My Caramel and Walnut Cupcakes…Sofie Gråbøl’s favourites!

This recipe will make about 15 to 17 cupcakes….so let’s say 16!

  • 200 g dried dates
  • 250 ml black tea
  • 1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 85 g butter
  • 175 g plain flour
  • 1 1/2 g teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon all spice
  • 130 g brown sugar
  • 45 g white sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 100 g walnuts
  1. Take the stones out of the dates and chop them up
  2. Bring to the boil and then simmer the dates in the tea for about 4 minutes
  3. Stir in the bicarbonate of soda and then put to the side
  4. Beat the sugar and butter in a bowl really well
  5. Add the eggs gradually (to avoid it splitting (if it does split just mix and mix and mix to try and bring it back together))
  6. Sift in the flour, baking powder and all spice and then mix
  7. Fold in the date mixture and the (coarsely chopped) walnuts
  8. Put into your cupcake cases in a cupcake tray and bake for about 14 minutes at 190 degrees

For the Victoria’s Cooking Caramel Topping……

  • 100 g butter
  • 100 g brown sugar
  • 150 g cream cheese (full fat, non of this half fat rubbish)
  1. Heat the butter and sugar slowly in a pan stiring occasionally till it’s bubbling
  2. Take of the heat and add about 50 g of cream cheese (this stops it becoming really hard caramel)
  3. Put aside till it cools. Put in a sink of cold water to speed up the process.
  4. When it’s cool add more cream cheese….about 100 g
  5. Then add icing sugar, mixing until it looks like the right consistency to ice
  6. I’m pretty proud of this one. It’s sooooo YUMMY.

ENJOY…..Join my page please…….more of my cupcake recipes to follow!

The Mean Machine Cupcake Mobile….

Getting a plan to work takes many many cogs, that link together and eventually, if successful result in a machine that works naturally…like a windmill for example….or a water mill. If I can make my business flow as beautifully, naturally and mechnically as a watermill I’ll be a very happy girl. Right now it is take plan…make cog, start finding other cog, add oil, dig water channel and throw a huge dollop of  “making it up as you go along”. It’s new territory, new adventures, new confusions and so so many decisions and twists. This is all part of the experience I keep telling myself and should be embraced in the same vain of ‘appreciating the jouney not just the destination’ even if it is overwhelming at times and unnerving at others, with complete self doubt always round the corner. Setting up a business is a rollercoaster. Emotional, physical, mental. I find mantras help…ones that have been echoeing round my head over the past few weeks….”step by step”, “stay calm” and “what the hell am i doing?” “just have a go, just have a go”

I make cakes, good cakes……introducing my Organic Cupcakes to Copenhagen and spreading the joy of my cakes to everyone so I can make it my business….that’s a few chapters later. What I do know is that one of the definite highs on this rollercoaster ride is when I’m dropping my cakes off at a café and someone says; “Oh is it you that makes the cupcakes….they’re delicious” and then we have a lovely chat. This completely makes my day and totally fuels me with energy to keep going and carry on baking. I love it.

So I decided that to get those cogs turning I needed transport, a little quicker than my antique Raleigh so on Sunday I went off into the wilds of Southern Denmark to visit my friend Johannes and his family and pick up my new-to-me Scooter….the T-Rex!

T-Rex as you would imagine is a bad-ass, scary, dangerous beast….with a large windshield.

My journey to collect T-Rex started with excitment, buzzing excitment as I headed off to collect my new Cupcake Mobile, on the train to Køge, lovely little harbour town…where I jumped on a bus, the 102a to the ‘Middle of Nowhere’ for an hour into the wilds of “Past the End of the S-tog”. Emotions turned to a mix between excitement and fear as I signed the papers and took the keys. Fear developed exponentially as I left the house to drive the scooter home, into serious white fear. What have I done now fear. A fear I’ve had before.

Once on the way though and the first trip to the petrol station over with no serious blunder, the blinding fear melted away into pleasure and the joy of the open road. You’re right there in the landscape, you’re part of the air, fields and sky as you bump along carefree with your fun new best friend. Scooting along and enjoying the humour of the situation was sheer happiness. I hadn’t had time to envisage the reality of this journey and now I was there in the reality and it made me laugh. With the sunsetting and the farmland flying by around me that half hour is definitely on my board of Happy Moments…..

