If, like us, you happen to have lots of tinned food stashed away, the chances are that one of those tins will contain condensed milk. It seems to be something that everyone has – and no one knows what to do with it. Well, it’s very handy for making delicious cupcakes.

The condensed milk goes into the batter – along with chocolate and baking spices – to produce a nice, bouncy bite. And it gives the icing a rich smoothness that nothing else can quite manage.

These treats are quite sweet – but that is surely the idea of cupcakes. They are small and perfectly formed; pretty to look at and sumptuous to eat. They can distract little kids and grown-up kids alike – and allow you to lose yourself in one happy moment.

This will make 12-14 small cupcakes (in a shallow muffin tin)

For the dough

  • 90g butter
  • 40g honey
  • 100g dark brown sugar
  • 100g milk-chocolate buttons (or chop up a chocolate you like)
  • 40g condensed milk
  • 1 egg
  • 125g full-fat milk
  • 130g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1⁄2 tsp ground nutmeg
  • pinch of salt

For the cinnamon and condensed-milk icing

  • 250g mascarpone (1 small tub)
  • 180g full-fat cream cheese (1 small tub)
  • 120g condensed milk
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon
  • a little extra chocolate to grate over the icing

To make the cakes – heat your oven to 170C (fan assist) and prepare a muffin tin with paper cases.

Combine the butter with the honey in a medium saucepan. Whisk together and stir over low heat until the butter is all melted.

Add the sugar, half the milk chocolate and the condensed milk and mix until everything is combined.

Add the egg, the milk, flour, baking powder and spices and use a whisk to mix until combined to a smooth texture.

Pour or pipe into the cupcake cases to just above 3⁄4 full. Add a couple of chunks of chocolate to each muffin case and pop into the oven. Bake for 12-14 minutes, until the cupcakes are bouncy.

To make the icing – use a spatula to combine all the icing ingredients together until they thicken, then spread liberally over the cakes.

Our top picks to get you going with this recipe.

Islands Chocolate Buttons
Greek Wild Thyme & Fragrant Herb Honey



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