I didn't want to go empty handed though so decided to bake a batch of cupcakes and give them half each in a pretty box. So they had to be quite special cupcakes! I spent a little while thinking about flavours and looking through recipes and chose this recipe for Mojito cupcakes from Baking Mad.
A mojito is a cocktail made from rum, lime juice and mint (a long drink topped up with sparkling water). I had a tiny bottle of Bacardi rum I'd kept from a plane journey, have plenty of mint in my garden and also had some key lime flavoured icing sugar from Sugar & Crumbs I wanted to use up which I thought would be the perfect twist on this recipe.
I didn't have any buttermilk so made my own by adding lemon juice to milk. Here I'm mixing with the Bacardi and vanilla
Ready to go in the oven. Somehow the cake cases were slightly too big for my muffin tin which is why some are a bit crinkled up to fit!
Making the syrup from sugar, water, mint and lime zest (which you then strain)
The cakes just out of the oven
Making a hole in each one with the end of a teaspoon, which I then wiggled around a bit to make a bigger hole! You pour the syrup inside and it soaks in to give a stronger lime and mint flavour at the centre - yum! You can't see the holes once you've piped buttercream on top.
Here's my flavoured icing sugar - it's flavoured with lime so you don't need to add any lime juice, meaning the buttercream stays the right consistency, and it uses all-natural flavours.
I decided to pipe swirls on the cupcakes using a star nozzle, but while I would usually start on the edge and work inwards, that creates quite a lot of height and as I was going to place a mint leaf on top I wanted flatter frosting. So I started in the middle and piped outwards, which gives a rose effect. I did also add some green food colouring to the icing.
I also added a few drops of rum to the buttercream as well!
Finally I topped each one with a mint leaf.
I'm sharing these with the Eating al Fresco challenge hosted by Munchies and Munchkins, as these would be great for a barbecue or picnic.
I'm also sending these to the Food Year Linkup, hosted by Charlotte's Lively Kitchen, as there are various events taking place this month that these would work for: National BBQ Week, The Big Lunch, National Picnic Week, Cupcake Day and Macmillan Summer Nights!