For Mother’s Day, I decided to make some pretty pink, rose flavoured cupcakes from (surprise, surprise) the new Hummingbird Cake Days cookbook. It is adapted from a simple vanilla sponge recipe, so the only difference is the extra tablespoon of rosewater (you can buy it at most supermarkets). I’ve heard from others who have made these cupcakes say that the better quality rosewater, the more flavoursome the cupcakes will taste. There were other options in the cookbook too, such as Violet Cupcakes – you use violet essence (however, it’s very expensive in the UK) and Jasmine Cupcakes – where you use jasmine teabags.
After the last set of cupcakes from the new cookbook when I made 24 cupcakes (from a recipe where it says “12 – 16 cupcakes”), I decided to only make 3/4 of the cake mixture. Very happy that I did, as I ended up with 15 cupcakes instead. The majority of the cupcakes rose very nicely and eventually flattened once they had been removed from the oven, but there were a few which rose into a peak.. but not in the centre, just towards their left hand side. They’re not the best cupcakes to ice because the shape is a bit awkward.. I’m thinking this is some sort of oven issue, where the temperature isn’t spread evenly throughout the oven, so the cupcakes tend to rise towards the warmest part?! If anyone has any idea..please tell me!
I’ve also realised that whilst I am using muffin sized cases for the cupcakes, I’m still using cupcake tins to bake them in. I didn’t even think twice about this before but I’ve noticed how my cupcakes rise in a V shape, so the base is the size of the case but the further up it gets, the wider the cupcakes become!I think this is just personal preference, but I find that the icing doesn’t look as pretty when you pipe it on because there is a bigger surface to cover. I may have to invest in some muffin tins and hopefully it will help the cupcakes rise in a straighter shape.
I tried not to make the buttercream icing too thin in consistency and it worked.. but I forgot to account for the warmth of the kitchen, so by the time it came to piping the icing had become quite soft! This wasn’t too much of a problem, the swirls still piped easy enough and just about held their shape, they just took a long time to harden. The buttercream icing is a white/vanilla colour (the rosewater is a clear liquid!) so to get the pink colour, I used some of Wilton’s colour paste as you need a lot less than normal food colouring. I finally got to use my new edible decorations which I recently bought as well, so these cupcakes were very pink and girly! I also attempted to do some writing with the piping bag and I think it turned out pretty well! Managed to fit on the whole “Happy Mother’s Day” phrase and the letters weren’t too messy.. it’s good practice for the birthday cakes I have coming up in April/May.. And for those of you that don’t read chinese, the word I wrote is “Mum”, and it was A LOT easier to pipe than english words.. haha 🙂
I planned on using the lustre dust that I recently bought too, assuming it would work like glitter would.. which it didn’t. I think the problem was the texture of the buttercream didn’t work well with lustre dust perhaps..? It didn’t really show through when I mixed it in, it just darkened the icing a little. When I tried dusting the cupcakes, it didn’t work either because it just came out very clumpy. I think it’s probably best for sugarpaste/fondant/gumpaste etc… because it will give it a shiny colour overall. At least I will know for next time!