Ready to bake some cupcakes with me? Hi everyone this is Jillian with some pretty cupcakes for you to make on Delicious Bites for August. Although I bake regularly, I’m not much of a cake decorator so I turned to the internet for some inspiration. I found lots of pretty images and decided to decorate my cupcakes with petal decorations made from coloured marshmallows. The base is a classic vanilla butter cake recipe and I decided to include some plain flour in the mix to prevent the cakes from peaking too much.The icing is my all time favourite cream cheese icing (frosting) which I whipped for 5 minutes until it was very light and fluffy. I refrigerated the icing for about 20 minutes until it was firm enough to pipe.
I topped each cake with a rosette of the icing then decorated the cakes with a chocolate button and 4 marshmallow petals. The petals are easily made by snipping a marshmallow horizontally and like magic, the marshmallow forms the shape of a petal. You can let your imagination run wild while decorating the cupcakes. I tried out a few designs and combinations using different coloured marshmallows and different coloured chocolate buttons but decided I liked a single colour petal topped with the same coloured chocolate button grouped together en masse. Here’s the recipe and instructions for you.
PETAL CUPCAKES (makes 12)
3/4 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup plain flour
100 gm (3 1/2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
1/2 cup caster (superfine) sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1/2 cup milk
CREAM CHEESE ICING
30 gm (1 oz) unsalted butter, softened
60 gm (2 oz) cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups sifted icing sugar
1 tablespoons milk
24 coloured marshmallows
Coloured chocolate buttons or Smarties
Line a 12 hole muffin tray with cupcake liners. Preheat a conventional oven to 180C/350F. Sift the self raising flour and the plain flour together into a small bowl and set to one side. In a large bowl cream the butter, caster sugar and vanilla extract until light and creamy. Gradually mix in the beaten egg, adding a tablespoon or so of flour if the mixture starts to curdle. Add the remaining flour and sufficient milk to form a soft cake batter. Spoon tablespoons of the cake batter into the cupcake liners. Bake the cupcakes at 180C/350F for 20-30 minutes or until the cupcakes are golden and cooked when tested with a fine skewer. Allow the cupcakes to cool a little before removing to a wire cake rack. When completely cool decorate or store undecorated in an airtight container. To make the icing, cream the butter, cream cheese and the vanilla extract together in a small bowl until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Mix in the icing sugar and sufficient milk to make a soft icing. Whip for 5 minutes until the icing becomes very pale and refrigerate until the mixture is firm enough to pipe.
To decorate, pipe a swirl of cream cheese icing over the top of one of the cupcakes. Cut 2 marshmallows in half horizontally. Pinch the ends to make petals. Place a chocolate button in the centre of the icing, then arrange 4 of the marshmallow petals on top. Put the cupcake to one side and decorate the remaining cupcakes. Set the cupcakes to one side to set before serving.
Today is my final Delicious Bites column for decor8. I’ve been contributing to decor8 for 5 years now, initially contributing with photos to Holly’s blog posts (since 2009) then with my own column shooting shops for the Shopgirl Visits (May 2012 – December 2012) before turning to writing about my great love, food, in February 2013 and wrapping up the column here today. So after all these years on decor8 I will miss you all. I’ll still be baking and photographing for my own blog though, so please drop by to see what I’m up to. Wishing you all the best, Jillian.
(images/text: Jillian Leifboff)