Sunday, 29 January 2012

Simple Valentine's Day Cupcake Ideas

With Valentine's day coming up fast I thought I'd better do a little inspirational cupcake post.

Just a few simple, yet sublime cupcake ideas to get you in the mood for some cupcake love, so expect lots of love hearts, sprinkles and shades of pink. 


It'll be love hearts galore at the bakery come valentine's day, big ones little ones, red ones, pink ones, rose bud covered ones...you name it we'll have it.


I love love heart sprinkles whether in pink or red, large or mini they always look wonderful, I particularly love the red love hearts sprinkled over creamy white buttercream.


Cupcakes make a brilliant Valentine's day gift and we are always really busy in February, our best selling Valentine's cupcake is Double Chocolate but Red Velvet and Vanilla are never far behind.


I love this little pink cupcake with pink sanding sugar sprinkles and a baby pink ribbon rose, it is truly lovely.


Mini Red Velvet Crumb Cupcakes are perfect for the most romantic day of the year and so simple to make.


The vibrant crumbs of red velvet really make them pop.


We will be making lots of mini cupcakes this Valentine's day, they have really taken off this year.


If you are thinking of making mini cupcakes you can find all my mini cupcake tips and tricks here.


I have some wonderful bespoke batches on order over the holiday that I cannot wait to get started on.  I know a lot of people can't stand Valentine's day but when you spend the weeks leading up to it on the phone to various husbands, boyfriends, wives and girlfriends who have all obviously put so much thought into a totally unique and personal gift idea for their partner, it is hard not to start feeling all warm and romantic inside.


They may say romance is dead but they're wrong, romance is alive, well and ordering cupcakes.


Which ever buttercream swirl you choose to scatter your love heart sprinkles over, be sure to top with extra icing for sharing!


Obviously I will be busy working straight through Valentine's week but I'm hoping for a little romance after, there may have been mention of a weekend away....


Before I go and leave it there here are my top tips for Valentine's day Cupcakes:

1) Nothing says I love you like Chocolate


2) Whilst small packages are great when it comes to diamond rings, with cupcakes a bigger box is far better.


3) Boy's love cupcakes too!

In my experience Peanut Butter and Jelly goes down a treat with most guys.  If your hubby, like mine is the most difficult person in the universe to buy a present for cooking/baking him something may be the perfect answer.  Alternatively send him a link to your favourite recipe and get him in the kitchen baking you something scrumptious!

x x x

Friday, 27 January 2012

Adorable Buttercream Panda Cupcake

 Oh yes, it had to be done!


After I fell hopelessly in love with last weeks adorable grizzly bear cupcakes...


I knew I had to make more, they were just so darn cute!


I decided to make an adorable buttercream panda cupcake.  The design was very similar to the grizzly bear only this time I used half a dark chocolate button for each of the ears, piping over them with black buttercream.  I also added the eyes first, after applying only a thin layer of buttercream to the cupcake, I then built up the bears face around them.


The cuteness is killing me!


Friday, 20 January 2012

Buttercream Bakery Teddy Bear Cupcakes

These Teddy Bear Cupcakes might just be the cutest cupcakes ever!



I realize that I probably say that a lot but come on! I mean look at his little face!


I created the teddy bears fur by piping chocolate buttercream through a small star tip, I used giant white chocolate buttons for the ears and black fondant for the nose and eyes.


I absolutely loved this technique and had so much fun making these, I can't wait to try out some other animals, Pandas, Tigers, Lions and Puppies are all top of my list.


He is almost too cute to eat!

Have a brilliant weekend everyone. x x x



Tuesday, 17 January 2012

Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti Recipe

I was just about to start another cupcake post when I realised that it was actually high time for a recipe post instead. 

In the last few weeks I have been baking biscotti almost daily at the bakery, selecting and perfecting recipes and flavours for one of my trade customers.

