Fun cupcake ideas for kids party

Color polka dot vanilla cupcake

fun cupcakes for kids party

Have had a ‘short break’ from baking (and hence blogging) due to an assignment that involved a trip to Bali followed by 3 weeks of writing time. Now the assignment is done and it is time to get back into the kitchen to spend some time with my KitchenAid heavy duty mixer. 😛

But before that, I would like to share some photos of the cheerful cupcakes, hee hee, that I made WEEKSSSS ago, just before my left for the working trip. I think these cupcakes are easy and fun to make–albeit spending a little bit more time–and will make wonderful treats in a kids party. I’m not going to write the recipes for the cupcake and buttercream. You can just use any of your favorite vanilla cupcake/cake and buttercream recipes. So here are the fun cupcakes ideas that you might want to consider. :)

Colorful sprinkles

You will need a bottle of colorful sprinkles or confetti used for cake decoration. You can also use additional types of candy sprinkles (e.g. chocolate candy sprinkle, not shown in pic) if you like. A simple idea to cheer up plain vanilla cupcakes is to add the sprinkles into your cupcake batter, mix just enough so that the sprinkles are spread out in the batter. The baked cupcakes will look like the ones in the pic below.

vanilla cupcakes with colorful sprinkles inside

You can also scatter the sprinkles on top of the cupcake before baking. You can serve the cupcakes as they are in this way, or pipe some buttercream on top. For me, buttercream is a must have, as it adds moisture to the cupcake with even more buttery flavor!

vanilla cupcakes with chocolate candy sprinkles on top

If you don’t have sprinkles, another way to add colors to cupcakes is to make a colored cupcake batter by adding a couple drops of food coloring. I used Americolor gel based food color. What I did was I colored a portion of my cupcake batter with pink, and keep another portion plain (no sprinkles). I first poured the pink batter into the paper casing, gave them a light tap to even out the surface of the batter, then poured in the ‘colorless’ batter. You can do it the other way round (i.e. plain batter in first followed by pink batter), or even up to three layers of color if you want to!

pink Americolor color gel

I piped some swirls onto my cupcake, and added more color sprinkles on top!

colorful sprinkles on buttercream

I don’t like how my swirls look like. Need more practice, my piping skill still has much room for improvement! 😛

colorful sprinkles on buttercream

Now, take a look inside the cupcakes – two-color cupcakes and color polka dot cupcakes! 😀

two-colored cupcakes

colorful sprinkles in the cupcake

Oh dear, looking at these pics is making me craving for cupcakes and buttercream~

fun cupcakes with colorful sprinkles inside

Fun time making fondant cupcake toppers

Teapot and teacup fondant toppers

I started ‘playing’ with fondant last year when I attended a half-day class on cupcake decorating, where I learned to make animal face cupcake toppers.

Fondant animal face cupcake toppers

Following that I took a cake decorating class where I learned to covered a cake with fondant and make simple fondant roses as toppers. (Apologies for the less than satisfactory quality of some photos posted in this post. Those were taken with my mobile phone, hehe.)

Wedding cake covered with fondant

The third class I took was to make cute animal figurines, also toppers for cupcakes.

Fondant animal figurines

I was so excited to try decorating my cakes/cupcakes with fondant decorations, so I bought a big 5 kg packet of fondant. That was last December, when I decorated a red velvet cake for Christmas.

Red velvet Christmas cake

And in February, I played with fondant again on my Valentine’s day mini cakes. They were the ugliest things I have ever made. So I’m not gonna post them here. Haha!

So, that’s about it. All the fun time I had with fondant until a month ago.

I was left with still a big pack of the icing. I can’t eat it straight from the pack. I mean, I don’t even eat the fondant on cupcakes! To me, fondant toppers or decorations are merely for aesthetic purpose, hehe. Looking at beautiful fondant toppers lift up your mood and makes you happy even before you start eating the cake! :)

I can’t leave the fondant to waste. I don’t know if there is an expiry date to fondant, but I don’t like the idea of using it on cakes after the pack has been opened for 6 months! (I do take caution to wrap up the pack of fondant properly after use and keep it in an air-tight container.)

So, one way to use up the sugar dough is to play with it, even if there are no cakes or cupcakes to go with it. 😉 There are many fondant decoration techniques I would like to learn and practise. I have quite a number of fondant cutters and plunger cutters to play with; I also have some sculpting tools that I still don’t know how to use, haha!

Therefore, after watching some online fondant class videos, and browsed through some images on the web, I decided to create four cupcake toppers with the theme of picnic tea party! (The photos from this point onwards are of better quality. ;))

The flowers, topper bases and scallop-shaped plates were cut out using cutters and plungers. The rests, e.g. teapot, teacups, cake, cake knife and birdie were shaped using hands.

Cupcake fondant toppers - tea party theme

I saw photos of fondant teapot and teacup on the web, so I tried to make a set of my own without knowing how to do it. Well, just gotta do it and find out I supposed. 😉 The teacup didn’t actually turn out to be the shape that I had imagined. Still cute though, hehe.

Fondant teapot and teacup

I have bought quite a number of cake decorating video classes from Craftsy. One of the classes (Tiny Cupcake Toppers, with Sheryl Bito) teaches how to make tiny cupcake toppers featuring desserts such as layered cake, jelly roll, strawberry shortcake and macarons. I watched the video lessons quite some time ago. I did not review the videos before doing this, but simply tried to remember the techniques I learned and came up with this purple layered cake. 😛

Cake figurine made with fondant

A piece of cake cut out from the purple cake shown above. The two weird-looking thingy with a green base and pink topping were supposed to be cupcakes, haha! I had no idea how to make them look like what they were supposed to be. Tried to mould them into the correct shape but I guessed I’m not good at handling tiny, delicate items at the moment.

