Sparkling champagne cupcakes - Picture by Ivan Naude
After reading the cook book, Cupcakes with a Kick by Simone Balman, I was left wondering, why have I never added alcohol to any of my bakes.

You get two kinds of bakers, those who strictly follow the recipe and those who love to improvise, I am not the latter.

To deviate from a recipe, especially adding alcohol into the mixture can lead to devastating consequences. Egg and milk are just the first two ingredients that I fear will not react well to the alcohol you add to a cupcake mixture.

Alcohol does also burn off and of course different spirits react differently when included in a baking mix.

Cupcakes with a Kick is available from Metz Press.

Thankfully Balman has done all the hard work (and the test bakes) so you can have a blast when tackling her recipes as well as adding the alcohol to the cake mix.

Here she shares some handy tips
  • Ingredients should ALWAYS be at room temperature
  • Always check your eggs. Eggs react differently when cold and the other ingredients that are too warm or too cold can affect the recipe with disastrous consequences.
  • Mirror the flavour of your spirit to the ingredients/fruits/flavouring you use. Read the bottle and tasting notes and match this up with ingredients.
  • It's best to follow the recipe and not deviate. You don't want too much alcohol, it will overpower your baking mix - but you do want to taste it. The recipe has been tested to get the perfect balance.
Cupcakes with a Kick is written by Simone Balman and is available from Metz Press