When my friend Tanya asked if I could make some cupcakes for a low-key wedding the following weekend that she was both a guest at and in charge of the planning for, my first response was panic!
Although I’m not a professional cake maker or decorator I love making cakes for friends and family. Each one I do I learn something from. Each time I am generally pleased with what I have made because I have (usually!) improved on the time before. But when I look back at them on my blog I can see that while they are an achievement for me, they are not necessarily as good as I think they are! And when I look back at them I always see ways that I could have improved them.
So cupcakes for a wedding is a big deal. Brides have certain expectations for their weddings. Guests have certain expectations at weddings. Expectations that are very different from those of an 8 year old at their friend’s party!
Tanya managed to persuade me because she knew exactly what she wanted: caramel filled vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with vanilla icing. And she had already got the sprinkles. So the pressure was off, I didn’t need to design anything. Then I remembered that they still needed to taste and look great. Oops!
I love Victoria sponge based cupcakes and I always revert to my traditional recipe. Then I wondered if they would be too plain for a wedding so maybe I should try a more American style cupcake… Panic again! I tested the Hummingbird Bakery chocolate cupcake recipe on the basis that they are wildly popular and therefore should be a winner. But I just couldn’t do it. For me my usual recipe wins every time.
There is something very satisfying about using a cupcake plunger. And it’s not just because you can eat the spare bits of cake…
I used some of the cake I had removed to cover over the filling, iced them and sprinkled them. I didn’t remove a lot of cake as the caramel sauce is very sweet and rich. I still managed to get an extremely generous teaspoonful in each one. Don’t underestimate the amount of icing required: I had to make up another batch despite having made more than I thought I would need.
I particularly like the way the pearl sugar balls look on these cupcakes: very bridal. Vanilla icing on chocolate cupcakes looks great too.
and of course the innocent-looking exterior hides a rich caramel filling:
So thank you so much to Tanya for asking me (and trusting me!) to make the cupcakes, and congratulations to the bride and groom! Cheers!