When you can’t decide between flowers or a yummy treat for Mom on Mother’s Day, make this two-in-one cupcake floral bouquet.
- Takes 2 hrs + cooling
- Makes about 30 cupcakes
FOR THE CUPCAKES
- 250g soft butter
- pinch salt
- 10ml vanilla essence
- 375ml sugar
- 4 eggs
- 875ml self-raising flour
- 250ml milk
FOR THE BUTTER ICING
- 375g soft butter
- 6½ cups icing sugar
- 45ml lemon juice
- 8ml vanilla essence
- pinch salt
- food colouring of your choice
FOR THE BOUQUET
- about 100 green paper cupcake cases
- 1 sheet tissue paper, trimmed
- vase with 16cm opening
- 15cm polystyrene ball
- glue gun
- about 20 polystyrene cups
- about 60 toothpicks
- For the cupcakes, preheat oven to 180°C. Line standard cupcake pans with green paper cupcake cases.
- Beat the butter, salt, vanilla and sugar until light and creamy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition until combined.
- Add the flour and milk, alternating into the butter mixture until just combined. Spoon into cases until half full. Bake for about 15 minutes or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Cool on wire racks.
- For the icing, beat all the ingredients, except the colouring, for about 5 minutes or until light and fluffy (see tip). Colour into your desired shade/s (see variations). Spoon into a piping bag/s fitted with your desired nozzle.
- For the bouquet, glue a piece of tissue paper into the vase, then anchor the ball in the vase with hot glue.
- Cut polystyrene cups to about 3cm height. Add a dollop of glue to the base of each cup and press the cups onto the ball, placing them as close together as possible until the ball is covered in cups.
- Push 1-2 toothpicks through the bottom of each cup into the polystyrene ball, leaving about 2cm of toothpick sticking up. Gently press cupcakes into the cups (you’ll have cupcakes leftover).
- Turn a cupcake case inside out. Gather the sides together to create a little ruffle. Press into the ball with toothpicks, if necessary, to fill any gaps.
- Pipe icing onto the cupcakes. Refrigerate the bouquet for 20 minutes if necessary to firm up the icing.
- The icing should be quite firm, especially when using a Russian icing nozzle, but still pipe-able and not dry. (Add a splash of extra lemon juice or milk to make it softer, or more icing sugar to firm up.)
- Don’t allow any cups to angle downwards or the cupcakes will fall out.
- Use 1 toothpick in the cups that face upwards and 2 into the ones facing sideways (for extra strength). When using 2 toothpicks make sure they’re angled in the same direction in the cup.
Purple and blue stars
Colour half the icing blue and the other half purple (or whatever colours you prefer). Spoon into 2 medium piping bags and place both into a large piping bag fitted with a closed star nozzle.
Colour the icing purple (or whatever colour you prefer). Spoon into a large piping bag fitted with a 1cm star nozzle. Pipe, starting from the centre and moving outwards. Decorate with white edible pearls and silver glitter dust, if you like.
Colour half of the icing orange (or do 3 or more colours). Spoon dollops of the orange and white icing into a large piping bag fitted with a Russian icing nozzle (available from baking stores). Gently press the icing bag to mix a little.
Instead of doing a round 3D bouquet, create a rectangular 2D version: Cover a 12cm x 26cm polystyrene box with wrapping or tissue paper and tie a ribbon around it. Insert 8 toothpicks, spaced evenly. Press a cupcake onto each. Colour half of the icing purple (or whatever colour you prefer). Spread the white icing against the inside of the piping bag fitted with a Russian icing nozzle (available from baking stores). Spoon dollops of the purple icing into the centre. Note: The colours will blend more as the icing is used.
Feature: Margie Els-Burger assisted by Nomvuselelo Mncube and photos by Dylan Swart
Magazine issue date: May, 2017