makes 24 large cupcakes
- 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
- 1 1/2 cups superfine sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter
- 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
- 2 tablespoons milk
- 1.5 lbs white ready-to-roll fondant icing*
- blue, pink or yellow gel or paste coloring (liquid food coloring not compatible with the fondant icing)*
- icing sugar, for dusting
* from cake decorating shops
You will need 48 large cupcake papers (base 1 3/4 inch x height 1 inch) – 24 for baking and 24 for display.
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place cupcake papers in two 12-hole muffin trays.
In an electric mixer, beat butter for 2-3 minutes until pale in color and creamy. Add sugar one third at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about a minute between each addition. Add the vanilla extract and beat until combined. Sift flour and baking powder and add half to butter mixture with half the milk, beat until well combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
Spoon into cupcake papers (use an ice cream scoop) and bake for about 15 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool completely.
Cream butter until pale and smooth. Add the milk and half the sifted confectioners’ sugar. Beat until well combined. Add the remaining confectioners’ sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. The mixture should be a spreadable paste; if it is too dry add some more milk, if too wet add more confectioners’ sugar.
Remove papers from cupcakes, trim the top of the cupcakes so they are level, turn the cakes upside down on a work surface. Spread a tablespoon of icing in a thin layer on the top and sides of each cupcake.
Chop the white fondant icing into small pieces and knead until starting to soften. Add a small amount of chosen coloring using a toothpick. Knead until the color is even, add more color if required, and knead again. Dust the work surface with confectioners’ sugar to prevent the icing sticking and roll out to 1/8 in thick. Use a large biscuit cutter, saucer or egg ring to cut out circle shapes (needs to be large enough to cover the top and sides of your cupcake). Place a circle of icing over a cupcake, smooth the icing down using fingers dusted in confectioners’ sugar. Trim ends around base of the cake and place into a clean cupcake paper. Knead scraps and repeat until all cakes are covered.
For the initials, place 1 cup of white chocolate pieces in a ziplock bag (unsealed). Microwave for 1 1/2 minutes in 30 second bursts, massaging between bursts to evenly distribute melted chocolate. Seal bag and snip a tiny triangle from one corner of the bag. Pipe letters onto a sheet of non-stick baking paper (you will need to do a few practice letters!) and leave for 30 minutes to set. Stick to the top of the iced cupcakes with some leftover butter icing or melted chocolate. Don’t they look fantastic!
- Preparation time: 20 minutes, baking time: 15 minutes, decorating time: 50 minutes.
- These cupcakes are simple to make and decorate, but spectacular and sophisticated! Perfect for a first birthday party, where many of the guests are often adults. Older kids are also very pleased to have individualized surprises.
- Make the cupcakes in advance and freeze (undecorated) until needed; it is also easier to ice the frozen cupcakes.