cup cake bouquetWe like this idea for Mothers day gifts as many of us mums actually have mums and mums in law we want to treat as well as enjoying the day ourselves. This is a cute inexpensive gift can be made ahead and shared with the kids and grandkids.

Start this recipe a day ahead – simply because freshly baked cup cakes are fragile. Day old cakes still taste delicious but are less likely to break apart.

You will need:

A sturdy container such as a flower pot, vintage jug, pretty mug…
A polystyrene ball to sit in the opening of your container
Bamboo skewers or cookie sticks
Wine gums – these act as washers and stop the cupcakes sliding down the skewers
Tissue paper to conceal the polystyrene ball
Bridal tulle or florist’s fabric and some ribbon to wrap and decorate the bouquet

Vanilla cup cakes – Makes 12 muffin size and 12 mini-muffin size cakes, I use a combination of both sizes, you might not use them all.

2 cups self raising flour
150g soft butter
¾ cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla essence
Pinch of salt
Dash of milk – enough to create a soft dropping consistency
Pre heat the oven to 180°
Line tins with paper cases. Don’t spray the cases with non stick spray or the cakes will fall out of the cases when the bouquet is assembled.

filled cases2Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl or processor and beat until absolutely smooth, approximately 1 – 2 minutes. Mixture should be a soft dropping consistency.
Spoon mixture into the prepared pans and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or until well risen and golden. Remove the cakes from the pans and allow to cool. Store in an air tight container until the following day.

Butter Cream Icing

1/3 cup Kremelta cut in small pieces, at room temperature – vegetable shortening
1/3 cup butter cut in small pieces , at room temperature
3 cups icing sugar
1 ½ tbsp milk
Few drops of flavouring
Few drops of food colouring

baked cupcakesPlace the butter in a bowl and using an electric beater, beat the Kremelta and butter together until fluffy, don’t skimp at this stage; allow 5 minutes for beating with an electric beater (set the timer if necessary, beating is like listening to a crying baby, it always seems longer than it actually is.)

Add the icing sugar, one cup at a time, mixing well after each addition. Then add the milk and flavouring. I use colourless flavouring and colour the icing separately.

If making different colours place divide the frosting into separate bowls and add a few drops of colour to each, or use varying tones of the same colour. I used a darker shade of frosting for the smaller cup cakes, so they resemble buds and a lighter shade on the larger ones so they resemble a full blown bloom.

Pierce the base of each paper case in the centre with a skewer so they are easy to place on the sticks when assembling the bouquet. You need to do this when the cakes are a day old and before they are frosted.

the container and sticks with wine gumsFit a large star nozzle into the piping bag then stand the bag in a jar or vase to keep it upright and open. Use a spatula or spoon to place the frosting into the bag. Pipe swirls onto each cup cake, or if you are an experienced cake decorator you can pipe petals to form your flower. Refrigerate the cakes until the butter cream is firm to the touch, approx 30 minutes.

Cover the polystyrene ball with tissue paper and place it firmly in the mouth of your container.

To assemble the bouquet, slide a wine gum onto a stick or skewer positioning it at approximately the depth of your cakes. Then insert the skewer into the polystyrene ball , starting at the centre top. Press it in firmly to the level of the wine gum (you may need to shorten your skewers if they are long ones). Then carefully spike a cupcake through the hole in the base of the paper case onto the skewer in the container. Arrange the cup cakes close together so they support each other. When they are all in place, wrap the container in Tulle and tie with a ribbon.