Halloween Pumpkin Cupcakes

28 Oct

An easy fondant icing decorating project from the Cake Star Girlz for Halloween.

1. Make red velvet cupcakes using this recipe, minus the cream cheese frosting, preferably the day before you wish to decorate.

2. Make Italian Meringue Buttercream:
1 1/4 cups sugar
5 large egg whites
1 pound (4 sticks) unsalted butter, chilled
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 Pinch of Salt (it enhances the taste of the butter and vanilla, yum!)
In a small saucepan over medium heat, bring sugar and 2/3 cup water to a boil. Continue boiling until syrup reaches 238-240 degrees on a candy thermometer.

Meanwhile, place egg whites in the bowl of a standing mixer  fitted with the whisk attachment, and beat on low speed until foamy. Add cream of tartar, and beat on medium-high speed until stiff but not dry; do not overbeat. (Make sure your mixer and whisk have been degreased so the egg whites beat up nice and glossy and peaks form, you can degrease with  a little white  vinegar and dry completely)

Once the sugar comes to the right temperature with mixer running, add syrup to whites in a stream, beating on high speed until no longer steaming, about 3 minutes. Add the pinch of salt. Then add butter bit by bit, beating until spreadable, 5-10  minutes; beat in vanilla.  If icing curdles, keep beating until all the butter is absorbed and the buttercream looks shiny and creamy!

3. Take the wrappers off and spread buttercream all over the cupcakes, shaping them like balls, then place on a tray covered in parchment paper and allow to cool in the fridge, 10-15 minutes.

4. Colour 3/4 kg fondant icing with orange gel food colouring. Roll out orange fondant icing and cut (with a large cookie cutter or a small plate) or roll out circles of around 6  x 6 inches to completely cover the cupcakes.

5. Cover cupcakes in fondant icing circles, tucking edges underneath and cutting off any excess.

6. Make 8 indents with a butter knife into the iced ball, coming from the top centre, to create the pumpkin ribs. They don’t have to be perfect.

7. Colour 250g  fondant icing with green gel colouring and roll out. Make a rough green patch on which to place the bottom of the pumpkin. Brush bottom of pumpkin with a little water so it sits secure.

8. Cut out a little flower to put on the top. If you don’t have a cutter, model flower petals, as if working with plasticine, and join with a little water, or cut little circles and use a knife to cut indents in them. Stick flower onto top of pumpkin with a little water.

9. Roll out a rope of green fondant and twirl it up to make a little stalk. Stick on stalk with water.



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