Maximum taste, cinnamon fuss

The Dunbrody House’s star chef, Kevin Dundon, shares his favourite recipes

Cinnamon Rolls

Chocolate Cupcakes

Icing on the cake

AS we enter the end of this long, bleak January, I want to share two baking recipes that will lift everyone’s spirits. Because let’s be honest, what’s better than cake and treats to bring us all together? The first is a chocolate cupcake with buttercream icing. Cupcakes never go out of fashion and they’re even better when topped with a rich, velvety Irish cream liqueur buttercream. For the kids, you can use caramel toffee sauce instead. I use brown sugar and cocoa powder for the batter. The brown sugar brings a beautiful toffee background to the flavour, but you can use traditional caster sugar if you prefer something lighter. Use good-quality unsweetened cocoa powder to ensure the strong aroma of cocoa stays through the cupcake. Now, with cinnamon rolls, I’ll admit they are not the easiest to make. However, many of us perfected our baking skills during lockdown, so hopefully you will be able to manage it. You might overcook them or add too much cinnamon in your first few batches so it’s a case of trial and error. The dough uses yeast which requires time to proof but you can prepare the dough the night before. Just keep it in the fridge until the next day and it will slowly proof during the night. You can then spread the cinnamon butter over the dough, roll, proof again and bake. It’s perfect for morning coffee with friends and the smell of cinnamon in a house is always very pleasant. Happy cooking, Kevin


Ingredients (serves 12): ■ 250ml milk ■ 9g dried yeast ■ 1 egg ■ 125g brown sugar ■ 1 tsp ground cardamom ■ ½ tsp salt ■ 450g strong flour, plus extra for dusting ■ 100g butter, softened ■ Egg wash For the filling: ■ 50g butter, softened ■ 2 tsp ground cinnamon ■ 80g brown sugar

For the glaze: ■ 4 tbsp condensed milk ■ ½ tsp ground cinnamon ■ Icing sugar for dusting, optional

Method: 1. Pre-heat the oven to 220C. 2. In a saucepan, warm the milk to 25-30C. Remove from the heat, transfer into a small bowl and allow to cool for a few seconds if too hot. 3. Stir in the yeast and set aside for 5 minutes. 4. In the meantime, in a mixing bowl, combine the egg, brown sugar, cardamom and salt. 5. Pour over the yeasted milk mixture and slowly mix in two-thirds of the strong flour. 6. Add the remaining flour and softened butter and bring the mixture together with your hands to form a soft and sticky dough. Knead for 2-3 minutes until just smooth. Do not overwork the dough. 7. Keep the dough in the bowl and cover with cling film or a wet clean towel. Let the dough proof and rise for an hour or until it has doubled in size. 8. In the meantime, in a second bowl, make the butter filling. Mix the 50g butter, cinnamon and brown sugar together until fully combined. Keep aside at room temperature. 9. Once the dough is proofed, transfer it onto a floury work surface. Shape the dough into a rectangle about 15mm thick and spread the butter filling evenly on top. 10. Carefully roll the dough into a long sausage, short end to short end, then slice into 6-8 portions. Place the cinnamon rolls onto a baking tray. Brush with egg wash and set aside for another 20-30 minutes to proof again. 11. Once ready, place in the oven and bake for 8-10 minutes until fully cooked. Remove from the oven and transfer onto a cooling rack. 12. When cooled, drizzle with condensed milk and sprinkle with cinnamon and icing sugar, if desired. Set aside for a further 20 minutes. 13. Best enjoyed on the same day for freshness, but you can also freeze the buns and refresh in the oven.

Chocolate Cupcakes


Ingredients (serves 12): ■ 160g butter ■ 160g brown sugar ■ 3 eggs ■ 150g flour ■ 60g cocoa powder ■ 1 tsp baking powder ■ 100ml Irish cream liqueur ■ 50g dark chocolate, chopped   For the Buttercream Icing: ■ 160g butter ■ 400g icing sugar ■ 100ml Irish cream liqueur

Method: 1. Pre-heat oven to 170C and line a cupcake tin with paper cases. 2. In a bowl, beat the butter and brown sugar until well combined. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, eggs and cream liqueur. Beat well until well combined and smooth, then add the chopped dark chocolate. 3. Divide the mixture between the cupcake cases. Transfer into the oven and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. 4. In the meantime, prepare the buttercream icing. In a bowl, beat the butter until smooth, add a third of the icing sugar and beat well. Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Pour in the cream liqueur while beating until smooth and soft. 5. Place the buttercream in a piping bag with a star nozzle and place in the fridge for 10 minutes to allow it to settle. 6. Remove from the fridge and pipe the buttercream icing onto the cooled cupcakes. If you have some, decorate with extra chocolate shards and a dusting of cocoa powder. Enjoy within 2-3 days

Icing on the cake


Icing and cake glazing is always the finishing touch to a cake. A dust of icing sugar sometime suffices but so many recipe exist to vary every week! I am using condensed milk for glazing my cinnamon rolls, but cream cheese icing would be delicious too.

For a traditional glaze would will need 4-5 tablespoon of icing sugar, a small pinch of ground cinnamon ( or other flavour such as lemon zest, cocoa powder,…) and just enough water ( About 2 tablespoons) to stir until the right consistency is achieve

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