Spring Cupcakes

Prep time:
30 mins
Cook time:
20 mins
Makes approx 12


For the raspberry swirl cupcakes:

125g unsalted butter, softened
175g caster sugar
3 eggs
1 vanilla pod, cut in half and seeds scraped out
1tbsp vanilla extract
125g self-raising flour
50g ’00’ grade plain flour, sieved
Zest of 1 large lemon
75ml buttermilk
100g fresh raspberries

For the lemon buttercream:

125g unsalted butter, softened
250g icing sugar, sieved
Juice of 1 large lemon

To decorate:

Icing sugar, for dusting
Blue food colouring
125 g (41/2 oz) ready-to-roll white fondant icing
Edible silver balls

You will also need:

Flower cutters
Disposable piping bag
Writing nozzle


Preheat the oven to 190oC/375oF/Gas Mark 5.
Line a 12-hole muffin tin with paper muffin cases.
Whisk the butter, sugar and vanilla seeds together using an electric hand whisk or beat with a wooden spoon until pale and creamy. Add the eggs, flours and buttermilk and whisk until combined and fluffy.
Meanwhile, mash 100g of fresh raspberries in a bowl until you have a rough puree.
Fold through the puree into the fluffy mixture until it’s just mixed and slightly marbled.
Divide the mixture equally between the paper cases, filling them about two-thirds full, and bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes until golden and risen.
Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to go cold.

For the lemon buttercream:

Whisk the butter in a bowl until fluffy.
Gradually add the icing sugar and whisk until it comes together
Add the lemon juice and whisk until light and fluffy.
Use as required

To decorate:

Reserve 2 tablespoons of the buttercream.
Colour the remaining buttercream with a few drops of blue food colouring, beating with a spatula until light blue.
Spread the blue buttercream over the tops of the cupcakes using a small palette knife.
Lightly dust a clean work surface with icing sugar and roll the fondant icing out until about 3−4 mm (1/8−1/4 inch) thick.
Using a selection of large, medium and small flower cutters, stamp out lots of flowers until the icing has been used up.
Arrange a few different sized flowers on top of each cupcake, spacing them so they look like spring blossom.
Put the reserved buttercream into a piping bag with a plain writing nozzle and pipe flower stems joining some of the flowers together and coming from the side of each cake.
Prick a hole in the centre of any large flowers using a skewer.
Arrange a silver ball in the centre of each flower.

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