A few weeks ago, I received my first order (very exciting!) for a dozen vanilla and rose cupcakes for a birthday. I was given the opportunity to decorate them however I wanted – as long as they were vanilla and rose flavoured. As Pauline, the lady who ordered the cakes, is a big Liverpool supporter, I decided to make some football/LFC themed cupcakes and alongside them, a couple of ‘girlier’ cupcakes.
I made the fondant decorations a few days before the cakes, so that they had time to harden in the fridge, and in case anything went wrong, I wouldn’t have to rush to make more. As I don’t own any small circular cutters, the footballs were cut from the end of a large piping nozzle. I made them look more ‘football-like’ using a black edible food pen and adding the markings between the black pentagons. The football boots and shirts were made from ready-coloured red fondant, then just cut and moulded into shape. The LFC badge was the more difficult thing to make, but the shape itself was relatively simple. The real badge is very detailed, but having only a small amount of space I could work with on a cupcake, I had to keep the badge quite simple. The phoenix on the LFC badge was the fiddliest looking thing to make, it isn’t the best looking phoenix but it looks similar enough!
I invested in a free-standing mixer (finally!) and it works well, it’s not a Kitchen Aid, but it’ll do! The only problem it has is that the mixing bowl doesn’t seem to spin around on its own, I have to keep turning it and then eventually, it gathers enough speed and spins on its own. Not ideal but it was only £25! In the end, I made 8 vanilla and 4 rose cupcakes, rather than making two separate mixtures, I made them using one batch as the rose cupcakes uses the same amount of ingredients. I separated the mixture before adding vanilla extract/rosewater and did the same with the buttercream icing.
Using the grass nozzle, I lined the vanilla cupcakes with green ‘grass’ buttercream – I love the effect of that nozzle because it makes it look like real grass! The first few ‘grass’ cupcakes I did ended up looking a little like green hair, because I left it too long before I stopped putting pressure on the piping bag – but I managed to cover these up with the decorations! I added the fondant decorations on before the buttercream hardened, so that the decorations would be able to stay in place.
I decided to do a different style for the rose cupcakes and make them look a little prettier and kept to the red and white colours of Liverpool. I have seen some multi-coloured swirls from other bakers and wanted to attempt it myself, luckily it worked well and looks good! The basic idea is to fill half the piping bag with one colour and the other half with the other colour, but making sure they are side by side and not on top of each other. The flowers are made from fondant using some calyx cutters, I secured them together with a blob of buttercream. The cupcake with “Happy Birthday Pauline” was originally going to be red background, white writing but I realised that the white writing would absorb the red, like it did with the iPhone Calendar App Cookie so I switched it around and used red writing instead.
Here’s my first order all boxed up and ready to go! I also want to wish Pauline a very Happy Birthday and hope she has enjoyed the cupcakes.