If you have a search on Google - you'll find loads of stunning examples of cupcake bouquets. I'd never heard or seen such a thing until I bought the Marks and Spencer's Cupcakes book last week.
As soon as I saw it, I was DESPERATE to give it a go. Theirs used an uniced recipe with pieces of candied peel on top to make the cupcakes look like flowers.... but I decided I was going to ice mine and make sugarpaste flowers to go on top.The book said you needed a 6" / 150mm dia polystyrene ball and that it required 24 mini cupcakes to cover it.
I couldn't get big enough polystyrene balls - so I went to the florists suppliers and bought a 6" / 150mm and an 8" / 200mm oasis ball. I figured the smaller ball would be good for a first attempt and I'd have a go with the larger ball at a later date. At the same time, I also bought a vase that would suit either of the two balls.
I've never used sugarpaste for anything before - so it was quite a new experience. I bought it white and pre-made, but coloured batches of it myself so I could use several colours.
I printed a template for cards off from an online site, cut it out of paper and stuck it on to some cardboard. I used that on top of the sugarpaste to make sure all my flowers were the same size. This was a time consuming process for a total novice and after doing the amount I required plus a few spares, I was glad to get on to making the cupcakes.
I chose to make little carrot cakes with cream cheese frosting. I've posted the recipe before - it works very well for muffins or for cupcakes. One batch of mix makes 12 muffins - or 48 minis plus 3 standard size. Given I didn't need that lot - I took all the extras into work on Saturday whilst they were still slightly warm. Our 24 cell silicone mini muffin / cupcake moulds are ideal for this - though I use mini muffin paper cases in them for hygiene when handling - especially with iced cakes.
In the evening, I iced the remaining cupcakes and put the little flowers on the top. Whilst the cream cheese frosting was hardening off in the fridge, I decided to prepare the ball with the toothpicks required to hold the cakes on.
That delayed my project completion until today, as I had to make another batch of mini cupcakes. As I had no carrots left, I decided I'd use the Martha Swift one bowl chocolate cake recipe. Oliver (my toddler) had decided he'd help me in the kitchen whilst I was making this and decided to change the washing machine settings to put the delicates on to boil wash !
By the time I'd calmed things down and sorted the washing - I remembered I'd forgotten to put the sugar in the mix just as I was putting the cupcakes in the oven. ARRRRRGGHHHHH
Cupcake batch 3 became banana - as there were no carrots left and not enough cocoa :rolls eyes:
Anyway - eventually, I got all the cupcakes baked and iced. It became immediately obvious that one toothpick is not enough to hold these properly in position - so I had to double up on the bottom 3 rows of cupcakes.
Overall - I was highly delighted with the end result and will definately be making these again :-) However, not before buying a flower shaped sugar paste cutter !!