Edible Cupcake Bouquet

Welcome back to Caitlan’s Kitchen! One of the things I love doing, is baking! This year for mothers day, along with some other gifts, I plan on making my mum a giant array of cupcakes that look like a flower bouquet. Why? Because why not? Not sure what to get your mum for Mother’s Day? Check out the two gift guides I’ve put together *HERE* and *HERE*.

The one I’m going to teach you how to do now is just my trial run, so its a little rough around the edges. But with some practice, it should look better!

There are a heap of different ways you can go about this, in terms of cakes and decorations. I chose to use packet cakes for this, purely because it’s the easy option. However, feel free to use any cupcake recipe you have and love for this. The same goes for decorating, the marshmallow flowers are just an option. I thought I might show you how to to do them for future baking experiments.

THE THINGS!

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For this you’ll need a few things that don’t come from the baking aisle. A flower pot (kmart have cute ones for $2), ribbon, and a Styrofoam ball. Along with that you’ll need patty pans, tooth picks and some cakes. You can use whatever cupcakes you like I’m using packet cakes as I said, because its easy. I’m using vanilla and chocolate, but thats just for some variety. As long as you have approx 20 cupcakes you should be able to cover a ball this size. Marshmallows are optional.

Once your cakes are baked, and cooled down you have some options. You can either stick them to the foam ball now, and decorate later, OR decorate now and stab them on later. It depends on how you’re doing it I think. If I was using a piping bag, I’d stick the cakes down first. For something like this, it doesn’t matter too much. But after attempting this, I think it is easier to get them on the foam ball first, then decorate.

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To make the marshmallow flowers, you’ll need two marshmallows for one flower. Cut them in half like you see in the photo above. As you cut them, it pinches the marshmallow and turns it from a round shape to a slightly pointed almond shape – perfect for petals. They’re easy to place down on the icing of the cupcakes, as it acts as an adhesive. Be warned thought, the marshmallows become VERY sticky once cut in half. To save yourself some grief place them on the cupcake sticky side down so they powdery side is facing up.

Another option is to dip them in coloured sugar which is super cute.

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To stick them to the foam ball, I used two toothpicks per cupcake, like the picture above. For some that were lower down, I used three, and tried to angle them up so they wouldn’t slide off.  Its fairly easy to pierce the foam ball, but perhaps having a sewing thimble on hand might be of some assistance.

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Simply push the cupcake onto the toothpicks. You’ll be surprised at how well they stay there.  A good trick to make sure the foam ball doesn’t wiggle around is to adhere it with sticky tape on the inside to the flower pot. Another idea is to put some weights in the bottom – rocks might work – so it doesn’t slide around, mine took a little tumble as I was pressing one of the cupcakes on, now its covered in crumbs, but this is just a test run so thats ok.

Its also best to tie the ribbon around the pot before you start placing the cupcakes. It would be mighty difficult to tie it up once it was so top heavy and round.

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Progress shot. Mother’s Day Marshmallow Massacre – we will rebuild.

There isn’t really any rhyme or reason to placing the cupcakes. It depends on size and what room you have. I’m trying to think of something to fill the white space with. Green tissue paper – or napkins to simulate leaves? Or perhaps I’ll pipe some green frosting in between. If I had some green lolly pops (wrapped in green cellophane, at least) I’d try stabbing them through the ball. Something to cover the white space and give some foliage.

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Here’s the finished result of my cupcake bouquet test run. I’ll update my social media with pictures of the final result so if you’d like to see those, follow the links below and give my insta a good old stalk-a-roonie!

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Easter Week: Hosting Easter – High Teaster!

(two posts today – woo!) Weather you’re hosting Easter or you just want some good party ideas for kids – I’ve got you covered! I’ve done baking posts on my blog before – usually just one recipe but todays Easter post will be quite a few recipes and decoration ideas so hang tight, we will make it through together!

Recipe 1: ‘Peanut Butter and Chocolate Birds Nests’

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This recipe is a variation of an old favourite (for many I’m sure), the classic chocolate spiders. This recipe can be found on the back of a packed of ‘Changs original fried noodles’ –  the core ingredient.  You’ll need:

  • 1 packet of the fried noodles
  • 2tbl crunchy peanut butter
  • 200g of your chocolate of choice. I use milk or dark (mixing the two is also acceptable). White chocolate can work, but its not really the right colour for birds nests!
  • You’ll also need some mini speckled eggs for decoration!

