Monday, 13 September 2010

DIY Wedding Cupcakes


I've always loved baking for other people but when I told friends that I was making my own wedding cake most sounded horrified! I knew it might be a bit stressful but with my back up plan of buying lots of fondant fancies and a lot of help from a expert baker bridesmaid it all came together...

I went for a basic vanilla sponge from the Primrose Bakery book and a sturdy butter icing made from unsalted butter and icing sugar. I made all of the cakes in the morning two days before the wedding and had great fun icing them in the evening. We both couldn't believe quite how well they turned out!

It was also a great excuse to book myself in for the wedding cupcake course at Cakes 4 Fun in Putney where I learned some sugar craft tips and simple things like using an icing bag to divide the cake mix between their cases.
I really liked the eclectic trend of going for a cake 'buffet' rather than one big trad cake and really think it gave a fun and not too formal feel to the tea and cake part of the day as everyone could just help themselves. My new husband and I fed each other little cakes rather than having a ‘cutting the cake’ moment.

I also made cake pops (inspired by Bakerella) and brownies and we had macarons from Paul in Holland Park.


I tried out lots of different recipes for the cupcakes but here's the one I went with...

Vanilla Cupcakes:

INGREDIENTS

110g (4oz) unsalted butter, at room temperature
225g (8oz) caster sugar, preferably golden
2 large eggs, free-range or organic
150g (5½oz) self-raising flour, sifted
125g (4½oz) plain flour, sifted
120ml (4fl oz) semi-skimmed milk, at room temperature
1tsp good-quality vanilla extract

METHOD

Preheat the oven to 180C/160C (fan)/gas 4 and line a 12-hole muffin tray or 3 x 12-hole mini muffin trays with cupcake cases.

In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until the mixture is pale and smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition.

In a separate bowl, combine the two flours. Put the milk into a jug and add the vanilla extract. Add one third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat well. Pour in one third of the milk and beat again. Repeat these steps until all the flour and milk have been added.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, filling them to about two thirds full. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes (regular size) or 15 minutes (mini size) until slightly raised and golden brown. To check they are cooked, insert a skewer in the centre of one of the cakes  -  it should come out clean.

Remove from the oven and leave on a wire rack to cool. 

(Recipe from the Primrose Bakery Cupcakes book)

Vanilla Butter Icing:

INGREDIENTS

110g (4oz) unsalted butter (at room temperature)
225g (8oz) icing sugar
1tsp good quality vanilla extract
A couple of drops of food colouring

METHOD

Beat the butter until pale using an electric whisk or freestanding mixer.

Add the icing sugar and vanilla and beat for at least 5 minutes (this makes the icing light and fluffy).

Add the food colouring drop at a time until you achieve the right shade. I went for a mixture of peaches, pinks and creams.

Pipe using a large star nozzle. I like this one from Cakes, Cookies & Crafts Shop. I also really like these easy to grip icing bags from Lakeland.

Makes enough for 12 cupcakes or about 30 mini cupcakes.

There are lots of sprinkles and sugar roses at Cake Craft Shop.


Photos: Rebecca Murdoch

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