Get ready to glam up your cupcakes with this easy-to-follow tutorial by Britt Box from She Who Bakes. You can adapt the colours to suit your occasion or theme!
Marbled sugarpaste and metallic paint looks so lovely together. You can use any bold colour to go with a metallic gold, silver or even rose gold to create a simple and stunning finish. For this project, I’ll be demonstrating the technique on cupcake toppers, but this method can easily be transferred to a larger cake as well. Do you ever bake cupcakes and get left with a big old peak where a nice flat top should be? You aren’t alone, but with a few different techniques I’ll be talking you through how I get flat-topped cupcakes every time that are perfect for decorating.
For the vanilla cupcakes
- 200g (7oz) self-raising flour
- 50g (1¾oz) plain flour
- 200g (7oz) caster sugar
- 200g (7oz) Stork
- 4 medium free-range eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
1. Cream together the Stork and the caster sugar. Mix in the eggs. 2. Add the self-raising and plain flour and mix well. Finally, add the vanilla and mix on a high speed for a few minutes. 3.Using a large ice cream scoop, spoon the mixture into 12 large cupcake cases placed in a muffin tin. 4. Bake at 160°C/Gas Mark 3 for 45-50 minutes, or until golden brown. There are a few things at play here to ensure a flat top. One is the addition of plain flour to the recipe; this makes it slightly denser, while still being lovely and fluffy to eat, and the second is the lower oven temperature. If you normally bake at a higher temperate for a shorter time, just trust me on this one – turn that oven down and leave the cupcakes in a little longer. Flat tops ahoy!
Cupcake tip! Add a spoonful of dried rice in the bottom of the tin before filling with cupcake cases. The rice will absorb any grease and leaves the bottom of your cases nice and dry – it’s especially great for light coloured cases, like the white ones I used here.
For the decoration – marble sugarpaste
1. Knead a 250g (9oz) block of sugarpaste (ready-to-roll icing) until it is pliable and soft. Dust a clean surface with a little cornflour, then press down the kneaded sugarpaste so you have a thick circle. 2. Choose your colour (I chose a nice blue here), then add a little colouring in random places all over. Gently roll the sugarpaste into a ball and knead it just a little; you don’t want to over-knead at this point because you will simply colour the sugarpaste and you only want the colour to blend in ever so slightly. Roll out the sugarpaste – I used a large rolling pin and icing spacers (if you are using this technique on a cake it would be at this point that you would cover your crumb-coated cake in marbled sugarpaste). Top tip 1! Use a good quality food colouring. I recommend a concentrated colouring, which can easily be purchased online and at cake shops. Top tip 2! When using a concentrated food colouring, you only need a little bit. Less is more. 3. Using a round cutter the same size as the top of your cupcake cases, cut out 12 discs, choosing the best place where the colour has marbled, and leave these to dry on foam. Top tip 3! When you have cut out all the circle shapes you can from your sugarpaste, bring it together, but instead of kneading it again, simply roll it out. If you knead it you run the risk of going from a nice marble effect to just a block colour. 4. When the sugarpaste has set, either a few hours later or overnight, you can add some metallic detail. For this, I made a metallic paint using edible gold lustre dust and a little rejuvenator spirit. You can of course use ready-mixed edible paint, or even gold leaf if you’re feeling fancy. 5. For the detail, you can get creative. Using a thin paintbrush, I painted down the lines of the marble using the blue colour as a guide, then I added metallic splashes on the discs randomly as well. Leave to dry. 6. You can make these toppers well in advance of when you need them, as long as you leave them uncovered on foam to dry completely and then store them in a box that isn’t airtight. Something like a cardboard cake box is perfect to store toppers or, if you don’t have one of those, a Tupperware box without the lid and a sheet of kitchen roll on top will keep dust off. 7. For the topping, I used a vanilla buttercream, but you can use whatever you like! I like to start with a basic buttercream recipe and then get adventurous by adding flavourings and colouring to match.
For the vanilla buttercream
- 250g (9oz) unsalted butter
- 500g (1lb 1oz) icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
1. Cream the butter on its own for a few minutes. Slowly add the icing sugar and mix. 2. Add the vanilla (or whatever flavouring and colouring you like) and mix until soft. 3. Fit a large piping bag with a closed star 1J nozzle and fill the bag with buttercream. Starting on the inside of the cupcake going out, and using an even pressure on the bag, pipe a small circle of buttercream on the top. Gently place a decorated sugarpaste disc on top. Leave to set and enjoy! Once you’ve made your cupcakes, they will be fresh for two days. You can freeze un-iced cupcakes in a sandwich bag for up to three months, just defrost and bring them to room temperature before decorating. Similarly, you can store any unused buttercream in a sealed box in the fridge until the expiry date on the pack of butter you’ve used. You can get really creative with colours using this technique. Green and gold go very well together, as do pink and rose gold and dark blue and silver. You can easily match the cupcakes to whatever occasion you are baking for.