Variety is the Spice of Life Cupcakes

Variety is the Spice of Life Cupcakes

Hiya!

I’ve just got back from 2 weeks in South Africa and while it was great to see family, I really missed my baking! So to make up for missing 2 weeks, this is a bumper post with not one but two special recipes and optional varieties!

My daughter’s birthday is 4 days before my husband’s and they obviously have very different tastes but baking 2 full size birthday cakes within one week is a little more than even I can eat!

So… my answer is cupcakes and half my standard recipe so that you can make a variety of flavours. Each recipe will give you 9 cupcakes and I recommend putting 50g of cake mix into each cupcake wrapper to give you that pretty little dome. I over filled the sprinkles cupcakes and they ended up all flat in top.

Vanilla Sprinkle Cupcakes

113g butter (softened)
113g caster sugar
2 eggs
113g plain flour
1tsp baking powder (heaped)
1tsp vanilla extract
90g sprinkles

Chocolate Sour Cherry Cupcakes

113g butter (softened)
113g caster sugar
2 eggs
113g plain flour
1tsp baking powder (heaped)
2TBS cocoa powder
90g sour cherries (drained & chopped)

Method

Cream the butter and caster sugar together until pale and fluffy.

Add the eggs one at a time mixing between each addition. Add the vanilla extract for the vanilla cupcakes. Scrape down the sides and ensure everything is well combined.

Sift the flour, baking powder and cocoa (for the chocolate cupcakes). Pour it into the butter mix and combine on a low speed.

Scrape down the side and add sprinkles to the vanilla cupcake mix or sour cherries to the chocolate cupcake mix. Mix well.

Spoon mixture into your prepared cupcake pan.

Bake at 170°C for 18 mins until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cool on a wire rack while you make the icing.

American Buttercream Recipe

275g butter (softened)
550g icing sugar
1tsp vanilla extract
2TBS cocoa powder
1TBS milk

Beat the butter for 3 mins. Sift the icing sugar into the butter and beat for 8 mins. So ode the icing in half.

Add vanilla extract to one half for the Sprinkle Cupcakes. Add cocoa powder and 1 TBS of milk to the other half for the Chocolate Cupcakes.

Pipe butter cream onto cupcakes and decorate as desired.

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To change up these recipes; Sprinkles could be replaced with glacé cherries, chocolate chips or lemon zest. Sour cherries could be replaced with caramel chips, peppermint extract or peacan nuts. Whatever your heart desires.

P.S. I used a silicon mold and candy melts to make the mermaid tails, I then sprayed them with silver food spray.

Enjoy offering a a variety of cupcakes at your next party or family gathering!

Cxx

Coffee Meringue Dessert Stack

Coffee Meringue Dessert Stack

Hiya!

I have a very short post for you tonight as I am currently on holiday in South Africa.

There are so many very beautiful miniature cakes around that I decided to make an adult gluten free version. Pastel meringue disks layered with coffee cream!

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Meringue Recipe

3 egg whites

Caster sugar (double the weight of the egg whites)

1tsp vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 180°C, weigh your egg whites into your mixing bowl and allow to warm to room temperature.

Weigh double the amount of caster sugar as the weight of your eggs in a heat proof bowl and place in the oven for 5 mins.

Start to beat your egg whites and when they look foamy remove the sugar from the oven and turn the temp down to 100°C.

Spoon the hot sugar slowly into the egg whites while beating, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Add vanilla extract.

Once you reach stiff peak stage (short pointy peaks that do not fall back on themselves) stop and divide the mixture into 4 smaller bowls.

Choose 4 gel food colours and start to colour your meringue. The colour will fade slightly with baking, so you may want to make it slightly brighter than you want them to turn out.

I drew round circles (about 4″ wide) on my baking paper, turned the paper upside down and pipped 3 circles of meringue in each colour. I kept the pink for the tops of the meringue and pipped these with a 1M Wilton piping tip to look like flowers.

Bake at 100°C for 1hour 30mins.

