Cupcakes for all occasions

There has been a flurry of cupcakes orders received at Hours of Fun over the last few weeks.  Cupcakes for Teachers, Olympic parties, Maternity leave, Birthdays and Hen Parties.

First up we have Olympic rings and medals topping a vanilla sponge with vanilla buttercream.  Helping to celebrate the end of the Olympics at an office party.

olympic-cupcakes-3

I love buying new cake equipment and tools and these order gave me the perfect excuse to buy a new mould.  This mould is full of super cute baby items which I used to top these Vanilla, Red Velvet and Chocolate cupcakes.

baby-mould

Maternity leave baby cupcakes

Thank you gifts for Teachers at the end of the year can be tricky; you may want to stick to a budget, try to buy them something different or leave it so late it ends up being a last minute panic.  Cupcakes are a lovely way to say thank you and come in a box with a handmade tag that the child can write themselves.  We can do any flavour and also offer a gluten free cupcakes for anyone with a gluten allergy.

Teacher cupcakes

I’ve had a few hen do cake orders however this was the first time I had been asked for rude ones!  You know what this meant – time for a new mould!!  These were a lot of fun to make and when delivered to the customer’s work place, they caused a big discussion and attracted a lot of attention!  The cake toppers were made from fondant and placed on top of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes, some of the toppers were even chocolate flavoured!!

Hen do cupcakes

Birthday cupcakes come in all shapes and sizes.  These were lemon and vanilla cupcakes with photos printed on to sheets of icing as the toppers.  Printing onto edible icing or rice paper is a fabulous way to personalise a cake.

Birthday photos

Last up with have bright and colourful daisy cupcakes.  A mixture of chocolate and vanilla cupcakes baked in cases decorated with daisies.  Two different colours were piped together to create the striking swirl with a fondant daisy placed on top.    These were ordered as a leaving gift at work.

Rainbow cupcakes

Cupcakes are £1.50 each or buy a box of 12 for £15.00 and are perfect for all occasions.

Cupcake decorating at the Wallasey Village Royal Summer Fete

 

The Hours of Fun stall headed to Wallasey Village Library for the village Royal Summer Fete.  The village had bouncy castles, a fun fair, lots of stalls and street entertainment and then we were located up at the library.  We were a little out the way of the main activities which was a shame really as the main street was really busy.  We had a steady trickle of people coming in, to wander around the stalls and the kids completed the treasure hunt around the library.

The Hours of Fun cupcake stall was visited by lots of families and some fantastic cupcakes were made.  We had red (or slightly pink!), blue and white buttercream, with lots of different sprinkles and as a finishing touch there were crowns and Union Jack flags.  The children had lots of fun and the adults took photos and treated themselves to an already decorated cupcake – choosing between Chocolate Orange and Salted Caramel.

The cupcake stall was only open from 1-3pm as I had to head off to another workshop starting at 4pm.  Wish I could have stayed longer – hope the rest of the day went well for the other stall holders.

 

If you want the Hours of Fun cupcake stall to head to your event or party – get in touch.  We can theme it to anything from a Superhero children’s party to a Vintage style Hen party.

 

 

Royal summer fete cupcakes (1)

Royal summer fete cupcakes (3)

Royal summer fete cupcakes (2)

Cupcake decorating at Oakmere Community College

I first met Rachel from Oakmere Community College back in August at the Liverpool Loves Business network event and we got talking about the college and we agreed I would get in touch to see if there were any workshops I could offer the college as part of their enrichment studies.

I headed down to the college and met with Rachel and Andy and had a little tour around.  The college feels really welcoming and everyone I met was lovely, it gave me a fantastic feeling about the place and the work they do for their students and I was keen to get involved.

The first workshop was cupcake decorating and we set up in the canteen which was perfectally placed next to the kitchen.  The room and facilities were fantastic.

The course ran for the catering and hair and beauty groups, so this was something a little different to compliment and widen their studying experience.

The theme was Halloween and each student was shown how to make 4 different designs.

ghost cupcake witches hat cupcake Pumpkin cupcake Spiders web cupcake

They all got stuck in and created some fantastic cupcakes, helping each other out, asking questions and resisting eating any of them for as long as they possibly could!

