We recently had a charity bake sale at work, which I only found out about at the last minute - literally ten to five on the day before! It was apparently a last-minute decision and not very well publicised... so I thought I would go home and see if I had any ingredients in the cupboard and if I could think of anything to bake.
I'd seen some flowerpot cupcakes on a couple of blogs and thought they looked brilliant, and also saw them in a new recipe book I bought recently - Peggy Porschen's Favourite Cakes and Cookies. I realised I had everything I needed to make them and decided to have a go.
I followed the recipe for chocolate cake from the Peggy Porschen book, but found the cakes very sof and crumbly and not really very easy for this recipe - next time I would make something a bit denser like a chocolate mud cake.
Melt chocolate with milk and brown sugar in a pan
Beat butter and rest of sugar then add the eggs. Then sift in the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and bicarb of soda.
Pour in the melted chocolate mixture
Pour into cake cases and bake.
Next to make the cakes look like flowerpots - I freestyled and used the recipe for inspiration rather than following the exact instructions. Peggy's book shows you how to make very elaborate flowers but I knew I wouldn't have time for this so I decided to use a shortcut as well.
I took some white fondant and coloured it a caramel brown with some colouring that I already had. I then cut a wide strip, turned the cupcake upside down and used chocolate buttercream to stick the fondant around the cake.
Turning it the right way up, it looks like a flowerpot filled with mud! I cut leaves using a plunger cutter from green fondant.
I also topped them off with some Dr. Oetker wafer daisies. When the lovely people at Dr. Oetker recently agreed to offer a prize for this month's Alphabakes, they also sent me a set of the same items to review. One of those items was a packet of wafer daisies.
I've used these before, but they came in particularly handy for this last-minute baking as I just wouldn't have had time to make my own fondant flowers. They cost around £1.49 (current Tesco price) and there were 12 in the pack - just right for a batch of cupcakes. They come in three colours - pink, white and yellow - with a yellow or white-coloured centre. All you do is place them on top of the icing just before it sets - they're quite large, so one would be enough on top of a cupcake, or you could use the whole packet to decorate a large cake. They don't really taste of much so don't detract from the flavour of the icing. I also think it's good that there's a long time before the best before date - this packet that I got in July (2012) said best before March 2013, so you can definitely keep them in the cupboard for when you're short of inspiration, or short of time!
I ended up making quite a few of these - they were a bit fiddly and time consuming but the Dr Oetker flowers really sped up the process!
I had to take the cakes out of the paper cases to put the fondant around them, so I put them into larger muffin cases afterwards, which I think added to the flowerpot effect. They went down really well at the bake sale!
As these were actually made for a bake sale, I'm entering them in Tea Time Treats, a blogging challenge hosted by Karen from Lavender and Lovage and Kate from What Kate Baked, as their theme for July is cake stall cakes.
I am also entering them in Cupcake Tuesday, hosted by Hoosier Homemade
Disclaimer: the wafer daisies were provided free of charge by Dr. Oetker. I was not required to write a positive review. All other ingredients were paid for by myself.