Disclaimer – Those who have a dislike of pink, purple, glitter, flowers or butterflies… please look away now.
In fact please leave my blog altogether, there’s nothing for you here!
This weekend was my niece and goddaughters christening. My sister-in-law trusted me with the huge task of baking 40 cupcakes for the beautiful Sienna’s big day.
Her brief for me? As pretty and girly as possible!
I was extremely pleased about this, not only because cupcakes are my favourite thing to bake but also because I like to making girly stuff better! Woohoo!
My sister-in-law wanted to go all out for her little one’s big day and she really did an amazing job. She had an exact vision for how she wanted the venue to look and I have to say…. I was a teensy bit nervous that my cupcakes might not cut it! I hope they turned out the way she imagined them and I certainly had an great time making them… they’re my favourite creation to date!
I will be doing a separate post about the day itself as it was totally amazing but today I’m focussing on the cakes as I know I teased you all with snaps on Instagram and Twitter. It’s time to put you all out of your misery (hey I can dream!)
I started out with a double batch of my usual vanilla cupcake recipe which left me with 48 cupcakes (well, you’ve got to have some spares for
eating practicing haven’t you?!)
I should mention at this point that I’d created all the various toppers for the cupcakes the week before and stored them in airtight containers, just to save time. Most of them were created using flower paste (similar to standard sugar paste/fondant icing but it rolls out thinner and dries out hard, making it perfect for creating pretty little decorations like these!) which you can buy from loads of places online – I use craftcompany.co.uk (no Google they are not sponsoring me!) but there are many others.
The purple icing is just vanilla buttercream coloured with purple. I use gel food colouring as you can create a much stronger colour using less food colouring. Also, gel colouring doesn’t affect the consistency of your icing the way that standard supermarket liquid colouring does, which also makes it great for colouring sugar and flower paste. Or you could just buy it ready coloured like me
because I’m lazy like that.
Here is the slightly sad part of the story.
The pink icing was my big thing. My surprise. The most delicious icing in the world. Raspberry buttercream. You think it’s just going to be normal buttercream coloured in pink, that’s all you are prepared for. Then you take a bite and.. Oh. My. God. So good. I do have a recipe for this somewhere, basically you make normal buttercream (whatever quantity of butter you use, just double it for icing sugar – that is literally the recipe for buttercream. 150g/300g should be fine to ice 12 cupcakes)
Then comes the special bit – puree up some raspberries and sieve the seeds out. Once the puree is smooth, add small amounts to your icing. It will colour the icing pale pink but what I am about to tell you is a mistake that everyone should learn from.
Don’t keep adding raspberry puree to get the pink colour you want! Add small amounts to get the taste right but keep the consitancy stiff and if you want a darker colour USE FOOD COLOURING!. I did not do this. I kept adding juice to get a lovely dark pink before realising my icing was slowly going goopy and would never hold a shape when piped. I then tried to rectify this by shoving it in the freezer to cool down which I got all smug about because it appeared to have worked. I iced the pink cakes, put them with the others and carried on. It was only when I went to put some more finished ones in there that I realised the pink iced ones were melting faster than the Wicked Witch of the West. Shit. I shoved them in the fridge which just about salvaged the situation but my perfectly piped swirls were all but gone 🙁
So I did what any normal person (with OCD) would do – I shoved them on the bottom tier at the back and I forced everyone into eating them first so that nobody would see my shamefully less-than-perfect work.
Next up… stencils anyone?
Just when you thought these cupcakes couldn’t get anymore awesome (did I mention how modest I am?), I decided to switch it all up again.
When people think of cupcakes, they imagine the big swirl of buttercream. Which is great obviously… who doesn’t like cake topped with sugary butter? (If you don’t, you can get out and join the glitter haters on the naughty step!!)
However, sometimes it’s nice to keep things simple. To do these ones, I just spread a thin layer of butter cream on top of a cupcake, cut out a circle of white fondant icing and stuck it carefully on top. I then used a stencil and stiff royal icing to paint the butterfly on. (Did somebody say silver dragee antennas?)
I’ve realised this post has gotten rather long and rambling so I’ll leave you with the rest of my photos…
Doesn’t the cake table look awesome? Obviously I am not the extremely talented lady responsible for creating the masterpiece in the centre (believe me you’d know about it if I was… remember what I said about being modest??) but I know she is another friend of my SIL. I also know that she is far more talented than me and is starting up a cake business so if you’re living in the area and needing a cake for any occasion, I am sure I can get her details for you.
Keep watch for a post about the actual christening later this week! Perhaps I should have written that one first but hey… priorities people! 😉