Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Marmite cupcakes

Yesterday I created a Marmite cupcake recipe and baked them for Marmite to send out to press and bloggers.
Marmite is an umami flavour and strangely, lends itself well to sweet and salt combinations.
I decided upon a vanilla base with a Marmite caramel frosting and a chocolate base topped with chocolate Marmite frosting.
It was important to have that salty intense Marmite hit peeking through the sweetness and this was achieved by creating a strongly Marmite flavoured 'centre' in the cupcakes. This 'centre' would either be a shock, or a pleasure depending on where your Marmite sensibilities lie...with the Marmite Love Party or the Marmite Hate Party.

Here are the two recipes:

Marmite Caramel cupcakes:

Marmite caramel
Makes a bowl, what you don't use, you can save, spoon on icecreams, pavlovas, eat straight from the jar...
125ml cold water
330g caster sugar
250ml double cream
Marmite (I used XO) to taste

Frosting ingredients

For 12 cupcakes (Double this recipe if you are making both the caramel and the chocolate marmite cupcakes)
250g icing sugar
62g cream cheese
32g unsalted butter

Sugar syrup ingredients
Equal weights sugar and water.
50g sugar
50g water

Vanilla cupcake base ingredients
For 12 approximately 45g each
130g unsalted butter
130g caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
130g beaten egg (organic)
195g plain flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
60ml milk


Make your caramel.
  • Combine the sugar and water in a medium sized saucepan until it dissolves.
  • Bring it to the boil, without stirring, until it's a deep amber colour.
  • Brush down the sides of the pan with a brush dipped in water to prevent crystallisation.
(Now everybody likes their caramel a different shade, too dark and it has a bitter note. Remember the Marmite will also darken the colour).
  • Swirl for even browning.
  • Remove from heat once desired colour is reached.
  • Whisk in cream carefully.
  • Add Marmite to taste once it's cooled down enough to taste it without burning your lips and tongue, but warm enough to melt and blend in the Marmite easily.
  • Set aside a small bowl of the caramel into which you can mix more Marmite, making a much stronger 'hit'. This I used for the centres, the rest will be mixed into the frosting.
Then make your frosting.
  • Beat 1/3 of the icing sugar with cream cheese
  • Melt butter in a saucepan.
  • When icing sugar/cream cheese mixture is smooth, add the remaining icing sugar until incorporated.
  • While still beating the mixture, pour in bubbling melted butter. Beat until smooth, but don't overbeat.
  • Fold through the caramel. However be careful not to fold in too much or your frosting will collapse.
  • Cover the frosting with clingfilm so that it doesn't crust over and put aside.
Make your Vanilla Cup cake base
  • Beat room temperature butter and sugar together for at least ten minutes on a high speed if using a mixer.
  • Add egg slowly, very slowly, to make sure the mixture doesn't curdle.
  • Sieve flour, baking powder, salt together.
  • Fold in the flour until just incorporated
  • Add the milk which you have warmed to room temperature
  • If using a mixer, slow the speed, otherwise you will beat the air out.
  • Keep scraping down the sides of your mixing bowl at regular intervals.
  • Divide mixture into a baking muffin tin filling the strong baking cases.
  • You can make sure you do this equally by setting the muffin tin on a digital scale and checking that you are adding 45g each time you fill a case.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes in 160c degree conventional oven.
  • In Aga I baked for 20 minutes in the baking oven. I found they rose better without the cool shelf.
  • Leave to cool on a rack
  • Then for the vanilla cupcakes, first brush the top of each cake with the sugar syrup. This keeps them moist.
  • Cut out a little cone in the middle of the cake
  • Fill with the strong Marmite caramel mixture
  • Replace little 'hat' of cake
  • To mix Marmite caramel into the frosting, put some frosting into a bowl and slowly add the caramel, not the other way round. You don't want your frosting to be so sloppy you can't top the cake with it.
  • Frost the cakes with your palette knife
  • Decorate
Marmite Chocolate Cupcakes:

Frosting ingredients
For 12 cupcakes
250g icing sugar
62g cream cheese
32g unsalted butter

Whipped Marmite chocolate ganache ingredients
For 12 cupcakes
180g dark chocolate (use 54 % chocolate as it's less likely to split), chopped into small pieces
250ml double cream
Marmite to taste

