Simple choc chip cupcakes + fancy cupcake stand = easy kid’s birthday cake solution!
It was my son’s birthday recently and I spent quite a while wondering what cake to make him. Last year I spent hours make a cake in the shape of a car. Like this:
This year I decided to go for a time-saving option. Instead of trying to make some sort of cake sculpture, I searched for a nice cupcake stand and made simple cupcakes to fill it. My son loves rockets and an internet search turned up this set which includes the cupcake stand, 24 rocket cupcake cake toppers and 24 starry cupcake cases.
Putting the stand together is easy. The rigid cardboard pieces just slot together and the finished effect is great.
Now onto the bit where I made cake! This is a basic sponge recipe (which will probably be familiar to many of you) with some milk chocolate chips thrown into the mix.
Ingredients (these amounts will make 12 cupcakes. I doubled up this mix to make 24)
- 115 g / 4 oz self-raising flour
- 115 g / 4 oz caster sugar
- 115 g / 4 oz butter or margarine
- 2 eggs
- Approx. 25 g / 1 oz milk chocolate chips
Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees C (160 fan) / Gas Mark 4 / 350 degrees F. Put your cupcake cakes into your tin.
You can use the all-in-one method, putting the butter, sugar, eggs and flour into the mixer or bowl at the same time and stirring until you get a smooth mixture. However, I always get better results by going the slightly longer way round…
Beat your butter or margarine for at least a couple of minutes until it’s lighter in colour. I use my marvellous mixer. You can also use electric hand beaters or old-fashioned elbow grease. Add the sugar to the butter and beat for 3-5 minutes until your mixture is smooth and light. It should look something like this:
Add the eggs and beat the mixture until they are all combined. Then add the flour and stir in gently (don’t overbeat or you’ll knock all the air out of the mixture).
Divide your mixture evenly between your cupcake cases. Sprinkle a few chocolate chips over the top of the mixture in each case. Putting the chocolate chips on last when the batter is already in the tin, rather than stirring them into the mixture before dividing it, should stop the chips from sinking to the bottom of the cases.
Bake your chocolate chip cupcakes for 20 minutes until they’ve risen and are golden brown.
Leave the chocolate chip cupcakes in the tin for 10 minutes before moving them to a wire rack to finish cooling. While your chocolate chip cupcakes are cooling you can make the buttercream icing. To ice 12 cupcakes you’ll need 2 oz / 60 g of butter and 4 oz / 115 g of icing sugar. Blend your butter and icing sugar together (remember to go slowly to avoid creating an icing sugar cloud!) until you get a smooth buttercream. If you want more than one colour buttercream, divide you basic mixture into two bowls and add your choice of food colouring. I used blue and yellow gel colouring.
Spoon your buttercream icing into two piping bags fitted with small star tips. Pipe a swirl of buttercream onto each of your chocolate chip cupcakes. Here’s how mine turned out.
Then I inserted a rocket cupcake topper into each of the chocolate chip cupcakes:
Finally, I arranged the cakes on the stand, added the candles and voilà!
So much easier than cake sculpting and there are loads of themes to choose from. There’s a cupcake stand out there for any birthday party!
If you’re looking for more cupcake recipes, try:
Mini rosette vanilla cupcakes with two tone decorative buttercream frosting.
Brownie cupcakes with buttercream frosting.
And remember, you can see a list of all the recipes on my blog by visiting my recipe index.
Claire Huston / Art and Soul