- Dish type
- Celebration cakes
- Birthday cake
- Kids' birthday cakes
These chocolate muffins taste great and are always an eye-catcher at a kid's birthday party. You can stick Smarties on for the dots or use icing.
4 people made this
- For the muffins
- 150g butter
- 125g sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 100ml milk
- 200g flour
- 2 level tsp baking powder
- 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
- 1 bar milk chocolate, grated
- For the decoration
- Icing sugar
- Lemon juice
- Red food colouring
- Chocolate buttons or brown Smarties
- Chocolate chips
MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:25min ›Ready in:55min
- Grease a 12-hole muffin tin well and dust with flour, and preheat the oven to 180 C / Gas 4.
- Beat the butter with a hand mixer until very fluffy. Gradually stir in the sugar and vanilla and mix well. Stir in the eggs one by one, while stirring well after each egg. Then stir in the milk.
- Mix flour, baking powder and cocoa, seven and fold in to the mixture with a rubber spatula or scraper. Finally, fold in the chocolate.
- Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin and bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes. Use a skewer to test if the muffins are done in the middle.
- Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes in the tray, then carefully transfer them to a wire rack. Put 2 chocolate buttons into the still-warm muffins for eyes, then cool completely.
- Mix the icing sugar with lemon juice to a thick icing. Colour with a few drops of red food colouring. Cover half of the muffins with the red icing for the body, make a line with the grated chocolate down the middle and use chocolate buttons or Smarties for the spots. Cover only a couple of muffins at a time with the icing before decorating with Smarties/chocolate chips as it sets quickly.
- Allow the icing to dry and then hand them out to happy, smiling children!
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(2)
Meet the savory muffin
Enter the savory muffin. And to go from sweet to savory is as easy as a few quick recipe substitutions: sugar and vanilla out, and great ingredients like cheeses and vegetables folded in! Savory muffins can be a one-handed complete breakfast, a terrific match for your lunch, or a healthy keep-you-going snack. You can make mini ones that can help with portion control, or jumbo ones for decadent brunches. And the best part is that they are super adaptable, depending on which flavors you love!
While you can make savory muffins with just white flour, I like to add some whole wheat or other flour to mine, which makes them a little denser with a hint of nuttiness I love. When it comes to creating your combos, simpler is generally better: Try to limit your recipe to three flavors to avoid too much of a clash. Sometimes I add herbs or spices, sometimes not. Dried fruits and nuts can be great mix-ins, and a bonus topping like sunflower seeds can add interest. Once you start playing with savory combos for your muffins, you might save the sweet for cupcakes!
- 2 cups/260 grams all-purpose flour (or 2 1/4 cups pastry flour sifted)
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick)
Gather the ingredients. Preheat your oven to 400 F.
Combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt.
Heat the butter in the microwave, in a microwave-safe bowl, for about a minute, until it's thoroughly melted. Set it aside at room temperature to cool, but don't let it solidify again.
Beat the eggs in a separate bowl and then add the sugar, milk, and vanilla.
Thoroughly grease and flour a 12-cup muffin pan (or use paper muffin liners).
Ensure that the melted butter is warm, but not hot. Pour a tiny bit of the butter into the egg-vanilla-milk mixture and stir it in. Repeat a few more times, adding a slightly larger amount of the liquid butter each time until it's all incorporated.
Now add the liquid ingredients to the dry ones and mix just until the dry ingredients are barely incorporated. Don't mix too long—10 to 15 seconds at the most! The batter will be visibly lumpy, and you may see pockets of dry flour, but that's okay. Overmixing the batter will cause your muffins to be rubbery.
Let the batter rest for 10 to 15 minutes, to allow the glutens in the flour to relax, and some of those pockets of dry flour to dissolve.
Gently pour the batter into the prepared muffin pan and bake immediately.
Bake 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
Preheat oven to 375 F. Mist one to two mini muffin tins with nonstick oil spray and set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, combine flour, cornmeal, baking powder and salt, and mix until well-combined. Add the corn, melted butter, eggs, honey and yogurt. Mix to combine all ingredients into a smooth batter, being careful not to overmix.
Spoon one heaping tablespoon of batter into each muffin tin compartment and insert a sausage piece into the center of each, pushing them down to fully submerge. Bake for about 12 minutes. Enjoy with mustard, ketchup or drizzled honey over the top.
Muffins for Baby + Toddler
Muffins are such a great food for both babies 👶 and toddlers 👧!