Soon though, after the sun had set and the sunset’s red sky had faded, the cold sheer bitter cold, bitterly sheer cold kicked in… 

It felt like sitting on a park bench in winter. I’d foolishly forgotten that when you cycle as I have been, it generates heat which keeps you warm. When driving a scooter you just sit there…. It wasn’t until the cold had set in and the darkness had swallowed me that the realisation hit me. I was driving a scooter back from Brøderup and Brøderup was miles away, like miiiiles away near Tappernøje, south Sjælland and I had a long long long way to still go…..I shivered and looked seriously into the distance. 

The cold dark night quickly striped back all emotions to reveal a more base human trait, it was now purely ‘survival’ at the forefront of my mind. There was a great possibility I was going to be losing eight fingers, a foot, and one thumb as I made my way along the long long long straight road they* call the longest road in the world. That night as I sat close to death on my trusty new steed it defintely was the Longest Road in the World…and the coldest. I had, as I said earlier, underestimated the important, lesser considered advantage of riding a bicycle…heat is generated through kinetic movement…the joy of physics. NOT RELEVANT TO DRIVING ON A SCOOTER. NO HEAT GENERATED. Survival said to me: Stop several times to hold coffee and defrost: I lingered in the service stations hobbling about trying to defrost…wondering constantly whether my feet HAD actually turned black. I set off at 4pm a bright sunny yet cold Sunday…I got home to Islands Brygge at 8.30pm a dark, bitter night…..definitely in shock, in fact shocks; the shock of the day, shock of the reality of how far I had to drive it back, shock of darkness and Baltic conditions underprepared. On arrival in Islands Brygge, parked, unpacked and struggling with the 2 new locks Johannes had kindly bought for me I was close to snapping…physically like ice, as movement hadn’t be high on the agenda for the past 4.5 hours. I practically staggered through the door to the safety of my apartment and as part of the survival plan headed immediately for the Lagavulin. I gulped whisky, to survive. I then went and had the longest shower I have ever had. I stayed there for a long time, eventually defrosting and eventually able to look back on the trauma and laugh. Got out and drank more Lagavulin. To survive.

But now I’ve forgetten all that. I think it’s probably the same as when mothers have children and they forget the excruciating pain once they experience the joy of seeing the baby. T-Rex! Worth every missing finger.

Just putting the helmet on makes me feel different, then once I’m on and hold those handlebars……yes I am a Biker……I see the open road……I snarl…….I rev at traffic lights……………………………………….I deliver Delicious Organic Cupcakes.

* ‘they’ – my friend Johannes and his wife

Busy Baking

Well I have been having a mighty busy time. I’ve been baking, delivering, approaching and ‘working out’ constantly. I have been delivering to my regulars, Café Holberg and Nosewise…then approaching new places. Then as people gradually taste my cupcakes they are then approaching me directly to order large quantities for work related functions…one which I’m waiting to hear back from is for me to represent a company in the Bella Centre to say “look what organic produce can result in…delicious funky sexy cupcakes…”…I’m still waiting to hear back but if I do I will be baking 1600 of my reception sized cupcakes for next weekend. Me? Holding my breath? Yes!

Another company has enquired whether I can make cupcakes for their careers event?…of course I can, how many?!…a sure way to lure any student!

I also had a very fruitful meeting with Nicolai at Soupantural. I brought along 4 different kinds of my cupcakes…He started with the Chocolate and Beetroot….as he worked his way down the line taking a mouthful of each he kept saying, “I thought that was my favourite, but no I think this is…mmmm….” and then onto the next and the same comment. I do believe my Spiced Apple with Cinnamon Icing and a pocketful of Apple Purée was his final favourite but it also could have been the Carrot Cupcake with the Traditional Lemon Icing…either way he loved them and asked me how quickly I could deliver to each of his 3 shops. I think we can say about this meeting “everyone’s a winner”

I am delivering on my 400 year old Raleigh bicycle…it has no gears and permanently feels like it is in 7th gear…people regularly overtake me while peddling far less…someone even commented that they think my bicyle is the oldest one they’ve seen in Copenhagen…for those of you IN Copenhagen you’ll now understand the state of my bike!

On Wednesday I have a “meeting” arranged at my apartment….steak and red wine followed by cupcakes and an evening of the design of my “Cupcake Mobile”….a 3 wheeled motorbike and some welding is what I have in mind…the outcome with someone who knows much more than I do will be revealed at a later date….

