Monday, April 29, 2013

Creating the Perfect Cupcake (Guest Post)

The key to making any cupcake is not just to make it super delicious, but also pretty cute. Just as decorating a birthday cake is a cause for those creative juices to flow, so is decorating a batch of delicious cupcakes. Their small size can allow for so much variation in design; do you want them each decorated individually from each other? Do you want to follow a theme? Or will they all merge together to create one bigger picture?

The first thing you have to decide on is what flavour cupcake you want to make. There are so many to choose from, and the beauty is you are really only limited by your imagination! Want to make peanut butter and jelly cupcakes? Done! How about a decadent Bailey's Irish cream cupcake? Delicious! Flip through your recipe books or do a quick internet search to find an array of quirky recipes or search for basic recipes, such as vanilla and chocolate, and go from there. Just adding chic chips or a creamy filling to your regular vanilla or chocolate cupcake can turn it from an ordinary treat to a personal creation.

Onto the decoration. There are many ways that you can decorate your cupcakes, I've already mentioned some things to consider when choosing a design, but what will you use to decorate with? Rolled fondant is great to create flat, perfected designs. It is a firm sugar mixture that involves colouring the fondant then rolling it out to cut out the design you desire. Royal icing is a runny or stiff meringue mix that is spread onto the cake or can be used to pipe small decorations like flowers as it dries candy soft. The most popular option is buttercream which is a soft whipped buttery frosting that allows you to pipe beautiful swirls, peaks and petals, like the ones below. This is the most popular option as it is the most tasty and easiest to colour and decorate with. You can create flavours of buttercream just by adding a little flavouring or cocoa powder for a chocolate frosting. Variations of fluffy, piped frosting include cream cheese frosting, like this Pistachio and Raspberry Cupcake by Little Bertha.

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