for 20 – 25 minutes, or until light golden and the sponge bounces back when touched.

Leave the cupcakes to cool for a few minutes before turning out into a cooling tray to cool completely. Then it’s time to prepare the icing!

Making the Icing

Beat the icing sugar, butter and cocoa powder together by hand or by electric whisk until the mixture comes together and is well mixed. Go a bit slower, and gradually add the milk.

Whisk it up until it is light and airy, then add to the cupcakes!

Here is a rubbish picture of my try at this!


Rehoming Rescued Terrapins!

Yesterday we headed over to Berkshire Reptile Rescue to have a look at the terrapins they rescue from the lakes and fishing ponds in London and Reading. They have a fantastic collection of rescued reptiles, and about 40 terrapins in a large tank, all healthy and happy.

Here is a picture of one of the terrapins we rehomed:

Here is a video of us rehoming the rescue terrapins.

We are definitely going to be back in contact with Berkshire Reptile Rescue when we get a bigger pond!