Friday, 17 May 2013

Over the Rainbow Cupcakes

I've been saving this recipe up especially for this today, as not only would it have been Frank L. Baum's 157th birthday on 15th May, but it's also The Wizard of Oz's 113th birthday today! (That is, The Wizard of Oz was first published on 17th May 1900.)

Anyways, these cupcakes came to life for a different birthday to the two listed above – that of my best friend Victoria. For Vix's 25th birthday, I got her a pair of tickets to go see The Wizard of Oz at the London Palladium, but the show wasn't until a few weeks after her birthday and I knew the tickets wouldn't arrive in time. So, in lieu of a physical gift, I made these cupcakes and posted them to her along with a little postcard which had a picture of Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin-man and Lion and the words “we're off to see the wizard!” on the front, and the date, time and venue of the show on the back. I hope you like them!

(PS – you might recognise parts of this recipe from an earlier one I posted!)


For the cupcakes:
200g butter or margarine
200g caster sugar
2 medium eggs
200g self raising flour
1tsp vanilla extract
Food colourings in red, yellow, green, blue and purple (or at least red, yellow and blue – you can mix the other colours if you need to!)

For the butter cream:
150g slightly salted butter
300g icing sugar
Vanilla extract, to taste
A little milk, if necessary

For the decorations:
30g red sugar paste
30g yellow sugar paste
20g light green sugar paste
20g dark green sugar paste
edible glitter in red, green and white hologram
edible glue

Prep time: 45 minutes
Cook time: 12 – 15 minutes
Makes 18 cupcakes

  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 5 and line a bun tray with cupcake cases.
  2. Beat the margarine and sugar together until light and fluffy, then beat in the eggs, one at a time. Tip the flour into the bowl along with the vanilla extract, and fold into the mixture until just combined. (Be careful not to over mix here, as you'll be doing a lot of mixing when you add the colours!)
  3. Split the mixture into 5 even portions, then use your food colourings to colour the batter red, yellow, green, blue and purple. I use Sugarflair paste food colourings, as I find you can get a really vibrant colour without using too much. I'd be wary of using liquid colourings, as in order to achieve a vibrant colour you will have to use a lot of liquid, which could effect the taste and texture of your cakes.
  4. Place half a teaspoon of purple batter into the bottom of each cupcake case, and spread this evenly across the bottom of the case with the back of a spoon. Next, add half a teaspoon of the blue batter on top of the purple batter, smoothly gently with the back of the spoon. You want to cover the whole of the purple layer, but not mix it in, so try not to put too much pressure on the cake – just flatten it down as quickly and lightly as you can. Repeat the process adding half a teaspoon of green batter next, then half a teaspoon of yellow, finally adding half a teaspoon of the red batter.
  5. Bake for 12-15 minutes until firm and springy to touch. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool completely.
  6. Meanwhile, make the decorations for the top of the cupcakes. Start with the yellow brick road as that's the easiest. Roll out the yellow sugar paste to 3mm thick and then cut out a wiggly path that starts big at the bottom and gets small at the top (see the picture for reference, as what I just wrote makes very little sense!) Paint edible glue over each of your YBR's then sprinkle the white hologram edible glitter over them and leave to dry. Next, the ruby red slippers! Roll out the red sugar paste, again to around 3mm thick, then cut out shoe shapes. It's probably easiest to use a cookie cutter for this, but I didn't have one so just freestyled it with a sharp knife (hence why they are all different shapes!) once you're happy with your shoe shapes, paint a little edible glitter over each and then sprinkle with the red edible glitter and put to one side to dry. Finally, make your mini-Emerald cities! Roll the two green sugar pastes into long thin sausages, then fol over and trim into different length “buildings”. Use a little glue to stick a few “buildings” together, mixing up the sizes and colours to create the illusion of depth. Spread a little more edible glue over the top of each Emerald City, and sprinkle with the green edible glitter. Once all of your decorations are dry, shake any excess glitter back into the relevant pot, and place the decoration to one side until ready to use.
  7. I imagine that by now your cakes have completely cooled, so it's time to make the butter cream! Beat together the butter, icing sugar and vanilla extract until smooth and cream, adding a little milk to the mixture if necessary to achieve a good piping consistency. Place the icing into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle, and then pipe the butter cream onto the cupcakes in a spiral. Place one of the decorations onto each cupcake, and dust with a little more white hologram edible glitter to finish!

Happy Thoughts

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