Cactus Garden Cupcakes
Do I really need to say anything about these cupcakes other than they’re simply gorgeous? The cactus is made of American buttercream frosting. That frosting is a little stiffer and better than most other frosting for decorations like these. And the awesome thing is, you can make your cute little cactus any colours you like!
Cactus Garden Cupcakes
- 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups caster sugar superfine
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 tsp fine salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter softened
- 2 large eggs
- 1 1/2 cups cups whole milk
- 1/2 cup vegetable oil
- 2 tbsp Greek yoghurt or sour cream
- 1 tsp vanilla extract vanilla bean paste
- 3 drops pink food gel
- 3 drops white food gel
- 2 batches American buttercream
- 1 tsp rose water
- purple cactus – 6 drops purple food gel + 4 drops pink food gel
- Pink frosting – 4 drops pink food gel
- Teal green frosting – teal food gel
- Green Food gel – Leaf green food gel
- Preheat a fan-forced oven to 140°C (275°F) or a conventional oven to 160°C (320°F). Line two cupcake tins with the cupcake liners.
- Add the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt to a large mixing bowl and mix with a hand mixer until well combined.
- Next, add the softened butter and mix on low speed until the mixture reaches a crumbly, sand-like texture.
- Add the eggs, milk, oil, yoghurt and vanilla, and mix on low speed until all the dry ingredients are incorporated. Scrape down the side of the bowl and mix for a final 20 seconds. It’s at this point that you can add any flavourings or food-gel colourings to the batter.
- Split the batter into two separate mixing bowls. Add white food gel to one and pink food gel to the other. Mix until well combined. Transfer each into a separate piping bag.
- Pipe a bulb of the pink batter on the bottom, then add another bulb of white batter on top. Repeat that until you’ve filled each cupcake liner ¾ of the way.
- Bake for 40–50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Allow the cupcakes to cool completely on a wire rack before frosting.
- To prepare your frosting, split the frosting half. Colour one half with the teal food gel. Split the other half into 4 bowls. Leave one white. Colour one purple, one pink and the fourth with leaf green food gel.
- Line two baking trays with baking paper. Fit the end of a piping bag with a large round tip.
- Pipe tall skinny bulbs of the teal frosting. Chill for 30 min.
- Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton #32 piping tip and frost lines of the teal frosting on the outside of the long bulbs. Start from the bottom and work your way up. Do that all around each bulb of teal frosting. Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton #4 piping tip and frost little white frosting spikes around the large cactus. Fit the end of a piping bag with a small closed star tip and frost little frilly flowers on top of each cacti. Chill for 30 min.
- Pipe a small bulb of frosting on your cupcakes and use a small offset spatula to carefully lift the large cacti off the baking paper and place on each cupcake.
- Fit the end of a piping bag with a Wilton 6B piping tip and frost little bulbs of the green frosting in front of the large cacti.
- Fit the end of a piping bag with a Loyal #97 curved leaf tip to frost the long leave of purple frosting on one side of the large cacti. Finish off by adding small bulbs of pink frosting on your green cacti bulbs.