However, it wasn't my original intention to use the idea of a cupcake on a cupcake. At first I was planning on using the chocolate as a pot and chocolate icing to seem like soil. In the end it was meant to look like a patch of grass with a flower pot. But, I soon realized that my dreams of being completely creative were going to fail because I didn't have exactly what I needed to make the flowers. So, instead of going back to the store, I decided to learn from a pro and test the creative waters.
I must say, looking at these cupcakes puts a really big smile on my face. They're amazing to stare at, but more than that, they remind me of something you might get at a seven year olds birthday party. That is, a seven year old who doesn't like Spiderman or have a weird obsession for all things Barbie.
I feel like a kid when I look at these cupcakes and making them has really given me a Titanic full of inspiration to create more interesting and visually appealing cupcakes. I soon realized, after making them, that you don't need to be an expert with fondant or a whiz at piping icing. Instead, you just need some creativity, some ingenuity, and a whole lot of guts. That's what it's all about. You have to be ready for the always possible chance that an idea just won't work out, but when it does, it's definitely work the pre-spike in blood pressure.
The cupcake and icing recipe both come from the book, Martha Stewart's Cupcakes: 175 Inspired Ideas for Everyone's Favourite Treat. I love this book. Not only is it insanely fun to look at, but the recipes are clear and easy to follow and the images practically inject you with inspiration. A toast to Martha.
If you don't have this book, I highly recommend picking up a copy. It's completely worth every penny. But, for those who do have it, I used the One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes with Gumdrops recipe on page 152, without the gumdrops, of course.
For those who don't have the book, have no fear, I'd never leave you to sit on the sidelines and watch us have all the fun.
Here it is.
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Directions: (In Martha's own words)
1. Preheat oven to 350'F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Reduce speed to low. Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract, and the water; beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.
2. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be store overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.
3. I won't add the next step because it only matters if you're following the complete recipe with the meringue buttercream and gumdrops.
Next, I used Martha's Fluffy Vanilla Frosting recipe. So good!
1 1/2 cups unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
1. With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.
2. Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down side of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.
3. Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.
For those who are interested, I have prepared a brief tutorial to explain just how I made these delicious cupcakes.
1. Ice that bad boy real good.
2. I bought some delicious chocolates from Walmart. The ones with
peanut butter in them are the best. Unwrap it and place it on top.
3. Use half the icing and add some cocoa to make it chocolate flavoured.
Ice the top of the chocolate. Yes. It really is this simple. Can you believe
4. Use whatever pretty sprinkles you want to make it look like a
I'd love to hear about your favourite cupcake designs. Anything you're particularly proud of? Anything you love to stare at? Let me know!