Happy Holigay Cupcakes
430g (15 oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
265 g (91/2 oz) caster (superfine) sugar
3 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon fine salt
125 g (41/2 oz/1/2 cup) unsalted butter, softened
2 large eggs
375 ml (121/2 fl oz/11/2 cups) full-cream (whole) milk
125 ml (4 fl oz/1/2 cup) vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Greek yoghurt (or sour cream)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
1tsp peppermint extract
5 drops green food gel
1 batch swiss meringue buttercream frosting
2 tsp peppermint extract
BLUE: 5 drops blue food gel
GREEN: 5 drops green food gel
YELLOW: 5 drops yellow food gel
ORANGE: 5 drops orange food gel
PINK: 5 drops pink food gel
PURPLE: 5 drops purple food gel + 5 drops pink food gel
Level: Time Consuming
Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line two cupcake tins with gold cupcake liners.
Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
Add the eggs, milk, oil, yoghurt, peppermint extract, green food gel and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds.
Fill each liner three-quarters of the way. Using an ice-cream scoop to transfer the batter to the cupcake liners makes this a quick and easy process, and ensures each liner contains exactly the same amount of batter and that the cupcakes will bake evenly. Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton 1M tip, fill your bag with frosting and frost your cupcakes in a signature swirl.
To prepare the frosting, flavor all of it with peppermint extract.
Split the frosting in half. Add green food gel to one half of the frosting.
Split the remaining frosting into 6 bowls. Colour each one in the rainbow colours listed in the ingredients list.
Add the green frosting to a piping bag fitted with a medium round tip.
Frost 4 small bulbs on top of each cupcake, making each one smaller than the one on the bottom. Kind of like a Christmas tree shape. Chill for 30 minutes.
Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton #347 leaf tip and fill with purple frosting. Pipe leaves at the base of each Christmas tree. Clean the tip and add to another piping bag. Fill with blue buttercream. Repeat with the remaining frosting in the order of the rainbow frosting. Finish with the pink frosting on top. Yes, this is going to take a little longer to do than most other frosting techniques, but it’s so freaking cute!
STORAGE: store in an airtight container for up to 3 days (refrigerated and thawed 40 min before serving). Although I’d recommend baking and serving on the same day.
EQUIPMENT: Can be made using a hand mixer (always mix on lowest speed) or a hand whisk. Take care not to over mix the batter.
OVEN TEMPERATURE: Each oven is different. Some are old, some are new. Some ovens can be hotter on the inside than the temp you set your oven at. If you find your cupcakes, cakes or macarons are browning or cracking, turn the oven temp down 10C. A handy trick is to get an oven thermometer which sits inside the oven and will give you an accurate temperature reading. They’re inexpensive and can be purchased online or at your local kitchen supply store. And always bake in the centre rack of the oven for best results!
BAKING TIME: These cupcakes will typically bake on a lower temp and for a little longer than regular cupcake recipes. I find a low temperate and a slow bake results in flatter tops and no caramelisation so that if the cupcakes are coloured they don’t change colour and brown. After 40 minutes, stick a skewer into the centre of one of the cupcakes, if it comes out with wet batter, bake for another 10 minutes until the skewer comes out with crumbs or completely clean.
Large mixing bowls
Magic Whisk for wet ingredients
Stand mixer (or hand mixer)
Cupcake baking tin
Ice cream scoop (optional)