With the Queen turning the ripe old age of 90 this year there are various celebrations and special events going on left, right and centre. I was recently invited to take part in one with Dr.Oetker
and having just about recovered from the Bunny Bums incident decided to hop on board.
Dr.Oetker have teamed up with baking expert Juliet Sear to create a rather magnificent NINE tier cake encompassing union jacks, the Queen’s crown, bunting and of course corgis.
Impressive, right? For those of us at home who love to bake but don’t quite feel up to the nine tier challenge the team at Dr.Oetker have come up with a regal themed cupcake recipe for us to bake instead…I was asked to have a go at baking the recipe but adding my own little hacks to put a different spin on things. Now, the recipe calls for fondant work which I am no expert at so before I pop up my attempt at the cakes and decoration here’s what they *should* look like!
Yeah, as you’ll see my skills aren’t quite as refined but I gave it my best shot! First up, here’s the recipe for the Strawberry and cream Royal Cupcakes (with my hacks in brackets).
For the cupcakes:
10 x cupcake cases
75g/3oz baking margarine
75g/30z caster sugar
1 large egg
1/2 tsp Dr.Oetker madagascan vanilla extract
75g/3oz self raising flour
100g/3.5oz soft set strawberry jam (I opted for lemon curd here for a citrus kick)
Dr.Oetker coloured ready to roll regal-ice
Dr.Oetker bright writing icing
225ml/8oz double cream (I made a simple lemon buttercream instead in keeping with my citrus theme)
Preheat the oven to 190˚C (170˚C fan assisted oven, 375˚F, gas mark 5). Put the Baking Cases in 10 fairy cake tins. Put the margarine in a mixing bowl with the caster sugar, egg and Vanilla. Sift the flour on top and using an electric whisk on a low speed, gently whisk the ingredients together.
Increase the speed and whisk for a few seconds until well blended and creamy. Divide the mixture equally between the cake cases and smooth over the tops. Bake for 16 -18 minutes until risen and lightly golden. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Using a teaspoon, scoop out a neat portion of sponge from the centre of each cake and fill with jam. Press the cut out sponge back on top to seal in the jam. Set aside.
To decorate, gently knead the red and blue Ready to Roll icing separately to make pliable, then cut each into 5 pieces. Form each into a ball. Cut a deep cross in the top of each and roll the base of each ball between your fingers to make it narrower than the top – they should look like tiny chefs’ hats.
Knead 50g (2oz) of the yellow Icing to soften. Lightly dust the work surface with a little icing sugar then roll out the yellow icing thinly to form a rectangle approx. 8 x 15cm (3 x 7 inch). Cut 30 thin strips, approx. 0.5cm (1/4 inch) wide – you will need 3 for each crown. Cross 2 strips across each ball and stick in place using a little water. Trim at the base if necessary, then press down on the top of each to make an indent in the top.
Secure another strip around the bottom of each, and trim as necessary. Gather up the trimmings and make small balls to decorate the top if the crowns, sticking them in place with a little water. Pipe Writing Icing dots on each to resemble jewels. Leave aside on a board lined with baking parchment until ready to serve.
Just before serving, whip the cream until firm enough to pipe and spoon into a piping bag fitted with a large closed star nozzle. Pipe a generous swirl on top of each cake and top with a crown. Your cakes are ready to serve and enjoy, and fit for The Queen!
And my cakes?
If you squint they don’t look too amateur! Let me know if you make these and we can compare!
Excitingly Dr.Oetker are also holding a competition where you can win one of FIVE four tiered versions of the Queen’s cake. To enter simply click on this link and get sharing how you’ll be celebrating. Whilst I’m at it I thought I’d share a couple of quick tips for hosting a party if that’s the route you go down…
1. Keep it Simple! No-one wants a fancy six course meal, stick to good old fashioned buffet style food (and get people to bring a dish with them). Nothing unites people more than bonding over cheese sandwiches and chocolate fingers!
2. Get Crafty! Decorating for a party needn’t be expensive, turn scraps of fabric in to bunting or dig out some old wool and make pom poms to hang everywhere. Cheap, cheerful and fun to do.
3. Save on Washing up by using paper plates and plastic cups/cutlery. Everyone’s exhausted after a good knees up and facing mountains of washing up will be a drag. Use disposable everything where possible and save precious time and energy for the celebrations.
What are your plans and tips?