Thursday, 17 November 2011

Rainbow Pudsey Cupcakes and Smarties Cookies for BBC Children in Need

Tomorrow November 18th 2011 is the BBC Children in Need Appeal.  It first started in 1927 as a five minute radio broadcast and has now grown to a huge annual fund-raising event raising over  £600 million. Pudsey Bear made his television debut in 1985 when Terry introduced the new, brown cuddly mascot to the audience.  He was designed by Joanna Ball, a BBC graphics designer, who named him after the West Yorkshire town where she was born. He proved very popular and returned as BBC Children in Need's official logo the following year with his design amended to that of a yellow bear with a red spotted bandage.

I was asked by BakingMad to make a Pudsey Bear Dessert for their Children in Need campaign. I wanted to do something slightly different from the standard vanilla cupcakes so I decided to make it a rainbow vanilla cupcake. It's really fun and simple to do and would be a great project with the kids if you have any. I used my standard vanilla cupcake recipe and divided it into 4 equal portions. I used ziplock bags to save on washing up and it also helped to fill the cupcake cases neatly. I ordered some colourful Pudsey cupcake toppers online but sadly they have not arrived so I decorated them as suggested on the bakingmad website. Do check out all the other fantastic cupcake recipes there. 

If you like this recipe, please click here and support my recipe as BakingMad are offering a prize to the recipe with the most page views. Thanks! 

I also made some smarties cookies to go with the cupcakes as they fit the theme. I didn't have time to buy the Pudsey bear cookie cutters - perhaps something for next year.  I hope they will raise some money tomorrow for this great cause.  If you want to donate, you can do so by visiting

UPDATE : I've raised £46.10 at work today! 

 what you need to make rainbow pudsey cupcakes - cupcake batter, cupcake cases, food colouring, coloured choco beans, black writing icing and some ziplock bags

 I overfilled the bags so only got 4 colours but I love all of them! It's easy to mix the colours in the bags and then to pipe into the cupcake cases

 layer the batter in the cupcake cases. I've started here with blue followed by red... 

...and then purple... 

... and finally yellow 

 fresh from the oven - I had to trim the tops a little as they were slightly domed (note to self no need to add baking powder for this recipe)

 decorate with vanilla frosting, coloured choco beans and writing icing.

 isn't he cute? 

 cross section to see the beautiful rainbow effect

 add some cookies to the mix 

For the vanilla cupcake

250g unsalted butter
250g caster sugar
250g self-raising flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste (I used Nielsen-Massey)
4 eggs
6 tablespoons milk
Food colouring

For the vanilla frosting

125g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 tablespoon milk
Yellow food colouring 

To decorate

Black writing icing (I used Silverspoon)
Coloured choco beans (I used Silverspoon)

  • Preheat the oven to 180C.
  • Line a 12-hole muffin tin with cupcake cases. 
  • Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy.
  • Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition.
  • Add the milk and vanilla extract and vanilla bean paste.
  • Finally add the sifted flour.
  • Divide the batter evenly into required number of colours - I used 4 here. 
  • Add a little bit of food colouring to each portion and mix evenly. 
  • Pipe a layer of the first coloured batter into the cupcake cases, followed by the second coloured batter and repeat until all the batter has been used. 
  • Bake in the preheated oven for approximately 18-22 minutes until they spring back to touch and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. 
  • Cool completely on a wire rack. 
  • Prepare the vanilla frosting by mixing all the ingredients together (add the colouring last) until smooth (preferably in an electric mixer). 
  • Spread the frosting on top of each cupcake. 
  • Place choco-beans on 1 side to resemble Pudsey's bandage and draw the eyes, nose and mouth with the writing icing. 

For the smarties cookies 

  • 250g butter
    250g caster sugar
    1 egg, beaten
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    350g plain flour
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
    240g Smarties 

    • Preheat oven to 180C.
    • Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
    • Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. 
    • Beat in the egg and vanilla extract. 
    • Gradually beat in the sifted dry ingredients to form a stiff dough.
    • Finally stir in the smarties by hand.
    • Using a small ice cream scoop, scoop cookie dough onto the baking sheets, spaced well apart. (These cookies expand in the oven)
    • Bake for 12-15 minutes until pale golden brown.
    • Allow to cool on the baking sheets for a few minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely. 


  1. I like your exciting decoration! I've always wanted to try out the rainbow layers. Good work for getting involved in that BBC cause.

  2. These are so cute! And what a wonderful cause to bake for too :)

  3. These are fabulous, can I ask what food colouring brand you used?

  4. Ahhh wow the rainbow effect is brilliant!

  5. oh wow, kids would love that colourful surprise in the middle of the cake.

  6. @gloria - thanks!

    @britanny - thanks! I'm really pleased with how they turned out. Been wanting to try rainbow layers for a whilte too.

    @Lorraine - not too cute to eat though ;P

    @shaheen - I used sugarflair colourpaste which does not alter the texture of the cake

    @kim - thanks - it's really cool, I'm still amazed!

    @janice - yes the kids would definitely love it.

  7. Well done on your fab baking for a noble cause

  8. Such talent, Such finesse! Such goodness!!! You did GREAT and for such a worthy cause! Simply adorable. I will be sending this link on to my daughter. The grandkids will love it!!!

    Thanks for sharing...

  9. Wow, those colours have stunned me into near silence. Your cakes are stunning - literally! I bet Baking Mad were pleased and a good cause to be baking for too.

  10. Very cool idea! What cute cupcakes they are :)

  11. Soooo cute. Great work x

  12. Wow! So creative! Brilliant colorful theme and congratulations on your fundraising too!

  13. I love rainbow cupcakes, yours are so vibrant! and the Pudsey decoration was awesome!

  14. Oh thank you! I'm going to show these rainbow cupcakes to my middle daughter. She's planning her birthday party now and she would LOVE to make these (and show them off to her friends). Never seen anything like this, and they would be such a hit.

    Thank you, thank you! :)


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