COOK’s cupcake tips
• If your cupcakes yield sharp peaks your oven is too hot. This is why I prefer turning the oven down to 170/175 ˚C
• Unsalted butter is preferred but salted butter is fine
• Butter is preferred but Stork baking margarine can be used for the cupcakes but never the icing
• For white icing: NEVER use Wooden Spoon margarine. It’s horrible. Beat/cream Woolworth’s organic butter, it whips to a white colour in seconds. If you want a pure white icing opt for English or plastic icing.
• For black icing: Replace some icing sugar with cocoa and then add black colouring
• It is not necessary to sieve your flour.
• Eggs should be extra large
• The recipe below is for standard vanilla cupcakes and makes 12 cupcakes with slight peaks. If you want to use royal icing, you need flatter cupcakes so add 1 extra tablespoon of milk, cook for 5 minutes less and use less mixture in each wrapper
Vanilla cupcakes (12)
125g unsalted butter, softened
125g castor sugar
125g self-raising flour
2 extra- large eggs
Half teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons milk
12-hole muffin tin lined with cupcake wrappers
• Place all ingredients except for the milk in the processor and then blend till smooth.
• Pulse while adding milk down the funnel, to make for a soft, dropping consistency.
• Divide mixture between the 12 cupcake wrappers
• Bake for 15-20 minutes at 170/175˚ or until the cakes are cooked and golden brown on top ( I find 17 minutes at 170 ˚C perfect)
Fondant Icing/Plastic Icing
• Roll out icing to cut circles slightly bigger than your cupcakes.
• Add patterns as demonstrated and then gently roll over the cupcake and softly “attach” the icing to the cupcake, pressing lightly with your finger.
• Garnish as demonstrated
Royal Icing (for about 16 flat cupcakes)
Ensure you make flatter cupcakes for this icing-as demonstrated
2 egg whites
2 cups icing sugar
2 teaspoon lemon juice
• Combine with a fork or hand mixer till smooth.
• Pour over cupcakes and garnish with rose petals, small sugared flowers or fairy fudge flowers. The icing takes a few hours to harden but is fine to eat soft. The top will set first leaving a soft layer below.
If you want a fluffier consistency, then whisk the egg whites before adding the icing sugar.
Whipped Meringue Icing
1 cup castor sugar
¼ cup water
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
3 egg whites
• Place the first 3 ingredients in a pot, boil then simmer for 3 minutes
• Beat egg whites to soft peaks and gradually add syrup
• Dollop on cupcakes
• Cupcakes can be placed in oven to cook meringue 6-8 minutes at 200 ˚c
• Add some lemon zest to your mixture, make a well in the cupcake as demonstrated and fill the baked cupcake with lemon curd to make lemon meringue cupcakes.
Cream Cheese Icing
½ tub Woolworths Simonsberg/ Woolworths cream cheese*
125g Wooloworths organic butter
start with 4 cups of icing and increase to the desired consistency (400g-500g)
Vanilla paste or extract
Woolworth’s low fat cream cheese is twice the price of regular cream cheese but it’s also twice as firm. This means you get a firmer consistency without having to add too much icing sugar. On a cold day use less icing sugar, on a hot day use more (the heat softens the butter and it drops quicker)
• Combine the butter with the icing sugar and add the cream cheese and then the vanilla
• If adding colour place one dot of red gel on the icing, swirl gently and then pipe as demonstrated with the cream cheese icing
White chocolate icing
100g white chocolate
60ml (4T) cream
125g butter softened
500g icing sugar
• Melt the cream and white chocolate
• Add to icing sugar and butter and beat till light and fluffy.
• Pipe onto cupcakes, a swirl of colour can also be added