They are easy to hold and self-feed and can be served for breakfast, lunch, snack time either at home or on the go and even as a sweet treat.
The muffins for toddlers and babies below are filled with wholesome ingredients and have either fruit and/or a veggie inside! There are traditional Applesauce Muffins, flavorful Healthy Pumpkin Muffins, easy Cranberry Yogurt Blender Muffins, as well as a couple of fun twists on the muffin &ndash Breakfast Egg Muffins and Baked Oatmeal Cups. If you are looking for even more amazing muffin recipes, then be sure to check out my best-selling cookbook for more ideas!
In this post you will find:
How To Make A Ladybird Cake
A fun and bright ladybird birthday cake that kids will love, this is a Madeira sponge which is firm and is perfect for carving into shape as well as being covered with ready to roll icing.
- 450g/16oz unsalted butter, softened
- 450g/16oz caster sugar
- 450g/16oz self raising flour sugar, sifted
- 235g/8oz plain flour, sifted
- 1 tsp salt
- 6 eggs
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- Almond: substitute ½ tbsp almond extract for ½ tbsp vanilla extract
- Orange: Reduce vanilla by ½ and add zest of 1 orange
- Lemon: Reduce vanilla by ½ and add zest of 2 lemons
- 115g/4oz unsalted butter, softened
- 250g/9oz icing sugar, sifted
- 2 tbsp milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- ½ tsp salt
- 750g/26oz red ready to roll icing (fondant)
- 250g/9oz black ready to roll icing
- 200g/7oz green ready to roll icing, optional
- 125g/4½oz yellow or other colour ready to roll icing, optional
- 50g/2oz white ready to roll icing
- Water for gluing
- Cornflour for dusting
- For the cake, preheat the oven to 160°C/325°F/gas 3. Grease a 20cm/8inch springform cake tin and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper, making sure the parchment comes up about 5cm/2″ above the top to form a collar so that you end up with a tall cake once baked. Place a large ovenproof dish on the lowest shelf in the oven and fill with water, this will help keep the cake moist while baking.
- Also, grease and flour an ovenproof ramekin dish, or something similar, as this will be used to make the head of the ladybug.
- In a large bowl, beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer until pale, between 5-10mins.
- Sift the flours and salt together in a large bowl, set aside.
- Beat in eggs, 1 at a time with 1 tbsp flour, to the butter and sugar mixture. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl between additions. Beat in the vanilla or other flavourings.
- Add the remaining flour, and with mixer on lowest speed, beat until just combined.
- Spoon mixture into prepared ramekin or similar nearly to the top, then spoon the rest of the mixture into the prepared baking tin and smooth the top with a spatula. Place both in the oven and bake cake for 1½ hours, but remove ramekin after 30-25 minutes. Check to see if cake is ready by inserting a skewer, it should come out clean. If needed, bake for further 10 minutes, check again, etc. until cake is done.
- Remove from oven and leave cake to cool in baking tin on a wire rack.
- Once completely cool, remove from tin and wrap well in clingfilm and place in a large airtight container. It’s best to leave the cake overnight for assembly the next day as it will be easier to carve once firmer.
- For the buttercream, in a large bowl, beat butter with an electric mixer until smooth. Sift in icing sugar and add milk, vanilla and salt. With mixer on lowest speed, beat until icing sugar is mixed in, then increase speed of mixer and beat until buttercream is smooth and creamy. Make sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl so that everything is incorporated.
- Buttercream can be made ahead and kept refrigerated in an airtight container overnight. Remove from fridge 1-2 hours ahead of assembly and give a quick mix before using.
- Optional, prepare a large cake board or serving plate by kneading the green ready to roll icing until soft and malleable on a clean surface lightly dusted with cornflour. Dust surface with a bit more cornflour and roll out green icing into a large rectangular shape. Make sure to keep the fondant moving around on the surface, adding more cornflour as needed, so that it doesn’t stick. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to cut out a shape of a leaf.
- Carefully transfer the leaf to your cake board or serving plate and use a blunt tool to mark veins in the leaf, making sure not to cut all the way to the board. It’s best to prepare the leaf the day before so that it has time to dry out and become more firm.
1) Cut cake in half horizontally, then spread about one third of the buttercream over the one half of the sponge. Place the second half of sponge on top and press down so that it sits firmly in place.
Using a serrated knife, trim the top edges of the large cake all the way around until you are left with a dome shape. If you’re not confident with cake carving, shave away small layers at a time, assessing the shape at eye-level, until you are happy.