Method:
Break up the chocolate (if its a block) and put in a microwave safe bowl, add the peanut butter and microwave for 30seconds, take it out – stir it, microwave for a further 15 seconds, take it out and stir it, microwave in 5 second intervals until its fully melted. Give the mixture a good stir and then add in half of the packet of noodles, stir them until completely coated in the chocolate mix then add the other half.
Spoon mixture on to a tray lined with baking paper and you’re good to go. Place as many little eggs as you’d like in the centre of the chocolate mounds. I went for 3.
Place in the fridge to set and you’re done! Not only are they super quick, they’re also adorable and such a low maintenance chocolate treat that is sure to be a crowd pleaser!

Recipe 2: Sugar Cookies

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I’ve been on the hunt for my ‘go-to’ sugar cookie recipe for approx 2 years now and I think I’ve finally found it. This is just a recipe for the cookies themselves – not the royal icing. Google is your friend. (;

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup softened unsalted butter
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups all purpose (plain) flour
  • 1 cup self raising flower
  • ½ tsp salt
  • additional flour for rolling

Method: Preheat oven 180C/350F

  • Beat (electric mixer) the butter for a few minutes until its creamy, smooth and starts to lighten in colour.
  • Add sugar and vanilla and beat until fully incorporated. Add the egg and mix until well combined.
  • In a separate bowl sift flour and salt. Gradually add flower to ‘wet’ ingredients mixing well between rounds.
  • When mixture is dough like and all combined flatten between two sheets of baking powder and put in freezer for half an hour.
  • Roll dough out to desired thickness and cut into shapes.
  • Bake for 10-12 minutes. Allow to cool completely before icing them.

I iced mine in cute pastel colours, something I deem perfect for Easter and just adorable anyway. I then decorated them with white icing. I decided to keep it simple because a) the more you do the more you can mess up and b) you don’t need to overload a cookie with rock hard sugar. Special thanks goes to my sister Bonnie for helping me in the kitchen all day!

 

Recipe 3: Vanilla cupcakes

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You can use your favourite recipe for these. Thats what I’ve done.

I chose to decorate these in two different ways. The first was by icing them and then crumbling up a ‘flake’ chocolate bar and pressing it into the still wet icing to form a ‘nest’ and then added 3 mini speckled eggs. I don’t know why Easter is associated with birds nests, but it is!

The second way, I decided to colour some sugar – very easy. and make bunny ears out of marshmallows. (take a marshmallow and cut it in half – boom – bunny ears) I pressed the sugar into the marshmallow and taadaa, you’ve got yourself some super sweet (ha!) bunny ears! I roughly piped the icing on the cup cake to resemble a fluffy bunny and stuck the ears in!

Displaying these treats is simple as they really do all the work for you! I like putting them on nice platters or displaying them on a cupcake stand. Something easy and accessible. People will be talking about your Easter – high-tea treats for days and you’ll be a hit at all the parties!

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Super Easy Fro-Yo Popsicles – Caitlan’s Kitchen

I know I’ve just stated that its ‘Officially Autumn‘, but what you would have seen in that post is me joking that it’d still be hot until April, and LORD HELP ME it is. The weekend was rather on the hellish side of the thermometer so I thought, “why not embrace it and make delicious frozen treats?”

I’ve made other frozen treats in the past (Nutella Popsicles!) and these basically follow the same process: Easy, Delicious and Refreshing!

I made two types, blueberry and strawberry but you can use any kind of fruit or yogurt you want! Thats what makes these types of treats so great

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So the things you’ll need is – and amounts do vary:

  • 1 cup pureed blueberries
  • 1 cup pureed strawberries
  • 2 1/2 cups yogurt

I used frozen blueberries and fresh strawberries, feel free to use whatever kind you like!  Remember that pureed substances are different than the berry in its original state so 1 cup might equal 2 cups of berried before being blended. Make sense? Cool.

I used low fat vanilla yogurt for mine, but feel free to use whatever type you like, I’m personally not a fan of plain yogurt or greek yogurt.

Pro Tip: Use honey or agave to add some sweetness!