Allow to cool completely before starting the filling.

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Coffee Cream Filling

250ml whipping cream

1tsp caster sugar

1tsp instant coffee (heaped)

Pour the cream into a bowl to whip.

Add caster sugar and coffee.

Start whipping, once it is thick enough that it doesn’t slide when you tip the bowl you are done but be careful not to over whip of you’ll end up with coffee butter!

Place a tip in a piping bag and full it with the coffee cream.

Pipe a circle of coffee cream onto your first meringue disk and then stack and fill the rest. There is a piping & stacking video on Instagram and Facebook.

Once you’ve stacked them, they will need to be kept in the fridge and eaten with 2 hours before the meringue begins to dissolve with the moisture from the cream.

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Enjoy as a light summer dessert and think about me as it is the middle of winter in South Africa!

xx

Raspberry & White Chocolate Unicorn Cake

Raspberry & White Chocolate Unicorn Cake

Hiya,

I’m super excited about this week! I’ve wanted to make a unicorn cake for ages and finally I did! Also there are 4 more sleeps (can you tell I have kids?) until we go on holiday to South Africa and I get to see my family! Yay!

Firstly you will need some gumpaste or florist paste which dries hard, to make your horn & ears. I used white as finding colours can be difficult. I rolled a tube of gumpaste with either end tapered to a point, folded it in half and then twisted it together. I pushed a cake pop stick up the middle so that I could secure the horn to the cake. I also used a tiny bit is edible glue to stick the horn so that it didn’t unravel as it dried. You need to make the horn well ahead of time as it is thick and takes a while to dry.

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Next I rolled out some gumpaste and used a raindrop shaped cutter to cut out the ears. I coloured the center in with pink edible marker and pinched the bottom closed to make the ear shape.

Once the horn was dry I used gold food paint to paint it gold.

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Raspberry and Vanilla Cake Recipe

(makes 3 x 6″ round cakes)

338g butter softened

338g caster sugar

6 eggs

2 tsp vanilla extract

338g plain flour

3 tsp baking powder

60g freeze dried raspberries

Cream the butter & sugar together until pale and fluffy

Add 1 egg at a time, mixing it in before adding the next.

Add vanilla extract. Ensure with each step that you scrape down the sides of the bowl with a spatula to ensure everything is well mixed.

Sift flour & baking powder and add to the butter mixture, mix until just combined.

Time to add the freeze dried raspberries! The bag I bought were all whole raspberries which are pretty for decoration but better crushed for a cake. Tip the raspberry pieces into the mixture and mix until evenly combined.

I always line the base of my cake tins as the cake comes out so easily this way. Divide the mixture evenly between your tins and level using an offset spatula.

Bake at 160°C for 30-35 mins. Check the cake is done by inserting a skewer into the middle of the cake, it should come out clean. If you think the top of the cake is starting to look too dark but the cake is not ready yet, place a sheet of baking paper over the top while in the oven.

Remove from the oven & cool in the tin for 5 mins before removing to a wire rack.

I made Swiss Meringue Buttercream to decorate the cake, you can find my recipe in the link above and I made 1 and a half times the recipe. I melted and cooled 2/3 cup of white chocolate and slowly poured into into the completed icing.

In 3 smaller bowls I placed 100g of icing each and coloured each bowl a different colour, pink, teal & lilac.

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Level your cake layers to all the same size and I also trimmed off the darker outer layer and the base using a bread knife.

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Stack & crumb coat your cake and place in the fridge for an hour. It was super hot the day I did this and I was terrified the finished cake was going to slide apart as once the horn & ears go on, it cannot go back into the fridge!

Ice the outer layer of your cake and level the top. I placed the horns and ears on before I started piping. Pipe your unicorns mane using the different coloured icing, I also used 3 different piping tips.

Colour a small amount of left over icing black for the eyes. I used a round cookie cutter to mark out where the eyes should be and then pipped the eyes using a 2 piping tip.

Stand back & admire your magical unicorn. I was lucky enough to receive a picture of my cake at the venue, which made me very happy!

