Cupcake bouquet: a beginner’s guide

Just over a year ago I shared a few photos of a cupcake bouquet that I had made. The last few months have been pretty empty of cupcakes, brownies and other forms of baked goods for me with exams, graduation and work getting in the way, but one cupcake bouquet later and it’s fair to say I’m well and truly back on the baking wagon. I’ve had a lot of compliments on my baking, but these cupcakes and their novelty bouquet arrangement have always had a lot of attention, so I thought I’d ruin the illusion of how good a baker I am and show just how easy it is to whip up one of these yourself!

First thing’s first: you need a batch of cupcakes to decorate. You can get the most basic cupcake recipes and everyone seems to have their favourite, so I won’t waste time by going through how to bake cupcakes. (But if you’re interested my go-to recipe is from Hummingbird Bakery and I’m yet to find a more fluffy cupcake!)SAMSUNG CSCStep number two: whip up a batch of buttercream. This tends to work best for detailed piping because you can make it quite thick and strong enough to hold it’s shape. I was attempting to get the colour of orangey/peachy roses, because I think they are absolutely beautiful, also with the pinky red that they sometimes have around the edges of their petals. To get the peachy pink icing I made the icing yellow first, then added a dash of red. I think it turned out a bit more pink than I wanted but it was still light enough to have the two-toned effect that I was going for.SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCWhich brings me onto the third part: the two toned icing. I picked up this nifty trick from a Youtube video, and I loved the effect so much that I had to share it myself! All you do is paint the inside of the piping bag, using a paintbrush, with the food colouring that you want to colour the rims of the petals. Like I said, I’ve chosen to mix the peachy pink icing with a strong red, so this is the icing that I lined the inside of the bag with. It might look quite thin and watery when it’s on the bag, but it is there and it will come through!SAMSUNG CSCTo get the rose effect you need a star piping nozzle (I’m sure there is a more technical name for it, but it looks like a star so…). Put the light pink icing into the colouring-lined bag, but be careful not to mix the colours too much when doing this because if the colours mix it’ll come out in one pinky tone. And then Bob’s your uncle, Fanny’s your aunt, and you just pipe away and watch the magic happen! Start in the middle of the cupcake, slowly swirl outwards and try to finish the motion as neatly as possible to have a closed, neat rose. You should end up with a batch of beautifully decorated cupcakes that at least somewhat resemble roses. You can probably see that as the red colouring runs out they start to turn a lighter colour, but when they’re all bundled up together I think it’s better to have them all a little bit different anyway.SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSC SAMSUNG CSCThere are three things you need to assemble the bouquet: a tin/tub of some sort to use as a “plant pot”, tissue paper for decoration and leaves, and your beautiful rose cupcakes (duh). The photos below are pretty self explanatory of how I go about this, but I’ll spell it out for you quickly too. Firstly, cover the outside of the tin, and also the inside of the tin with tissue paper. If the tin is too deep and the cupcakes don’t sit high enough, then what you can do is pad the bottom of the tin with kitchen towel, tissues, or tissue paper so that the cupcakes are sitting just above the lip of the tin. Next, carefully arrange the cupcakes. My tub can hold 8, but this will vary depending on the size of tin you’re using. And, finally, make your leaves! All I do is cut the green tissue paper into squares and roll it diagonally, so easy! There are probably a lot more ways to make leaves, like actually cutting leaf shapes, or buying plastic flowers/leaves/plants from a poundshop or something, but I quite like the simplicity of the tissue paper.SAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSCSAMSUNG CSC So there you have it; a beginner’s guide to making cupcake bouquets! I’ve probably ruined the magic now that I’ve shown you just how easy it is to do it yourself, but if it’s inspired you even a little bit to just give it a go for the next birthday, mother’s day, anniversary or rainy weekend you have then that’s all I was aiming for. Happy baking!SAMSUNG CSC

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