This week is National Cupcake Week so it was easy to choose the subject of our blog for this week – cupcakes obviously! I’ll be covering everything from the appeal of the cupcake, to a recipe and common problems and how to resolve them.
Cupcakes have been “in” for some time and are showing no signs of going out of fashion. If anything they are becoming an increasingly popular alternative for wedding and christening cakes too. This is down to the versatility of cupcakes.
Paper/foil cases are available in a wide range of colours and designs that makes it easy to co-ordinate the cupcakes with the event that they will be displayed at.
Plus, they lend themselves to experimenting with different flavours – whether it be the sponge, a filling or the frosting, each of these components can be used to showcase a different flavour profile.
Flavours can also be chosen to complement the type of event, for example for a Hawaiian themed party I made pina colada flavoured cupcakes – coconut cupcake topped with pineapple buttercream.
You can have Halloween cupcakes, Christmas cupcakes and more, all in a variety of designs, sizes and flavours… The end of your imagination is the limit.
Want to try to make your own cupcakes at home? Buttercream is the perfect and simple icing for cupcakes.
Vanilla Buttercream (Enough to ice approx 16-20 cupcakes)
250g soft unsalted butter
500g icing sugar (see tips)
Vanilla extract 1tsp
Hot water 1tsp
Paste/Gel food colour
- Using a freestanding mixer, or handheld mixer beat the butter on high speed for approx 5 mins until the butter has lightened in colour.
- Add ½ the icing sugar, start the mixer off slowly and once the icing sugar has been incorporated increase the speed. Beat for 1 min.
- Add the remaining icing sugar, start the mixer off slowly and once the icing sugar has been incorporated increase the speed. Beat on high for 5 mins, until all the sugar has been incorporated and the buttercream is light and fluffy.
- Add the vanilla extract, hot water and paste colour you may be using.
- Beat until the colour has been evenly distributed.
- Fill a piping containing a nozzle with the buttercream.
- Pipe your cupcakes.
Let me know how yours turned out over on my Facebook page.
It is a common misconception that baking cupcakes is easy and it stands to reason that the more complicated and elaborate the flavours and designs, the harder it is. Here are two of the most common problems people encounter and how to resolve them:
Most cake decorators tend to use paper or foil liners when baking cupcakes. They are available in a variety of designs and colours which can be used to compliment an events overall colour scheme. However one of the most frustrating things about using paper liners is that they can peel away from the cupcake once they have been baked. Peeling tends to happen less when using foil liners and doesn’t seem to occur at all when using silicone liners. Silicone liners are also reusable which makes them perfect for home baking but designs and colours are limited and unless you are using them for your own personal use they are the more expensive option if you intend to sell or give the cupcakes away.
Using thicker high quality paper liners also reduces potential peeling, as does ensuring the liners are at least ⅔ full with cake batter, thoroughly cooked and removed from the cupcake pan as soon as they are taken from the oven, being careful not to burn fingers!
Cupcakes are small therefore can dry out very quickly, shelf life can be increased if cupcakes are brushed with a simple sugar syrup (equal parts of water and sugar heated until the sugar is dissolved) whilst the cakes are still warm.
Remember, you can stay up-to-date with the latest news, booking availability and bakes from me over on my Facebook page. Don’t forget to sign-up to my newsletter for recipes, tips, inspiration and opportunities here.