Cupcake tower birthday cake recipe
Impressive birthday cakes are easy if you make a cupcake tower cake from this recipe, which can be adapted to cater for kids with allergies. This style of cake is perfect for small parties that don’t need large slabs of cake.
Makes 34 cupcakes
- 200g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 ½ cups caster sugar
- 4 eggs
- 2 ¾ cups plain flour
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup milk
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 100g unsalted butter
- 4 cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup milk
- lollies to match the cupcake paper colours. I used BoPeep boiled lollies from Darrel Lea, jelly beans and jubes.
- coloured candles
You will need 17 purple cupcake papers (patty cake papers, base 44mm x height 25mm), 8 red cupcake papers, 5 green cupcake papers, 3 yellow cupcake papers, 1 blue cupcake paper
Preheat oven to 180°C (160°C fan-forced). Place cupcake papers in three 12-hole muffin trays.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place cupcake papers in three 12-hole muffin trays. If you don’t have enough trays, just fill the papers and cook them in a second batch – the mixture will be fine for the 15 minutes it takes to cook the first batch.
In an electric mixer, beat butter for 2-3 minutes until pale in colour and creamy. Add sugar one third at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about a minute between each addition. Add the vanilla essence and beat until combined. Sift flour and baking powder and add half to butter mixture with half the milk, beat until well combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
Spoon into cupcake papers and bake for about 15 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool completely.
Cream butter until pale and smooth. Add the milk and half the sifted icing sugar. Beat until well combined. Add the remaining icing sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy. The mixture should be a spreadable paste; if it is too dry add some more milk, if too wet add more icing sugar.
Spread a tablespoon of icing on each of the base layer (purple) cupcakes. Use a knife to smooth the surface. Arrange 7 cupcakes in the middle of a platter surrounded by 10 on the outside. Decorate the cupcakes on the outside with the matching lollies. Repeat with the next layer (red) of cupcakes, with 1 in the centre surrounded by 7 cupcakes. Press the red lollies into the edges of the cupcakes on the outer circle. Continue with the 5 green cupcakes, 3 yellow cupcakes and finally the blue cupcake. Add the appropriate number of candles.
- Make the cupcakes in advance and freeze until needed; it is also easier to ice the frozen cupcakes.
- Technically, the finished cake can be kept at room temperature, carefully covered in glad wrap, for 3-4 days. however, I don’t like the idea of the coloured cupcake papers sitting on icing for that long, so I made the tower a few hours before the Grand Event.
- The bottoms of some of the cupcakes will have icing from the layer below, which my kids don’t mind, but if you have kids that don’t like icky fingers, have some serviettes at the ready to wipe the bases as you are ‘serving’.
- Preparation time: 20 minutes, baking time: 15 minutes, decorating time: 50 minutes.
- Thanks to our sister company Kidspot Australia for creating the instructional video.
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