All-in-one orange cake batter

  • 250g Unsalted butter, softened, diced
  • 250g Self raising flour
  • 1tsp Baking powder
  • Zest of 2 oranges and juice of one of them
  • 250g Golden caster sugar
  • 4 Eggs, lightly beaten

For the syrup (optional)

  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 5tbsp Caster sugar

For the icing

  • 500g Icing sugar, sifted
  • tbsp Orange or lemon juice

To make the monsters

  • 500g Sugarpaste, (or ready mixed colours of your choice - we used pink, green, red, yellow and blue, violet, orange and black food colour paste)
  • 60g piping bag no. 1 nozzle Royal icing, white


  • STEP 1

    Sift the flour and baking powder into the bowl, add the orange zest, sugar, butter and eggs and lastly add the orange juice. Beat together using an electric mixer with beater attachment, a food processor or a bowl and an electric whisk. Do not over-mix.

  • STEP 2

    To bake the cupcakes, line two cupcake tins with the paper cases. Divide the batter between the cases.

  • STEP 3

    Bake for 15–18 minutes, or until the cakes spring back to the touch. Meanwhile, if you are making the syrup, mix the orange juice and sugar in a bowl.

  • STEP 4

    Immediately the cakes come from the oven, prick holes all over each with a cocktail stick and douse with syrup. (Only do this after they are defrosted, if the cakes have been frozen). Leave to cool completely in the tins.

  • STEP 5

    When ready to be iced, place the icing sugar in a bowl and gradually add just enough orange juice to make a pourable consistency which coats the back of a spoon. Pour a spoonful or so of the icing over each cake, gently easing it over the cake with a spoon so it spreads to the edges. Allow to set for an hour or so.

  • STEP 6

    To decorate the cupcakes, begin by dividing the white sugarpaste into however many colours you wish to use (each of my monsters took 20–30g) and colour it, keeping back a little white for the eyes and teeth.

  • STEP 7

    Make your monsters! Stick the monster parts together with royal icing, and decorate each cake with a monster, adhering with a blob of royal icing, if necessary.

Thank you to Fiona Cairns for the recipe.