Bumblebee cupcakes

Learn how to make these bee-rilliant bumblebee cupcakes with this step-by-step recipe by Britt Box – the perfect cupcakes for your summer garden parties!

Bumblebee Cupcakes Image credit: Britt Box from She Who Bakes
Brought to you by Britt Box from She Who Bakes

Nothing says summer like seeing cute fuzzy bumblebees flying from flower to flower. These adorable cupcakes are the perfect addition to any summery treat table.

"For this technique, you’re first going to need some cupcakes to decorate. You can use any recipe you like and any cupcake case, but I’ve gone with a vanilla cupcake with a honey buttercream in yellow honeycomb cupcake cases."

Top tip! Bake your cupcakes on a lower temperature to ensure a lovely flat top to decorate onto.

Making in advance?

The bees and the chocolate ‘honeycomb’ can be made in advance – once they're set, keep them in a cardboard box (like a cake box) with a piece of kitchen roll on top so that air can get to it, but dust can’t. If you put them in an airtight box, they may sweat and go soft. If you're making the chocolate ‘honeycomb’ in advance then, once it's set and you've peeled off the bubble wrap, break it into smaller pieces and place in a plastic box with the lid on and leave it in the fridge until needed. The cupcakes themselves can be made up to two days in advance, but any longer than that and they may go firm. Any leftover buttercream can be stored in a plastic box with a sheet of clingfilm directly on top to stop any crusting over, then topped with the box lid and stored in the fridge until the use-by date on the pack of butter.

 

Ingredients

For the cupcakes

  • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 200g (7oz) unsalted butter/Stork/baking spread
  • 200g (7oz) caster sugar
  • 50g (13/4oz) plain flour
  • 4 medium free-range eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract

For the honey buttercream

  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter
  • 500g (1lb 1oz) icing sugar
  • 2 tbsp honey

For the bumblebees

  • white modelling paste
  • yellow food colouring (I used Sugarflair in Melon)
  • black modelling paste

Equipment

  • edible glue
  • paintbrush
  • cutting wheel
  • black food colouring pen
  • Sharp knife or mini scissors
  • small plunger cutter
  • palette or craft knife
  • foam mat
  • piping bag
  • 1J, 1M and 2D nozzles

Instructions

To make flat topped cupcakes

1
Cream together the butter/spread and caster sugar. Add the eggs and mix. Add the self-raising flour and plain flour and mix well.
2
Finally, add the vanilla and mix again.
3
Using a large ice cream scoop or other big spoon, fill the cases three-quarters full and bake at 160°C/Gas Mark 3 for 35-40 minutes or until they are golden brown.

To make the buttercream

1
Cream the butter on its own for a few minutes. Add the honey and mix it into the butter. Slowly add the icing sugar and mix until combined.

To make the bumblebees

1
Colour some modelling paste with a concentrated yellow food colouring (I used Sugarflair in Melon). Break off small pieces and roll into a little bean shape. Remember, these are going on cupcakes so you don’t want them too big. Leave to firm up on foam.
2
Once they're firm, use a black food colouring pen to draw on the little eyes. You can also use small balls of black modelling or flower paste, but drawing them on tends to be less fiddly.
3
Next, roll out a piece of black modelling paste and, using a cutting wheel, cut thin strips. Carefully flip the strips over and paint a little edible glue on the back with a fine paintbrush. Lift up a strip and stick two of them down onto the bean shape, giving the bumblebees their recognisable stripes. Cut off any excess with a sharp knife or mini scissors.
4
For the wings, roll out a piece of white modelling paste and cut out a heart using a small plunger cutter. Indent down the middle with a palette or craft knife to make the wings. Paint a little glue onto the point of the heart and stick these to the middle of the bee. Carefully fold up the rounded end to give the wings a bit of height. Leave the bees to dry completely on the foam.
5
To make the hive doorway, roll out a piece of black modelling paste and use either a little door/window cutter or cut out a little archway freehand. Leave these to dry on the foam.

To make the white chocolate honeycomb shards

1
For this, you will need some bubble wrap. I used new bubble wrap, which I washed, left to dry and then sprayed with food safe cleaner and wiped completely dry with a piece of kitchen roll.
2
Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper or foil and lay your clean bubblewrap in the tray, bubbles face-up.
3
Melt 200g (7oz) white chocolate either in the microwave, or in a bowl over a saucepan of boiling water
4
Pour the melted chocolate over the bubble wrap and spread on evenly using a palette knife or the back of a spoon.
5
Place the baking tray in the fridge to firm up completely. Depending on how thick your chocolate is, this should take an hour or so. Once it is completely set, flip the slab upside down and carefully peel off the bubble wrap, then set aside. If you’re making the honeycomb in advance, I would advise leaving it in the fridge until you are going to use it.

To decorate your cupcakes

1
You'll need three piping nozzles – a 1J, which is a rounded nozzle, a 1M which is an open star and a 2D which is a small closed star.
2
For the honeycomb cupcake, use a 1M to create a classic swirl effect. Firstly, pipe a star into the middle of the cupcake. This ensures the swirl you will be piping on next has something to support it and doesn’t just collapse. Then, starting from the outside and going around pipe buttercream all the way around the cupcake, going in and up a layer, in and up a layer until you get to the middle. Once in the middle, stop squeezing and then pull away to create a lovely point on top.
3
Decorate this swirl with a broken shard of chocolate ‘honeycomb’ and a couple of bees on either side. Breaking off the chocolate means it doesn’t have to be perfect and, in fact, the more texture around the edge, the better!

For the hive cupcake

1
For the hive cupcake, use a 1J. Again, as with the 1M, first squeeze a little mound into the centre of the cupcake. Then, starting on the outside, pipe a cylinder of buttercream around the base. Pipe another on top, and then another, until you reach the top of the cupcake. As before, stop squeezing and then pull away. Push a little hive doorway into the bottom layer of the buttercream and then top with bees.

For the bee on the flower cupcake

1
For the bee on the flower cupcake, use the 2D nozzle to create a rose. For this design, start in the middle of the cupcake and pipe clockwise outwards until you get to the edge. Again, stop squeezing and then pull away. Add on a couple of bees and some tasty honeycomb pieces.

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