It was Rosie’s 5th birthday last week and I made these flower cupcakes – Rosiecakes – for her to take to school to share with her friends/teachers/keen onlookers. They are quick (the icing part took me well under an hour for 48 little cakes) and inexpensive and are guaranteed to make a small child very happy!
What you will need:
125g soft unsalted butter
¾ cup sugar
2 cups self-raising flour
¾ cup milk
2 free range eggs (at room temperature)
Flavouring eg. finely grated/chopped zest of 1 lemon or orange, or 1t vanilla essence
- Heat oven to 180c (160c fan forced). Line a muffin tin with the cupcake cases of your choice. I use a 24 mini muffin tin because my kids and their friends are still teeny, if you have older/hungrier kids (or adults!) then by all means use a larger 12 muffin tin.
- Cream butter, sugar and the flavouring of your choice until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs one at a time.
- Mix in milk.
- Sieve flour into bowl (if you feel motivated to anyway, otherwise just chuck it in) and fold it in. Do not over mix! It needs to be just combined, if you get too carried away you’ll end up with pretty, flowery chewy messes, whereas we’re aiming for pretty, delicate and fluffy.
- Spoon into the cupcake cases, mini cases take about a heaped teaspoon of mixture. Cook for 12 – 15 minutes, a skewer poked into the middle of the cupcakes will come out clean when they are cooked, otherwise just give them a (gentle!) poke with your finger, they should be golden and slightly firm.
1.5 cups icing sugar
1 Tbs soft unsalted butter
Juice from an orange or lemon or hot water
A couple of drops of food colouring if desired
- Mix icing sugar and butter together. Start with 1 Tbs of liquid (and food colouring if using), give it a mix then add more if needed a scant 1 tsp at a time. You want it to be easily glopped onto the cupcakes, not super stiff and not super sloppy. Remember it’ll firm up once you refrigerate it because of the butter. Also remember not to panic if you add too much liquid, just chuck in more icing sugar and problem solved!
Little cupcakes looking pale gold and tasty! I found some lovely foil cases on special at Spotlight and choose green to have a kind of flower stem vibe. I’ll be honest with you though, I’m not sure anyone else noticed, but they made me happy at least!
You want the cupcakes to be room temperature before you start to ice them, otherwise you’ll have a melty and tragic mess. Any wonky looking cupcakes are good to practice your flower assembling skills on. Or just eat them, and claim you’re having a taste test. I made 2 batches of 24 because I’m a chronic over-caterer (you should see me at Xmas, the kids and I are eating leftovers for days afterwards) but I always think it’s better to have plenty, especially for sending along to school, there’s bound to be extra people wanting to share the deliciousness!
Now we are getting to the fun parts! I found a picture in a Woman’s Weekly cake making book that featured cupcakes with marshmallow flower petals, which is where I got this idea. Unfortunately when I miniaturised it by cutting up said lollies into smaller pieces I didn’t think about the stickiness factor that comes into play when you chop up marshmallows! I solved the problem by rolling the slices in coloured sugar, which has the added benefit of making them slightly sparkly and magical looking. You can of course buy coloured sugar, but it’s expensive for what it is and very easy to make – half fill a jar with sugar, add a couple of drops of food colouring, put the lid on and shake for a few minutes until it’s mixed (use a plastic jar and let the kids have at it, fun for them and less work for you). Yes, it’s both beautiful and easy!
I cut each marshmallow in half, then each half into 4. Once they’d been rolled in sugar, I cut them in half again if they were too big.
I made the icing after the petals because it’s best used right away. Set aside about 2 Tbs in a small bowl for making the centre of the flowers later.
The mini cupcakes take about a heaped teaspoon of icing, you want them to be covered but not overwhelmingly iced! Arrange the petals into a flower shape, then leave to set. I cleared a shelf in the fridge then put a dinner plates worth of cupcakes in at a time, it only takes them a couple of minutes.
Once you get into the swing of things it’s pretty quick to assemble all of the flowers.
I took 2 Tbs of the icing mixture and added a couple of drops of yellow colouring. Kebab skewers are great for decorating cupcakes. If you are really keen, you can use a kebab skewer dipped in melted chocolate to draw pictures on top of cakes and cupcakes. In this case it was just a blob of yellow icing in the middle of the petals.
Remember first and foremost that any children consuming these will be VERY happy, so have fun with it and don’t worry if they aren’t perfect!
Some more ideas:
Giraffe mini cupcakes which I made for Sam’s 6th birthday last year. Just yellow icing and then melted chocolate applied with a kebab skewer in a giraffe-esque pattern.
These are full sized cupcakes I made for Sam’s 5th birthday. I drew a cartoon giraffe, practiced it a few times then piped it onto the cupcakes. I filled the outline with yellow icing after it had set, then added chocolate spots and white chocolate eyes with my handy kebab skewer.
Pink triceratopses for Rosie’s 4th birthday (she’s a huge dinosaur fan). I worked out a cartoon picture as per the giraffe cakes above, but drew the outline using my melted chocolate/kebab stick method because they were a bit fiddly for piping. The sky is the limit really, the cartoon cupcakes took ages, but the giraffe print ones were fast to make and the kids loved them!