This Cranberry and Pistachio Biscotti is one of my favourites.  You can play around with the flavour, reducing the cranberries and adding some chopped white chocolate in their place.  You could always omit the cranberries and pistachios all together adding chocolate and hazelnuts instead. 

In fact the options for biscotti are limitless, you can add all sorts of dried fruit, nuts and spices to this recipe, just be sure to keep the quantities the same, this biscotti is packed with nuts and fruits, any more would just be overkill. 


Cranberry & Pistachio Biscotti

Makes around 30 biscuits

240g plain flour
175g caster sugar, plus extra for rolling the dough
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
zest of 1 orange
zest half a lemon
1 vanilla pod
2 medium eggs
100g pistachios, roughly chopped
75g dried cranberries, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 175C.  Sift the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together into a large mixing bowl.

  2.  Split the vanilla pod lengthwise and scrape out the seeds, add the vanilla seeds to the flour mixture along with the orange and lemon zest.  Use your fingers to rub the vanilla and zest into the flour mixture, ensuring everything is evenly distributed.

3.  Make a well in the centre of the mixing bowl and add both eggs.  Using your hands, work everything into a dough.  Add the chopped pistachios and cranberries and mix to combine.


4. Sprinkle a clean work surface with caster sugar, turn out the dough and shape the dough into two small long logs, rolling them in the sugar.  The biscotti will expand quite significantly whilst cooking.

5. Bake the logs on a baking sheet lined with greaseproof paper in the centre of the oven for around 25 minutes.

6. Remove the biscotti logs from the oven and turn the temperature down to 120C.  Cut the logs at an angle into 1cm slices.  Return the slices to the oven and bake for 10 minutes, turn all the slices over and bake for another 10 minutes on the other side.  Remove the biscotti from the oven and place on a wire rack to cool.

Store your biscotti in an airtight jar or container and it will keep for up to one month.


Right, I'm off to update my poor neglected recipe index!

Have a lovely evening everyone. x




Friday, 13 January 2012

Pretty Pictures of Yummy Cupcakes

This post does exactly what it says on the tin... 

So grab a tea, sit back and enjoy a few pretty pictures of yummy cupcakes....


Cranberry & Pistachio Topped Vanilla Cupcakes


Yum!


Simply Sprinkled Vanilla Bean Cupcakes


Chocolate Cupcakes


Pistachio & White Chocolate Cupcakes


Chocolate Oreo Cupcakes


Vanilla Chocolate Topped Mr. Men & Little Miss Cupcakes


x x x


Sunday, 8 January 2012

A Year In Cupcakes & Mini Cakes by Buttercream Bakery

Today is The Art of Being Perfect's 2nd birthday!

Every year on the 8th January (my little blog's birthday) I like to go through the last year of Buttercream Bakery cupcakes and choose my favourites to take you right through the year at my little bakery.

I normally only choose one bespoke batch to represent each month of the year but this year that was harder then ever. I have had the pleasure of making some of them most unique and wonderful cupcakes you could imagine and with the addition of mini cakes to our range I had to include a few more than usual.

I have loved every second of designing, baking and making in 2011 and this year is set to be even more incredible than the last.  With mini cakes taking over the bakery and my first book finally taking shape, I am really excited about what lays ahead.

One of my favourite things about doing these round up posts is getting to see how my work has improved and my style developed over the year, I'm still learning and hopefully improving every single day and I love every single sugary second of it.

So lets start at the beginning....

A Year In Cupcakes by Buttercream Bakery

January


If someone made me a batch of cupcakes they would have to look like this.  With oven gloves, rolling pins, doughnuts, pumpkin pie slices and even a cupcake recipe book, these cupcakes are quite simply adorable and perfect for the baker in your life.


February

For February it had to be Valentines day cupcakes!

 I loved so many of the Valentines cupcakes we made this year it was difficult to choose!


These gorgeous rose bud love heart cupcakes were really lovely though and the batch was completed with an adorable little love mouse...


Who completely stole my heart!

