Everything you need for National Cupcake Week
Monday, 19 September 2016 | Georgina@thevanillavalley
It's National Cupcake Week! We can definitely get behind a whole week of appreciation for the humble (and the not so humble) cupcakes! The delicious treat is perfect for any occasion whether that be for a wedding, birthday or other celebration, or just because! It's easy to understand the appeal of the cupcake, they can be decorated so many different ways, coloured beautifully with buttercream or fondant and gorgeous baking cases, and flavoured sensationally in both the sponge and the topping.
Here we have our list of essentials for terrific cupcake baking!
Once you've made a tasty cake batter the first thing you need is cupcake cases! The massive popularity of cupcakes has meant that there are now a huge range of types, styles, colours and sizes to choose from. Whether you're making mini cupcakes or muffin sized behemoths there's a baking case out there for you. Pretty up your cakes with a variety of styles; choose from paper cases, foil lined cases, baking cups or pretty tulip cases, and colours; plain or patterned in all colours of the rainbow.
For baking your cupcakes a muffin tray is a must have. They aid in even heat distribution to help you bake a great cake, plus it keeps them in place so they're easy to get in and out if the oven.
For decorating you can't be without piping bags and nozzles! The signature of the cupcake is the beautiful peak of delicious buttercream, key to the decadent treat that is the cupcake.
Make them fun - Add colour and flavour!
Once you have your basics bring your cupcakes to life with great flavour and gorgeous flavour. This is where you can get really creative with your bakes; for inspiration a search on Pinterest for "Cupcakes" will have your creative bone tickling.
For flavour, we love Sugar and Crumbs flavoured icing sugars and Beau Products concentrated food flavourings. The Sugar and Crumbs icing sugars can be used to make the tastiest buttercreams, there are great options from fruity flavours like Raspberry Ripple or Cherry Bakewell, to other food flavours like Coffee or Salted Caramel. Beau Products have the biggest choice of flavours in their range including almost any fruit flavour you could think of, traditional flavours like Vanilla and Almond, exciting food flavours like Vanilla Custard and English Toffee, sweet delights like Cream Soda and Marshmallow and even some boozy flavours like Pina Colada and Cosmopolitan. The concentrated food flavours can be used in both buttercream and cake mixes as they are bake stable!
For colour, the Rainbow Dust Progel range offers showstopping vibrancy! Colouring your cupcakes is versatile, you can match them to a particular colour theme or colour them to match the flavour. We love the Progel Purple for ever popular purple colour schemes as it is simply the best purple food colouring on the market; and the Progel Caramel is perfect paired with foody flavours like coffee, caramel and butterscotch. For a slightly larger range of colours you can also try the Sugarflair pastes.
There a loads of great ways to really push your cupcakes to the creative limit. There is a huge range of decorations and sprinkles which you can add on top. We love Magic Sparkles; these glitter flakes add a touch of glam to cake and cupcakes, whether you use them as they are or grind them down to a finer flake, they add great sparkle. Sugar pearls and sugar decorations and pipings are also ideal for adding extra interest.
As an alternative to a swirled buttercream top, an increasingly popular alternative, are domed fondant toppers. These are achieved by placing a disc of fondant on top of a foam ball half, like the ones above, and allowing this to dry slightly. Once it has dried, and is slightly firm, pipe a small amount of buttercream onto your cupcake to support the dome, then place the sugarpaste on top. There are so many ways to decorate your fondant dome; try using an impression mat on your fondant before cutting your disc, or use a cupcake topper mould then dry the results on a dome. Then use edible ink pens or lustre dusts to colour and add shimmer to your designs.
Then, after all the hard work of making and decorating your beautiful creations, you may want to display them. Whether they're for a wedding, birthday or other celebration, or simply just because, cupcake stands are the ultimate finishing touch. There are all kinds of stands available, from reusable acrylic stands to disposable cardboard stands, you definitely find something suitable.
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