It seems that I have reached the age where friends and colleagues are starting to have families, or more to the point, babies. With some babies on the way and some already born and super cute, it’s time to think about gifts and presents to give the new parents. Whilst I still like to give people something for the baby itself, some tiny little clothes or almost impossibly small shoes (can they even wear them?) I love having a reason to do some baking. So when a friend recently had a baby we got in the kitchen and baked some sweet little cupcakes for the new parents.
Click on for the recipe
Like I said any excuse to bake and we are in the kitchen. I’d love to take the credit for making these but this time round it was Hana who took the reins and made the gorgeous little cupcakes. She used a basic chocolate cupcake recipe which we have used quite a few times before, it comes from the Hummingbird Bakery cookbook cake days, which I’d highly recommend you get.
Hana made a nice little cupcake topper with the babies initial cut out of icing on top of the topper, I think it was a nice touch and you can personalise it to the baby you are making the cupcakes for. I think the new parents liked the cupcakes but they also seemed more than just a little bit tired, something I’m not looking forward to if I ever have children (still way, way, way off in the future!).
A few cupcake making tips
When Hana made these she initially made half the amount of icing than I have set out below, which was not nearly enough. Although it looks a lot, I’d recommend making the full amount. If you end up not using it all it will keep in the fridge for a month.
Once you have cut out the various sections for the cupcake toppers leave them to dry over night so they are sold and won’t squish down when topping the cupcakes.
New baby gift: Cupcake recipe:
What you’ll need: Cupcakes – makes 12-16 cupcakes
80g unsalted butter
280g caster sugar
200g plain flour
240ml whole milk
2 large eggs
40g good quality cocoa powder
1tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
For the frosting
400g icing sugar
100g cocoa powder
160g softened unsalted butter
50ml whole milk
For the toppers
Blue and white fondant icing.
Royal icing – you can find a recipe here.
- Preheat the oven to 180c. In a large mixing bowl beat together the butter, flour, baking powder, salt, sugar and cocoa powder. You’ll know it is ready when it looks like fine breadcrumbs.
- In a separate bowl or jug, whisk together the milk and eggs, it is ready when the whisk comes out clean. Gradually add this to the dry ingredients whilst slowly mixing together. Gradually increase the speed until you have a smooth batter.
- Add cupcake cases to a muffin try and spoon the mixture into these. Pop in the oven for around 20 minutes, or until they have risen and are springy. Cool them in the tray for 10 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack. Pop these in a airtight tin ready for the next day.
- Now it’s time for the cupcake toppers. You’ll need two cutters (or anything you can find) to make two icing discs, one larger than the other. Start by rolling out the white icing to about an 8th of an inch and cut out 12-16 discs, depending on how many cupcakes you got. Repeat this with the blue icing. Pop the icing discs on a flat plate or chopping board and cover with cling film. Hana alternated the colours so half were blue on white and half white on blue.
Icing and decorating
- The next day. Take out the cupcakes and the toppers. Whip up the frosting. Whisk the icing sugar with cocoa powder and melted butter. Start on a low speed and gradually speed up till it is a sandy consistency. Gradually pour in the milk whilst slowly mixing it together till fluffy and soft.
- Assembly. Use a palette knife to swirl some of the icing on each cupcake. Now make up the cupcake toppers. Use a little of the royal icing to stick the small disc of icing to the large one. Now add some of the royal icing to a piping bag with a very fine nozzle attached. Pipe the initial of your new born, or the recipient of the cupcakes.
- Add the toppers to the cupcakes and pop in a nice presentation box, like this, then they are ready to give to your friend