Reader Samantha Classen shared her idea for making a cupcake bouquet – ideal to use as a centrepiece for a special tea party or to give to someone as a gift instead of a bunch of flowers.
You will need
• about 12 ready-baked cupcakes
• 1 batch butter icing (see recipe below)
• pink food colouring
• piping bag with a star nozzle
• vase or flower pot
• 15cm diameter polystyrene or florist’s foam ball
Beat 245ml (225g) butter until soft. then beat in 885ml (460g) sifted icing sugar and 50-60ml milk a little at a time, until the icing is smooth and spreadable.
1 Divide the icing in half. Colour the one half dark pink with a few drops of pink food colouring. Spoon the pink icing into the piping bag. Press the piping bag flat with your hands to make sure that the icing lines the sides of the bag.
2 Open the piping bag and spoon the white icing into the centre.
3 Press the icing down in the bag so that the top of the piping bag can be folded over.
4 Hold the piping bag firmly and press to squeeze the icing out. Start in the centre of the cupcake.
5 Continue to squeeze the icing out continuously while swirling it around to create a rose-like pattern. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes.
6 Weigh the vase down with pebbles. Insert the foam ball. Stick toothpicks into the ball. Press the cupcakes onto the toothpicks. Cover the whole ball so the foam is not visible.
Samantha was inspired by the Ideas entrepreneurial issues to follow her heart and passion and has been running her own small baking business from home for the past year. She wins a set of custom-made placemats made by Ideas magazine for sharing her idea with us.