A Garden of Cupcakes
Photo by Melody

A Garden of Cupcakes

By Amber Royer (dandylyon85)January 24, 2014
bookmark

Want to take your garden work parties to the next level? Offer your groupís workers some delectable treats. Cupcakes are ideal because they donít require a fork, and the papers protect the cake from dirty fingers. Plus Ė if you stay away from the foil kind Ė they are biodegradable. While you can use your groupís favorite flavors, I wanted to show how you can let the garden inspire you to turn cupcakes into edible works of art.

Gardening picture

For these cupcakes, I took my inspiration from different types of gardens.  Depending on your project and your gardening group's specialties, you can use these ideas as a jumping-off point for your own creativity.  Each of these recipes makes around 2 dozen cupcakes.

To fill these cupcakes, cut a hollow out of each cake using a cupcake corer or a small spoon.  Frost with a pastry bag and your choice of decorating tips.  I made the decorations using pre-colored fondant.

In the Flower Garden - Rose Scented Cupcakes with Strawberry Jam and White Chocolate Buttercream

Don't be afraid of rosewater.  Rose is such a delicate flavor that used with discretion, it won't make your cupcakes taste like perfume.  Add a little more rosewater than you think you are going to need to the batter, and add it to the frosting to taste.

Rose-Scented Cupcakes
ImageImage

1 3/4 cups cake flour
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups rose-scented granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup butter, cubed
4 eggs
3/4  cup milk
¼ cup rosewater
2 teaspoons vanilla

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin pans with cupcake papers. 

In the bowl of your mixer, combine cake flour, all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Mix on low speed until all lumps are broken up and ingredients incorporated (around 3 minutes).  Add the butter and continue mixing until the cubes are coated with flour.  Add the eggs and beat until they are just incorporated.  Slowly add the milk, rosewater and vanilla and continue mixing until a smooth batter is formed.  Scoop the batter into the cupcake papers (filling about 2/3 full)  Bake 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.

Strawberry Preserves

8 cups strawberries
4 cups  granulated sugar
Juice of 1 lemon


Wash and hull strawberries and slice using an egg slicer. Combine the strawberries and the sugar in a large pot and heat slowly until the juices become clear (4-6 minutes). Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon juice.  Cover the pot loosely with plastic wrap let stand overnight.  When you are ready to proceed, heat 2 or 3 ladles full of the strawberry mixture in a 10-inch nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Cook and stir for 3 -5 minutes, or until the preserves pass one of the tests for reaching the gel state.  Ladle the jam into the sterilized jars, filling to within 1/4 inch of the rim. Repeat with the remaining strawberry mixture.  Process in boiling water canner for 5 minutes.

Rosy White Chocolate Buttercream

7 ounces white baking chocolate, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
1/2 cup butter
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted after measuring
2 tablespoons rose water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


Combine the white chocolate and whipping cream in a microwave safe bowl.  Microwave this mixture at 15 second intervals, stirring in between each interval, until the chocolate melts.  Do not overheat the chocolate or it will scorch.  Pour the melted chocolate in the bowl of your mixer and add the remaining ingredients.  Mix on low until the ingredients start to come together, then increase speed to medium and continue to mix until the frosting becomes smooth.

In the Vegetable Garden - Carrot Cupcakes with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting and Blood Orange Pastry Cream
ImageImage

Carrot Cupcakes

2 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 cup walnuts, chopped
4 eggs
1 1/2 cups granulated  sugar
1 1/3 cups vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups crushed pineapple
2 2/3 cups finely grated raw carrots


Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin pans with cupcake papers. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and walnuts.  In a second large bowl, whisk the eggs until frothy, then whisk in the sugar, oil, and vanilla.  Stir in the pineapple and carrots, then fold the carrot mixture into the flour mixture.  Stir gently  until incorporated.   Scoop the batter into the cupcake papers (filling about 2/3 full)  Bake 20-23 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.