Chocolate Cupcake base ingredients
12 @ 40g each
60g unsalted butter
140g caster sugar
1 egg
125g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarbonate of soda
Pinch salt
60ml fresh coffee (or if you want to go hardcore...60ml of Marmite to taste in hot water)
40g cocoa powder
60ml cold water

  • Make your Marmite chocolate ganache by melting the chocolate in a bain marie and mixing in the cream and Marmite.
  • I set aside a portion which had a stronger Marmite taste for the centres.
  • Make fresh coffee! You probably need a little break after all that and you will need it for your chocolate cupcake recipe.
  • Or, true believers (fanatics dare I say...), hot Marmite drink...
  • Whisk the liquids (fresh coffee or Marmite) into the cocoa powder.
  • When smooth add the cold water.
  • Leave aside while...
  • In a mixing bowl or food mixer, beat room temperature butter and sugar together for at least ten minutes on a high speed (if using a mixer).
  • Keep scraping the sides down yeah?
  • Add egg slowly, very slowly, to make sure the mixture doesn't curdle.
  • Sieve flour, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and salt together.
  • Fold the flour mix into your egg/sugar mix...but! Attention...
  • Start by folding in a third of the Flour then a third of the cocoa/coffee/Marmite mixture
  • It needs to be folded in alternately, starting with the flour, 1/3 at a time, otherwise it will be too stiff and won't take the liquid
  • Divide your chocolate mixtures into a cupcake tin, weighing as described above, to ensure equal distribution.
  • Muffin tin must ideally be lined with strong baking cases. You need 'em sturdy to have a sharp strong edge that you can frost 'against'.
  • Bake for 20-22 minutes in 160c degree conventional oven.
  • In Aga I baked for 20 minutes in the baking oven. I found they rose better without the cool shelf.
Frosting and filling
  • When baked (they should spring back when touched) take them out carefully, trying not to separate the baking cases from the cake and cool on racks.
  • When cool, take a small knife and cut out a cone shaped wedge from the centre of the cake to make a hole
  • Lift out the centre of the cake and fill with either the strong Marmite chocolate ganache.
  • Replace the little 'hat' or centre
  • Taking your frosting, mix some of the Marmite chocolate ganache into it. Again, be careful you don't add so much that the frosting is not stiff enough to ice your cakes.
  • Frost the chocolate cupcakes with a palette knife with the Marmite chocolate frosting.
You can sprinkle a little edible glitter on top, I used gold.

Boiling caramel (wet version, there is a dry version, but this is easier)

Adding cream to the caramel...fait attention ca brule!

Adding XO Marmite to the caramel

Pouring the cream onto the chocolate

Whisking cream into the ganache

Hardcore! Adding Marmite to the chocolate ganache for the centres...

If it looks like this, you haven't scraped the sides down...

The blessings of a good strong cupcake case

We're going in...

Reminiscent of sticky toffee pudding in taste

Cupcake autopsy...this is what they look like inside...

The decoration can be ordered online...

A little glitz...

A review of Marmite cupcakes from Easy Living Magazine


  1. These look and sound delicious. What's the marmite XO like?

  2. These look and sound delicious. What's the marmite XO like?

  3. WOW they look good, I was quite scared when you posted those pics yesterday but these look amazing!

  4. I neeeeeed some of these straight away.

    Had a bit of moment making caramel couple of months ago - was busy, lost the plot, caramel crystallized and I ended up using warmed golden syrup instead - sometimes you have to take shortcuts - and it worked just as well. Easier too.

  5. Funny watching you make caramel - learning to do that today on my course! I was scared of it at first but overcome the fear now! Wonder if I'd like these...I think yes...perhaps! xxx

  6. Yum! I love Marmite, what a great project to be given from the big guys at Marmite.

  7. Hi from Tokyo! Thanks for sharing this real interesting post. Initially, it was shocking to use Marmite for puds, but my feeling of "Hate it" turned into "Love it" in the end :))

  8. I think you've somehow tricked me into liking cupcakes. How did you do this?!

  9. ummmm where can I get my next fix please?? MUST HAVE MORE

  10. WRONG! YUK! Ha ha. I like cake and I like the smell of marmite but I really do find it repulsive. Maybe it will be ok with cake. Maybe it will just wreck a perfectly good batch of cakes. I dont know.

  11. I'm going to try making these tonight, two fingers up to the vegemite brigade!


I would love to hear what you think of this post! I try to reply to every comment (if there is a delay, I am probably away from an internet connection or abroad)