Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome to My Garden: Vanilla Cuppies, Sunflowers and more!


I have been wanting to attempt making cupcake sunflowers for a while. Everyone seems to have a different version of them, but I purchased a leaf tip a while back that I hadn't had a chance to use. I tend to get bored of making the same design over and over, and since the Ladybug cupcakes I made a while back were so popular, I thought that it would be easy to make a neat little garden of cuppies!



I had a request from my resident to make vanilla cupcakes. I tend to like to make crazy kinds of cupcakes instead of just plain vanilla or chocolate, so I accepted the challenge (and just another exam of me going above and beyond... heh!). I compared various recipes for vanilla cupcakes online, from the Magnolia Cupcakes to the Billy's Bakery version. They were actually quite similar. I sort of integrated both of them and came up with my own version of a vanilla cupcake.


Baa Baa Vanilla Cupcakes - makes approximately 30 cupcakes
  • 1 3/4 cups cake flour
  • 1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into pieces at room temperature
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners
  2. In a medium sized bowl, combine the two flours and the baking powder. Stir to ensure that the ingredients are mixed.
  3. Cream butter in a large bowl on medium speed with an electric mixer for 2-3 minutes.
  4. Add the sugar to the butter, mixing well after each cup.
  5. Add each egg separately, mixing well with the mixer after each addition.
  6. Add the vanilla to the milk. Alternate adding the dry mixture and the milk to the egg-sugar-butter mix. Mix well after each addition on medium speed so that the mixture is uniform.
  7. Fill the cupcake liners with 1/2 - 3/4 of batter. Bake for 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cupcake comes out clean.
  8. Allow the cupcakes to cool for 5 minutes in the pan and then transfer to a wire cooling rack.

I don't normally over-indulge myself on cupcakes, but these were sooo good that I had to eat a few without frosting! I also didn't take any pictures of them undecorated. You will just have to believe me that they are vanilla, I guess :)


I used my favorite Swiss Meringue Buttercream for the frosting, since it has a light and buttery taste and works well for piping. Thanks, Martha!


Sunflower Cupcakes

  • Leaf tip (available here) OR you can cut a "V" from the end of a zip-lock bag reinforced with scotch tape!!
  • Crushed chocolate cookies or black sugar for the "seeds"
  • Yellow-tinted buttercream (or other stiff frosting of choice)
1. First, I covered the entire cupcake with plain buttercream frosting.
2. Pour the decoration you will be using as the seeds into a flat bottom bowl. Put the cupcake face down into the sprinkles/chocolate/cookies to cover the entire surface of the cupcake. The picture I took of this unfortunately came out blurry.
3. Using the leaf tip (or plastic bag) with the V perpendicular to the cupcake, pipe on the yellow buttercream in a ring around the outside of the cupcake. This took a while for me to get the hang of it. For the first five cupcake I also was using the tip incorrectly. The pictures on the Wilton website make it look like you want the V parallel to the cupcake, but it won't look like a leaf (see my picture below). I only took pictures of my good looking cupcakes, but I guarantee there were ugly ones.
This is what the piping looks like if you have the "V" parallel to the cupcake.

A single ring of petals

4. Make a second ring of petals slightly overlapping the outer circle. It is nice to put the added petals between the ones you have already piped.

5. Ta-da! Sunflowers! Using brightly colored paper liners make them look like they are in a flower pot :)

I then made the ladybug cupcakes (you can see how from my earlier post here)

The purple flowers that you see in some of the pictures are violet-colored marzipan that I rolled out into thin strips and then rolled up at a slight angle to make them look like flowers. I didn't make very many so I didn't make a photo tutorial.



And there you have it! It's easy to make a nice little garden from cupcakes. If I had more time, it would have been cute to put one of the ladybugs on top of the sunflowers, too!


Happy cupcaking! :) May your kitchens be full of little yummy cakes ... like mine!

3 comments:

  1. Very pretty sunflowers! Bet they're yummy, too! I love making cupcakes, too! I have a few on my blog, if you ever want to look at them. Keep on bakin'!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for saving me one!!! It was perfect.

    ReplyDelete

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