So you’ve got the butter cupcakes ready to serve, but they look so yellow, buttery … and plain! Set beside the glossy pictures on your brand new recipe book, they look like Britney Spears before and after makeup. Here’s a good tip for you, a simple decoration can transform your cupcakes enormously, looking as if they were bought from the shelves of a local bakery store! Decorating your cakes can cover some of the flaws – it’s OK, we won’t tell anyone.
To make dainty cupcakes, it’s easy, you don’t have to be a professional baker or cook. There are a lot of decoration recipes that can be done with ingredients that are usually available in the kitchen and at the supermarket. Learn some of the foolproof techniques for cupcake decoration here.
Frosting, also called icing, is a sweet decorating cream made of butter and icing sugar. To make a good batch of frosting, make sure your butter or margarine is of high quality. Beat 200g softened butter or margarine, 150g icing sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla essence using a mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy. Pipe or spread over cupcakes. Add colouring to the cream to jazz it up. You can get crafty with different piping tips, making pretty swirls or florets. Make extras for practice.
Top whipped cream on cupcakes as it is. You can also sprinkle over the cupcakes with 100’s and 1000’s, cake crumbs, chocolate chips or sliced fruits for a more flavourful decoration. Unlike icing, whipped cream contains less sugar as it has a high fat content which enables it to firm up with just a few minutes using a mixer. You can mix in some flavouring or colouring as desired before whipping. To make whipped cream, use chilled whipping cream or heavy whipping cream. Use a mixer, whip cream in a large bowl at medium speed. Add sugar, about 2 tablespoons, continue whipping until soft peaks form. To decorate, your whisk should be able to hold the cream when lifted. Then, pipe cream over cupcakes.
Short of time and ingredients? You can also decorate your cupcakes simply with fruits and berries to complement the flavour. Since there isn’t cream or frosting to hold the fruits in place, make a small cut out of top of each cupcake using the tip of a serrated knife. Use fruits or berries, for example, strawberries, grapes, blueberries and oranges, to cover up the hole. If they are too large for the cut out, slice them. For sweet cupcakes, it is recommended to use sour fruits to balance off the flavour.
If you are interested to learn more techniques for baking and cake decorating, equip yourself with skills taught at Sugarcraft Baking and Culinary Academy. The academy provides classes that cater to different needs for baking at affordable prices.