Fondant toppers - a slice of cake and cupcakes

I wanted to show that this is an outdoor tea party. And that’s how the birdie came into the picture. You know how one enjoys picnic in the park, accompanied by birds and flowers in the surrounding. I saw some simple cartoon sketches of birds on the internet and got some idea how I want my birdie to look like.Fondant birdie and flowers

View of all the toppers from the top. I guess I could have made another one with a picnic basket and blanket so that the tea party theme would be made more obvious.Picnic tea party theme fondant toppers

I did not bake any cupcakes when I made these toppers. So I just stuffed some paper towel into the cupcake liners as to support the fondant toppers. That way I could have an idea of how these fondant toppers would look like if they were on real cupcakes. 😉Fondant birdie on cupcake

Teapot and teacup fondant toppers

My favourites among these fondant cupcake toppers are the ones I put on the cupcake liners – the teapot/teacup and the birdie/flowers toppers, hehe. I could have done a better and neater job with the layered cake. It’s all about timing; knowing when to cut/shape, e.g. while the fondant is still soft, or when it is slightly hardened, etc. And I will try to find out or figure out how to make fondant cupcakes that will look like cupcakes, haha!

Delicious buttermilk scones with cranberries

Baked buttermilk scones with cranberries

It had been very warm for the past few days. Thankfully, it rained this morning and the air is so much cooler now. I felt the need for a warm buttermilk scone and a cup of coffee to enjoy a lovely, cool Saturday afternoon like this. However, there won’t be any scone for me.

Because hubby is away in Amsterdam for a week, I am staying over at my parents’ place till hubby returns. Unfortunately, my mom doesn’t bake. So, there is no oven in this house. No oven. No baking. No buttermilk scones. Sad.

Delicious buttermilk scones

Speaking of scones, I don’t really eat them often. However, among all the scones I have tasted so far, my favourite ones are from the Smokehouse Hotel & Restaurant in Cameron Highlands. Served with cream and jam, their scones have a buttery flavour rich enough for my taste. The texture of their scones is flaky yet moist. Savouring those scones in a colourful garden of an English-style cottage, sipping a cup of hot English tea, and breathing in the freshness of highland air – isn’t that one of the best moments in life? 😀 (I am an easily satisfied person, you see.)

I am really glad that I found this buttermilk scone recipe from the Internet. I don’t know if it is the best scone recipe, but I think I can keep to this recipe for use in the future. I made a batch of it two weeks ago, and I was very delighted to see that my scones raised well and had that characteristic crack at the center around the edge. I had tried another recipe and method from my pastry school, but the scones didn’t turn out the way I like (although they were tasty, too).

Buttermilk scones - before baking

Making scones is super easy. Simple recipe ingredients, simple steps. You may choose to use a pastry blender or a food processor to ‘cut’ the butter into the flour to achieve a breadcrumb-like or sand-like texture. A standing mixer (using a paddle attachment) can also do the job. I choose to use my fingers, hehe, to save myself the trouble of cleaning up the mixer bowl and attachment. 😛

Note that the butter should be cold, and should be cut into small pieces before added to the flour. Using cold butter and mixing it with flour using this rubbing in method is the key to create the flaky layers in the scones. This article explains a bit on using butter and dry ingredients (e.g. flour).

Ingredients
Self-raising flour 225g, plus a little extra for dusting
Salt A pinch
Butter, cold 75g
Castor sugar 40g
Dried cranberries 20 g (that’s all I had in the fridge that day)
Large egg, at room temperature 1
Buttermilk 2 Tbsp, plus a little extra for brushing

Method
1. Pre-heat oven to 220 degrees celcius.
2. Sift flour and salt into a mixing bowl.
3. Add cold butter (already cut into pieces) and use pastry blender to cut the butter in the flour, or use fingers to rub the butter into the flour until it looks like breadcrumbs.
4. Add sugar and dried cranberries (and/or other dried fruits/nuts of choice e.g. raisins, chopped almonds). Mix well.
5. Beat the egg and buttermilk together in a cup or bowl, and add into the dry mixture. Mix the dough with a spreading knife or spatula (again, I used hand). If the dough is a bit dry, can add another tablespoon of buttermilk. I found mine rather sticky, but manageable.
6. Form the dough into a round ball, and place it on a lightly floured surface.
7. Pat the dough into a circle of at least 1 inch thick.
8. Cut out the scones using a 2.5 inch (or 2 inch, or bigger as you wish) round or fluted cookie cutter. (Note: When cutting the dough, place the cutter on the dough and give it a sharp tap, lift up the cutter straight up, and push the dough out. DO NOT twist the cutter, or else it will not rise.)
9. Gather the trimmings together, repeat Step 6 to 8 until the dough is finished.
10. Place scones on parchment paper in a baking sheet. Brush the surface lightly with buttermilk and dust with a little flour.
11. Bake for ~12 min or until golden brown on top.

(Original recipe and method from Craft Passion.)

Buttermilk scones recipe - before baking

From the recipe and using a 2.5 inch round cutter, I made seven scones with different heights, haha! As you can see, the scone will rise to a nicer height if its dough is 1-inch high. The taller ones look more attractive, don’t they? :)

Baked buttermilk scones with cranberries

Some people may insist to have their scones with clotted cream and jam, but I’m contented with just a warm scone and butter. <3

Delicious cranberries buttermilk scones