I also absolutely adored these hand painted love heart cupcakes and will definitely be reviving the design this year.


March

So March rolled in and saw Buttercream Bakery take one of our first mini cake orders.  This Miniature Afternoon Tea Table Cake is still one of my favourite designs of all time, I really love every little detail and making all the tiny little toppers really was a labour of love.


I have two mini cakes of this style coming up in the next month or so, can't wait!


April

For April the world went royal wedding crazy and once again I had a lot of great designs to choose from.  The cake lover in me won however and I decided these Royal Wedding Afternoon Tea Party Cupcakes really were my favourites.


I love the royal blue, the little red roses and that yummy Victoria sponge atop a rather grand cake stand.


May

I love a puppy cupcake and this Shar Pei puppy was particularly cute.


He was also far easier to make than I expected, which is always good.

June

Possibly my favourite cupcakes of the year, created at the bequest of Miss Cakehead, these Will Cotton Candyland Cupcakes were so much fun to create and really inspired lots of my miniature work since.


I could never decide whether I preferred the pink and white candyland...


....or the more colourful candyland...


I think that chocolate dipped strawberry might just swing it.

July

I couldn't not have our adorable mini Katy Perry cupcakes as my number one design for July.  Created once again for the fabulous Miss Cakehead and her awesome Cakey Perry High Tea.


These little cupcakes were also featured in We Love Pop Magazine during Cupcake Week.

I was over the moon when the order for these Kawaii cupcakes cake in, a design right up my street!  I was really happy with these and my client absolutely loved them.


August

For August I wanted to choose a really pretty, summery batch and I think these pretty pink sandals are perfect.

I'm a lady who loves shoes and I really enjoyed making these and adding all the detail to the pretty pink heels.



September


It is funny how time changes your perception of things because in September I had a nightmare with these little Morris Minor cupcakes.  I just wasn't happy and for the life of me, when I look at them now, I haven't a clue why!


I think they are the most adorable little cars ever and the gentleman I made them for absolutely adored them. 
 

October

October rolled around and Halloween hit the bakery with an almighty bang.

Things took a terrible turn...


Not everyone made it out alive...


Our Halloween cupcakes were crazier and creepier than ever before this year and I was really proud of how horrific I managed to make things!

I know that may sound funny but when some of these orders came in I really wasn't sure I had it in me!


Apparently I do!

It wasn't all quite so horrific and there were still some pretty cute cupcakes being made...even if they were zombie ones...


November

November was a really busy month at the bakery and there were loads of orders I loved but these Pink Floyd Cupcakes take the biscuit.



November also saw mini cake orders at the bakery pick up and I had great fun making them.  This Mini Pastry Chef Cake was definitely a favourite of mine.


Of course November really became Movember and I just had to include these adorable Mini Moustache Cupcakes.


December

This Christmas I designed a range of signature miniature Christmas cakes and commissions for these far overtook my cupcake orders.

I loved all of the designs in the range but I think this Mini Gingerbread House Christmas Cake was my favourite.


I love the candy covered, snow peaked little house, so cute!

Since this year for me was really all about mastering my miniature sugar craft work it felt right to end with some seriously miniature toppers.


The tiniest teddy bears I have ever made, around 1-2cm tall.


These cute mini Christmas cupcakes were all topped with a tiny Christmas topper, the sparkly mini Christmas crackers were my favourites I think.


And so with one final batch of Christmas cuppies so ends another year at Buttercream Bakery.


I honestly can't believe I have only been writing this blog for two years! I couldn't imagine not having a blog now!

 God knows what I did with my spare cakey energy before. Needless to say if I didn't have you I may have gone a little mad, so a huge thank you to everyone who reads and follows my blog.

 I love to read all your wonderful comments and can't thank every single one of you enough for all of your kindness and support over the last 2 years. I really enjoy writing this blog and I love that you fabulous lot actually read it and delve into cupcake madness with me. Thanks a million! x x x