Similarly, carve the smaller sponge until you are left with a ball shape with a flat base for the head of the ladybird.
Cover the “head” and “body” with a thin layer of buttercream, then set aside.
2) Dust a clean surface with a small amount of cornflour. Knead half of the black ready to roll icing until soft and malleable. It’s best to wear food safe gloves as the moisture from your hands can make the icing sticky, which means you need to add more cornflour which in turn dries it out and can cause the icing to crack when applying to the cake.
Have the ladybirds’s “head” nearby, then lightly dust the surface with a bit more cornflour and roll out the black icing in a circular shape until it’s large enough to cover the “head”. Make sure to move the fondant around on the surface, adding cornflour as needed, so that it doesn’t stick.
Gently lift the black icing and lay it over the small ball of cake. Use your hands to smooth the icing around the shape until it’s covered to the base. Use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to trim away excess fondant. If the trimmings are clean of buttercream, keep them in a freezer bag to use later.
Dust a large clean surface with a small amount of cornflour. Knead the red ready to roll icing until soft and malleable.
Lightly dust the surface with a bit more cornflour and use a large smooth rolling pin to roll the icing out in a large circular shape to between 45-50cm / 18-20 inches wide making sure it’s large enough to completely cover the cake with a bit extra. It should be no thinner than 3-5mm/ ⅛-¼inch thick.
Have your large iced cake nearby, then gently roll the icing loosely onto the rolling pin, then unroll it over the cake, making sure it’s centred.
Use your hands to smooth the icing over the cake all the way down the sides. Trim away excess icing with a sharp knife or pizza cutter leaving a small border.
Smooth the icing further with your hands or a cake smoother from the top down to the base of the cake to get rid of any air bubbles and lumps. Once smooth, use a sharp knife or pizza cutter to trim away the small border right to the base of the cake.
3) To decorate the ladybird, knead the white fondant until soft then roll it out and use a round cutter to cut out two circles for the eyes. Knead and roll out a small amount of the black fondant and cut out two smaller circles for the pupils. Set aside.
Re-knead and roll out the black fondant, and using 1 or 2 round cutters, cut out enough circles to decorate the ladybug’s back. Set aside.
Re-knead the black icing, then use it to cover 2 toothpicks to make the antennae. Simply roll the icing into a thin sausage. Lightly wet one of the toothpicks then press it into the icing. Close the fondant around the toothpick and roll it until smooth. Trim away icing from the one end leaving the end of the toothpick sticking out, then on the other end, bend the icing slightly and trim away the excess. Repeat with the other toothpick then set aside.
Knead the remaining black icing together and roll it out into a thick sausage shape. Cut the icing into 6 equal pieces, then shape each piece into the ladybird’s feet.
4)Carefully lift the body of the ladybird using a large spatula or similar tool and position it on the prepared cake board or serving plate.
Position the ladybirds’s head against the body. If you wish to make sure it’s secure, use a toothpick to join the body and head.
Next, use a blunt tool to impress a smile into the head. Then use the same tool to impress a line straight down the back of the ladybug where the two wings would meet. Make sure not to press too hard so that you don’t cut through the icing.
Glue the white circles for the eyes on the ladybug by very lightly wetting the back of each with a bit of water, you can use a clean paint brush or your fingertip. Then glue the smaller pupils onto the whites of the eyes.
Stick the black dots onto the ladybird’s body using a small bit of water on the back of each one. Then gently stick the antennae into place.
5) To finish, glue the six feet to the sides of the ladybird.
Optional, use a flower shaped cutters to make flowers with the yellow or other coloured fondant. Stick them to the board using a small bit of water. You can also cut out tiny flowers and stick them to the ladybird’s head.
This cake can be prepared up to a week ahead of time. Keep at room temperature in a cool and dry area. Do not refrigerate or keep in an airtight container.
23 Reasons to Eat Cake for Breakfast
Muffins are awesome because, well, they're basically cake for breakfast. How can you go wrong? The other great thing about muffins is that the flavor combinations are endless. When all that goodness comes in a portable, easy-to-eat package, it's basically a breakfast trifecta.
Here are a few tips to make your muffins especially perfect:
- Don't overmix the batter when you add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients. Stir until evenly mixed and just moistened.
- Fill your muffin cups about three-fourths full with the batter. If you fill or overfill the tins, the muffins are more likely come out flat on top.
