Wraggamuffins

The home of London's BIG American Style Muffins, Original Filled Cupcakes and Fully Loaded Brownies.

Welcome to the home of London's BIG American Style Muffins! We bake gorgeously BIG Muffins right here in London; we're also home to London's Original Filled Cupcakes (you saw it here first folks), and deliciously chocolatey Brownies. Everything is baked fresh-to-order and delivered all over London, directly to your door!

Butter, margarine, or oil: which is better to bake with?

Every baker has their preference, for one reason or another; but which type of fat is the best fat to use in your cakes?

We use only British butter, for us the taste of butter in cakes really enriches the sponge and we find that the other fats don't provide the same end result. In Wraggamuffins' opinion, butter is second-to-none!  We've perfected our recipes to produce nicely domed cupcakes, ready for filling and piping.

Some bakers insist on using margarine (Stork or Flora for example), and others insist on using oil or shortening for a super moist sponge. There is no right or wrong, but you should be aware of the different effects fats have on your sponge.

In our opinion, margarine, oil and shortening provide less flavour, butter makes your sponge creamy. 

We looked into what happens to the sponge (baking is a science after all) when different types of fat are used:

which-fat-in-cake.jpg

BUTTER:
Using butter provides a creamy tasting, fine-textured sponge. The smaller crumb size is noticeable, and air pockets make the sponge nice and light. Butter won't create a tall cake as easily as other fats, so it's important to get as much air into your cake batter as possible. Opting for unsalted butter should always be your preference.

OIL:
Using oil in cakes you will always end up with a very moist cake, however because oil doesn't hold air-pockets like butter or margarine does, you may find that extra beating is required to make sure you don't end up with a dense sponge. The crumb is slightly bigger and more open than other cakes. Use an oil without flavour (vegetable or sunflower) otherwise you'll transfer the flavour of your oil into your sponge, which may or may not work out well. If making cupcakes be aware that using oil may cause your cases to peel away.

SHORTENING:
The crumb in a shortening cake is light and airy, however the flavour just isn't appealing. Shortening cakes can taste quite "fatty" and the texture often turns out coarse, dry and crumbly. This means that your shortening cake will be messy to eat and difficult to hold without causing it to crumble.

MARGARINE:
As moist as the oil and butter sponge, but the salt in margarine can be a bit too over-powering in a delicate cake sponge. The cake can be quite dense when baked using Margarine, the texture is not light and airy, despite producing more air pockets!

Which do you prefer to bake with?

Mini Cupcakes for Mini Hands: children's party cupcakes

Sometimes we're asked to do things which are off-the-menu, and sometimes these things make us squeal with delight!

Bite-sized cupcakes for a 4-year old's nursery party is definitely one of those latter occasions.

We loved making these super-cute cupcakes, perfect for tiny hands. So simple, just a delicious vanilla sponge topped with princess pink buttercream, dipped in white chocolate stars and sugar pearls.

Want to order some mini-cupcakes? Get in touch!

St. Patrick's Day Guiness Cupcakes

Our cupcakes bring all the boys to the yard... and St. Patrick's Day is no different. See below how to make awesome St. Paddy's Day Guinness cupcakes with a gorgeous Bailey's buttercream:

For the cupcakes you'll need:

  • 100g Butter
  • 200g Golden Caster Sugar
  • 150ml Milk
  • 150ml Guinness
  • 170g Self-Raising Flour
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder
  • 60g Cocoa Powder
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

For the frosting you'll need:

  • Green Food Colouring
  • 250g Butter
  • 600g Icing Sugar
  • 50-100ml Baileys

Pre-heat your oven to 190C/375F/Gas Mark 5 and prepare your 12-hole cupcake tin with your chosen cupcake cases.

Cream together the butter and the sugar for a few minutes until it's really fluffy and light in colour. Add both eggs and continue to beat until the mixture is fluffy and glossy.

Add in your cocoa powder and vanilla extract, then beat until incorporated.

Sift your flour into a separate bowl and add the baking powder, along with a pinch of salt. In a separate jug combine your Guinness and your milk.

Add your flour to your cupcake batter a spoonful at a time, adding in a little of the Guinness milk each time. Do this until you have no more Guinness milk or flour.

Evenly transfer your cupcake batter into your 12 cupcake cases and bake in your pre-heated oven for 18 minutes.

Remove from the cupcake tin and allow to cool completely on a wire rack.

Guinness-Cupcakes.jpeg

Whilst your waiting for your cupcakes to cool you can go ahead and get started on your buttercream. Cream the butter fully until there are no lumps and it looks soft and light. Add in half your sifted icing sugar and mix slowly until combined. Add in the remaining sifted icing sugar and mix slowly until combined. The buttercream should look quite stiff and dry at this stage, this is when you add your Bailey's Irish Cream and the food colouring (enough to make it Shamrock green, use your judgement) and then beat on high speed for at least 5-6 minutes. You should end up with a firm but fluffy buttercream that's perfect for piping. Read our blog on how to make your buttercream fluffy and ready to pipe.

Decorate your Guinness cupcakes, and -scoff- serve.

If you want to go the extra Irish mile, why not bake these in the shape of a Shamrock? Read our blog on to create super-easy Shamrock shapes cupcakes.

The Science Behind the Perfect Cookie

It's commonly known that baking is a science; here is a cute video we found on YouTube that talks about why the smell of baking is so intoxicating. 

For example, did you know that there is an ideal temperature to bake cookies so they brown perfectly and the sugar caramelises?

