It was my turn last week to bake a cake for the cake rota at my WI. The decision of what to make is not one I take lightly. I mean, you’re baking for the WI! You can’t take along just anything.
So I had a little think. I really wanted to try out some of my new goodies and was desperate to have a go with sugarpaste. I’m a complete newbie with icing and sugarpaste and it’s my aim this year to learn a little bit more about how to make more professional looking cakes.
So with that in mind, at the Cake International show a couple of weeks ago, I treated myself to a silicone mould which produces two different types of bows. I also got some alphabet stamps and other items from Purple Cupcakes.
I’ll write a proper post about the individual items and how I used them, but for today I’ll just give you the recipe.
The other amazing brand I’ve found at these shows is Sugar and Crumbs. I know, I’ve probably mentioned them about a million times, but that’s because I genuinely LOVE their products! I used their coconut flavoured icing sugar a couple of weeks ago in my Coconut and Lime Macaroons (you can find the recipe here). I also had Strawberry Milkshake flavoured icing sugar so I teamed it with vanilla cupcakes, et voila!
I chose vanilla because I didn’t want anything to overpower the frosting – well, it’s not every day you get to make a strawberry milkshake buttercream, is it?!
The Sugar and Crumbs icing sugar is very strong in flavour, so they recommend you dilute it 1 part flavoured and 1 part plain icing sugar. I actually ended up adding in even more plain icing sugar as it flavour was still very strong. This is a massive plus with their products, because you find that you actually don’t need very much of it and it lasts longer!
The cupcake recipe is tweaked slightly from the Hummingbird Bakery – I would highly recommend their iPhone app – I think it’s about £2.99 but it’s much cheaper than buying the book and all the recipes are really useable.
For the cupcakes
80g unsalted butter, softened (I used Stork)
280g caster sugar
240g plain flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs
For the icing
125g Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugar (I used Strawberry Milkshake)
200g normal icing sugar
125g very soft butter
Pink food colouring – I used Wilton Rose Gel
– Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C and line a cupcake tin with cases – this recipe should make about 12-16 cupcakes, depending on the size.
– Using an electric mixer – I used my trusty KitchenAid but you could do it by hand – beat together the butter, sugar, flour and baking powder until it looks like breadcrumbs.
– In a jug, mix together the milk, eggs and vanilla essence, then slowly pour the liquid into the dry ingredients, mixing all along, until you have a smooth, runny batter.
– Spoon into the cupcake cases – I actually find it easier to pour this batter into the cases because it is quite runny. Fill the cases to about 2/3 full. Then bake in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until they are golden and a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool completely before icing.
– Make your frosting. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter at a high speed until it’s light and creamy. Then add the icing sugars, cover the bowl with a towel and continue to mix. The towel is imperative if you don’t want an icing sugar cloud! As much as I always share this tip, sometimes I forget to do it myself and get covered in icing. D’oh.
– You may like to add a little milk if the icing is too thick, but make sure it’s mixed for a good few minutes; even if it looks ready, those extra couple of minutes will make a huge difference to the finished product. You can also add your food colouring at this point – remember – a little at a time! You can always add more colour but it’s tough to get rid if you’ve made it too dark. Once it’s reached the correct colour and consistency, you can then ice your cupcakes.
– You can ice them with a piping bag and nozzle, like I did, or use a knife or spoon to just dollop it on. Whatever you like really!
And there we go - quick and easy cupcakes which went down a treat at the WI meeting.
If you’d like to find out more about the sugarpaste icing I’ll be posting about it over the next couple of days.