Sadly I didnt get chance to take any photos, but head over to the college website and check out the pictures they took Oakmere Community College News

 

Double birthday weekend – lots of cakes to bake

On the Saturday we were off to Morecambe Football Club for my nephews 7th birthday party and a cake was needed to have after tea at my sisters.  The theme was set as football as the party was for the group to do some football training, then my nephew was the mascot for the team ahead of the game against Tranmere and then to finish off we were watching the match.

I made some cupcakes to take to the football match for us all to have at half time, then we sang Happy Birthday with cake and candles back at my sisters.

I borrowed my friend Lou Lou’s football tin, which is the easiest way to make a football cake.  The tin even has the hexagonal pattern marked on so when the cake is baked you can trace the pattern.

The board was decorated as a football pitch and the candles were placed on the board where the corner flags would be.

Football
Football

 

Sunday we were off to Olive restaurant in Liverpool City Centre to celebrate my sister-in-law’s birthday with a family meal.  I was keen to bake a giant cupcake as I hadn’t made one in a while and as the birthday girl’s favourite chocolates are Ferrero Rocher the design was sorted – a ferrero rocher giant cupcake!

I bought 2 packs fo chocolate fingers and covered the bottom of the cupcake with them.  I made some gold buttercream by adding gold colouring, then in a piping bag I placed down one side the gold buttercream and down the other side Chocolate buttercream.  When you mix two colours like this you can create a swirled effect when piping.  I used a large star nozzle and piped swirls around the top of the cupcake.  I then cut ferrero rocher in half and placed them around the top of the cake.  Sprinkled a little gold edible dust on top and the cake was done.

The gold colouring worked really well and gave the rich, golden look I was hoping for.

 

Ferrero rocher giant cupcake
Ferrero rocher giant cupcake

Fins ferrero rocher giant cupcake (1)

Cupcake decorating – the Hours of Fun workshop in Croxteth

Hours of Fun have been out and about with the craft table visiting the community centres in the Croxteth area.

We headed to the Rhys Jones centre and got the children to make 2 cupcakes, one decorated with rolled out fondant cut to shapes using cutters, the other decorated with frosting as they learnt how to do an ice cream swirl.  Along with sprinkles, edible silver and gold balls and coloured icing they created some master pieces and all really enjoyed themselves.

hours of fun cupcake decorating workshop at GEMS croxteth (20) hours of fun cupcake decorating workshop at GEMS croxteth (5) hours of fun cupcake decorating workshop at GEMS croxteth (1)

We also took the cupcake decorating kit to the GEMS centre in Croxteth.  We had a smaller group for this session and they were slightly older so they were given the challenge of making a flower, a teddy bear and using a piping bag.  We had a mixture of results!  They made 4 cupcakes in total, so for the last one I let them decorate the cupcake using anything from the table and combining any of the techniques they have learnt.

hours of fun cupcake decorating workshop at GEMS croxteth (10) hours of fun cupcake decorating workshop at GEMS croxteth (8)

hours of fun cupcake decorating workshop at GEMS croxteth (12) hours of fun cupcake decorating workshop at GEMS croxteth (17)

 

Our final stop was at the Stonedale bus.  The kids got busy (along with some keen adults) decorating the cupcakes on the top deck of the bus.  They used lots of sprinkles and frosting and created some amazing cupcakes, with lots of taste testing along the way!

hours of fun cupcake workshop stonedale bus croxteth (5) hours of fun cupcake workshop stonedale bus croxteth (4) hours of fun cupcake workshop stonedale bus croxteth (3) hours of fun cupcake workshop stonedale bus croxteth (2) hours of fun cupcake workshop stonedale bus croxteth (1)

 

Reduced sugar cake recipe, perfect for a special occasion for someone with diabetes

I have blogged before about baking reduced sugar cakes for my friend however I have never included the recipe.  For the last couple of years I have had to try and locate the recipe I had used in previous years then come across three different print outs which confuses me and I have ended up guessing which one I have used.  This year I am going to include the recipe so I can refer to it whenever I need it as I have had 2 events already this year which called for reduced sugar cakes and I have a couple more dates in the diary to come.