So in between all this I’ve been contacting various organic suppliers, speaking to box manufacturers, locating my ideal cupcake case, (no no no they’re not all the same…!) creating new recipes for my Gluten Free Range and annoying my website designer at Tinkvision with alterations……as you can imagine…life for me outside Cupcake World has been put on Pause……

Come try my cupcakes in Copenhagen…

For those of you lucky enough to be in Copenhagen, the time is here for you to visit Café Holberg, 19 Holbergsgade or Nosewise, Vestmannagade 4, Islands Brugge. Not only because they are fantastic café/winebars but I am now regularly supplying them with a variety of my Cupcakes. So please go and try them and then let me know what you think. I’m excited to hear your comments. Enjoy!

Cupcakes…ready to go….

The moment I have been waiting for many months has arrived. I am back home in Copenhagen, Denmark, where I feel I now belong. My Victoria’ s Cooking website is ready to go live, my recipes are tasting as I want them, with people devouring them in front of me nodding and saying such things as “ees a goooo” roughly translated as “these are gooood” but with a big bite of cupcake still in mouth or “mmmm lækker mad” words I love to hear. 

I am also very excited that I now have a start date for my danish lessons. It’s going to be hard I know but I can’t wait to “snakker på dansk”. My mother will be proud when I’m finally able to talk to her in Danish, and maybe my cousin, Jan will get off my back too! Having spent the last year and a half in Denmark, many many things that I just thought growing up with my mother were “my mother” were actually because my mother is danish. It has made me understand her so so much more. I love that. I didn’t expect it but that’s life’s beauty. You can’t expect the best bits, they just unfold.

So I reveal to you…Victoria’s Cooking…and Victoria’s CUPCAKES right now. I don’t have my own shop in Copenhagen but I’ll be baking for a cafe, office, wedding, confirmation, party or opening near you. I shall bake, I shall deliver, I shall make people smile. and I shall obviously have to be tasting my cupcakes along the way to ensure the very high standards I demand (she says clapping her hands together in delight….yum) 

If there’s somewhere you would like to be able to find my cupcakes then please let me know. Send me an email to victoria@victoriascooking.com It will be a pleasure to hear from you.

Sooooo, LET’S GET COOKING!



my cupcake world……

The Victoria´s Cooking website is practically ready to go…unfortunately my Danish is not quite ready to go…I was hoping when I moved to Denmark all the Danish that I can speak would suddenly and naturally progress into fluency…..I was wrong. (I AM going to be taking lessons very soon). So my lovely cousin Ulrika has translated my English text into Danish and once this has been confirmed as good to go, then the website can go big, wide, large and…she says stopping typing and waving her hands around in front of her…go out there into space.

What I noticed today on my current Victoriascooking.com page that it says if you´d like to know more then to look on here. Hmmmmm….not entirely true….. so I shall rectify this and try and give a little insight into the new world of Victoria´s Cooking.

I´m in the middle of setting my own company up…I´ve always thought I´d do it, but have been preoccupied with other less/more/equally important things….like snowboarding/working for others/partying/sleeping/travelling…….

The last couple of years however have been unsatisfying…not entirely (there have been portions of brilliance) but as a whole something was missing. Then this summer I had a big cancer scare (don´t worry, all completely fine now+check up fine too so all good)….now when you have 2 and a half weeks of waiting and not knowing but reeeally thinking you are about to find out some seriously shocking news, it kinda affects you……and that it did. So when I found out everything was fine, without me trying life became pretty %&#¤ing fabulous. It confirmed my already bright outlook on life and also left a whole load of stuff behind…waste of time bollox really. My friend, Jo and I saw, maybe clarity in 1993 on a beach in the Greek Islands and came up with the line, “It´s all a question of relativity and perspective” This has done us well over the years and once again kicked in this summer. My “blue period” was well and truely over and life was here to be got on with.

And so Victoria´s Cooking….I can cook, I´m not a trained chef but I can cook. People like my food, they want more, they leave very, very clean plates, it´s the only indicator I go on.

Copenhagen doesn´t have cupcakes….and if they do it´s only very sweet and not even that attractive cupcakes. “Possibly out of a packet” I´ve heard….need I say more? I´m here to bring them cupcakes…and proper quality cupcakes. I mean if you´re going to eat calories you may as well get a full on taste sensation. Life´s too short. 