And did you know how to use your nose as a tool to determine when the baking is done? Of course, it's wise to keep the timer in reserve, but your nose (after time) will alert you to when it's time to pull the baking tray out of the oven. As a professional bakers we can tell when things are ready before the buzzer goes off... no-one likes a burnt muffin!

Easy Way to Clean Your Oven

Cleaning your oven can be quite laborious, especially if you've put it off for a while and all that lovely grease and food spillage has baked onto the sides of the oven.

We're all familiar with the scrubbing and soaking that is needed to clean an oven (unless you're like us and 'deep clean' once a week - imperative if you're using a professional oven).

Save your elbows, there is a way to easily clean your oven without having to purchase the entire Mr Muscle range!

You will need:

  • rubber gloves
  • ovenproof dish (the deeper the better)
  • a lemon
  • ammonia/bleach
  • cloth/sponge

Put on your gloves, protect your mitts. Preheat your oven (use the highest temperature setting) for 20 minutes. Boil water in the kettle and pour into your oven proof dish, and then add a good splash of bleach (or ammonia) and the juice of your lemon.

cast-iron-casserole-dish.jpg

Pop this in the oven for about 30 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE DOOR - you want to keep the steam inside the oven and let it do its job of loosening all the grime and dirt off your oven walls/roof. Keep an eye on it to make sure it doesn't boil dry (this is why you need quite a deep dish, something like this is perfect!)

Turn your oven off (still keeping that door closed) leave the pot in to cool down. After a while open the door, remove the pot, and with your scrubbing sponge/cloth wipe away all the grime and dirt from the walls (and roof) of your oven. This method is particularly useful for helping to clean in-between the heating elements, which can sometimes be tricky to get to.

If it was particularly grubby to begin with you may need to attack it with the Mr Muscle at this point!

How to start a cupcake business from home

Thinking of starting a cupcake business from home? There's no shortage of new cupcake businesses popping up across the country. Personally, we love all the pretty cakes that people are creating, but for every innovative and beautifully crafted cupcake, there are about 10 shocking examples of how not to do it!

Let's be realistic though, it's not enough to just have a website and be able to bake a decent cake. You have to be able to stand out from the crowd. What that entails is for you to decide, but if you're venturing into the cupcake business be aware that competition is fierce, and it is very hard work (don't expect to get rich quick or to become Hummingbird Bakery overnight!)

Let's call a spade a spade, it's not hard to bake a good cake, but it is to bake a phenomenal one. Then there's the marketing, the PR, the accounts, the promotion, the menu construction, the constant evolution of product offerings, the competition benchmarking and the industry trends.

Running a bakery is tough, but if you're doing it for the love of baking then read on to find out how you can become a full-fledged home baker selling to the public:

  • Firstly, get registered! Call up your local council and arrange for them to come and inspect your kitchen. This is an absolute must! They're there to help you and will suggest some changes if your kitchen is not up-to-par. Many see the Environmental Health Officer as a person who will always try and catch you out - this is a myth.
  • Secondly, get insured! Public liability insurance and business insurance is a must to cover your arse at all times.
  • Thirdly, register your company with Companies House (for a limited company, if you're a sole-trader there's no need) and get VAT registered!

Now the boring stuff is out of the way, you can crack on with the fun part!

  • Pick a name! Have some fun with this, try and pick something that is unique to you. Just Google it before you start using it and check it's not already trademarked/registered. Be careful not to choose something that another company is already using, otherwise you'll unleash a whole world of legal pain later on.
  • Decide on what you're going to bake and get your recipes licked. It's essential to be consistent so your customers know what they're going to get from you every time they order.
  • Ask for criticism! Of course your friends and family are going to tell you everything you bake is delicious, they're getting free cake and they love you! Seek an unbiased opinion to give it to you straight, we cannot stress enough how important this is. You're not home-baking anymore, if you do not have a professional quality product then you need to keep practicing until you do.
  • Work out how much each batch of cupcakes costs you to make, then add in your overheads (time, energy to produce, materials, etc.) and add your mark-up. Usually a good GP on food items is around 60%. Once you've worked out your pricing, check it against your competitors and ensure you're in line with what they charge, keeping competitive.
  • Choose how you're going to promote yourself. We seriously suggest getting someone with some marketing know-how if you don't have any, especially for social media. It's not enough to just create a Facebook page or set-up a Twitter account and expect people to flock to you.
  • Get a website! You can choose from loads of free hosting deals and make sure you get some SEO advice so that bad-boy ranks in organic Google searches.
  • Make it clear how you're going to sell. Some companies work on an order-form basis with a PayPal set-up for payments, whilst others have a full-blown eCommerce website to allow you to order cupcakes via an online shop - *cough*Wraggamuffins*cough*
  • GET OUT THERE!

All of the above is intended for a cupcake start-up on little (to no) budget. If you have money to spend then don't be a wally, get a professional to the specialist bits for you. That's it for now, the basics on how to set-up a cupcake company. It's not easy, but it is rewarding. Good luck and happy baking!



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Theo Paphitis #SBS Winner - 10th October 2010 Jacqueline Gold #WOW Winner - 30th May 2012

WRAGGAMUFFINS
MAKER OF MUFFINS, CREATOR OF CUPCAKES, BAKER OF BROWNIES

(Alliterations are free!)

London Muffin Delivery | London Cupcake Delivery | London Brownie & Blondie Delivery

Copyright 2014, Wraggamuffins. All rights reserved.

VAT Number: 131 4063 60 | St. Mary's Road, Ealing, W5 5ES