When you are making cupcakes you can be as creative as you like with decorations. You can make your own, such as the pumpkins described below, or buy ready-made icing shapes if you are short of time.
- 175g caster sugar
- 175g unsalted butter, softened
- 3 large eggs
- 125g self-raising flour, sieved well
- 50g good-quality cocoa powder
Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/160°C or gas mark 4. Beat together the butter and sugar until it is light and creamy. Make sure you do this until the mixture is fluffy as this makes for lighter cakes.
Add each egg separately, together with one spoonful of flour. To prevent the mixture from curdling, make sure all ingredients are at room temperature. Add the rest of the flour and cocoa powder and beat together until the mixture is combined.
Put the mixture into twelve cupcake cases arranged in a muffin tin and bake for about 20 minutes, until they have risen. Then put them on a wire rack to cool.
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 400g icing sugar, sieved
- 100g good-quality dark chocolate, melted
Beat the butter and icing sugar together to form a cream, then add in the melted chocolate. Attach a wide star nozzle to a piping bag and pipe a good whirl of the mixture onto each cake.
- Orange sugar paste
- Black sugar paste
Roll out the orange sugar paste to about 2mm thickness, adding a little flour to your rolling pin if the mixture is sticky. Using a small round cutter about an inch wide, cut out your pumpkin shape. Rolling out the black sugar paste, also to about 2mm thick, cut out three small triangles and place them on your pumpkin shape to make eyes and a mouth. Place one pumpkin on top of each cupcake.