The scene that stood out for me from A Bug's Life was when Flick flies away on a dandelion seed, so I wanted to try to recreate that in cake form. When I started searching for "dandelion cakes" on Google for inspiration, I noticed a lot of recipes came up for dandelion cake - that is cake made with dandelion as an ingredient. Now I wasn't feeling adventurous enough to go out and source some actual dandelion root (finding pumpkin and shortening was hard enough!) so I thought I'd give Dandelion and Burdock cake a whirl, using an adaptation of the "Inca kola" recipe from The Emperor's New Groove.
The cupcake came out very moist - so moist in fact that the cases completely fell away from them. Even though the sponge was really airy, it didn't rise at all, so I ended up making double and sandwiching the cupcakes together. (the recipe below will make 24 individual cupcakes, or 12 once sandwiched together!) These didn't really turn out as planned, but they were still really tasty :-)
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Makes 12 Cupcakes
200g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
2 tbsp natural yogurt
180g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
1 tbsp cocoa powder
100ml Dandelion and Burdock
for the icing:
200g icing sugar
2tbsp cocoa powder
1 tbsp Dandelion and Burdock
I also used a little bit of red fondant icing and some black food colouring to make some little ladybugs to decorate.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 3, and line a bun tray with cupcake cases.
- In a very large bowl mix together the butter and shortening until smooth and creamy.
- Continue beating whilst you add the sugar a little at a time, until it is well combined and the mixture is light in colour and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, beating continuously.
- Add the natural yogurt and beat until well combined.
- In a smaller bowl, sift together the flour, salt, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and cocoa powder. Add the flour mixture and D&B to the cake batter a little bit at a time alternating between the two until just mixed.
- Pour the mixture into the prepared cake cases and bake for 20 minutes, until the cakes are moist but firm to touch. Allow the cakes to cool completely on a wire rack.
- Once cool, mix up your butter cream by combining the butter, icing sugar and cocoa together to form a smooth, creamy icing. Stir in the D&B a little at a time, beating well between each addition to avoid the mixture curdling.
- Remove the cupcakes from their cases (you'll probably find that half have already come away from their case on their own accord!) And sandwich two cupcakes together with your D&B butter cream. Once all of the cupcakes have been sandwiched, place the remaining buttercream into a piping bag and pipe swirls onto the top of each cake. Decorate with a few ladybugs, or any other bug-like creatures you care to make up.
- Serve with a lovely cuppa!
Next time we're back to Character Costume Cupcakes for Toy Story 2!