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Monday 7 March 2011

Cake A Difference: Cardamom, Orange and Pistachio Cupcakes

The sexiest charity work I'll ever do.

I never break rules. Hearts, yes. Dishes, sometimes. But rules are there to be respected. Obeyed.

And yet... I feel like charity deserves a special rule breaking allowance. So for this year's 'Cake A Difference' for Bliss, the charity for premature babies that I support, I decided to bake my cupcakes in the wrong week. I figured that money's money at the end of the day and if I want to make a cupcake for charity outside of the week beginning 14 Feb, well that's my prerogative.

Besides, I almost didn't get involved this year, because - blech! - Harry Eastwood got in on the act and I just really can't bear her 'healthy cake' crap and that damned ridiculous book of hers. But, it's for the babies after all, so I put aside my disdain for an afternoon, and got out my hand mixer.

You may or may not remember that last year I made Red Velvet Cupcakes (REAL ones, Harry, real ones!) for Bliss and sold them at Mr. Other P's office (on account of my 'office' not really being suitable for cake sales). Well I did the same this year, only instead of those crimson beauties, I made up my own recipe for gluten free cupcakes, having learned that there was an anti-wheat contingent present in Rhondda-Cynon-Taff. What can I say? Everybody deserves a cupcake. Provided they pay for it.

I have banged on long and hard enough about how fabulous Rose Levy Beranbaum's book is on this blog before, so I'll spare you the details. But what I will say is that I have poached her mixing technique to make these cupcakes. It is worth it: they rise perfectly level on baking, and have a tenderly delicious crumb.

In fact, I want one now.

I used an ingredient - Dove's Farm Organic Gluten and Wheat Free Self Raising Flour - that I know US readers probably won't be able to get, and I feel bad about it. But let's remind ourselves that they get cake flour, Pam and Rose herself. It's all fair in the cake world.

I made another £50 for Bliss with these. Why not have a cupcake sale yourself? It's such a great cause to support.

Gluten Free Cardamom, Orange and Pistachio Cupcakes

You will need:

250g Dove's Farm Organic Gluten and Wheat Free Self Raising Flour
200g butter
250g caster sugar
250ml low fat yogurt
3 eggs
1 tsp ground cardamom
2 tsp vanilla

100g butter
200g cream cheese
500g icing sugar
1 tsp orange extract

chopped pistachios to decorate
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line two 12 bun muffin trays with cupcake liners.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the flour and sugar. In another bowl, mix 3 tbsb of the yogurt with the eggs, cardamom and vanilla.
  3. Add the butter and remaining yogurt to the flour mixture, and beat with a handheld mixer on low speed until combined. Scrape the sides of the bowl and continue beating on high speed for 1 minute.
  4. Add the egg mixture in two batches, beating on high speed for thirty seconds after each addition.
  5. Divide the mixture between the liners and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown and well risen.
  6. Cool on a wrack and make the frosting: beat the butter and cream cheese together until smooth, then add the icing sugar and beat until creamy. Add the extract, and use the icing to frost the cupcakes. Top with pistachios.


  1. Well done to you!!
    I'm going to get Rose's book down off the shelf now and study it!

  2. I wanted to see the inside! (The background of your first photo is beautiful!)

  3. healthy cakes? what a load of old shit!... bring on the lard baby!... yours look adorable and well done you for doing it for charity!... blog looking stunning as usual x

  4. what cool flavors, I really love it

  5. Just curious Mr. P, how much did you charge for these little beauties? I am considering doing something similar for a charity event.. cupcakes to be sold at work etc.


  6. Oops.. I didn't type the word verification on my comment. Hopefully you still get to see it.

  7. Mr. P, I've never been a huge fan of cardamom, but if I cut the amount in half I think I'd love these cupcakes! Cardamom, orange and pistachio sound like a great combination!

  8. How can I say this without being odd...I LIKE YOU! Gluten free cupcakes with a whole line of rule breaking...this is dangerous living I say. :)

  9. Such a beautiful and delicious looking cake. Great presentation.

  10. Your cupcakes are really beautiful, pistachios really make a wonderful decoration :)

  11. Cake and Shoes - I charged £1 each. Total expenditure was less than £5 so they were a good litte earner. I would have asked for more, but £1 is affordable, and anymore would probably mean some people wouldn't have the correct change to buy them.

  12. she's also called Harry which makes her even more of a fool x

  13. Very nice! Just made Roses's Banana Cake last night! ..:) SUPER!

  14. These look and sound really good - and 50 pounds is not to be sneezed at! Great work.


That's what he said.

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