Usually for Easter, I bake up some kind of sugar cookie, (of course) cut into bunny and chick shapes. This year, I wanted to do something different… Actually, I’ve been wanting to play around with gum paste and try my hand at gum paste flowers. Why not for Easter? Soon I was envisioning cupcakes, topped with flowers and the jellybeans that the Easter Bunny hid below them. They would be perfect… you know, if they even remotely resembled my vision :-)
To my delight (and surprise), they turned out exactly as I had imagined!
I was amazed at how easy the gum paste was to make and work with. It was a bit of an investment, buying the tools (flower cutter and veiner) and gum paste mix (I used Wilton), but obviously they will be used over and over. I’m already dreaming up new and exciting colour combinations to adorn my cakes with! Also, if you enjoyed playing with play dough as a child, I’m sure you’ll have fun with gum paste too :-)
If you’re interested in making your own gum paste flowers, Cake Journal posted a really good tutorial.
Are you planning any Easter baking?
Dutch Chocolate Cupcakes
1 1/2 cups All-Purpose Flour
1/2 cup Dutch Processed Cocoa Powder
3/4 tsp Baking Soda
1/2 cup Margarine
1 cup Sugar
1 tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1/2 tsp Almond Extract
1/2 cup Plain Non-Dairy Yogurt (I used almond)
1 cup Non-Dairy Milk (I used almond)
Preheat oven to 350°F and line muffin tin with paper liners.
Whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
Beat the margarine until it’s smooth and creamy. On medium-high speed, beat in sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes). Beat in the vinegar and extracts. Add the yogurt and beat for another 2 minutes.
Add the flour mixture in 3 additions, alternating with the milk. Beating each addition on low-medium speed until smooth.
Fill liners about 3/4 full of batter and bake for 18 – 22 minutes, until an inserted toothpick comes out clean.
Allow cupcakes to cool in pan for 5 minutes before transferring to a wire rack. Cool completely before frosting and decorating.
This frosting is sweeter than I prefer frosting with, but it’s sturdiness works well for piping grass.
1/4 cup Margarine
1/4 cup Shortening
4 cups Icing Sugar
3 tbsp Non-Dairy Milk (I used Almond)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Green Food Colouring
On medium-high speed, beat the margarine and shortening together until creamy and completely combined (about 2 minutes). Add 1 cup of sugar and beat for 3 minutes. Add 1 more cup of sugar and 2 tablespoons of milk, and beat until smooth and creamy. Add 1 more cup of sugar, 1 tablespoon of milk, and vanilla, and beat until thoroughly combined. Add the last cup of sugar and beat on high speed, until light and creamy (about 5 minutes). Beat in green food colouring (a little at a time) until the desired shade has been reached.
Fill a pastry bag, fitted with a grass/hair tip (Wilton tip #233), and pipe grass over the top of the cupcake. Then top with a gum paste flower and jelly beans (check jelly bean ingredients to avoid gelatin)… If you don’t have the time/patience/equipment to make the flowers, simply placing a few jelly beans in the center of the grass would look cute too. Another option would be checking your local craft or cake store for edible flower decorations… And most of all, have fun!