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Enjoying The Cupcake Revival

We yearn for certain foods for lots of reasons, but a big one is nostalgia. We will always love what we enjoyed eating as little kids.

So as more of us hit middle age, the comeback of the cupcake is no surprise. Food magazines everywhere are carrying recipes and photos of cupcakes these days, reminding us of parties and baking with our apron-wearing moms.

Given their popularity, it’s no surprise to hear the two top prizes at the Manitoba Canola Grower’ssponsored Bake Off at Red River College this spring went to creators of cupcake recipes.

The top prize went to a young woman from China, Jieying Huang, in Canada to learn western-style baking. She produced a sumptuous Banana Walnut Torte Cupcake made with the bananas and nuts she loves. She’s also gained a new appreciation for baking with canola oil, the Manitoba Canola Growers should be glad to hear.

The other prizewinner was Christina Kliever’s Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Nutella and Cream Cheese Icing. Christina found the recipe posted on Facebook, made it just for fun, then tasted a serious contender for the canola bake-off.

Here are Jieying’s and Christina’s prize recipes courtesy of the MCGA.


In large bowl, beat together canola oil, brown sugar, white sugar, egg and vanilla until well combined. In second medium-size bowl combine ground hazelnuts, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon. Mix well. Add dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Beat well. Divide batter into 12 greased or paper-lined muffin cups. Bake at 350 F for 20-25 minutes or until toothpick inserted into the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.

NOTE:These cupcakes have a brownie-like consistency and centres may sink very slightly when cooling.

Cool completely on wire rack. Frost with Nutella Frosting. *Recipe follows.


4 oz. cream cheese

3/4 c. Nutella

2 c. icing sugar

1/4 c. cocoa powder

2 tbsp. milk

Beat cream cheese until very soft. Add Nutella and continue to beat until well combined. Add icing sugar, cocoa powder and milk and beat until piping consistency, adding a small amount of extra milk if necessary. Fill decorator piping bag and pipe frosting over cupcakes.

Yield: 12 cupcakes.

Brown Sugar and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Nutella and

Cream Cheese Icing earned second place in the competition for Red River College culinary arts students.

We love hearing from readers and receiving your favourite recipes and recipe requests. If you’d like to contact us by mail write to:

ManitobaCo-operatorRecipe Swap Box 1794 Carman, Man. R0G 0J0

or email Lorraine Stevenson at: [email protected]

1/4 c. canola oil

1/2 c. brown sugar

3/4 c. white sugar

1 egg

1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 c. ground hazelnuts

1-1/3 c. flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/3 c. milk


ManitobaCo-operatorRecipe Swap

Box 1794, Carman, Man. R0G 0J0

or email [email protected]

A Banana Walnut Torte Cupcake earned top prize in the MCGA Bake-Off at Red River College.


There is a nice savoury flavour to these muffins, a change from the usual sweet morning muffins.

1/3 c. canola oil

1 c. sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla

1 c. mashed banana

(2 large bananas)

1-3/4 c. flour

1-1/2 tsp. baking powder

1/2 tsp. baking soda

1/2 tsp. salt

1/3 c. buttermilk

1 pkg. toffee bits

1/2 c. chopped walnuts


recipe follows

Extra bananas for


(or dried banana chips)

In large mixing bowl, combine canola oil and sugar. Beat well. Add eggs and beat well a second time. Add vanilla and mashed banana and beat until well combined.

In second medium-size bowl, combine flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix well. With mixer operating, alternately add dry ingredients and buttermilk to the canola oil mixture, beginning and ending with the dry ingredients. Measure 1 tbsp. toffee bits into the bottom of each of 12 silicone muffin cups. Divide walnuts, and sprinkle over toffee bits. Fill muffin cups with banana cake batter.

Bake cupcakes at 350 F for 20 25 minutes or until done and toothpick inserted into the centre of the cupcakes comes out clean. Let cupcakes cool completely in the silicone cups. Remove from cups. Cut each cupcake in half crosswise and frost bottom half with custard frosting. (Recipe follows.) Place top on cupcake and frost top of cupcake. Decorate with fresh banana slices or with dried banana chips.


3 tbsp. canola margarine

3 c. icing sugar

2 tbsp. custard powder

1/2 tsp. vanilla

2 3 tbsp. milk

Combine all ingredients in medium-size mixing bowl. Beat well until fluffy. Add more milk if necessary.

Yield: 12 14 cupcakes.



About the author


Lorraine Stevenson

Lorraine Stevenson is a reporter and photographer for the Manitoba Co-operator with 25 years experience writing news and features. She was previously a reporter with the Farmers Independent Weekly and has also written for community newspapers in Winnipeg and Manitoba's Interlake.



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