Scheduled to take place on Thursday 18th June, the annual Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day will look a little different this year. But with phone lines still open and inundated with calls throughout the coronavirus crisis, donations are still relied on as much as ever – if not more so.
Dementia is set to be the 21st century’s biggest killer and is predicted to affect 1 million by 2025. Each cupcake sold this Cupcake Day will help the Alzheimer’s Society to search for a cure, to improve care, and to offer help and understanding for people affected.
For this year’s event, the Alzheimer’s Society are still encouraging people to take part at home, whether that involves baking with household members, holding a virtual Cupcake Day with work colleagues and friends, or downloading a fundraising pack to host at a later date.
Moreover, the charity has also collaborated with chefs such as Rosemary Shrager, to share some expert baking tips to use during self-isolation, while author Joy Skipper has also shared a selection of simple recipes, using few components and store cupboard ingredients where possible. These include the likes of vegan ‘Very Berry’ cupcakes, and vegan chocolate orange cupcakes.
Rosemary Shrager’s home baking tips
“Baking is all about patience – don’t rush. By taking your time you will get the best result. Read your recipe a couple of times and have a good understanding of what you need to do. Weigh out all the ingredients and get all your equipment out before you start.”
“If a recipe calls for separating eggs, don’t throw one half away. The whites and yolks can be used in a variety of recipes, from meringues to Hollandaise sauce. If you don’t want to use your egg whites straight away, they will keep in the fridge for up to one day, but they can also be frozen for up to two months. Egg yolks will also keep for a day in the fridge but dry out easily, so I don’t recommend freezing them.”
“Some people are struggling to get ingredients at the moment, but if you want to make bread, try soda bread as it is yeast free and you don’t need to use bread flour.”
Joy Skipper’s Very Berry Vegan Cupcakes
Self-raising flour (or gluten-free flour), 240g
Caster sugar, 220g
Rapeseed oil, 5 tablespoons
Almond milk, 225ml
Fresh strawberry purée, 190g
Vanilla extract, ½ teaspoon
Dairy-free margarine, 50g
Icing sugar, 300g
Fresh strawberry purée, 50g (for icing)
Fresh strawberries, for decoration
Multi-coloured sprinkles (optional)
“Preheat the oven to 350F/180C for 15 minutes and line a cupcake tin with 12 large cupcake liners.
“Sift the flour and sugar into a large mixing bowl.
“In another bowl, blend the strawberry purée, oil, almond milk and vanilla extract.
“Pour the strawberry mixture onto the dry ingredients and use an electric whisk to combine until the batter is smooth.
“Fill 12 cupcake liners two-thirds full with the batter and bake for 15-18 minutes.
“Set aside and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
“To make the sumptuous strawberry icing place the margarine in a large mixing bowl and sift in the icing sugar in stages, whisking well to ensure the icing is fluffy and smooth. Add the pureed strawberries to the mixture.
“Once the cupcakes are cool, spread or pipe the icing onto the cakes and decorate with multi-coloured sprinkles and a fresh strawberry. The fresh strawberries in the decadently fruity icing means it’s best to ice the cakes immediately before serving.”
Joy Skipper’s Vegan Chocolate Orange Cupcakes
““The flavours of chocolate and orange are always a winning combination and it’s never been easier to purchase ingredients and create cupcakes that are dairy-free and suitable for vegans. Using substitutes like flax seed, oil and dairy-free milk alternatives are all easy ways to create mouth-watering cupcakes that are sure to impress your family and friends. And what better time to give these a try than for Cupcake Day on 18 June, which is all for a great cause – to raise vital donations for Alzheimer’s Society to help beat dementia.” – Fearne Cotton.
Plain flour, 150g
Caster sugar, 140g
Cocoa powder, 50g
Bicarbonate of soda, ¾ teaspoon
Baking powder, ½ teaspoon
Orange, grated rind of one
Non-dairy milk, 230ml
White wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon
Sunflower oil, 100ml
Vegan chocolate, 20g, melted
Cocoa, for dusting
“Preheat the oven to 180°C, 160°C fan, gas mark 4. Line a 12-hole muffin tin with 10 paper cases.
“Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, bicarbonate and baking powder into a bowl. Stir in the orange rind.
“Whisk together the milk, vinegar and sunflower oil.
“Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and mix together well. Divide between the 10 paper cases. Bake for 20-15 minutes, until risen and springy to the touch.
“Remove from the tin and allow to cool on a rack.
“Decorate with swirls of melted chocolate, bits of orange rind and a sprinkling of cocoa.”
Further information on Alzheimer’s Society Cupcake Day 2020 can be found here.