Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Give me some sunshine!

We've been very lucky - we've managed to see this golden yellow sphere in the sky for a week now - no mean feat if you live in South West England! This coupled with the fact that it was a four day weekend was just the icing on the cake - no pun intended.

It was also the weekend of my birthday and I got given a cupcake decorating book by the boss. Now I'm not usually a frosting and decorating person myself - I prefer to pack a punch in the flavour, but there were such adorable ideas in the book that I couldn't resist trying to transfer a burst of sunshine into my cupcakes.

So I baked some vanilla cupcakes. I have added the recipe for these at the bottom of the post.

I then made some vanilla frosting (recipe included at the bottom of the post). I divided the frosting into two and tinted one half green with some food colouring. I tinted the other half of the frosting yellow. Then I further divided the yellow frosting into two and tinted half with orange.

Use a palette knife to spread the green frosting over the cupcakes when cooled. Then place an oreo cookie, pressing it into the frosting so that it holds. Now I learnt a really nifty trick the other day. If you don't have piping bags, don't despair. Grab yourself a ziplock bag and spoon your frosting in it. Press out the air and seal the bag. Tape some scotch tape around the end you are going to pipe from to reinforce it and then cut a tip and pipe away!

Anyways, back to the point, spoon some yellow frosting and some orange frosting side by side in a ziplock bag or you could use two separate bags. Cut a 'V' shape into the front of the bag and pipe out some petals pulling away so that you have tips.

Pipe one layer of petals around the edge of the oreo cookie and then pipe a second layer overlapping the first.

Mine weren't perfect - some flowers came out better than others - but at least I had fun doing it when I wasn't screaming at my piping bag!!!

The final result was this. I took them in to work for my birthday and everyone loved them!

Here's the recipe I used.

Vanilla Cupcakes – makes 10 to 12 cupcakes
120 g plain flour
125 g caster sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
40 g unsalted butter (room temperature)
120 ml semi skimmed milk
1 egg
¼ tsp vanilla extract
12 hole cupcake tray lined with paper or silicone cases

1. Preheat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius
2. Using a beater combine together the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. If you prefer you can use your fingertips for this process (just like when you make pastry).
3. Gradually add in half the milk (60 ml), a little at a time and beat until the milk is incorporated.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg, vanilla extract and remaining milk for a few seconds. Pour into the flour mixture a little at a time and beat continuously until all the liquid is incorporated. Do not overmix the batter.
5. Spoon mixture into the cupcake cases until two thirds full and bake in a preheated oven for about 20 – 25 minutes. When done they will turn light golden and a skewer inserted in to the centre should come out clean.
6. Remove from oven and let cool for a little while in the tray before turning out to a wire rack to cool completely.

Vanilla Frosting – for frosting 12 cupcakes
225 g icing sugar
80 g unsalted butter at room temperature
25 ml semi skimmed milk
A couple of drops vanilla essence
1. Beat icing sugar and butter until the mixture comes together.
2. Reduce speed. Combine milk and vanilla extract.
3. Gradually add milk mixture to the butter mixture, couple of teaspoons at a time.
4. Once all the milk has been incorporate, turn up the speed and beat for a few minutes.
5. The longer you beat the frosting, the fluffier and smoother it gets.


  1. Amazing Nisha! How I miss my oven... Wish I could taste those beauties!

  2. yum yum....i hope to come to Plymouth soon!

  3. So easy to do Kiran - have a go yourself!

  4. nah...not my thing...im lazy!

    P.S: can u remove the word verification every time we have to post a comment??? u can do it in settings

  5. Daddy says They are beautiful! ...and so do I! Hope you had a great day! Love Mom in PHX


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