Monday, 5 December 2011

1st birthday duck and flower chocolate cupcakes

Ok, so its not every day your boss - a senior partner in a firm asks you to make cupcakes for his daughter's first birthday, so naturally I was over the moon excited as they chose my cupcakes over a well known bakery in London! The brief was ducks and flowers, which personally I thought is just too cute!

Bubble bath duckies

The cupcakes are chocolate but with vanilla icing in a variety of colours. For the fondant icing, you can purchase a box of multicolour fondant icing which makes life so much easier, or you can use white and use food colouring to create your own variety, for this I used purple!

Ingredients for cupcakes:-

115g butter
130g castor sugar
3 eggs
150g all-purpose flour
50g cocoa powder
1 tsp baking powder
Pinch of salt
60ml whole milk


Preheat the oven to 180C or gas mark 4.
Line a muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners.

Using an electric beater or whisk, beat the butter and sugar for a few minutes until light and fluffy and the sugar and butter lighten in colour.  Add the eggs, one at a time beating quite thoroughly after each addition.

In a separate bowl, sieve the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt and add half of this to the egg mixture. Beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and pour in half the milk. Beat again until combined and repeat the flour and milk process until finished, alternating between the two.

Immediately, fill the cupcake liners and bake for about 20 mins. Don't forget to rotate the tray about half way through if you have a gas oven, to ensure evenly cooked.

You should have enough mixture to make 24 small-ish cupcakes or 20 decent sized cupcakes.

Remove from oven and leave in tray for a few minutes. Remove and then place cupcakes on a wire rack to cool. Don’t forget to remove from the muffin tray!

For the icing:-

250g icing sugar

125g butter
2 tblsp whole milk

1 tsp vanilla essence

fondant icing
edible food glitter


With your hand mixer or food processor, cream butter and icing sugar and vanilla essence until smooth. Add the milk 1tblsp at a time. If mixture still feels too stiff add some more milk. If you want to pipe the frosting, I usually use the largest star one, this gives a lovely swirl effect.

Now comes the best part, the decorating of the cupcakes! For the ducks, I used some modelling fondant icing, its so simple and easy to use. But this does take a lot of time and patience so its not something to do in a rush, but I find it calming and relaxing.

Getting started with the decorating

Little duckies

For the flowers I used 3 different sized daisy flower cutters  that I got from Lakeland and glued them together with a bit of water just to make sure they stick together. Roll the icing out to a thin layer, about 2mm thickness. I just used a variety of colours and pasted them together, you can choose your own colour theme.

Daisy cupcakes

I think I got a bit carried away with all the colours, but that's just the best part of it!!

More ducks...

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