Cxx

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Beary Chocolate Macarons

Beary Chocolate Macarons

Hiya!

I love a good challenge, not from someone else but I like to challenge myself! I also love kawaii things. I’ve seen many teddy bear head macarons but I really wanted to make a whole teddy. So I played around and tried a couple chocolate macaron recipes and drew my own teddy macaron template and you know what, I’m really pleased with how they turned out!

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I couldn’t decide between arms on the side or arms on top so I ended up doing a few of each. I piped two batches of macarons and strangely the first batch came out best. It is essential that the base shape has formed a skin, ready to go into the oven, before you add the tails to the backs and the arms to the front, otherwise it does not keep its shape & will just be absorbed by the base shape.

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Chocolate Macaron Recipe

50g egg whites (aged 24 hours)

pinch of salt

45g caster sugar

65g ground almonds

60g icing sugar

5g cocoa powder

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Remove the ages egg whites from the fridge.

Sieve the ground almonds ensuring you get 65g of almonds through the sieve. Keep the larger bits for another project. Next sieve the icing sugar & cocoa. Mix it together until evenly distributed.

Ensure the bowl you are going to whip your eggs in is very clean. Wipe it out with lemon juice & some paper towel.

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Usuing a handheld beater whip the eggs. When they start getting foamy add a pinch of salt. Continue to whip until you can see trails in the bowl, gradually add the caster sugar. Continue to whip until stiff peaks form. No colours are required for chocolate macarons as the cocoa powder will colour it brown.

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Fold in 1/3 of the almond/icing sugar/cocoa mixture at a time. Fold gently to avoid flattening the mixture too much.

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Once your mixture has combined and flows off the spatula in a ribbon like way & honey like consistency, it is ready to pipe. It should not drop off the spatula.

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Place your template under the parchment paper or silpat mat and pipe your macarons. I found that turning my silpat mat upside down made it easier to see my template below.

Rap the tray on the table 3 or 4 times before allowing your macarons to rest for 30 mins & form a skin.

Place the oven shelf on the lowest rung and remove any other shelves. Preheat the oven to 160°C.

Bake the macarons for 12-14 mins depending on their size. Test if they are done by touching the side of one, it should not wobble.

Allow to cool on the tray.

This is the link to my Buttercream recipe. The quantities I used are:

50g butter

100g icing sugar

1TBS Nutella

1TBS caramel

I made American buttercream and divided it in half before flavouring half with Nutella and the other half with caramel.

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Pipe the buttercream onto the backs of the teddies and match up with a front. I used pink and black edible markers to draw the faces.

I hope you think they’re as cute as I do. I packaged them up nicely & gave them as gifts to my kids teachers.

Cxx

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

Hiya!

Chocolate, one of my favourite topics. These chocolate chip cookie sandwiches are just amazing and they remind me of Snickers, chocolate, peanut butter & caramel is a great combination! This recipe is a great soft & chewy biscuit and you can change it up with your choice of white, milk or dark chocolate chips. They are also quite quick to prepare in the grand scheme of baking.

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I think they make a great dessert or tea party snack and if it’s really hot you could always pop the cookies in the fridge for an hour before eating. Great for summer!

Chocolate Chip Cookie Sandwiches

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115g melted butter
200g soft brown sugar
1 egg + 1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
200g plain flour
10g cocoa
1/2 tsp bicarbonate
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
100g milk chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 160 C. Line baking trays with parchment paper.


Sift flour, cocoa, bicarb, baking powder & salt and mix well.
Melt butter in a microwave safe container.
Put brown sugar & eggs in a mixing bowl & mix until pale.


Add all the  melted butter and a little flour at a time while mixing in a low speed,
Add chocolate chips and mix in.

Roll cookie dough into balls. To ensure that you get equal sized cookies to match up I recommend that you weigh each ball. I weighed mine to 28g each.
Place 6 round balls onto a lined baking tray and flatten a little with your fingers while still keeping them round. They will spread, don’t try to squeeze more on at a time.


