Animal Kingdom Cupcakes
Do you have an animal-fan in your family? These cupcakes are fun to make, and great for a special occasion. We've given suggestions for lions, tigers, monkeys and zebras; but if you want to simplify things you could always make all your cupcakes into the same animal.
For parties, why not get up to the end of instruction 8, then lay the decorations out on the table and let the kids decorate their own animals ... who knows what will be created?!
Prep time: 10-15 minutes
Baking time: 20 minutes + decorating
For the sponge:
For the icing:
- 370g plain flour
- 1½ tsp baking powder
- 180g butter, at room temperature
- 300g caster sugar
- 4 large eggs
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 300ml milk
- 450g butter, at room temperature
- 800g icing sugar, sifted
- 4 tbsp milk
- Yellow and red food colouring
- 60g cocoa powder, sifted
- 2 black gel icing pens
1. Preheat the oven to 180˚C/160˚C fan/gas mark 4 and line two 12-cup muffin tins with paper liners.
2. Whisk together the flour and baking powder in a small bowl.
3. Beat the butter and sugar in a large mixing bowl until pale and creamy. Gradually beat in the eggs and vanilla.
4. Alternate beating in the flour mixture and the milk until incorporated.
5. Divide the batter among the cups and bake for 20 minutes, until the tops are rounded and a skewer inserted into the centre of one of the cupcakes comes out clean. Remove the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely before decorating.
6. Meanwhile, beat the butter and icing sugar for the buttercream in a mixing bowl until fluffy. Stir in the milk until smooth.
7. Divide the mixture and place half into a separate bowl. Beat a few drops of red and yellow food colouring into one of the bowls until you reach an orange shade.
8. Divide the remaining white buttercream in half again. Leave one bowl white, then beat half of the cocoa powder into the other bowl until incorporated. Divide the chocolate icing in half again, and beat the remaining cocoa powder into the last bowl. You should now have four bowls of icing: one orange, one white, one light chocolate and a darker chocolate.
For the lions and tigers:
- 24 chocolate chips
- A handful of toffee popcorn
- Black liquorice strips
- 6 small orange jellies, halved
1. Spread the orange icing over half of the cupcakes (six lions and six tigers).
2. Place two chocolate chips to make eyes on each cupcake, then use the black gel icing pen to make a nose and mouth on each. Add black stripes around the tiger. Use liquorice strips to add whiskers.
3. Dot the toffee popcorn around the lions to make the manes and use the jellies to make the tiger's ears.
For the monkeys:
- 6 miniature marshmallows, cut in half crosswise, pieces flattened
- 12 small round coated chocolates (like Galaxy Counters or brown M&Ms)
1. Spread the dark chocolate icing over six of the cupcakes. To make the muzzles, spread or pipe a small circle of lighter chocolate frosting on each cupcake.
2. Press on the marshmallows for the eyes, then press the coated chocolates onto the sides for the ears.
3. Use the black gel icing pen to draw on dots for the eyes, a nose and mouth. You can use the remaining lighter chocolate icing to pipe a bit of hair onto the top of the monkey if you like.
For the zebras:
- 12 chocolate chips
- 6 black/dark purple jellies, halved
- Black liquorice strips
1. Spread the white icing over the six remaining cupcakes. Press the chocolate chips onto each for the eyes, then press the halved jellies on for the ears.
2. Use the black gel icing pen to fill in a muzzle and a bit of hair. Use liquorice strips to make stripes.
Per Serving 447kcals, 22.9g fat (14.1g saturated), 59.9g carbs, 46g sugars, 3.8g protein, 1.2g fibre, 0.172g sodium.
This recipe is kindly sponsored by Bosch, who combine superb design, sophisticated technology and decades of experience; to ensure that you can have fun baking, and achieve perfect results! For more information about their range of products, go to www.bosch-home.ie