Strawberry cupcakes and picnics



Now we are firmly in summer there is more opportunity for eating outside and even picnicking. Even the Queen recently celebrated her 90th birthday with a picnic-hamper lunch, so what better time to explore options for outdoor eating.

Strawberries go very well with outdoor eating, or if you are feeling adventurous try this strawberry cupcake recipe (see below). I have reduced the sugar, replaced some of the flour with wholemeal flour, and replaced the icing with cream for better nutritional value.

Besides cakes there are lots of options for summer picnics, and they usually involve lots of plastic boxes (with well-fitting lids!). Rice, cous-cous or potato salad are all easily transportable. It is best to keep salad item
s separate to avoid leakage. Tomatoes, radishes, chunks of cucumber (sliced thickly), radishes, and green salad are all excellent at picnics. Wholemeal rolls with butter and cheeses such as cheddar, or brie go well. Chicken portions, quiche, or even Spanish tortilla (the latter two can both be made vegetarian) also work well outdoors. For pudding fruit such as strawberries or other berries are good  and cakes which can be easily transported, such as these strawberry cakes (with or without the cream).

Strawberry Cupcakes

Makes 18-20 small cakes.

5oz (140g) caster sugar

3oz (80g) plain flour

4oz (110g) spelt or wholemeal flour

1 tsp baking powder

4oz (110g) strawberries

7oz (170g) butter

4 eggs

To serve:

double cream, whipped,


  1. Preheat the oven to 160°C (fan)/180°C /gas mark 4 and line two 12-whole muffin trays with cupcake cases.
  2. Put the sugar and butter in a food processor and mix until light and fluffy, or beat with a hand whisk. Gradually add the eggs, one at a time. Beat until smooth.
  3. Next slice the strawberries and beat these in for a few seconds.
  4. Next add the flours and baking powder and fold it in, or use the pulse setting, until all the flour is combined.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the cup cake cases until they are about two-thirds full.
  6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until they are firm when pressed.
  7. Remove from the oven and cool for 10 minutes and then place on a wire rack.
  8. Whip the cream, wash the strawberries and serve with these, or take these separately to serve on your picnic. They can also be eaten plain, as they are.





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