Sunday, 7 October 2012

Disney Cupcakes

The occasion: a Disney-loving colleague’s 50th Birthday. Cheerfully, I volunteered to make a cake and started eagerly researching Disney cakes on Flickr. A little more research online and I discovered a local shop ( that hired out tins, including a Wilton castle-shaped tin:
Enchanted Castle Pan
Wilton Enchanted Castle cake tin

This sparked my imagination and I was quickly envisaging a beautiful Disney castle with fireworks exploding overhead and Mickey and Minnie sat in front:

The Wilton website ( suggested a two-layer cake would be suitable for this tin and, after a search through the recipe books for something more exciting than a basic sponge, I decided on an orange sponge with orange blossom icing – a variation on the Primrose Bakery Lemon Layer Cake with lemon buttercream that I made not long ago (highly recommended – it’s delicious!).

Unfortunately, it wasn’t to be: the cake just refused to come out of the tin cleanly.

Not sure quite where it went wrong, could have been any of the following:
  • Tin not greased enough / correctly – I followed the Wilton website’s instructions to use a vegetable oil spray and dust with flour but maybe this wasn’t enough?
  • Oven temperature too high – the cake is clearly cooked on the outside but perhaps not quite done on the inside.
  • Uneven cooking in oven?
  • Cake too moist for this type of tin?
  • Tin a bit old and very well-used – may have lost non-stick ability?

As you can see – parts of the cake did turn out well but the rest was a bit of a disaster.

Disappointed, there was no choice but to start again. By this time, it was rather late on a Sunday evening and I didn’t want to take a risk and try again – so back to what I know best – cupcakes!

Having already made up the batch of orange blossom buttercream, I decided to make up a double batch of Primrose Bakery Orange Cupcakes, with a Minnie Mouse theme:

Disney cupcakes

Orange cupcakes with orange blossom buttercream 

Ingredients (single batch of 12 cupcakes)
  1. 110g butter, at room temperature
  2. 225g golden castor sugar
  3. 2 large eggs
  4. 150g self-raising flour, sifted
  5. 125g plain flour, sifted
  6. 90ml semi-skimmed milk
  7. 2 tblsp orange juice
  8. Grated zest of 2 oranges
  1. 115g butter, at room temperature
  2. 500g icing sugar, sifted
  3. 4 tblsp freshly squeezed orange juice
  4. 2 tsp orange blossom water
  5. Red food colouring (preferably a paste rather than a liquid)
  1. Preheat oven to 160C/350F/GM4.
  2. Line a 12 hole muffin tin with cupcake cases.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy this will take at least 5 minutes with an electric hand mixer – don’t rush this stage).
  4. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing for a few minutes after each addition. It should result in a lovely light mousse-like mixture.
  5. Combine the two flours in a separate bowl.
  6. Combine the milk and orange juice in a jug.
  7. Add one third of the flours to the creamed mixture and stir gently to combine.
  8. Pour in one third of the milk mixture and stir gently.
  9. Continue to add flours and then milk mixture alternately, stirring gently after each addition, until all have been added.
  10. Gently stir in orange zest.
  11. Spoon mixture into the cupcake cases, filling to about 2/3 full.
  12. Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until lightly golden brown. The cakes will spring back lightly when touched, if cooked.
  13. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in tin for about 10 minutes, before carefully placing on a wire rack to finish cooling.

While the cakes are in the oven, make up the buttercream:
  1. In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter, juice and half of the icing sugar until smooth.
  2. Add the rest of the icing sugar and beat until smooth and creamy.
  3. Add 1 tsp of orange blossom water and mix well.
  4. Taste the icing to check flavour – add more orange blossom water as desired.
  5. Divide buttercream into two bowls. Colour one lot with red food colouring.
Once cakes are fully cool, place buttercream into an icing bag with a star shaped nozzle (I use the Wilton 1M nozzle). Swirl onto cupcakes. Use a different icing bag and clean nozzle for second coloured batch of icing. (Blog on buttercream swirls to follow - I promise!)

Minnie Mouse Decorations:

  1. Ready coloured black, red and white ready-to-roll icing
  2. Red and white writing icing 
  1. Roll out black icing to approx 2-3mm thick. Stamp out 2cm circles (I used the back of a piping nozzle). Lay out to dry.
  2. Roll out red icing to approx 2-3mm thick. Stamp out small hearts using plunger cutter.
  3. Use red writing icing to join together two hearts at the tip to create Minnie bows. Once firm, use white writing icing to add dots.
  4. Roll out white icing to approx 1-2mm thick. Stamp out small stars using plunger cutter. 
  5. Allow all decorations to dry and firm. Allow buttercream on cakes to dry and firm before pushing decorations into icing swirls. 
Disney cupcakes

 So, not the beautiful Disney castle and fireworks that I had envisioned, but most importantly - the Birthday Girl was delighted and the cakes tasted good!

The disastrous orange cake? When I eventually turned it out of the tin, it tasted pretty good so I decided to break it up and freeze it. The plan is to use it to have a go at making cake pops. I've never attempted these but have a book (given to me by a friend) and it seems a good way to use up this leftover cake - blog to follow ... 

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