Bake for 8-10 minutes while you weigh & roll the next batch of cookies.
Allow cookies to cool on the tray before removing as they will still be soft.

Filling

100g softened butter
200g icing sugar
1 tbsp peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1/2 a tin caramel

Beat the butter for 2 mins until paler in colour.
Sift icing sugar into butter and beat for 6 mins.
Add peanut butter and mix for another 2 mins.

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Choose a piping tip and fill a piping bag with the icing. Pipe a circle of icing onto the cookies.

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Fill a piping bag with caramel and snip a small hole. Pipe a blob of caramel into the middle of the circle of icing and place a lid on top.

I decorated the cookies with a gold edible paint stripe and some small gold splatter.

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If you give this recipe a try please post a pic & tag #sprinklesinthewild, it would also be great if you followed us in Instagram or Facebook.

Cxx

Cherry Chip Cupcakes

Cherry Chip Cupcakes

Hiya!

I hope you have all had a great week. I’m sticking to my plans & have another pretty bake for you, which would be perfect for Mother’s Day this Sunday.

The icing piping is a beautiful technique I discovered on Instagram from the amazing Milk & Water Baking Co. if you haven’t seen her page, check her out. I just love the variety of colours.

Rosettes

The cupcakes are an update on a birthday cake I made myself 3 years ago. The original recipe used maraschino cherries which I didn’t like. The next time I made it I used glacé cherries which made it really sweet. This time I used tinned cherries which have a beautiful deep purple colour & a little tartness about them. The recipe is called Cherry Chip cake so the important part is that you cut the cherries very small, like chocolate chips. Think in eighths rather than quarters! This helps to keep them suspended in the batter rather than all sinking to the bottom.

I drained the tin of cherries for an hour before I chopped them up and let them continue to drain in the sieve while I made the cake mix.

Ingreds

Cherry Chip Cupcakes (makes 18 cupcakes)

225g butter, softened

225g caster sugar

225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

150g tinned cherries (drained)

Heat the oven to 175°C

Line cupcake tins with cupcake cases

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scrape down the sides to ensure it is well mixed.

Sieve flour and baking power together and stir so that it is evenly mixed.

Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed and alternate with a ¼ of the flour.

Once all the eggs and flour have been combined gently mix the chopped cherries into the mixture.

Spoon the mixture into the cupcake cases, about 2/3 fill.

Bake for 20 mins on the middle shelf. To check they are done insert a skewer into the middle of a cupcake which should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10mins before removing to a cooling rack.

To decorate these cupcakes I decided to use American Buttercream as I love that hit of sugar a cupcake gives you. The recipe is in the link above but the quantities I used are:

500g icing sugar (sieved)

250g butter (softened)

¼ tsp rose flavouring

I chose 4 colours for my icing, pink, purple, yellow and teal and I think they looked great together! Not that you can see them well through the blue piping bags…

Icing

 

I used 3 different piping tips to get this pretty bouquet effect. A large star tip for the large rose is your most versatile if you are looking to buy. Most people know about the Wilton 1M, mine is non-branded but similar to this.

There will be a video up this week on Instagram of me piping the icing. Its the first time I’ve decorated in this style but I’m very happy with how they turned out. They look so fancy!

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Happy baking and enjoy Mother’s Day.

Cxx

 

Neapolitan Monster Cake

Neapolitan Monster Cake

Hiya!

Wow, we’re already on the 1st of May! One third of the way though 2017. I’ve recently reviewed my goals (yes, most people would do that quarterly but I’m not like most people) and plans for this year and some of them are on track and a few have fallen by the wayside. My original plan for this blog has gone slightly off track and I am now pulling it back this month. I’m all about the pretty and cute cakes and treats but I got distracted with sharing all my favourite recipes. While yummy flavour combinations and new ways of doing things will always excite me, I’m going to try focusing on the part that I love the most, decorating!

