Buttercream Cupcake Flower Wreath
A wreath of fall-themed buttercream flowers on top of chocolate cupcakes.
- 175 g (1 cup) plain (all-purpose) flour
- 225 g (1 1/4 cups) caster (superfine) sugar
- 50 g (13/4 oz) cocoa powder
- ½ teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
- ½ teaspoon fine salt
- 175 g (6 oz) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 large eggs, at room temperature
- 175 ml (6 fl oz) full-cream (whole) milk
- 1 tsp cinnamon
- 500g (2 cups) unsalted butter, softened
- 500g (4 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)
- Assorted food colourings. I used orange, green, purple, black, red, yellow and brown.
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line a cupcake tin with brown cupcake liners.
- Add the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon, bicarbonate of soda and salt to a large mixing bowl. Mix on low speed with a hand mixer until combined.
- Next, add the softened butter and continue mixing on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
- Add the eggs and milk and mix again on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds.
- 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 centre of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- To crate the flower patterns, it’s all about experimenting with different piping tips and techniques. I followed a couple different ones I followed online. But if you want to make the exact ones I did, I use a round tip to make the garland, a leaf tip for the green leaves, a Loyal 61 tip to make the purple flowers, a Wilton 1m tip for the green and red flowers, an open star tip for the orange rose and I used a grass tip for the middle of the sunflowers and a round tip for the petals.
- Pipe your flowers first and leave 4 cupcakes bare. Arrange the cupcakes in a ring on your serving plate and then pipe the wreaths on the 4 plain cupcakes. Add little dabs of different coloured frosting as small flowers. Add leaves around the wreath using the leaf tip.
- 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.
- Stop your mixer and scrape down the side of the bowl using a spatula. Add the icing sugar 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…)
- 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.
- Split the frosting into several bowls. I made 6 colours and achieved the darker shades of purple and brown by adding a little bit of black food gel. Mix the colours into the frosting using a spoon until evenly coloured.
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