A 1950s Weekend – Milkshakes & Baking


This weekend just gone I decided to do some baking. A real first for me, I don’t think I’ve baked since Miss Merryfield’s food technology class when I was 12 – but this weekend, for some unbeknown reason, I really felt like getting my bake.

First though I made my boyfriend take me out for a milkshake (not some weird innuendo, an actual milkshake, before you start thinking something else) – I don’t know why I wanted one, perhaps it was the beautifully warm Spring weather, not quite warm enough for an ice cream so a milkshake the next best thing. Anyway we strolled up to Love Shake in Shoreditch after a quick google of the best milkshake places over East.

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I had Strawberry (made with real strawberries!) and he had Vanilla. We got them to go but sat for a little while at their open window and did some East London people watching. I also took a couple of pics of the interior as it was classic Shoreditch quirky (read: mis-matched furniture and lots of random signs). If you’re after a milkshake in East London I can really recommend Love Shake…I want another just thinking about it!

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We strolled home and on the way picked up the ingredients for my afternoon of baking. I’d decided I wanted to make cheeseburger cupcakes after seeing them online somewhere. I am also planning to making them for a secret occasion I have coming up (can’t say what in-case the wrong person reads this!) so needed a little practise run, especially as Betty Crocker I am not.

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I googled a recipe for the cupcakes and went with the simplest. Basically one that involved the least chance for error! For my ingredients I bought:

  • 1 x Betty Crocker vanilla cake mix
  • 1 x Betty Crocker devils food cake mix
  • 6 x Eggs (although I only used 5!)
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Sainsbury’s ready-made yellow & green icing
  • Silver spoon red decorating icing

Simple. I rolled up my sleeves and got to work. First I followed the instructions to make 12 vanilla cupcakes. I combined the vanilla cake mix, 3 eggs, 180ml water and 4 Tbsp vegetable oil into a bowl and then mixed until smooth with an electric whisk.

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I greased up a cupcake tin good and proper before pouring in the vanilla mix. I then popped this in my pre-heated oven for 22 minutes at 160 degrees.

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While my vanilla cupcakes were cooking I got started on my chocolate ones. This time though I only needed to make 6 cupcakes instead of 12. Therefore I halved the recipe on the back of the Betty Crocker box – half the cake mix, 2 eggs, 125ml of water and 2 tbsp vegetable oil (nb: Do be careful as although the cake mixes are both Betty Crocker, they’re slightly different! So don’t just repeat, check the box!). I whisked it up again and lumped it into another well-greased cupcake tray.

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By this time my vanilla cupcakes were done (I checked by popping a knife into the centre of a couple and it came out clean – that apparently means they’re ready!). I whipped them out of the over and popped them out of the tray onto a cooling rack. I then popped my chocolate cupcakes into the oven for just slightly longer than my vanilla ones – I think it was 24 mins instead of 22. Once the choc cupcakes were done I popped them on the cooling rack too.

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With the cupcakes nice and cool and okay to touch I began to cut them in half. The vanilla cupcakes are the ‘bun’ part of the cheeseburger and the chocolate cupcakes are the ‘patty’. With them all cut in half it was time to start rolling out my ‘cheese’ and ‘lettuce’.

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I took the pre-made icing and put some flour down to stop it sticking to the surface. I then rolled the icing as thin as it would go before cutting it in squares. I then messed up the edges so they didn’t look as neat, you want the cheese to look a little melted and lettuce is never square so it doesn’t matter if it looks a bit jagged.

Now it was time to stack my burger. Vanilla base, chocolate patty, yellow icing cheese, green icing lettuce, a dribble of red icing for ketchup, topped off with the other half of the vanilla cupcake.

Et Voila…

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I was so pleased with final result. Admittedly they weren’t perfect, the tops had domed a bit too much when baking (apparently something to do with over-mixing – opps!) but I kind of like their imperfectness. What’s more is that they were so easy to make, even for me. I know that none of it was made from scratch (that’s the next challenge!) but for a non-baker this is a really easy and fun little recipe. Next time I bake them though I’m going to get sesame seeds to pop on top of the bun and some American flag cocktail sticks too. The cupcake parts are really moist and tasty and the icing is a serious sugar hit plus they really do look super cute.

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