Cupcake Magic – Competition closed

28 03 2011

It’s time for my first ever blog competition. Over the years that I’ve been baking I’ve been drawn more towards cakes or other treats rather than cupcakes.  I think this is partly because there has been more demand for novelty cakes but it’s also because I was never very happy with lots of the cupcake recipes I tried. I discovered a few great vanilla recipes but had never pinned down a chocolate one that didn’t taste either dry or greasy. Someone bought me Cupcake Magic by Kate Shirazi and I was delighted to finally find a chocolate cupcake that I liked. I’ve only tried a few of her other recipes but the buttercream recipe is one I use almost every time I need a decent buttercream. It’s a great read as it’s not written like a traditional cookbook evidenced by her choice of names for both the cupcakes and the levels of difficulty involved, anyone who uses the word faff this much is a friend of mine.

I have one copy of Cupcake Magic to giveaway to my readers.

You will also win this natty apron. I’ve covered over certain letters for blog purposes but the apron has no censorship so you have been warned about the fully fledged cursing!

I’ll also throw in a few extra surprises for the winner from my collection of baking goodies, still to be decided!

This competition is open to international readers, the closing date for entries is Saturday 16th April 2011 at 4pm.

To be in with a chance of winning, comment on this post with your favourite existing cupcake flavour & also tell me; if you could choose any flavour combination in the world what cupcake would you create? Would it have a surprise filling, an unusual savoury topping…? I’ll choose a winner with a random generator and they will be contacted via email so be sure to leave an email address in order to be contacted for postal details.

Good Luck!

Edited to add: you should be able to add your email when you log in to comment so that only I can see it, just in case you were uncomfortable about putting your addy in your comment. Sorry for not clarifying that!


Congrats Lily Ramirez-Foram. There is an email on its way to you now to arrange posting of your prize. You were picked via


28 03 2011

Time for a quick catchup before I have my first ever blog competition!  Baking has taken a back seat recently, I’ve been churning a lot of ideas for potential future treats but putting them into practice has proved difficult. I’ve also been plagued with worries about an impending wedding cake and another secretive baking job that I hope I can divulge a little more about in a few weeks.  I’ve gone through many days filled with doubt at my skills and fear that lack of time means I’ll not develop or adapt to ever advancing ideas out in the baking ether.  I have to rein my brain in and remind myself why I’m doing this….because I love it. A swift kick to remind me that it’s not about anyone else, it’s not about being better than others, it’s not about charging to little or too much, it’s about the love of creating.  I want to always think about bringing a smile to someone’s face with the look and taste of what I create, that’s it.  The rest is just gravy peeps. 

 Onto recent endeavours…

This cake was so much fun to design.  I was told that it had to be penguin themed, that’s it.  I decided a scene would give me greater scope for modelling and I knew I wanted to create a winter wonderland effect with the whole cake rather than just placing a few figures on top of a plain base.  It’s one of the few cakes I’ve finished and thought it actually looks insanely close to how it looked in my head while I was designing it!

All the toppers are fondant; the igloo is rice crispie treats covered in fondant. The trees were made with my mini star cutters and I trimmed a few to make them graduated a little at the top.  The ‘water’ in the fishing hole is a little royal icing tinted blue and poured into a dip created in the top of the cake.  I’m committing a cardinal sin by stating that I can’t remember what the cake inside is!  I think it might be vanilla but I’m not really sure!

These cupcakes were whipped up at the last minute to bring into work for St. Paddy’s Day.  I got it into my head that I wanted to make something bright to cheer everyone up and St Pat was a great excuse to make rainbows and pots of gold. The cupcakes were a basic vanilla tinted green and the frosting was the divine white chocolate buttercream.  This buttercream has become my new favourite and will be adorning most of my future cupcakes.  It firms up beautifully, it’s not greasy and tastes sweet with a lovely creamy kick from the added chocolate.  

All the toppers are fondant.  I used a mini heart cutter to make my Shamrocks, very simply adding a stem and sticking them together with a little water.

The rainbows were made by rolling thin lengths of different colours, sticking them with water then rolling them thin with my mini rolling pin and cutting them to size.

The pots are balls of black fondant, a small disc flattened on top with a mound of yellow on top. I rolled a few smaller balls of yellow and flattened them onto the large yellow mound then painted the whole thing with some gold lustre dust. 

And of course I had to tint the cupcakes green, it’s almost mandatory when it comes to St Patrick’s Day baking.

Be sure to check out my next post for my first ever competition!