Cupcake decorating parties

Cupcake decorating parties

Recipes From a Normal Mum
David Loftus

Either decorate these the day before, or let them decorate their own. If leaving them to it, make one or two for them to copy. Factor in plenty of hands-on time for a couple of adults to help. The almonds give the cakes a longer shelf life so they can be made up to three days in advance and kept un-iced in tins. If iced, don’t keep in the fridge or an airtight container as the fondant will sweat. Instead, cover loosely with cling film.

For the animal toppers:


Quantity Ingredient
sugarpaste in every colour you can think of, (see note)
icing sugar, for dusting

For the cakes:

Quantity Ingredient
100g self-raising flour
150g caster sugar
150g butter, softened
50g ground almonds
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs, at room temperature

For the buttercream:

Quantity Ingredient
120g butter
240g icing sugar
2 tablespoons vanilla extract
gel food colouring, (optional)


  1. The day before making your decorations, use a rolling pin to roll the sugarpaste out onto a surface that has been very lightly dusted with icing sugar (if you use too much the sugarpaste will dry up), to a thickness of about ¾ cm. Cut out circles using a cutter, then leave to dry until hard on non-stick greaseproof paper overnight. This will act as a stand.
  2. Preheat the oven to 170°C and line a 12-hole cupcake tin with cases. Beat all the cake ingredients with an electric mixer for 4 minutes or with a wooden spoon for 8 minutes, until light and creamy. Spoon a heaped tablespoon of the batter into each case, until half filled. Bake for 20–25 minutes until well risen, golden and a toothpick comes out of the centre clean. Leave to cool on a wire rack.
  3. Make the buttercream. Beat the butter until soft and creamy, then add 1 tablespoon of icing sugar at a time and beat well after each addition. Once all the sugar has been added, mix in the vanilla and beat for 7 minutes with a mixer or about 10 minutes with a wooden spoon to ensure the icing is really light and airy. Add food colouring if you like at this stage.
  4. Spoon a tablespoon of buttercream onto the cooled cake and top with a sugarpaste stand. Fashion any animals that you fancy from the sugarpaste, using water to attach limbs to the body and stand. Use a well-washed garlic press to make grass and a toothpick to indent eyes. You can buy cutters but they are not necessary; everything in the photograph was made by hand.
  5. To make a princess, unpeel the cake from the case, turn the cake upside down, cover it in buttercream and drape with a sugarpaste dress. Add a head, body, arms, a bolero to hide any joins and a cone-shaped hat studded with sprinkle jewels.


  • Allow 250 g per child as a lot gets eaten/relegated to the floor. If you are decorating them yourself, you need barely 65 g per cake for the animal toppers.
Great British Bake Off
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