November 26, 2013

Sweet NZ: Hydrangea Cupcakes

I've been too busy with baking these days I don't even realize I've baked a lot of them. It's the fun of producing and decorating that takes away the fancy of eating them. Well, mostly I baked for other people, so I didn't get to enjoy it myself. 

This baking marathon has started with weekly baking to fill in the cake tins for my family, and recently is moving to a further step as to make a contribution to the pre-school's fund-raising gala, and then finished with my mother-in-law's birthday cake and whatnot last weekend.

On the fund-raising gala, I baked a gluten-free chocolate cake in a wonder mold which later on was transformed to be the barbie's dress. I cut the cake into three layers, sandwiched and iced them with buttercream before decorating it with sugarpaste. It took me 3 hours to decorate the barbie, and it was bidded for only $35 (I expected more bidders, but it wasn't really a big crowd of people to be honest), bought by Pam whose daughter was going to have a birthday on a closer date. She could have the barbie before the actual D-day, she said. How lovely.

Moving on closer to the end of November, there is my mother-in-law's birthday coming. She requested to have 'butter and flour' birthday cake, given that I always bake gluten-free goodies. Why not, I thought. So I baked two batches of mud cakes, sandwiched with dark chocolate ganache, and thought of decorating it as a purse cake for her.

I watched Paul Bradford's purse cake tutorial on You Tube and learned how to decorate it from there. Yes, I'm self-taught. I like learning and doing on my own pace and time. It wasn't disappointing, don't you think? I just keep the design simple. I was so happy to see Mum was thrilled and loved the cake as well.

On that very day, I also contributed a plate of gluten-free chocolate brownie cupcakes, iced with chocolate ganache, and gluten-free vanilla bean paste cupcakes, iced with buttercream that I piped on the cupcakes to resemble hydrangeas. 

I'm sending Hydrangea Cupcakes to Mairi ( who is hosting Sweet New Zealand ( this month. Sweet NZ was initiated by Alessandra Zecchini ( as a monthly sweet event of a Kiwi food bloggers.

The vanilla cupcakes can be viewed on Donna Hay's website here ( only that I substitute the wheat flour to gluten-free flour and use vanilla bean paste, since I ran out of vanilla essence. For buttercream, I use my own buttercream recipe. To achieve hydrangea flower resemblance, I coloured half of the buttercream blue and the other half stays white. Using Wilton 2D tip attached in a piping bag, spoon the blue buttercream into the bag, push the buttercream to the side of the bag to make a hole for the white buttercream. Then, spoon the white buttercream into the middle of the piping bag, where you've created a hole. Press to let some buttercream out, then use the next one to pipe on top of the cupcakes. It will create two-tone buttercream flowers, just pipe all around the top of the cupcakes closely one flower to the other. You'll amazed how pretty your cupcakes will be looking. Have fun!


Hesti HH. said...

Cantik sekali mbak Arfi....mirip banget ma aslinya...

Alessandra said...

Wow Arfi, so incredibly beautiful, all of them, I love the pattern on the bag and the hydrangea cupcakes are just stunning! Great entry for Sweet New Zealand!


Arwen said...

They look just like real hydrangeas! Nice idea mixing the colours to make them more realistic.