Looking for a sweet treat while watching Disney’s Beauty and the Beast ? Let’s just say I learned to love these delicious cupcakes pretty quickly!
Cupcakes are one of my favourite things to bake, they’re super cute and easy to share, plus you can eat a whole cake without judgement. Princess Su from Mulan II knows what I mean:
I was surprised that I hadn’t made cupcakes for Popcorn & Princesses yet, and decided that Belle-inspired cakes were the way to go. I really love Belle’s outfit during the ‘Something There’ scenes, with that gorgeous red cape, so these cakes are my take on that. I went for a red velvet cake (with this amazing recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction), traditional cream cheese frosting to match the fluffy white trim on the cake, and made some pretty pink roses to decorate- matching the pink dress, plus obviously the enchanted rose.
Obviously the most important part of this treat is the cake, so I started with that! I’d only made red velvet cake once before, so I don’t think I quite realised the recipe was more complex than the usual stick-everything-in-a-bowl-and-hope-for-the-best type that my usual cakes are. But it was fun to do something different and honestly these cakes are so yum, they’re definitely worth the effort!
Now first thing if you want to make these cakes, is that Sally recommends having your eggs, butter, and buttermilk at room temperature. I completely forgot this, so if you’re reading this before you make them, DON’T BE LIKE ME! REMEMBER YOUR EGGS! REMEMBER YOUR BUTTER! REMEMBER WHO YOU ARE!
Once you’ve heated your oven to 180 and lined your cupcake tin with liners, Sally tells you to beat the egg whites until you have soft peaks, then set it aside. Now, when I did this, they were all super fluffy and pretty like they should be but by the time I finally poured them into the mix, several steps down the line, there was a lot of liquid egg white still at the bottom, which is something I haven’t seen before (and I’m Australian, I’ve made a lot of pavlovas). Some Googling suggests a few things, maybe they were left too long before being added (in which case maybe we should beat them later in the process) or there may have been a smidge of yolk that snuck in there somewhere. Ultimately the cakes still turned out fine despite this setback, which is great.
Next it’s all about the dry stuff, sifting the flour and cornstarch (aka corn flour for us non-Americans) together, then whisking it up with baking soda (bicarb soda), cocoa powder and salt. Beating the butter, adding sugar and oil, is next, and this is the point where I really miss my mum’s KitchenAid back at home… A handheld mixer from Wilko’s just isn’t quite the same. The egg yolks and vanilla go in with that, then some vinegar (yes, vinegar) and red food colouring (sorry Mum!).
Now with the food colouring, I was really determined to get the dark, rich red colour of Belle’s cape, so I did put probably about the 2 tablespoons Sally recommended (I didn’t measure). The dry ingredients went in next, alternating with the buttermilk. Now if you can’t get buttermilk at your supermarket, there are loads of tips online for making it, it’s super quick and easy, basically mixing milk with lemon juice or vinegar and leaving for a little while (sounds gross, I know, but hey, the cake tastes good, I’m not complaining!). The last thing to go in is the aforementioned slightly disappointing egg whites.
This is how my mix turned out:
Now for spooning cupcake mix into the tin, I have a super awesome contraption that looks basically like an ice cream scoop, and I love it. It makes sure they all get around the same amount of mix (even baking) and it also limits the amount I spill on the tin/counter/floor/myself/anyone that happens to be around. If you make a lot of cupcakes, I would definitely recommend getting one. Sally recommends baking the cakes for around 20 minutes, but to be honest, mine were ready to go in 15. I always set a timer for slightly under what the recipe suggests and check on it, just to make sure I’m not overcooking, because NOTHING IS WORSE THAN DRY CAKE. Okay, maybe there are a few things, but still, yuck.
Now I have a confession to make guys, I did use store-bought cream cheese frosting. I know, it’s the worst and I’m sorry! But also convenient, so *shrug*. Next time I make these cakes (and there will be a next time!) I will make my own icing and test the difference.
For the rose decorations, I recently got this super fun looking rose cutter and some pink sugarpaste from Squires Kitchen (they’ve got some awesome baking supplies!) so I wanted to test out exactly how easy it was to use. Basically you roll out the sugarpaste, cut it with the cutter, flatten out the edges, run some edible glue along the middle fold it in half, and roll it up! It was super easy and I think they look pretty cool for someone who’s only made roses once before!
So finally, I iced the cupcakes with a fun piping bag swirly tip (don’t ask me which one) and stuck the roses on top! Some takeaways from this recipe/snack adventure:
- Would I make these cakes again? 100%, super delicious and they look great
- I would definitely be more careful with the egg whites…
- Home made cream cheese icing would be so much better (sorry Betty Crocker)
- Making roses is fun! I have a book on how to make a whole bunch of different flowers, so I will have to try out some more…
Have you tried Sally’s Baking Addiction’s red velvet cupcake recipe? Let me know how you went! How were your egg whites?