Every week my friend Tereza and I try to get together for a play date since our sons are only 6 weeks apart. This week it was my time to host and I couldn't resist making these perfect, delicate button cupcakes. I have a tendency to make cupcakes as it seems like the perfect time to try out new flavours, they're easy and of course they keep the mummies happy while the boys attempt to play! I was given the buttons as part of my Christmas present from my brother and sister-in-law. Originally I was a little reluctant to use them, not just because they look so pretty in their box but more importantly because they are from Paris so not as easy to replace as I would like, however, I just couldn't resist! Sparkly, sugar pastel buttons, they were ideal for topping my lemon cupcakes and of course just knowing they were from Paris gave them that chic 'oh la la' appeal!
Of course as pretty and delicious as the cupcakes were, I restrained myself from eating only cupcakes and instead they were our 'something sweet' which we enjoyed with several cups of tea, so for something savoury I made roasted red pepper, chicken & goats cheese quesadillas. Served with some peppery rocket and a roasted pepper mayo on the side these crisp quesadillas made a perfect lunch for us........Thank goodness for play dates!
Cute As A Button Cupcakes
The recipe for these cupcakes is taken from the Hummingbird Bakery Cookbook, I've just changed it ever so slightly by using lemon zest instead of vanilla extract. Additionally, instead of using a buttercream icing I made a lighter icing using fondant icing mixed with water and lemon juice. If you don't have fondant icing you can use royal icing or just plain icing sugar. The buttons I used to decorate them with are from Belle de Sucre (http://www.belledesucre.com/).
Makes 12 cupcakes
120g plain or all-purpose flour
140g caster or berry sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
a pinch of salt
40g unsalted butter, softened
Zest of 1 large lemon
225g powdered fondant icing (see above)
Juice of ½ lemon
Water (roughly 3 tbsp)
Belle de Sucre sugar buttons to decorate
Preheat your oven to 170C/ 325F/ GM 3 and line a cupcake tin with medium sized paper cases.
Place the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter and lemon zest into the bowl of a KitchenAid (or other freestanding mixer) and using the paddle attachment mix slowly until everything is combined and you have a sandy consistency (if you don't have a KitchenAid use a hand-held electric beater). While the mixer is running, slowly pour in the milk and mix until it's just incorporated, then add the egg and continue beating until it's mixed in. Scrape down the sides of the bowl to make sure everything is properly mixed but be careful not to over beat the mixture.
Evenly spoon the cake mixture into the cupcake cases (book says until two-thirds full) and bake for 20-25 minutes until the sponge bounces back when touched (with my oven 22 minutes works perfectly every time) and a skewer comes out clean with put into the centre of the cake. Leave to cool for a few minutes then transfer the cupcakes onto a wire rack.
While the cupcakes are cooling make the icing. Sift the icing sugar into a medium sized bowl then add the lemon juice and enough water to make a smooth icing – you don't want it too runny so I add the water a tablespoon at a time, until I get the right consistency. When the cupcakes have completely cooled spoon over the icing so that you have an even, glossy and smooth cover. Once you have iced all 12 cupcakes top with a sugar button or any other decoration you have – and if you don't have any you could simply add some long strands of lemon zest! Light, zesty and perfect!