Fundraising with cupcakes for the Teenage Cancer Trust

I was asked to bake some cakes for the wonderful charity, The Teenage Cancer Trust for an event they are holding this week in my area to promote the Time for T fundraising event coming up on the 24th May 2012 to local businesses. Thought you would like to see the end result:



Homemade cupcake burger buns

I know the title for this particular recipe sounds like two things that should never be mixed, but I couldn’t think of what else to call these. They are burger buns but I have used cupcake tins to bake them. They are perfect for the mini burgers I make for the family.

I have made my own burger buns for a while but they are often various shapes and sizes which is handy when my burgers are also of different shapes and sizes, but I really felt it was time for some consistency. This also neatly avoids the arguments over who has the largest!!

The basic recipe for the bread is as follows:


  • 500g strong white flour
  • 7g fast action yeast
  • 10g fine sea salt
  • 325 ml warm water
  • about 10ml olive or rapeseed oil
  • Sesame seeds (optional)


  • I tend to use my food mixer with a dough hook as it makes bread making such a breeze, however if you don’t have one of these the recipe works equally well with some elbow grease and a little time.
  • If you are using a mixer, put all your ingredients in the bowl except for the oil, and set to your lowest speed. Once the ingredients start to come together you can drizzle in your oil. Then leave mixing for between 10 and 13 minutes. Your dough will be silky smooth at this point.
  • If you are using your muscles, then all you need to do is put your dry ingredients in your bowl, combine them, and then add your wet ingredients. Initially use a dinner knife to start combining your ingredients, then get stuck in with your clean hands and knead thoroughly for at least 10 minutes until your dough becomes silky and elastic.
  • Once you have your dough the method becomes the same. Put the dough in a bowl and cover with either cling film, a damp tea towel or my favourite, a shower cap. Leave for around an hour or until doubled in size.
  • Once your dough is ready, take it out of the bowl and gently knock it back. You are now ready to divide up into around 10 equal pieces for your lightly greased cupcakes tin. Pop the pieces of dough into your tin, cover again and leave for around thirty minutes or until they have puffed up into burger bun shaped buns! Whilst they  are proving you can preheat your oven to 200 degrees C.
  • Once those burger buns have proved themselves, you can pop on your sesame seeds if you are using them. Gently brush the buns with a little water or milk and then sprinkle on the seeds.
  • Pop them into your hot oven for 10 minutes at 200 degrees and then reduce the temperature to 180 degrees C for around another 10 minutes. Do check them as ovens vary so much.
  • Once they are golden brown and sound hollow when tapped you can tip them out onto a cooling rack.
  • Once cold you can split them for your burgers. Don’t try to cut them when they are hot as you will burn your fingers and you will rip the bread!!



Stem Ginger Cookies – super yummy and a really easy recipe that always works

 I think that this next recipe is my very favourite to make (well it is at the moment!!).

I pretty much always have the ingredients handy, and as far as I can tell this recipe is the easiest one I have come across for a really good, chewy cookie. I am playing around with the recipe, as I think there is probably scope for an excellent oatmeal and raisin cookie (probably my favourite cookie to eat, but have been sadly disappointed with recipes over the years, so going to have a go at making my own!! Fingers crossed)

Right first things first, this recipe comes from “The Great British Book of Baking” which accompanied the TV series The Great British Bake Off. Lovely book, very nostalgic.

Ok, first things first, here are the ingredients:

  • 350g self raising flour
  • 1 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 115g unsalted butter
  • 85g  golden syrup
  • 1 medium free range egg – beaten
  • 35g (2 pieces) stem ginger, drained and finely chopped

You will also need 3 baking trays greased with butter. However I never have more than 2 available so always have to cook this recipe in 2 batches. Worry not, they only take minutes to cook, so you won’t be hanging around the kitchen that long even if you only have one tray handy.


  • Preheat your oven to 170 degrees C or Gas Mark 3
  • In a bowl, sift your flour, bicarbonate of soda, ground ginger and sugar. I tend to just put all the ingredients into the bowl and then mix together using a whisk. This works really well.
  • Then in a small (non-stick if you have one) pan, melt your butter and golden syrup together over a gentle heat. Leave it to one-side until it is just lukewarm.
  • Then pour that mixture, the ginger pieces and your beaten egg into your bowl with the other ingredients and combine together.
  • Once combined you can roll the mixture into about 24 walnut sized balls. Best equipment for this is your hands!
  • Place these onto your prepared trays giving them plenty of room as they will spread out.
  • Now according to the book these will need 15 – 20 minutes to cook. Mine have never taken more than 13 minutes so do start checking them after 10. Once they are spread out and golden brown take them out of the oven, leave them to cool for a minute or two on the tray ( this will firm them up a bit) and then using a spatula, slide them off onto a cooling rack.
  • Try not to eat them when they are hot, you will burn your tongue and they actually taste better cold.
  • They can be stored in an airtight container.

My variation on these, or added extra I suppose is dark chocolate. In a bowl in the microwave, gently melt around 50 – 100g dark chocolate. This very much depends on how much chocolate you want on your cookies. I usually melt around 75g and then using a piping bag, drizzle dark chocolate on to your cooled cookies. You do not have to do this as they taste properly gorgeous without chocolate, but sometimes you have those days when only chocolate will do!

Anyway, do have a go at these as they are so satisfying to bake.