As a cupcake enthusiast, I was over the moon at the recent opportunity I had to review a cupcake kit from The Real Cupcake Company.
Though I admit that I hadn’t heard of them before, I was quite excited at the prospect of filling my belly with yummy gourmet cakey goodness. And boy did they ever deliver! Literally!
In the interest of full disclosure, I’ll admit that the postman didn’t bother to ring the bell to see if I was in, instead popping a card through my door telling me that a “perishable” packet was being returned to the post office, and I may pick it up in no less than 24 hours. When I went the next morning to retrieve it, I noticed right away that it said to keep it refrigerated. However, the parcel was not kept in a fridge, and as such it had at least 24 hours without refrigeration.
The kit included everything that one would need to create a dozen delicious cupcakes. Including: a ready-to-bake plain cake mixture, ready-to-pipe real fruit icing, decorations, 12 paper cupcake cases, 2 extra-large piping bags, piping nozzles, instructions and piping tips.
Our kit was Strawberry flavour from the company’s “Nice Range,” but they also do Orange and Lemon in that range. Moreover, they have a “Naughty Range,” which includes Strawberry and Champagne as well as Blueberry and Bourbon.
Again, since this is a review, I will be honest and say up front that I am NOT a fan of strawberries, and in the last 20 years, the only time I’ve eaten anything strawberry flavoured was when I was pregnant and craving strawberry milkshakes from McDonalds. That aside, I knew I would have a willing taste-tester in my lovely fiance.
So I set off, instructions in hand to create my own cupcake goodness.
As I mentioned, the kit comes with plain cake mixture, but you must add two medium or large eggs and mix it up well before putting them into the cupcake cases.
I used a large measuring jug for mine, thinking that I’d be able to pour the batter out easily. But this didn’t really work, and I was forced to just use a spoon to gently plop portions of batter into my cases. Still, no mess, and the entire process (including digging out the mixer) took about 5 minutes.
I then threw the would-be cakes into my preheated oven and waited. Now, the instructions are very clear that you are under NO circumstances to open the oven door until the cakes have been baking AT LEAST 10 minutes. I can only assume this is because there are tiny aliens in the batter whose job it is to make the cakes rise, and if you open the door, they will escape before they have done their job. At least this is the story I told my 11 month old son who watched me quizzically whilst I baked.
So anyway, the instructions suggest a baking time of between 12 – 15 minutes. It gives temperatures for both regular and fan-assisted ovens, and I followed them to a T. But after 15 minutes, I removed the cakes and found that they looked a little bit…. well, wet. I stuck a knife down into one and it came out with a small amount of uncooked batter, so I threw them all back in the oven for an extra 3 minutes. At that point, they came out looking springy and perfect.
Once I pulled them out of the oven, I set them on a wire rack to cool off and excitedly anticipated the frosting process. After reading the detailed instructions and visiting their website to watch their how-to video, I envisioned myself creating amazing roses out of strawberry frosting. I saw myself piping out gorgeous swirls that would make Food Network executives take notice.
Alas, my Mad Frosting Skillz™ were sadly lacking. I am not sure if the lack of refrigeration caused an issue with the frosting, but it came out somewhat watery with large chunks of butter separating out of the mix. It didn’t affect the cakes TOO much, though, and for the most part, they had that very “homemade” look to them. Perfect for a bake sale, I’d reckon.
The end result were 12 cupcakes ready for their OFFICIAL taste test.
In all seriousness, here’s the feedback.
Mark says, “They are definitely better than store-bought cupcakes. They are lighter and less processed and quite tasty. And they are better because we can make them at home.”
For me, I can only comment on the cake, as one bite of the frosting was enough to remind me why I don’t like strawberries. But the cake was definitely spot on. It was not too sugary or too dense. It was light and mild and not overwhelming like store-bought cakes. I dare say it had a sort of “melt in the mouth” quality to it, a trait I found very refreshing.
The long and the short of it:
The kit is £9.99, including postage. You will want someone to be home when you order it, as I imagine it is quite important to keep the package refrigerated from the get-go, and I reckon the lack of it DID cause some issues for my baking process.
If you just want a quick sugar-laden treat to pass out to your family, go to the local bakery.
But if you want a lovely way to show your family you care by baking these yourself, and if you want all natural ingredients with no artificial colours or flavourings, you can’t really go wrong with The Real Cupcake Company.