Cupcakes, those old-fashioned childhood favourites are making a comeback, albeit in a much more glamorous form. Gone is the basic patty cake, covered in icing and hundreds and thousands. Instead in it's place are delectable confections of rich, buttery cake and colourful, flavoured icings beautifully decorated with flowers, sprinkles or cachous.
There are whole shops devoted just to cupcakes, and they charge top dollar for each of these delicious treats. You can make your own cup cake confections at home for just a fraction of the price of the bought ones and I guarantee they will be every bite as good, if not better.
Not a cake decorator? Neither am I. These days you can buy ready made cake decorations for just a few cents each, ideal for extra special afternoon teas or birthday parties. For everyday cupcakes you can use jelly crystals, hundreds and thousands, grated chocolate or honey comb, jelly beans, coconut - whatever you have on hand and your cupcakes will be gorgeous.
Basic Cupcake Mixture
125g butter or margarine
300g plain flour
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp bicarb soda
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs one at a time, beating well. Add milk and then flour, bicarb and cream of tartar. Beat well. Place in patty pans and bake 10 minutes at 200 degrees. Makes 24 patty cakes.
Chocolate: add 3 tsp cocoa with flour
Coconut: add 1/2 cup coconut to the mixture
Strawberry: add 1/2 cup fresh or frozen strawberries to mixture
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