Home Ec: bake it beautiful

By easyFood

15 August 2018

Cupcakes have become very popular in recent years. An Bord Bia (2015) surveyed consumers in the Republic of Ireland and Britain on their behaviours towards “sweet baked goods,” and found that “small cakes and slices” were the most popular, with 40% of people indicating that this was their favourite type of sweet baked good. The survey also revealed that Wednesday was the most popular day of the week to eat cake! With that in mind, this article will help you to prepare for the next “sweet treat” event with a delicious recipe for vanilla cupcakes, made using a basic Madeira mixture and topped with homemade sugar flowers.


Makes 12

For the cupcakes:
175g self-raising flour
125g caster sugar
125g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 tbsp cold water

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180˚C fan/gas mark 6.
  2. Line a regular 12-cup muffin tin with paper cupcake cases.
  3. Put the flour, sugar, margarine, vanilla extract, eggs and water into a bowl. Beat all the ingredients together with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until the mixture is smooth.
  4. Using two spoons, fill each cupcake case two-thirds of the way with the mixture.
  5. Place in the oven on the top shelf and bake for about 15 minutes until golden brown.
  6. Cool completely on a wire rack.


For the sugar flowers:
100g ready-to-roll icing in colours of your choice (or use white icing and dye it with food colouring)
Disposable icing bag and rosette nozzle
Daisy flower cutters
Ball tool
Cocktail sticks
Sugar craft foam pad
Small amount of water (for sticking the flowers together)

  1. Dust the worktop with sieved icing sugar and use a rolling pin to roll out the icing into a thin, even layer.
  2. Press the largest daisy cutter into the icing and gently swirl it around until the cutter has separated from the icing. Place the cutter onto the foam pad and press out the flower using the button.
  3. Using the small end of the ball tool, curl the petals by running it along each petal. Start at the end of the petal and work inwards.
  4. Continue using the smaller sized cutters. Leave the flowers to dry on the foam pad for a few minutes.
  5. Make the centre of each flower by rolling a small ball and pricking it with a cocktail stick to make indentations.
  6. Assemble the flowers by placing the largest flower on the bottom, then wet your finger and dab it in the centre of the flower. Add the other layers, ensuring you dampen each layer with a little water. Place the centre ball into the flower. Leave to dry while you make the butter cream.

Edible sugar flowers Easy Food


For the vanilla buttercream icing:
250g icing sugar, plus extra for dusting
125g butter, at room temperature
1 tsp vanilla extract
3-4 drops of concentrated food colouring
1-2 tbsp water

  1. Prepare the disposable icing bag by cutting 2-4cm from the corner (depending on the size of the nozzle). Fit the nozzle into the hole.
  2. Sieve the icing sugar into a bowl.
  3. Beat in the butter until light and fluffy.
  4. Add the vanilla extract, food colouring (using a cocktail stick) and the water.
  5. Beat all of the ingredients together until the mixture is smooth and evenly coloured.
  6. Turn down the sides of the piping bag and spoon in the buttercream until two-thirds full.
  7. Pipe icing rosettes onto the buns, starting from the outside and working into the centre.
  8. Place the sugar flowers on top.
  9. Place the cupcakes into a presentation box. Alternatively, this recipe is freezer friendly.

Per Serving 370kcals, 19.1g fat (11.2g saturated), 48.1g carbs, 36.3g sugars, 2.6g protein, 0g fibre, 0.146g sodium