The cupcakes I make are made from free range eggs and proper danish butter. I try and encorporate either fruit or vegetables in them (in fact maybe they could even be counted in your 5 a day….ooh note to self…must find out if 5 a day exists in Denmark!) mainly because they make them moister and who doesn´t like a moist cake? My gorgeous friend Trine has told me, when she tried to do the translation that “moist” into Danish just doesn´t work….(you see, if I had never lived here I wouldn´t have known the complexities of translating English to Danish, basically not as easy as you´d think)

They´re yummy, they´re beautiful, I can make them crazy if you like….at the moment I´m making them all natural ingredients and natural colours. I however can, as you who know me, go wild…..and that´s the same in my cooking…if you want crazy loopy cupcakes with blue, green, purple and orange stripes…I´m your girl….and I´d love it….I´ve got shimmer, I´ve got stars….but only if you say…otherwise they is going be just au natural!  

So I do my day job, running the kitchen of a very cool café/restaurant of the beautiful old art gallery Charlottenborg, Nyhavn (where all the pretty coloured houses line the harbour) and I do this in my “spare” time…..for now……..

I cupcake, you cupcake, we all cupcake together….

A cupcake to me is a mini “big” cake which is beautifully decorated with an equally-tasty-and-equally-important-to-the-cupcake-as-a-whole-topping that perfectly compliments the cake below it. It´s so you don´t ALL have to have the same cake to eat…in a way, you can have your cake and eat it. No compromise. It avoids any disagreements, no “her piece is bigger than mine”, no “but he gets all the icing”, no “but I didn´t want lemon cake, I wanted chocolate”…. just a calm – it´s what I wanted and now it´s all mine to eat. Some may consider this an egotistical move, and maybe that is exactly where our western society has led us but I like to think of it as having your cake to eat, in a whole perfect portion, a complete portion, a complete cake……………………..a cupcake in fact.

up and running….

Now that my facebook page is launched, my web site is just soo nearly ready to go, I´m picking up the business cards and stickers for the cupcakes tomorrow, things are feeling real and I´m ready….

I´ve finishing off all the cupcakes for a special birthday this week….a company in town…I´ve made a big batch of Caramel and Walnut cupcakes along with my Chocolate and Beetroot Cupcakes and my Very Lemon Butterfly Cupcakes as requested…should be a good party.

didn´t quite mean to do that…..

I´d been working all day at the gallery….Charlottenborg Art gallery, a beautiful old art gallery right in the centre by Nyhavn, the pretty harbour with the coloured buildings that the tourists (and I, may I add) love….I´d got home and was busy getting all the business side of things with Victoria´s Cooking..working out costs, cutting down the menu, deciding who to approach…..plus sorting out the “facebook page”….you HAVE to do it everyone told me…so I was …but in secret, unpublished, PERFECT ….as was I suddenly “blogging”….but in secret, unpublished, PERFECT…..so with the facebook page…I decided it was time to just invite a few friends….like close friends…who could have a look, tell me what was rubbish…or hopefully some of it was good….but I just couldn´t work out how to invite just a few people…at one point I thought I´d managed to and had selected that nice secure unit of people who you know are going to help and support and whatever they say would only be to help……but then that wasn´t it….and it was all beginning to be pretty annoying…..it had taken time….and so a couple of glasses of red had easily slipped down and I was getting frustrated and wanted things to just work….so I decided (shaking head with raised eyebrows and looking down) that if I pressed “publish page” it would give me the option of who I was going to publish it to…….yea I know(now)….so I pressed it……”You have successfully published your page” aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!!

after about 10 minutes of expletives and waving arms I decided bugger it….it´s about time, be brave and get on with it. So that is how I started to actually get on with spreading the word instead of keeping it all to myself…which when building a business, is pretty bloody pointless!

photo session…..

Well I´d made all the cupcakes so the pressure was slightly off but we still had to get them photographed and me being me I wasn´t going to be chilled till they´d been taken and they looked good…..but very soon into the morning, Christian had taken some corkers and I was smiling bright and everything was feeling really real. Like REEEEALLy real…I mean my cakes all done and photographs all permanent. By the end of the long day getting all the right shots of everything plus shots on white for my graphic designer, Antonia Lee Bapty of Tinksvision….I was a happy girl with a squeel in her tummy….in fact probably stupidly, one of the proudest days of my life.