Butterless Butter Cake recipe that I had used for her birthday last year. Then I found I didn't have enough icing sugar. Hence my emergency dash to the shops. When I returned Sylvia wasn't asleep. She was up and waiting to help out. I know I should have sent her to bed but she was so sweet helping me. She knew she had to be on her best behaviour.
Sylvia was very proud of the ones she had helped to make - the white ones - but she chose a pink one each for her and her best friend. I had worried that they kids might argue over who got which cupcake. I shouldn't have worried. The kids loved discussing which animal they had chosen.
There isn't a recipe. These are easy enough that we could make them by looking at the pictures. So I will just share a few comments and advice.
- Use your favourite cupcake recipe for the cakes and make icing (frosting) using icing sugar (confectionary sugar) with a blob of butter and a dribble of water. I didn't follow a recipe for the icing but used a bit of trial and error.
- Have all your lollies ready before icing the cakes.
- Make the icing quite stodgy - thick enough so it clings to the knife but smooth enough that you can spread it - you don't want the icing sliding off these cakes.
- Go easy on the pink food colouring for the pig.
- To make the four types of cupcakes: start with a batch of white icing, then do two bowls of green and pink - mix cocoa powder into the green icing to make brown for the pig nostrils and the mouse whiskers; and make the pink into dark red (using more red and pink and a tiny bit of the brown icing) for the frog mouths.
- Dust your scissors with icing sugar when cutting marshmallows, but when I did this for the piggy ears it left a bit of white icing sugar on the pink marshmallows.
- I suspect these icing decorations could be adapted for round sugar cookies. But I prefer cupcakes myself.
- If you use cupcake papers then the icing and the papers will keep the cakes fresh. I guess there are some good reasons to use icing!
Decorations: red and orange jelly beans, brown mini m&ms, orange m&m (needs to be pushed in firmly to stand up as the beak)
The chick, the chicken, the chook or, as Sylvia called it, the chooken. This was so easy that Sylvia could make them with very little guidance. These are the only truly vegetarian cupcakes. I think they would be good for Easter. Maybe next time I would like to try some yellow icing for these ones.
Decorations: pink marshmallows, brown m&ms, icing nostrils.
The pig. Goodness I wish it wasn't so stereotypical but this was the one Sylvia loved because it was pink. Not that she necessarily associates pink with girls. When my dad arrived, she insisted that he had a pig cupcake because she was sure that he loved pink too. And the marshmallows were the first bit to be eaten.
Decorations: dessicated coconut, marshmallows, pink jelly bean, brown m&m, icing whiskers
We had quite some discussion about if these were cats or mice. Finally we decided mice. I am sure with a little changes to the ears they could be cats or dogs. There are probably other options for the ears rather than marshmallows so that they would be vegetarian. Orange cats with orange fruit leather? Cutting out jubes? Conor used chocolate sprinkles for the whiskers. I think next time I might like to try some fine slivers of liquorice.
Decorations: marshmallows, brown mini m&ms, icing mouth
Sylvia asked for frogs and she got frogs. I was quite pleased with my end result. I had fun placing the eyes differently on each frog. The cut marshmallows were sticky enough to have the m&ms stick without needing any icing to glue them on. Yet again my piping was not great but it was close enough for jazz. I did consider just making a mark of the mouth with a stick but I think the coloured mouth was better.
More on Sylvia's birthday soon.