I am not sure where I found the recipe when I did a search on the internet.  I know it is simply called diabetic cake.  You can add 1/2 teaspoon of salt to the mixture however I choose not to as my dad also has to watch his salt intake.

You will need :-

2 cups of self-raising flour sifted

2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder sifted

6 tablespoons of margarine

1 1/4 teaspoons vanilla extract/essence

1/4 teaspoon ground almond

1 cup of sugar

1 egg

3/4 cup milk

Method :-

Cream the margarine, vanilla and almond until fluffy

Gradually add the sugar – keep beating the mixture.

Then add the egg and mix well.

Gently stir in the flour and baking powder, alternating with milk until all combined and the mixture is smooth

Split the mixture across 12 cupcake cases

Bake at approx. 170 degrees C for 20 minutes (check they are cooked by inserting a skewer/knife through the centre of one of the cupcakes and look for any mixture stuck when you pull it out)

For the topping :-

I used Low fat crème fraiche, which I beat for a short while to fluff it up slightly.  I then cut a small hole out of the top of the cupcake and filled with no added sugar raspberry jam, then smoothed a layer of the crème fraiche across the top of the cake and topped with some crushed almonds.

 

Gluten free and reduced sugar cupcakes

 

Bonfire night crafting and baking fun

Bonfire night is a time of the year that can get you in the mood for crafting and baking, especially if you are not too keen on the fireworks and loud bangs as you can have bonfire fun in the house.

Cover the table and set out your craft equipment and supplies.  We had out on the Hours of Fun table

  • pipe cleaners
  • chalk
  • paint
  • Scissors
  • Glue
  • Glitter
  • Coloured sand
  • Paper
  • Card
  • String
  • Straws
  • Lollypop sticks
Bonfire craft table
Bonfire craft table

Wax crayon pictures

  1. Colour a piece of white card in wax crayon.  Use bright colours and colour in the whole page.
  2. Using a black wax crayon or black paint – cover the page going over all the colours (if using paint let it dry before step 3)
  3. Scrap over the black using a lollypop stick to create firework effects.

Dont press too hard as you dont want to scratch off the coloured crayon, only the black. Try using different tools to scrap the black to create different shapes and effects.

Step 1 wax crayon picture
Step 1 wax crayon picture
Step 2 wax crayon picture
Step 2 wax crayon picture

 

 

Step 3 wax crayon picture
Step 3 wax crayon picture

 

 

 

 

 

Step 3 wax crayon picture
Step 3 wax crayon picture

Fun with paint

Using pieces of card and paint you can create some fantastic bonfire pictures.

  1. place a generous amount of paint in the middle of the piece of card and using a straw, blow down into the paint to cause it to spread out.  Try moving the straw in different directions to see what different effects you can make.  You can mix colours, however it is best to let each colour dry before adding the next one otherwise it can end up a mixed up mess!
  2. Get paint onto your paintbrush, then gently tap the brush so the paint spots onto the card.  If you do this on black card you can create a sky full of stars.
  3. Add glitter or coloured sand to the paint before it drys.  Spinkle the glitter or sand onto the wet paint and tip the card from side to side so the glitter or sand spreads out across the picture.
  4. Paint your piece of card with different colours, then using a piece of string move it around the wet paint to create swirls.  You can also dip the string in the paint then swirl this on your piece of card.
Paint splattering
Paint splattering
Paint swirling
Paint swirling
Glue and glitter blowing
Glue and glitter blowing

 

Chalk effects

Coloured chalk on black card or paper creates fantastic bonfire night pictures .  Draw your picture in chalk, then smudge the chalk using your finger, cotton wool or a pipe cleaner.  You can then add some glue spots and spinkle glitter or coloured sand over to add to the firework effect.

Chalk and glitter firework and paint blowing
Chalk and glitter firework and paint blowing
Chalk and glitter
Chalk and glitter
back sand & glitter firework & paint & glitter firework
back sand & glitter firework & paint & glitter firework

Bonfire fun in the kitchen

If you fancy making some bonfire night treats to eat after your bonfire crafting fun or whilst some of the paint dries, here are 3 ideas that some friends have made.

