We got such a great response to this year's Autumn Cupcake Challenge
– thank you to everyone who sent us their cupcake pictures! Our winner this year was Sarah Harris, who received her accolade in front of a busy audience at The Cake & Bake Show in London at the beginning of October. An amateur baker, Sarah shares her cupcake creations online as The Cupcake Range
, and we liked her winning cupcake so much we asked her to share her techniques.
Here's how to create your own version of Sarah's winning cupcake design…
When Autumn Leaves start to Fall
YOU WILL NEED
Cupcakes of your choice
• Sugarpaste in light blue, dark blue, red, orange, yellow, green, light brown, dark brown, flesh and black
• Texture mat, for the grass and bench
• Fine craft knife
• Palette knife
• Edible glue
Roll out some light blue sugarpaste and cut out a circle 68mm in diameter (or the size of the cupcake if different).
Roll out some green sugarpaste (for the grass) and texture, then cut a circle the same size as before. Cut this circle across so that it is slightly less than half in size, then carefully apply this to the bottom of the blue sugarpaste circle neatening around the bottom edge. Ideally leave this to dry on a foam mat for a day or overnight to make it easier to apply the rest of the decorations without distorting the shape of the circle.
To make the tree, roll a piece of brown sugarpaste into a sausage shape, then with a fine bladed knife cut the roots of the tree and the branches. Once the tree is formed, texture to give a bark effect.
For the park bench, roll out some brown sugarpaste and cut to the shape of the bench creating texture by either using a stripy ridged texture mat or by pressing the edge of a clean ruler along the bench’s length so that it looks like wood planks.
The umbrella is made by cutting a long thin triangle of red sugarpaste, then using the side of a palette knife make indentations to give the folds of the umbrella. Roll a small piece of brown sugarpaste to form the handle of the umbrella and stick to the back of the umbrella.
Position the tree, park bench and umbrella on the blue and green sugarpaste disc made earlier. Apply a little edible glue to make them stick.
Cut out three tiny lengths of brown sugarpaste for the back of the bench and the legs, then place one at each end of the bench and one in the middle. Using one end of a cocktail stick make some holes to look like nails on the brown strips. Make sure the legs of the bench are about level with the point of the bottom of the umbrella.
To make the granddad’s legs and feet: Cut out two tiny strips of brown sugarpaste to make the trousers and two black ovals to make the back of his shoes – make indentations on the back of each of the shoes about a third of the way down to look like a heel. Position the trousers under the bottom of the bench on the right hand side and place one shoe on each trouser leg so it overlaps slightly – glue in place.
To make the granddad’s body and head: cut a half oval shape out of dark blue sugarpaste and make indentations on each side to resemble arms, then stick in place. Make the hair using a small circle of light brown sugarpaste, then texture to give the appearance of hair and set aside for later.
To make the girl, cut out two tiny wellington boots out of red sugarpaste so that they fit under the bench on the left hand side and glue in place. These can be glazed using edible glaze to give a shiny appearance. Cut a half oval shape for the main body, then make an indentation on the left side only to make the arm. Glue in place on the left hand side of the bench. Cut a small bell-shaped piece of brown sugarpaste for her head and texture to look like stands of hair, then set aside for later. Make a boomerang-shaped piece of red sugarpaste for the outstretched arm, and the wrist and hand out of a flesh piece of sugarpaste. Attach the outstretched arm and hand as shown in the picture, then position the two heads onto the bodies so that they are leaning towards each other slightly.
Use tiny pieces of sugarpaste to make some leaves either freehand with a fine bladed craft knife or using a fern leaf mould to create tiny fronds. Stick some onto the grass and some onto the tree.
Design and instructions by Sarah Harris