9 Dec 2012

Baby Shower Cupcakes

cupcakes decoration

Do you know what? I have never seen a 'baby' pigeon!
In all of my 32 years living in London, I have never come across one?!
I have seen adult ones, fat ones, one-legged ones, one-eyed ones, but never 'baby' ones!?

Not that I really want to, as I hate pigeons (another story) but this realisation came to me whilst having to think of the answer to the correct term given to a 'baby' pigeon question, half way through a friend's baby shower quiz this weekend. Well, the answer is a 'squab', for those who care. And I learnt other terms for baby animals that I didn't previously know, that will enrich my life forever!


I also put my artistic baby drawing skills to practise. Check out my art (centre). It was done one-handed and blind, a pretty good attempt, me thinks!
Everyday is a school day, but more importantly, I had the honour of making cupcakes for the event. 
I'm not really a cupcake type-of-girl, this was the first time in donkey’s years that I had made cupcakes. The last time I was probably 8 years old and the cake mix most likely came from a packet. So I needed a really good fool-proof sponge recipe and also some slight decorating skills to produce some cute cupcakes good enough for my lovely friend. Cue the recipe:

baby shower


200 g/7 oz butter or margarine, softened at room temperature
200 g/7 oz caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

4 eggs
200 g/7 oz plain flour
2 tbsp milk (optional)

Vanilla Syrup
200 ml/ 7fl oz water
100 g/ 3.5 oz granulated sugar
1 dash vanilla extract

150 g/ 5 oz butter, softened
370 g/ 13 oz icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160C/315F/Gas mark 2-3. Line the muffin tin with 12 paper cases.

Put the butter and caster sugar in a large bowl and cream until pale and fluffy. Add the vanilla, then the eggs, one at a time beating well after each addition. 

Once the eggs have been beaten in, add the flour, salt and baking powder and mix together until just combined. If the mixture is a bit stiff, add the 2 teaspoons of milk to loosen it a little.

Using an ice-cream scoop, plop the mixture into the paper cases and bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes, or until the cakes spring back slightly when pressed and when a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Cupcakes mixtureWhile the cakes are baking, make the vanilla syrup which aids in keeping the surface of the cakes moist. Put all the ingredients into a pan over a low heat and stir gently until the sugar has dissolved. Turn up the heat and boil for 1 minute, then take the pan off the heat.

As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, brush them liberally with the vanilla syrup. Leave the cakes to cool.

Meanwhile, make the buttercream. Put all the ingredients in a bowl and beat well until the mixture becomes light and fluffy. Once the cupcakes are completely cool, you can ice them. Use a piping bag fitted with a 1cm star nozzle.

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