Blood Orange Pastry Cream

2 cups milk
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 teapsoon pure vanilla extract
1 teaspoon blood orange zest
1 tablespoon blood orange juice
4 large egg yolks
1/4 cup cornstarch, measured, then sifted


Combine the milk, sugar, vanilla, blood orange zest and blood orange juice in a medium saucepan over medium heat.  Cook, stirring occasionally, until bubbles form at the edge of the pan.  Remove from the heat.


Meanwhile, combine the egg yolks and cornstarch in a medium bowl.  Whisk until the mixture becomes pale and smooth.  Temper this mixture with the hot milk mixture and pour the heated egg yolks into the  remaining hot milk.  Whisk to combine.  Return to the heat and continue whisking until the mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup butter, at room temperature
2 1/2 cups powdered sugar, sifted after measuring
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese and the butter. Beat until creamy. Add the vanilla and cinnamon, then beat to incorporate. Add the powdered sugar in three separate additions, beating between each. Continue beating until well combined and smooth.

In the Herb Garden - Honeyed Lemon Thyme Cupcakes with Rosemary Lemon Curd and Vanilla Bean Buttercream
ImageImage

Lemon Thyme and Honey Cupcakes

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1/2 cup honey
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 tablespoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons lemon thyme leaves

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Line two muffin pans with cupcake papers. 

Combine the butter and sugar in the  bowl of your mixer.  Beat for about 2 minutes, or until the mixture is light and fluffy.  Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt into a separate bowl.  In another bowl, combine the milk, honey, vanilla, lemon juice, lemon zest and lemon thyme leaves.  Alternating adding these mixtures to the butter mixture in the mixer, beating well between each addition.  Continue mixing until a smooth batter is formed.  Scoop the batter into the cupcake papers (filling about 2/3 full)  Bake 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into one of the cakes comes out clean.

Rosemary Lemon Curd 

5 egg yolks
1 cup sugar
1 ½ teaspoons rosemary, chopped fine
1/3 cup lemon juice
Zest of 4 lemons
1/2 cup butter

Slice the butter into pats and chill until needed.

Bring an inch worth of water to a simmer in the bottom of a double boiler over medium-high heat. Meanwhile, combine egg yolks, rosemary and sugar in the top of the double boiler and whisk until smooth, about 1 minute. Add juice and zest to egg mixture, and whisk until smooth.  Place the top of the double boiler onto the bottom, and reduce heat to low.  Whisk the lemon mixture until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, approximately 8 minutes.  Remove from heat and stir in butter a pat at a time, allowing each pat to melt before adding the next.  Remove from heat and allow to cool completely.

Vanilla Bean Buttercream

1 cup butter, softened
1 vanilla bean (inside seeds, discard pod)
4 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted after measuring
2 tablespoons heavy cream  

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Beat with an electric mixer until well combined.


  About Amber Royer  
Amber RoyerAs a librarian turned freelancer, Amber likes to research the history and botany behind the modern garden. Her true plantly love is the herb garden. Follow her on Google.

  Helpful links  
Share on Facebook Share on Stumbleupon

[ Mail this article | Print this article ]

» Read articles about: Cupcakes, Gardening Party, Work Party, Cooking, Tutorial, Baking With Flowers, Baking With Herbs

» Read more articles written by Amber Royer

« Check out our past articles!



Discussion about this article:
SubjectTopic StarterRepliesViewsLast Post
Yummy! adinamiti 1 6 Jan 24, 2014 3:02 PM
You cannot post until you login.


We recommend Firefox
Overwhelmed? There's a lot to see here. Try starting at our homepage.

[ Home | About | Advertise | Media Kit | Mission | Featured Companies | Submit an Article | Terms of Use | Tour | Rules | Privacy Policy | Contact Us ]

Back to the top

Copyright © 2000-2014 Dave's Garden, an Internet Brands company. All Rights Reserved.
 

Hope for America