- Allow muffins to cool 10 minutes in the pan before eating.
- Fresh-baked muffins are the best kind of muffins, but you usually won't eat a whole batch at once. To reheat leftovers, just put them in a 200ºF oven for about 10 minutes and they'll be back to their original, fresh-baked splendor!
You may want to start eating muffins for every meal of the day so you can properly test each and every recipe below.
1. Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Muffins
Carrot cake for breakfast. Yes, please!
2. Chocolate Pecan Pie Muffins
Not only do you get a muffin for breakfast with this recipe, you get but pecan pie too.
3. Banana Oatmeal Coconut Muffins
These muffins are so delicious you seriously cannot eat just one. Granola adds a nice crunch and the flavor is to die for.
4. Glazed Strawberry Muffins
Strawberries belong in muffins, especially when those muffins are drizzled with a delicious glaze.
5. Baked French Toast Muffins
Um, baked French toast in muffin form? So much of the yes.
6. Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins
These muffins are whole wheat and feature uber-healthy blueberries. So, you know, total health cake.
7. Zucchini-Apple Mini Muffins
Mini muffins are the best kind of muffins, particularly when they're packed with moist and delicious zucchini and apples.
8. Quinoa Muffins
Get a little extra protein in with these chocolate chip-packed quinoa muffins.
9. Almond-Poppy Seed Muffins
Poppy seed is one of those classic muffin flavors that seriously can't be beat.
10. Raspberry Muffins
Use your fresh summer raspberries to make these scrumptious muffins.
11. Buttermilk Chocolate Chip Muffins
The muffin of your childhood can totally be the muffin of your adulthood too.
12. Pistachio-Chai Muffins
Eat your chai with these great pistachio muffins.
13. Cream Cheese Chocolate Peanut Butter Muffins
These muffins have decadence written all over them. Go ahead, indulge.
14. Peach Yogurt Muffins
With peaches and yogurt added to the mix, these light muffins are bound to be filled with flavor.
15. Skinny Peanut Butter Chocolate and Banana Muffins
These muffins are even flourless, so they're perfect for a gluten-free brunch.
16. Pumpkin Spice Latte Nutella Muffins
Pumpkin Spice Latte + Nutella = where have you been all my life?
17. Raspberry-White Chocolate Muffins
Raspberry and white chocolate are made for each other.
18. Monkey Bread Muffins
Colorful, tasty monkey bread in muffin form? Bring it.
19. Double Coconut Crunch Muffins
Coconut lovers rejoice &mdash here is a muffin just for you.
20. Caramel Macchiato Chocolate Muffins
Holy yum. As if a caramel macchiato weren't good enough as a drink, now it's a muffin.
21. Apple Cherry Pear Almond Muffins
Every bite is so flavorful you won't know what to do with yourself.
22. Coffee Crumb Muffins
The only thing better than coffee cake in the morning is coffee cake in muffin form in the morning.
23. Paleo Apple-Cinnamon Muffins
Yep, you can even enjoy a muffin when you're eating paleo. Dig in!
Jane Maynard is a food blogger at This Week for Dinner and Babble, a writer and designer, and a lover of all things chocolate.
Step 1: Preheat oven to 350 F.
Step 2: Using an electric mixer, prepare 1 (18-ounce) box yellow cake mix following package directions. Add 1 teaspoon coconut extract, 1 teaspoon rum extract, 1 cup shredded coconut, 1 cup chopped walnuts and 1 cup drained crushed pineapple. Stir, just to combine, being careful not to overmix batter.
Step 3: Grease muffin pans or line with paper cups. Fill each cup 3/4 full.
Step 4: Bake 15 to 20 minutes or until pick inserted in center comes out dry. Top with icing, powdered sugar, cream cheese, or just enjoy as is.
Special Diet Notes & Options: Dairy-Free Blueberry Muffins
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, nut-free, peanut-free, soy-free, and vegetarian. It does contain eggs. If you confuse eggs with dairy, you are not alone. See this post: Are Eggs Dairy?
For vegan and egg-free blueberry muffins, I recommend swapping Ener-G Egg Replacer, flax eggs, or even 1/2 cup dairy-free yogurt, mashed banana, or applesauce for the eggs.
For gluten-free and dairy-free blueberry muffins, I would recommend keeping the eggs, and using your favorite gluten-free flour blend (one that includes xanthan or guar gum would yield the best results, or you can add 1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon of gum to the recipe).