- Serves: 12
- Cook Time: 20 minutes
- Prep Time: 45 minutes
- Effort: medium
For the cupcakes
- 125 g Golden caster sugar
- 125 g margarine
- 125 g self-raising flour
- 2 eggs, at room temperature
- ' tsp baking powder
- ' tsp vanilla bean paste or 3 drops vanilla essence
- 60 ml pimms
For the buttercream
- 400 g icing sugar
- 250 g butter
For the strawberry buttercream
- 8 strawberries
- 1 tbsp sugar
For the cucumber buttercream
- 30 g cucumber, seeds removed
- Green food colouring
For the orange buttercream
- ' oranges, juice only
- Orange food colouring
For the mint buttercream
- 8 Fresh mint leaf
- Green food colouring
- 3 slices lemons, cut into quarters
Tips and Suggestions
You can bake the cupcakes and freeze them and then all you have to do is defrost and add the icing later.
1. Pre-heat the oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3.
2. For the cupcakes: lay out cupcake cases. If you use silicon you can lay them on a flat baking tray, if you use paper ones, I advise using a bun tin to make the cakes hold their shape.
3. Whisk the eggs and sugar for at least 4 minutes with an electric hand whisk and beat air into the mix so it fluffs up.
4. Bit by bit, sieve in the flour and baking powder and add bits of butter, whisking the mixture each time to ensure a smooth texture, until fully mixed, then mix in the vanilla paste or essence and pimm's.
5. Spoon the mixture evenly into the cupcake cases, ensuring you smooth the tops down - it doesn't have to be perfect.
6. Put the cupcakes into the oven for 15-20 minutes until they feel spongy and the tops have got some colour.
7. Once out of the oven, place on a wire cooling rack to cool down.
8. For the butter icing: divide the butter and icing sugar into 4 (100g icing sugar, 62g butter) and put in 4 separate bowls. Mix each until light in colour and fluffy.
9. For the strawberry buttercream: make the strawberry flavouring by roughly chopping the strawberries and putting in a pan with the sugar over a medium heat stirring often. Once softened, mash gently with the back of a spoon and leave to soften a little more (about 2 minutes). Pass the mixture through a sieve to remove seeds. Leave the mixture to cool, then mix into one portion of the buttercream.
10. For the cucumber buttercream: very finely chop cucumber and mix into one portion of the buttercream. Add a small amount of green food colouring, but keep it quite pale (the mint buttercream should be a stronger green).
11. For the orange buttercream: blend the juice and zest into one portion of the buttercream, then add a small amount of orange food colouring to give a gentle tint of orange.
12. For the mint buttercream: very finely chop mint and add to buttercream, then add a small amount of green food colouring, making sure the green is slightly stronger than that of the cucumber version.
13. Piping: place a large piping bag with an open star nozzle in a tall glass, spreading the top of the bag over the top of the glass. You'll need to put all the buttercream in at once, otherwise all the colours will get mixed up.
14. Using a tablespoon, take a scoop of one of the buttercreams and gently push it to one side of the piping bag. Take another tablespoon and repeat with the next buttercream and so on. Once you've done one 'layer' you can repeat again with the four colours ' you don't need to make sure each buttercream goes on the same side as in the pervious layer.
15. Pull the bag upright and knock out any air, then twist it at the top to close it. Pipe swirls onto the cupcakes.
16. Decorate each with a ¼ slice of lemon.
Recipe and images supplied by Lay the Table
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