Pig cupcakes

Keep the little ones occupied over the holidays with these cute pig cupcakes (perfect for those who are a Peppa Pig fan!) by Mich Turner...

Pig cupcakes Image credit: Mich Turner

We seem to make a huge effort for our pre-school and early years’ children’s birthdays and quite rightly so. It’s all about creating memories and stimulating the imagination. These cupcakes are delightful, cute and bring a great sense of farmyard fun! They can also be made ahead of a party for a take home gift...
 

Everyday Bakes to Showstopper Cakes

This recipe is from Everyday Bakes to Showstopper Cakes by Mich Turner, RRP £20 Frances Lincoln. Covering a full range of bakery goods as well as perfect flavours, whether you are a novice baker or already know your rum baba from your roulade, you can be easily guided through these delicious bakes and simple but spectacular decoration techniques that make the most of wonderful flavours and perfect crumb. If you love this bake you can get the book from our online shop WITH an automatic 10% off just for being you, PLUS free UK P+P!

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Ingredients

For the fairy cakes

  • 200g (7oz) unsalted butter, softened
  • 200g (7oz) golden caster sugar
  • 4 medium eggs, beaten (weigh the eggs to ensure you have the same weight as the butter, sugar and flour: 200g/7oz)
  • 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 30ml (2 tbsp) whole milk

For the vanilla syrup

  • 100g (31⁄2oz) golden caster sugar
  • 100ml (31⁄2fl oz) water
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract

For the buttercream

  • 250g (9oz) unsalted butter
  • 500g (1lb 2oz) icing sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
  • 1 tbsp milk
  • 20g (4 tsp) freeze-dried strawberry powder

For the decoration

  • 100g (31⁄2oz) each pink and black fondant sugar paste
  • 200g (7oz) pink mini marshmallows
  • modelling tools (cone tool, ball tool)

Instructions

To make the fairy cakes

1
Preheat the oven to 170°C fan (190°C/375°F/Gas 5) and place 20 paper cases in a cupcake tin.
2
Cream the butter and sugar together in an stand mixer until light and fluffy. Add the beaten eggs slowly until fully incorporated. Sift the flour into the batter and fold in with a metal spoon or rubber spatula. Stir in the milk to reach a dropping consistency. Add the vanilla bean paste.
3
Spoon the batter into a large piping bag and snip off the end with scissors. Deposit the batter evenly into the cupcake cases until they are two-thirds full.
4
Bake for 25 minutes until risen, golden brown on the surface and a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.

To make the vanilla syrup

1
Place all the ingredients in a small saucepan and bring gently to the boil. Turn off the heat as soon as the syrup starts to boil and the sugar has dissolved.
2
When the cakes are baked, remove them from the oven. Spike each cake several times with a bamboo skewer or cocktail stick, brush over the vanilla syrup and leave to cool on a wire rack.

To make the buttercream

1
Beat the butter and icing sugar together in a large bowl until mixed and then beat in the vanilla bean paste. Add the milk to the buttercream to achieve the desired consistency. Add the strawberry powder to one portion.

To assemble the cupcakes

1
Knead and shape the pink paste into a small ball and gently flatten to a disc. Use a smiley tool to add the cheeky smile.
2
To make make the snout, knead and shape a smaller ball of paste and fix in the centre, just over the mouth fixed in position with a little water. Use the tip of a No. 3 nozzle to add the nostrils.
3
For the ears, cut a small ball of paste in half and shape. Holding one ear next to the head, use a cone to gently push and fix the ear to the pig's head.
4
Roll two small ball of black paste for the eyes and fix in position with a little water.
5
Allow the animal heads to firm up for at least one hour – or make up to 1 month ahead and store in an airtight container. Working on one cupcake at a time, spread with strawberry buttercream.
6
Position the animal head in the centre – with enough space to fit marshmallows around the head and the rest of the cupcake, filling in all the space with marshmallows gently pushed into the buttercream.
7
Repeat until all the cupcakes are decorated and display on a cake stand or present in individual boxes. Store in an airtight container at room temperature and eat within 3 days. Not suitable for freezing once decorated.

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