Cupcakes decorated with butterflies

Miranda Gore Browne in her kitchen


Miranda Gore Browne - Butterfly Cupcakes

Ingredients: makes 24 cupcakes

375g unsalted butter (softened)
375g white caster sugar
6 free range large eggs
375g self-raising flour
7.5 tablespoons of full fat milk
zest from two large un-waxed lemons

For the icing

2 boxes of royal icing sugar
juice of 2 lemons

Method
  • Chop the butter into large chunks and place in a bowl of warm (not hot) water to soften gently.
  • In a large mixing bowl whisk together (in mixer or by hand or with large balloon whisk) the softened butter and sugar.
  • Whisk until creamy and fluffy.
  • In a jug gently beat together the eggs.
  • Add the eggs a little at a time to the butter and sugar mix – whisking in well with same whisk.
  • Beat well until creamy and combined before adding more egg.
  • Sift the flour onto the scales and then again as you add to the mix.
  • Sift the flour into the mix a bit at a time and gently fold in with a metal spoon.
  • Fold in the lemon zest with the last bit of flour.
  • Once all the flour is completely combined gently fold in the milk a little at a time.
  • Line a cupcake tray with cake cases and spoon in the cake mixture. Make sure each paper case is only about half full then gently smooth the tops.
  • Bake in a preheated oven 180 (fan) or 200 (normal) for approx 15 mins or until springy to touch.
Lemon soak
  • Sieve the juice of 2 lemons into a jug
  • Whisk in 3 tablespoons of icing sugar
  • As soon as the cakes come out of the oven, and they are still in their tins, prick the tops with a cocktail stick then spoon the lemon soak carefully over each of the cakes.
  • Leave the cakes to cool completely in their tins before decorating.
Lemon royal icing
  • 2 boxes of royal icing sugar mixed with lemon juice instead of water, beat in a mixer until stiff peaks form.
  • Take a few tablespoons of the icing and keep on one side in an airtight container to use for piping and decorating later.
  • Add a little more lemon juice to the remaining icing so it is smooth enough to spread.
  • Carefully spoon the icing onto each cupcake and use a palette knife to spread to the edges and smooth.
  • The icing must be completely dry before the decorations are added.
Butterfly decorations

1 packet of pale lilac Sugar Florist Paste
1 packet of white Sugar Florist Paste
Butterfly cutter

Roll a small ball of the Sugar Florist paste on a worktop lightly dusted with icing sugar. Use the cutter to stamp out butterflies, leave them to dry over the edge of a food container to create the natural butterfly shape. Put the remaining stiff icing into a piping bag and use to attach the butterfly decorations.

Recipe taken from 'Biscuit' by Miranda Gore Browne - published by Ebury Press, £14.99. Available to buy from Waterstones.

Visit Miranda's blog for more baking ideas