This weeks cake is a good combination of both cute decoration and exciting flavours with decadent neapolitan cake layers and fillings. I made the bow with florist paste which sets hard but the rest is all swiss meringue buttercream and I just love how versatile it is.

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There are 2 separate cake recipes below as I made the vanilla and strawberry mix together and then the chocolate cake after. The feet are made in a similar way to cake pops. I crumbed the off cuts from levelling the cakes and mixed in some buttercream so that I was able to make the shape I wanted and added it to the cake after the crumb coat had set.

Vanilla ingreds

Vanilla & Strawberry Cake

225g butter, softened

225g caster sugar

225g plain flour

2 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

½ tsp strawberry flavouring

¼ tsp pink gel food colouring

Heat the oven to 175°C

Line 2 x 6″ cake tins with parchment paper

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scrape down the sides to ensure it is well mixed.

Sieve flour and baking power together and stir so that it is evenly mixed.

Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed and alternate with a ¼ of the flour.

Once all the eggs and flour have been combined divide the mixture in half. In one bowl add the vanilla extract and mix well. In the other bowl add the strawberry flavouring and pink food colouring and mix to ensure the colour is even.

Place the mixture into the cake tins and spread to flatten.

Bake for 30-35 mins on the middle shelf. To check they are done insert a skewer into the middle of the cake which should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10mins before removing to a cooling rack.

 

Choc ingreds

Chocolate Cake

113g butter, softened

113g caster sugar

100g plain flour

1 tsp baking powder

20g cocoa powder

2 eggs

Heat the oven to 175°C

Line one 6″ cake tin with parchment paper

Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy, scrape down the sides to ensure it is well mixed.

Sieve flour, cocoa and baking power together and stir so that it is evenly mixed.

Add 1 egg at a time to the butter mixture with the mixer on a low speed and alternate with a ½ of the flour.

Once all the eggs and flour have been combined place the mixture into the cake tin and spread to flatten.

Bake for 30-35 mins on the middle shelf. To check it is done insert a skewer into the middle of the cake which should come out clean.

Allow to cool in the tin for 10mins before removing to a cooling rack.

Fillings and Buttercream

I made 1 and a half of my standard Swiss Meringue Buttercream, recipe in the link, and flavoured it with vanilla bean paste. I removed 2 tbsp of icing before colouring the rest purple. I will use the white icing for the white of the eye, then colour it blue for the iris and then colour it black for the pupil.

For the strawberry layer I microwaved ¼ jar of good strawberry jam in a microwave safe bowl for 20 seconds and then pushed it through a small sieve to remove seeds and lumps.

For the chocolate layer I made milk chocolate ganache with 60ml of cream and 200g of milk chocolate.

Ready to ice

Next up I levelled the cakes to all the same height and then cutting each layer in half to make 2 layers of each. I kept the dome on the vanilla cake as my monster has a round head.

I’ve never owned a cake turntable and always been quite happy to decorate a cake on an upside down bowl but I recently bought one and boy am I glad I did. While my old way was manageable, this was soooooo much easier. I highly recommend them if you enjoy cake decorating. I didn’t by a fancy one and it was just off Amazon but it was a way smoother experience than my usual way.

When stacking a cake always remember to put a little icing down on the board before placing your first cake layer on. I made a little video of me stacking the cake which will go up on Instagram and Facebook this week if you’d like to watch. It’s rather mesmerising when its all sped up.

On each layer I made a boarder with the buttercream before filling it and stacking the next layer. I then crumb coated the cake before placing it in the fridge for 1 hour. I wanted the icing to be really set before I tried to pipe the eye.

I huge storm cloud then came over and I lost all my light and I couldn’t capture the cake with just the eye, the feet being added or me piping the monster’s fur. You could use any star shaped tip you have. I used a big one for most of the fur and then filled in near the mouth and on the edge of the paw with a smaller star. Lastly placing her pretty green bow on her head.

Inside cake

I hope you find a fun way to make a neapolitan cake, I really loved the different flavours together and really enjoyed making my little monster.

Have a great week!

Cxx