by Sue Bond
(Houston, Texas, USA)
Do you enjoy baking just for the sake of it? Do you like trying to be creative when you make cakes? If so, baking cupcakes is probably right up your alley!.
The most important part of the whole process is the variety of cupcake decorating ideas that you will find out there. You can make the most creative and exciting toppers, using everything from glace cherries to butter cream.
And you can be either as simple or as fancy as you want. (There are entire cafes and bakeries dedicated to the humble cupcake, and these little cakes are even served at weddings.)
The secret of a good topping has to be one of the many cupcake frosting recipes that you will find. To be really clever, you need to blend the topping you are making into a theme. Here are some examples:
– For the Fourth of July, make tri-colored toppings to match the stars and stripes, such as putting red, white, and blue icing on the top of each cake. If that is difficult, you could make three separate batches of cakes in red, white, or blue.
– If you want to make Christmas cakes, how about putting white icing on the top, followed by green “leaves” made from green colored, peppermint flavored frosting with red glace cherries for the holly berries.
– How about a winter snowman? You would use basic white icing and then use currants for the eyes, a small red cherry for the nose, and a piece of candied orange peel for the mouth.
– For a wedding cupcake (of which you would create a whole batch), you could prepare cream icing, from buttercream, fondant, or marzipan, which you would pipe onto the top and then create a pink “rose” from pieces of pink royal icing.
Of course, these ideas go on and on, and here you can use a lot of your own creativity. Indeed, the sky is the limit when it comes to these kinds of recipes and ideas. There are so many flavorings that you can use, including peppermint, almond, rum, vanilla, or lemon.
And then there are the kinds of icing that are available. If you are not allergic to nuts, marzipan may be a good bet, as this is essentially a mixture of almond meal and sugar. You may, alternatively, prefer a simpler and less sophisticated recipe, such as basic buttercream, made from confectioner’s sugar and water, butter, and eggs, flavored with whatever you would like.
The other great advantage of making these little cakes is that it is a very child friendly activity that will keep your children happy during long, boring vacations.
The simpler kinds of recipes call for little supervision, apart from turning the oven on and watching little fingers with mixers. But then, these days, many basic cake recipes do not need to be made with a mixer. Stirring the batter very well may be enough.
So enjoy your cupcake creations. It’s fun, creative, and will definitely give your family a treat!