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!

Thank you so much for reading, and don’t forget:

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