crystal ball cupcakes_lc.jpg
food

Crystal Ball Cupcakes

Chocolate crystal ball sphere on top of a blueberry cupcake.

Ingredients

  • Cupcakes
  • 215g flour
  • 132g granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 1 egg
  • 187ml milk
  • 65ml oil
  • 1tbsp yogurt
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 drops purple food gel
  • 1 tsp blueberry flavouring
  • Black Frosting
  • 250g (1 cup) unsalted butter, softened
  • 25g (2 cups) icing (confectioners’) sugar
  • 2–4 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
  • 2 tbsp full-cream (whole) milk (at room temperature) (optional, but recommended)
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 15 drops black food gel
  • Spheres
  • 500g white chocolate
  • Purple chocolate: 3 drops purple candy food gel
  • Bright purple chocolate: 3 drops purple candy food gel + 3 drops pink candy food gel
  • Dark purple chocolate: 3 drops purple candy food gel + 3 drops blue candy food gel
  • Pink chocolate: 3 drops pink candy food gel
  • 100g yellow fondant
  • Decorations
  • 1 cup black sugar sprinkles

Steps

  1. Spheres
  2. To make the spheres you’ll need a half sphere mould. I used silicone one measuring 5cm in diameter. You’ll need 10 spheres all together.
  3. Begin by melting your white chocolate in the microwave for 20 seconds at a time, stirring each time until melted. Split into 4 mixing bowls and colour each one using the colour combinations listed in the ingredients list. Mix using a spoon until well combined.
  4. Use a spoon to drizzle each colour into the mould until each one is covered. Gently tap the mould on your work surface to get rid of any air bubbles. Then turn the mould upside down onto a baking tray to allow excess chocolate to drizzle out. Use a bench scraper of spatula to scrape away excess chocolate before chilling in the fridge for 40 minutes.
  5. To make the fondant stars, roll out the yellow fondant. Use a small oval shape cookie cutter to cut out oval shapes. Use each corner of the oval cutter to cut out each corner of the oval shapes which will create a four-pointed star.
  6. You’ll need 2 stars for each sphere. Dab the back of each star with a little bit of water and stick it to each sphere.
  7. Black Frosting
  8. Add your softened butter to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. You can also use a hand mixer for this recipe, but if you do use a hand mixer, just make sure your bowl is large. Mix the butter on low speed to begin with, then switch to the highest speed and mix for 5 minutes until the butter is fluffy and turns pale in colour.
  9. Stop your mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl using a spatula. Add the icing sugar, cocoa powder, black food gel and vanilla extract and mix again on low speed. LOW SPEED PEOPLE! The last thing you need is to end up in a sugar dust storm! (I’m speaking from experience…)
  10. Once all the sugar has been incorporated, it’s safe to turn your mixer up to high speed. Continue beating on high speed for about 5–6 minutes, or until the butter turns pale in colour and becomes fluffy again. If you want to soften your buttercream and make it a little smoother, add the milk and continue mixing for another couple of minutes on medium speed.
  11. Cupcakes
  12. Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line two cupcake tins with the cupcake liners.
  13. Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
  14. Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
  15. Add the eggs, milk, oil, purple food gel, blueberry flavouring, yoghurt and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds. It’s at this point that you can add any flavourings or food-gel colourings to the batter.
  16. Fill each liner three-quarters of the way. Using an ice-cream scoop to transfer the batter to the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process, and ensures each liner contains exactly the same amount of batter and that the cupcakes will bake evenly. Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
  17. Fit the end of a piping bag with a round tip and frost a blob of frosting on top of each cupcake.
  18. Dip them in the black sugar sprinkles.
  19. Finish by adding the finished sphere on top.
  20. Cupcakes can be stored in an airtight container for up to three days in the fridge.