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With all the baking shows on TV at the moment it’s hard not to get caught up in it all. I’m already addicted to baking but every Tuesday or Thursday night with the Irish & UK Bake Off shows are … Continue reading
How pretty are these cupcakes?! (Even if I do say so myself! ) I just love how the pink and purple go together…. and of course I’m a buttercream icing fan too – who isn’t?!
I first made these about a year ago for a birthday party for a little girl. Lots of people commented that they liked the 2 tone icing so I decided to do a blog post on it.
There’s basically 3 stages.
- Make the cupcakes
- Make the buttercream icing
- Piping the icing
Please don’t let the fact that there’s a few stages to this put you off. If you are pushed for time you can make the buttercream icing the night before as that’s the most time consuming part.
I’m sure many of you already have a favourite cupcake / fairy cake recipe so feel free to use that. For those that don’t, this is easy peasy and done in no time.
125g Self Raising Flour
2 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Splash of milk may be needed
You’ll need a muffin / cupcake tray and some cases.
Preheat the oven to 170° / about 150 for fan ovens. Little tip here.….If you are going to ice your cupcakes, you generally want them to have a flat top. Keeping the oven at a lower heat than you would usually use for baking keeps the cakes from getting a big “dome” at the top and therefore makes them easier to ice.
- Beat the sugar and butter together in your mixing bowl using a fork.
- Add in the eggs gradually and beat well after each addition. This may curdle slightly but don’t panic! Just keep beating. Add the vanilla extract and mix well again.
- Sieve in your flour and fold together using a spoon. If the mixture seems a bit dry throw in a splash of milk and mix again.
- Fill the cupcake cases two thirds of the way up and throw into the oven for 20 – 25 mins.
Once they are a nice golden colour on top and seem cooked through, take them from the oven. Leave for 5 mins in the baking tray then take them from that and allow to cool totally before icing. DON’T ICE THEM WHILE THEY ARE STILL WARM!
While they’re cooling, make the buttercream icing.
600g Icing Sugar
300g Butter, softened (don’t use butter straight from the fridge – it’ll be way too hard!)
Teaspoon vanilla extract
Few splashes of milk
Food colouring pastes of your choice
You’ll need your large mixing bowl plus two smaller bowls to split it in half.
1. In your mixing bowl, cream the butter and the icing sugar until light and fluffy. It will take a while for it all to come together. I tend to start with all the butter and sieve in a third of the icing sugar, get that well combines, and then add another third and so on.
This sounds nice and easy and in reality it’s a simple thing to do but if you are doing it by hand be prepared to use some serious elbow grease as you want the icing sugar well mixed into the butter.
You could use the electric whisk for this as it’s quicker but if you do this in a mixing bowl with the electric whisk I’d advise you to cover the bowl with a tea towel as the icing sugar is so fine a powder and it’ll end up all over your kitchen.
MAKE SURE TO SIEVE THE ICING SUGAR IN!! I put this in caps as it’s VERY important not to just dump it in straight from the pack, you’ll have lumps of it where it’s clumped together if you don’t sieve it in.
2. Add the vanilla extract and a splash of milk and mix well. Getting the texture right is just a matter of adding small amounts of milk at a time and continuing to beat until the icing is still pretty thick but also not so thick that it will burst your piping bag!
3. Split the mixture in half into 2 smaller bowls and add your colour paste to each one and mix well. I used a skewer stik to put my colour paste in.
Now time to get the icing bag sorted. I use these from Wilton and they’re the best ones that I’ve used to date. I need them large to work properly with them and I find these quite durable, if expensive! So trim the top of the bag off and insert your piping tip making sure it’s pushed right down but without ripping the bag.
Using a spoon, put in one of your colour icing. Whichever one you put in first will be on the outside edges of your icing.
Distribute it well throughout the bag but not too high up as you’ll be twisting the top of the bag. Flatten the bag out to ensure that icing sticks to the sides all the way around and then pull apart. Then using another spoon, put the second colour icing into the middle.
Flatten out again and then get ready to ice by pushing the mixture down toward the tip of the bag and then twisting the open top closed.
Now start the icing. I ALWAYS mess up the first 2 cupcakes so give yourself a few dummy runs. You can either start at the centre and ice out or start on the outside and ice inwards, they just give 2 different effects. But they should look similar to this!
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