Cupcake creation is a definite art. Ignore anyone who tells you otherwise, for they clearly have not tasted the moist, melting texture of cake combined with a creamy, dreamy frosting and the sophisticated, symbiotic flavors of a truly memorable cupcake. This post is not so much a ‘how to’, but an ode to the cupcake and a discussion of the elements that make it an artful treat. While we cannot claim to be cupcake connoisseurs (let’s leave that to the professional bakers), we’ve done our fair share of cupcake eating, and there is something to be said for the appreciation of cake and frosting at its finest.
In the case of a cupcake, outer beauty is important—we think it should be as pretty as a flower, or a crinoline set upside down. Even if you’re not an expert decorator, the impressive ease of an icing tip and bag cannot be overstated, and is an inexpensive way to achieve a professional result. Take a look at some great frosting tips on our “How-to Cupcakes” Pinterest board.
Other cupcake decorating essentials include pretty cupcake papers, colored sugar sprinkles and sparkles, and flavorful additions like chocolate curls, toasted nuts or coconut shavings, citrus peel, and fruit or caramel drizzle. Like any decorating or design project, it’s important to think of the visual texture as well as the flavor.
Often, the most complementary flavor combinations are inspired by other edibles. For example, a ‘Margarita’ cupcake could combine a rum cake with lime icing, and be garnished with a lime sliver and clear sugar sprinkles to imitate the salted drink rim. Or a ‘Salted Caramel’ cupcake—think chocolate cake with rich cocoa frosting, a caramel drizzle, and a light sprinkling of coarse salt! These perfectly balanced cupcakes are not only a feast for the eyes, but an explosion of complementary flavors in your mouth.
What’s our favorite cupcake you ask? Well, it would have to be our very own ‘Cherry Velvet’, which we imagine to be red velvet cake with cherry-vanilla icing, wrapped in red and white polka dot paper, and topped off with a maraschino cherry… Yum!
Here are our favourite picks of delicious cupcake flavors from an article on the “40 Best Cupcake & Icing Combinations of all Time” (being the cupcake fiends we are, we of course altered some of the combinations to suit our tastes!):
- Mexican hot chocolate cupcakes with cinnamon frosting
- Peach cupcakes with almond honey frosting
- Bourbon vanilla cupcakes with coconut cream frosting
- Green tea cupcakes with lavender frosting
- Butternut squash cupcakes with cream cheese frosting
- Strawberry basil cupcakes with balsamic frosting
- Ginger cupcakes with honey frosting
- Earl Grey cupcakes with vanilla bean frosting
Have a favorite cupcake or cupcake decorating trick? Tweet it to us using the hashtag #cvcupcakes
xx Cherry Velvet