Daffodil Cupcakes

For the past month or so, there’s been a bright & beautiful bunch of daffodils constantly on my windowsill, soaking up the sunshine and making me feel good. I thought it was only right that I made homage to these fabulous spring flowers in cake form, and so I came up with this nifty little idea. Although it looks pretty cool, it’s really easy to bring together.

Note: I recently started using gel food colouring rather than the old fashioned liquid stuff, and I can definitely recommend it – it won’t make icing and chocolate split or seize, and it doesn’t add any kind of nasty flavour. I found mine in the baking section at Sainsbury’s so it’s easy to get your hands on.

2 medium eggs
125ml vegetable oil
250ml milk
200g granulated sugar
370g self-raising flour
30g cocoa powder
To decorate:
50g butter
50g icing sugar
Orange gel food colouring
100g white chocolate

Makes 12 cupcakes

Preheat the oven to 200°C (180°C fan). Break the eggs into a bowl and beat with a hand whisk until they start looking frothy, and then add the milk and oil and beat them together. Add the sugar and beat again, then finally add the flour and mix to combine. It’s really important that you don’t overbeat the mixture, or the cakes will be really tough, so just mix until the big lumps are gone and don’t worry about little ones.

Grease a deep muffin tray with butter (I find a silicon one is great as it makes the cakes so easy to get out afterwards), and then divide the mixture between the holes, filling each about two thirds of the way up. Bake for 20 minutes, until well-risen. You should be able to insert a tester into the middle of each cupcake and have it come out clean.

Allow the cakes to cool for a few minutes, and then carefully unmould them and place on a plate to cool – you’ll probably find them too delicate to place on a wire rack.

While the cupcakes are cooling, make the flower petals. First of all, put a sheet of baking parchment on a clean chopping board and tape it in place so it won’t slide off. Clear a space big enough to put it in the fridge. Then break up the white chocolate and melt in the microwave in thirty second bursts, stirring each time to stop it burning. Once it’s nicely smooth, use a teaspoon to place a small blob of white chocolate onto the prepared board and spread it out a little to make the petal shape – you’ll get the hang of it after a few goes. Try to avoid holes in the middle. Once you’ve covered the board in petals, place in the fridge to solidify.

Once the cupcakes are completely cold, you can decorate them. Beat together the butter and icing sugar to make a smooth buttercream, and add a few drops of the orange gel food colouring. Place a blob of icing on top of each cake. Then carefully remove the petals from the board one at a time (you may find it easiest to untape one side of the paper and lift it up a little so you can peel the paper away from the chocolate, rather than the other way round) and stick them into the icing. Ta da!