These lemon flavoured cupcakes look so pretty decorated with sugar paste flowers which are easy to make if you buy simple plunger blossom cutters and leaf cutters from cake decorating stores. It is best to make your sugar flowers a day or two in advance so that they have time to dry out and become firm. Make blossoms, roses or any shaped flowers you like. If you don’t feel confident enough to make your own flowers look for edible rice paper roses and flowers in cake decorating stores. Alternatively why not dip violets or primrose heads in beaten egg white and dip in caster sugar to make frosted flowers.
- 150g butter, softened
- 150g caster sugar
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 150g self raising flour
- 1/2tsp baking powder
- Grated zest and juice of 1/2 lemon
- 3 tbsp warmed, sieved apricot jam
- 500g ready-to-roll sugar paste
- Blue, pink, green and yellow food colourings
- Pink and white shimmer balls
To make this cupcake recipe, heat the oven to 180°C/ 160°C Fan/ Gas Mark 4. Line a cupcake tin with 12 white paper cupcake cases.
Place the butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and beat with a wooden spoon or electric mixer until light and fluffy. Gradually beat in the eggs a little at a time until smooth, adding a little flour if the mixture curdles.
Stir in the flour, baking powder and lemon zest and juice, beat until smooth.
Place the cakes in the oven and bake for 20-25 mins until golden brown, risen and just firm to the touch. When cool brush the top of each cake with apricot jam
Colour half the sugar paste with blue food colouring, knead well until the colour is even then roll out thinly on a work top dusted lightly with icing sugar. Using a round biscuit cutter that is slightly larger than the cupcake, cut out 12 circles and press each one over a cupcake smoothing it down well.
To make the bows, roll out a small piece of white sugar paste on a work top dusted with icing sugar and cut into 1 cm wide strips, shape into bows and press onto the cup cakes. Add your shimmer balls.
To make the flowers, divide the remaining sugar paste into 4 pieces, leave one white, colour one piece green, one piece pink and one piece yellow by adding a tiny drop of food colouring to each piece with a cocktail stick. Knead well until the colour is even then wrap each colour tightly in cling film until ready to use. Roll out the sugar paste for your flowers on a work top lightly dusted with icing sugar and cut out large blossoms.
Using a ball tool, thin each petal so the blossom petals form cups. If liked cut out smaller blossoms and place inside the larger ones, securing with a dab of water. Place them on scrunched up kitchen towel to dry overnight so that they keep their shape, or press onto the cakes. Roll out the green sugar paste and cut out leaves and leave to dry.
To secure the flowers and leaves to the cake, mix a tiny piece of sugar paste with a drop of water until it makes a paste which you can use as a glue to attach each flower.
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Always use gel or paste food colourings to add to sugar paste as liquid food colourings will make the icing too sticky to use. If you want to make very fine or elaborate flowers use flower paste available from cake decorating stores which can be rolled very thinly and sets very hard so you can keep the flowers for ever!