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  • Puree the berries – can use blender, nutri-bullet, magic-bullet, stand/stab mixer anything that will do the job!
  • In a separate bowl divide half of the yogurt and mix in one type of the berry puree!
  • Mix in the other berries into the rest of the yogurt.
  • Spoon mixture into the popsicle moulds remembering not to fill them to the brim. When you put the handles in the mixture might spill out. So keep an eye out for that.
  • Any left over mixture can still be used! I used left over blueberry mix to make a smoothie and then I added the rest of that plus the left over strawberry mix into ice cube trays to freeze for other smoothies! Yay ready to go smoothie cubes!
  • Put them in the freezer over night and you’re good to go!

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Here are the final results! They’re so delicious. The blueberry ones are my favourite! (I’m a blueberry fiend) The cubes are the perfect size for smoothies!

 

Enjoy!

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Nutella Popsicles! #CaitlansKitchen

Yep, thats right, I’m back with another #CaitlansKitchen post and this one is on the ever so simple Nutella Popsicles. This ‘recipe’ make six popsicles. It is super easy and if you’d like to watch me make them – watch it here.

Now on to the recipe. You’ll only need two ingredients and of course you can add different things such as banana or coconut, I’ve done that before and it tastes great! But just for the basics this is all you’ll need!

1/3 cup of Nutella (or hazelnut spread)

1 Cup of milk – whatever kind you drink

Method:

Place Nutella in blender (I used my ‘magic bullet’ use whatever you have on hand)

add in the milk and then blend up.

**MAKE SURE YOU’VE SECURELY SEALED THE LID!** otherwise you’ll have milky goodness flying everywhere – it is SO hard to clean up.

Pour the mixture into the popsicle moulds These are the ones I used.

Place them in the freezer for AT LEAST 4 – 5 hours. I usually leave mine in over night.

and BOOM done. You’re now the proud owners of delicious Nutella popsicles. They’re so delicious and have the potential for so many other flavours!

Pro Tip: if you’re having trouble getting them out of the mould, run it under hot water for a few seconds until you can remove it.

ENJOY!

I really hope you try these out and if you do, post them to my facebook or instagram and tag me with #CaitlansKitchen

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Malteser Mini Muffins #CaitlansKitchen

As the true procrastinator I am, I decided to do everyones favourite type of procrastinating… ProcrastiBaking! Here is the recipe and some pro tips and tricks I learnt along the way!

Ingredients – Muffins:
1 1/2 cups (225g) plain / all purpose flour
1 cup crushed Maltesers (approx 3 cups whole Maltesers)
24 whole Maltesers (decoration)
1/2 cup (110g) caster sugar
1Tbls Baking Powder
1 egg
3/4 cup sour cream
1/2 cup unsalted butter – melted
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
1/2 Tsp salt
Ingredients – Icing:
1 1/2 cups (225g) icing sugar
1 Tbls milk
2 Tbls golden or maple syrup
1/4 cup (60ml) milk
30g unsalted butter – softened at room temperature

Oven: 180C / 350F

  • Pre heat oven and then line your tray with patty pan / cake papers.
  • In one large bowl add the flour,  crushed Maltesers*, caster sugar, baking powder and salt. Stir together  and mix well with a wooden spoon.
  • In separate bowl, beat together (on low setting) melted butter*, milk, egg and sour cream. Once well combined add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.
  • Mix together well with a wooden spoon (or electric beaters if you prefer) until it has formed a thick ‘runny’, ‘gloopy’ dough like mixture. Not quite as runny as a batter.
  • Spoon cake mix into patty pans – fill to half way.
  • Bake for 16 – 20 minutes.
  • Leave to cool.
  • To make the icing mix all the ingredients together with a wooden spoon. Place in the fridge for 10 – 15 minutes to ‘thicken’.
  • Spread icing over the now completely cool mini muffins and decorate with one whole Malteser.
  • Enjoy!

Pro Tips

*Place whole maltesers into a plastic bag: ziplock back or freezer bag and then crush with wooden spoon until they’re a powder.

*To melt butter, place in a microwave safe container and heat for 30seconds on high. Take it out and stir. If it is not fully melted, put back in for 10second intervals until completely melted.
Thanks for reading! I hope you end up making these delicious little treats! If you do be sure to take a photo and tag me in it! Use #CaitlansKitchen (:

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