I know that this probably won’t be the first blog you see featuring Jubilee cakes and it certainly won’t be the last. I think last year’s Royal Wedding and street parties has got people in the ceremonial baking mood. After Mr Whippy Cakes I wanted to have another go at patriotic stripy buttercream and have an excuse to play around with sugarpaste and royal icing.
To get vivid colours you do need to use quite a bit of gel colours. Liquid colours won’t work anywhere near as well. I recommend either Sugarflair gels or Morrisons now do a good range of colour gels. It’s also worth letting the colours rest for about 30min before using because the colours will continue to intensify. Because the colours are so bright the buttercream colour will bleed in to the neighbouring colour over time. This is one advantage of putting white buttercream between so you don’t up with dirty purple stripes in the buttercream.
To get very white buttercream you can use trex instead of butter, but seriously save your tastebuds and accept the fact that your buttercream will have a tint of ivory compared to the fondant.
Any fairy cake/cupcake recipe will work for these cakes. I use a recipe that Holly Bell gave me that has a small amount of almonds in and they deliberately sink slightly after coming out of the oven giving you a perfect flat top to work with. If your cakes has domed too much, just slice the top off to level. I always bake cupcakes in foil wrappers. They work out more expensive than paper liners, but keep the cakes fresher for far longer. I buy them in bulk from Cake Craft Shop. Bonus of buying silver cases it that silver goes with everything!
If you are giving these cakes to children, wait about 30min then leave. Quickly. Just before the sugar and e-numbers kick in (only joking… kind of).
Striped butter cream
250g unsalted butter, softened
500g icing sugar
1 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
blue and red food colouring gel
1) Using an electric whisk or mixer beat together the butter, icing sugar, milk and vanilla for 4 minutes until the buttercream is light and fluffy. You’ll notice the mixture whitens as it is beaten.
2) Separate the buttercream in to 3 bowls so you have 2x bowls of 180g buttercream and 1 x bowl of 390g buttercream. This larger bowl will be your white buttercream. Colour the two remaining bowls of buttercream blue and red.
3) Fit a Wilton 1M tip to your piping bag. Put the different colours of buttercream in the bag one spoonful at a time. Click here to see how the bag should be filled (look bottom right of picture).
4) When piping start from the outside of the cake and swirl inwards. Keep the piping tip at 90° to the cake.
To make spotty icing is easy. Roll out a small amount of blue sugarpaste. Then roll balls of red and white and press these in to the blue. Roll over gently with a rolling pin. Using a sharp knife to cut out strips of the icing then cut these in to triangles This icing does dry fast and can crack where the dots are so use it quickly. Stick the bunting to the cakes using vodka or water.
Royal icing sugar (I like Silver Spoon Royal icing sugar)
4cm round cutter
small and large silver balls
no2 piping tip
tracing paper or baking paper
small soft paint brush
1) Draw your crown design on to a piece of baking paper (note the change of design in the photos as the original design didn’t work as well)
2) Roll out a piece of white sugarpaste. Place your drawing over the sugarpaste and using a clean pin trace around the pattern. Remove the paper and you’re left with an impression of your shape on the sugarpaste. Using the round cutter cut out a shape so the crown is in the middle.
3) Mix the royal icing paper with a small amount of water so it is suitable piping consistency. Using a no2 piping tip pipe over the pin marks and if you need to fill in the shape.
4) While the icing is still wet sprinkle over the small silver balls. Use a paint brush to get rid of the balls you don’t want. Place 4 of the larger balls in the correct place on the crown. Place the crown topper on a swirl of buttercream.
Use a similar technique for making the silhouette as you do with the crowns. Pipe the silhouette first then cut the rectangle out. It saves having to try and centralise your piping. Allow the red bit of the stamp to dry out before doing the white perforated bit of the stamp. Stick the red piece of sugarpaste on top of some white sugarpaste with a small amount of vodka or water. Cut a boarder then use a scallop tool to make the stamp perforations.
The great thing about doing projects like this is the leftover buttercream and icing. A perfect time to practice piping.