Following on from a really rather, over-suprisingly-so, excitable response from my Love is Rocky Road post, where I took you lovelies step by step through how to create my scrumptious treats, I thought I would recreate a similar post dedicated to my cupcakes.
I receive a multitude of questions, comments and emails every week regarding my cupcakes, and however much I don't mind answering any queries individually, I thought it would be a super idea to demonstrate how I personally create them from beginning to end!
This recipe and method is just how I like to bake my cupcakes, but it is open to interpretation and you can always adapt it accordingly.
So step 1 is to don your piny and gather your ingredients and apparatus!
For 12-14 cupcakes you will need:
4oz caster sugar
capful of vanilla extract
2 large eggs (free-range are the nicest and happiest!)
6oz self-raising flour
Some scales...preferably pink!
Some scales...preferably pink!
Firstly add the butter and sugar together in a bowl (or mixer machine) and whizz together, or go all old-school and get your wooden spoon out. You want your butter to be room temperature and nice and squidgy, otherwise it will take you a lifetime to mix...
Once the mixture begins to combine, add a capful of the vanilla extract and continue to beat until the amalgamation is really soft and fluffy.
This is probably the most important stage of the creating, as failure to have the butter and sugar whipped together into a fluffy mess will result in your cakes being a bit heavy and lacking that sponge-like texture.
Now you now need to reach for your eggs and add them to the blend.
Followed by a fairy light dusting of the self-raising flour.
Then take you whizzing device and combine these final last additions until you concoction has reached a smooth, light and creamy consistency. Unlike when combining the butter and sugar at the beginning, you do not want to overwork the mixture at this stage, so stop the moment everything is mixed together sufficiently.
Now we are are ready to select our cupcake cases and transfer the mixture.
Eeany meany miney mo...
I opted for an assortment of plain muffin cases and some pretty silver cases. All cases are available from online baking stockists and places on the high-street such as Lakeland.
I like to pipe the mixture into the cases as I find it is much easier, less time-consuming and creates perfect uniformity, but you can just dollop the mixture in to the cases however you so desire.
The cakes require 10-15 minutes in the oven at 180 degrees, but I do advise to keep your eye on them as these cheeky little cakes can cook at varying speeds depending how big they are. When you think they are done, take them out the oven and spear them with a knife to ensure they are baked all the way through and there isn't any uncooked mixture left on your knife.
Now it is time to let them cool whilst you prepare the buttercream and round-up all the sparkly adornments for the topping of your cupcakes.
For the buttercream/frosting, you will need:
160z icing sugar
This will happily cover 14+ cupcakes, depending how generous you are being with the buttercream. But as a rule, however much butter you use, you always need double the quantity of icing sugar.
Once again, ensure the butter is super soft and pliable, and add the icing sugar in bit by bit, otherwise it will just poof everywhere the moment you start mixing.
With some patience and a delicate touch, you soon will be faced with a beautiful light, sweet buttercream, all ready for piping onto your cupcakes. Do make sure they have cooled sufficiently though, otherwise your buttercream will just melt and slop off!
Obviously if you fancied chocolate buttercream, or a buttercream of a certain hue, then you would just add the cocoa or colouring at the final stage.
I have amassed a plethora of piping nozzles and other cake-based utensils since my fascination with cupcakes began, but if you are just starting out, I would suggest punting for a star-shaped nozzle to create the perfect swirls on your cakes.
Again, the decorations for the top of your cakes are pretty, sparkly and extensive. I purchase most of mine from a local market near me, but they are accessible online and from most supermarkets. So just have fun and play about with an assortment of adornments!
Now it's time to pipe!
Piping the perfect swirl on your cupcake will take time and practice. The key to being able to achieve the ultimate cupcake crown is to ensure the buttercream is really soft, almost of a Mr Whippy ice cream quality. If the mixture is too stiff, the swirl will fail.
If you need to soften your buttercream, you could add a drizzle of milk to loosen it.
With your piping bag brimming with buttercream, use one hand to pipe and the other to hold the cake still. Start at the edge of the cake and swirl inwards in circles until you reach a peak in the middle.
Now the fun can begin and you can start to prettify your cupcakes with a whatever glittery delights take your fancy.
So there we go my little sugar lumps.
I do hope this post has been of some assistance if you are embarking on a cupcake crusade, or if not, I might have just charmed you a little with some delectable delights.