The other thing I decided to make for my work birthday treats was a tray of pastel coloured cupcakes. OK so I am jumping on the bandwagon A LOT by making these, but I guess I just wanted to see if I could make cupcakes as lovely looking as the ones for sale all over London.
I just made a simple vanilla sponge in the processor, I find that when I make cakes this way they tend to rise very little, which is ideal really for applying copious amounts of buttercream!
I made an icing with butter and icing sugar, again in the processor (I was doing this really late at night, ok?!). I didn’t use a recipe as such, I just added about 2 spoonfuls of sugar to every spoonful of butter until I had what looked like enough for 12 cakes. The butter was fridge-cold to start with, and made an excellent textured icing to pipe straight away.
The buttercream was coloured with a tiny amount of sugarflair colouring paste in pink, ice blue and mint green. I found the blue ones to be a bit too blue for my liking, I guess I got a little colour-happy with that batch of icing.
When I was out shopping for supplies (I swear I get through too much butter, flour and sugar for an average human), I found some retro-style hundreds and thousands, I think they look great on the cupcakes!
175g self-raising flour
175g caster sugar
a few drops of vanilla extract
enough milk to make a soft dropping consistency
Shove everything except the milk into the magimix, press go, when smooth and thick blitz in some milk so that the mixture will spoon into cases nicely. Scrape into 12 paper cases in a muffin tin, and bake at 175 for 20-25 minutes or until golden and risen a little. Make sure they are left to cool sufficiently before icing or the buttercream will all just melt off. I say this from experience (damn my impatience!)