Of Cupcakes and Buttercream

By Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Before I was introduced to buttercream, I only knew how to make frosting using butter and icing sugar. And I didn't like them at all - because it's too sweet! However, it's not nice to give away plain cupcakes... People still prefer a sensory appeal (both in taste and aesthetics).

For the past 2 weeks, I've been baking cupcakes. It's for a little girl who turned 4 today. This project has special significance for me, for it challenged me to churn out a larger quantity - which I rarely do, put together a design the girl will like, and think of ways to package it.

Must say I truly enjoyed the process. Repetitive it may be, going through the test bakes have offered me the chance to hone my skills. The results: I now have a cupcake recipe as 'keeper', and learnt more about buttercream than I ever know. Sweetapolita has a great post on making buttercream. Thanks to her... I'm confident of making them now  (Only problem is I don't know what to do with the 8 yolks sitting in the fridge).

This was my first attempt. Made these for friend's farewell celebration.

Can you tell what the orange-colored fondant resembles? A little worried others couldn't tell what I was trying to mould. Thus added the alphabet "SQ".... haha very obvious right?

This was my second attempt. Practiced my piping instead. I actually like how it turned out!

Played with fondant. As you can see, the smaller creature looks "alien-like". It was supposed to be an owl.... but luckily the second one turned out fine.

Specially tinted the buttercream blue and green, the birthday girl's favourite colors.

This is the final design.
(Almost wanted to shed tears of joy seeing it! Hubby has a feedback though - the color scheme doesn't match the owl design. That's food for thought if I'm doing again. )

Cupcake Recipe  (from Ancoo Journal)
- makes about 12 cupcakes, using 44 by 35mm cases

50g butter, softened
100g sugar
1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
60ml milk
60ml boiling water (with 1/2 tsp Nescafe Classic Instant Coffee powder) - cool before using

95g cake flour
1/8 tsp salt
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
20g cocoa powder
  • Sift flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder in bowl. 
  • Cream butter and sugar until light. Add the essence and egg. Beat till well-combined.
  • Add mixture in the following order: flour-liquid-flour-liquid-flour. *This means you add the flour in 3 parts, and liquid in 2 parts; to help make the batter light and moist. 
  • Spoon batter into paper cases till 3/4 full.
  • Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for 20 mins. *Baking time will vary based on cupcake size

My buttercream recipe was from Baking Library. Only change I made was to increase sweetness to 110g sugar.

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  1. Awesome, babe! It looks like your baking skills have improved swiftly. They all look so good to eat. Can't wait for the next invitation to cake tasting. hehehee

    1. hee.. that comes with practice! Yup let's meet up soon!

  2. the orange fondant..aeroplane? maybe you can use the leftover eggyolks to make ice cream or maybe simpler, just fried rice! have a nice weekend!

    1. thks lena for the suggestion.. am going to cook fried rice later =)

  3. Beautiful cupcakes, & I also like to make Swiss meringue buttercream, so far it's the best one for me ^^

    1. me too!! taste good, and texture is good for piping too