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December 2, 2015

Simple, light and classic: these are so easy to make but unfailingly delicious.

This recipe is an extract from Guilt-Free Baking by Gee Charman.

Preparation time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 18 minutes

Makes 12 cupcakes (12 servings)
For the sponge cupcakes:
low-calorie cooking oil spray, for greasing (optional)
250g/9oz/2 cups self-raising flour
2 tsp baking powder
150g/5½oz tinned pears in natural juice, drained
3 tbsp sunflower oil
150g/5½oz/⅔ cup caster sugar
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
For the strawberry filling:
200g/7oz/1⅓ cups strawberries
6 tbsp low-sugar strawberry jam
1 tbsp icing sugar, sifted


  • Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and line a muffin tin with paper cases or lightly spray the sections of a 12-hole loose-based mini sandwich tin with low-calorie cooking oil spray.
  • Mix together the flour and baking powder in a large bowl. Put the pears in a blender and blend to a purée. In a separate bowl, beat together the oil, caster sugar, eggs and vanilla extract, then add the pear purée and mix well.
  • Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix together well.
  • Spoon the mixture into the prepared muffin tin, filling the sections three-quarters full.
  • Bake for 15–18 minutes until golden brown, well risen and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  • Transfer to a wire rack to cool.
  • Remove the paper cases, if necessary, and cut the cakes in half horizontally. If you like, reserve 6 strawberries for decoration, then hull and thinly slice the remainder.
  • Spread a little of the jam over one half of each of the cut cakes, then top with a few strawberry slices.
  • Replace the top of each cake and dust lightly with icing sugar.
  • Cut the reserved strawberries, if using, in half, then make 3 cuts in each half up to the stalk but not going through it completely, then fan them out and put one on top of each cake to serve.


Gee Charman
Guilt-Free Baking
Available from Nourish in August 2015




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