Cinder toffee, toffee apples and bonfire cupcakes.  Why not see what bonfire night cupcakes you can make using buttercream, glitter, chocolate, sprinkles and anything else you have yout cupboard.    You could bake cookies and decorate them with icing and edible glitter, adding popping candy gives the cookie and extra firework experience.

Vicky & Frankie's toffee apples
Vicky & Frankie’s toffee apples
Vicky & Frankie's cinder toffee
Vicky & Frankie’s cinder toffee
Ben's bonfire cupcakes
Ben’s bonfire cupcakes

National Cupcake week

 This week it is National Cupcake week and this gives you the perfect reason to get baking some cupcakes and have some fun.

Sadly here at Hours of Fun we are unlikely to be able to bake any cupcakes this week as we have a manic, already packed schedule, however I may look to bake some next week – using National cupcake week as the excuse!

http://www.nationalcupcakeweek.co.uk/

Click the link above to visit the national cupcake week website where they have recipes, how to videos, competitions and pictures of the cupcakes from National cupcake week 2012.

As it looks like we wont be baking any cupcakes this week I thought I would take the opportunity to show off some of the cupcakes already made by Hours of Fun.  The love of cupcakes as been a very slow developer as I am not the biggest fan.  I am all up for baking cupcakes for fun to eat at home but when it comes to making them for other people i find it all a little involved.  The main issue I have is buttercream – it is my least favourite part of cake baking.  If I could find a buttercream that was delicious straight from a tub and required no preperation I would be all over it in a second!!  As cupcakes often require a lot of buttercream it loses my attention fast! 

I have however recently made my favourite cupcake to date – a giant cupcake decorated with strawberries and cream.  It was my best giant cupcake so far and the strawberries and cream theme looked fantastic.

Giant cupcake Strawberries and cream

I have got much better at embracing cupcakes and hope some day I may love doing them as I do making a full cake.  The giant cupcake is preferable to small ones as it produces one big cake which requires decorating rather than lots of individual cakes requiring lots of individual decorating.

Check out the pictures below and get inspired to bake some cupcakes this week.  They are simple and easy to bake and you can have a lot of fun decorating them with buttercream, different colours, rolled out icing, mini cake toppers.  You can also have a go at making a cupcake bouquet which I may try next week.  If you havent made one of these before search on the internet for hints, tips and videos of what to do.

Hen do cupcakes

I was asked to make some cupcakes for a hen do.  We went through some ideas and a few pictures were chosen to give the direction for the design.

We went for red and white colours keeping them pretty, staying away from any rude decorations!  I used the texture rolling pins and mats to imprint the icing, then using cutters I did four different designs across the cupcakes.  I had a lot of fun making them, sat at my cake table cutting out shapes and frilling some of them.

The cupcakes are a mixture of chocolate and vanilla sponge, placed in cupcake boxes that hold 12.

Hen do cupcakes red and white design1 Hen do cupcakes red and white design2 Hen do cupcakes red and white design3

Giant Cupcakes – the love may be growing!

I have been keeping my distance from cupcakes for some time.  If I need to make some I will and I love making bite sized ones for home or work as you can get more out of a batch so perfect when sharing them out.

My friend Lou has been telling me to embrace Giant cupcakes for some time now and I am finally seeing the sense in her words!  I have done a few giant cupcakes recently and I treated myself to a new cupcake tin.  They are a fab creation that looks extra special for a birthday or celebration and be decorated in any colour with different piping designs.

My main concern with doing them is that I therefore have to prepare and pipe buttercream, which I have to admit is my least favourite task.  Everyone has their own dislike or chore in the kitchen and mine is buttercream!  I find it to be a rather messy job, that is rather involved when you need to prepare different colours and pipe different designs.  Give me a piping back with icing in any day and I will be happy to pipe on to a cake, the finer detail I find more interested than the buttercream piping.  I am on a mission to find a deliciously tasty buttercream/frosting that is ready made so I can reduce the amount of buttercream I have to deal with!  So far I have tried a few but I have only managed to find a delicious chocolate frosting but my supplier has now stopped selling it so the hunt is back on!  I will not accept just any replacement, it has to match buttercream in taste and texture.

Giant cupcakes are available to order from

Hours of Fun Cakes,

make contact if you want to order one.

£30 each including delivery in the Liverpool Area.