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This cute Harry Potter cupcakes recipe uses a batch of ready-made plain fairy cakes which you decorate yourself.
It's a fun school holiday project to do with kids, especially if they have a fellow witch or wizard coming for tea. The buttercream icing is really easy and the decorations are not difficult, but they can be a little precise and fiddly in parts. You can buy un-iced cupcakes ready to use. However, if you prefer to make your own, try our classic cupcake recipe, which makes bouncy little sponges perfect for this purpose. For ease, we've listed all the tools we used for this recipe, in the ingredients list. Have everything ready to go in advance to make the process as easy as possible.
- 12 cupcakes
- 110g unsalted butter
- 500g of icing sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk
- Yellow food colouring paste
For the decorations (makes 2 of each decoration):
- 2 x 100g red ready-to-roll icing
- 2 x 100g yellow ready-to-roll icing
- 2 x 100g black ready-to-roll icing
- 200g chocolate ready-to-roll icing
- 50g white fondant icing
- Red and gold edible glitter (optional)
- Yellow food colouring paste
Tools you'll need:
- 3cm and 2cm circle cutters
- Letter embossers
- Sharp knife
- Pen and paper
- Large sponge
- Drying mat
- Piping bag and nozzle of your choice
- First make the decorations, so you have them ready to go once the cakes are iced.
- To make the lightning bolts: With the paper and pen, draw a lightning bolt about 5cm size and then cut it out with the scissors. Use this as the template and place it on a sharp knife to cut the shapes out of the 100g of red icing. Cover in red glitter (optional). Leave on a large drying sponge to set.
- To make the snitch: Roll out a sheet of yellow icing and cut into 2. Make two small balls from half of the icing. Cut 4 wing shapes out of the remaining yellow icing. You can add wing patterns with a toothpick. Stick the wings onto the sides of the balls with a brush of water. Dust with edible gold glitter and leave to set on the drying sponge.
- To make the scarves: Roll 100g of yellow icing into a long sausage shape. Using really thin strips of red icing, lay them over the yellow icing, then with a rolling pin roll the red and yellow together. With your sharp knife, cut 2 long scarves and cut the ends to make scarf tassles. Cross the ends of the scarf over and leave to set on the drying sponge.
- To make the glasses: Roll 100g of black fondant out and cut 4 large circles out with the 3cm circle cutter. Use the 2cm circle cutter to cut holes in the centres to make the glasses. Cut a small piece out of the remainder of the black fondant for the bridge of the glasses and stick between the 2 circles with a brush of water. Leave on the drying sponge to set.
- To make the broomsticks: Take 75g of the chocolate fondant and cut int into 2 pieces. Mould 2 broom ends from these pieces then texturize them with a sharp knife. Roll 2 long sausage shapes with the remaining chocolate fondant for the broom handles and bend in the middle. Stick the broom handles to the brushes with a touch of water. Roll two tiny strips of yellow fondant stick across the top of the brooms and leave to set on the drying sponge.
- To make the spell book and wand: Using the white fondant, form two book-like blocks and texturise the edges with a sharp knife to form the pages. Then, using 50g of the chocolate fondant, roll out and cut to the size of the blocks and wrap around for the book cover. Using the letter embossers, emboss ‘book of spells' on the front and leave on the drying sponge to set. For the wand, use the remaining 50g of chocolate icing and roll 2 long thin wands with a point at one end. You can texturise the handle with a toothpick and to give it some magic sparkle, brush the end with water and dip it into gold glitter.
- To make the buttercream and decorate the cakes: Add the butter, icing sugar, vanilla extract and milk to a large mixing bowl, then beat for about 4 minutes with an electric whisk. Add a little yellow food colouring paste and mix in well. You want a pale, creamy yellow. Add a little more food colouring if needed and mix again. Fill a piping bag fitted with a plain nozzle with the icing. If you don’t have a plain nozzle or piping bag, use a freezer bag with one small corner snipped off. Twist the top of the icing bag to remove any air.
- Pipe plain swirls onto the cupcakes by starting at the outside edge of the cupcake and working your way inwards and upwards into a swirl. Twist the top of the piping bag each time to keep the twist at the top of the icing. This stops you getting air bubbles. Place a decoration on each of the cakes.
Top tips for making Harry Potter cupcakes
Give yourself plenty of time to make the fondant cake toppers so you can perfect your designs.
Can I make these cupcakes in advance?
You can make these up to two days in advance and keep them in a sealed contain in the fridge.
How can I make this recipe vegan?
It's quite easy to make this recipe suitable for vegans. Start with vegan cupcakes (opens in new tab) and swap the butter and milk from the frosting for a vegan spread and a splash of almond milk. Ready to roll icing is usually vegan anyway (check packet for details, Renshaw is a good brand, whose coloured ready to roll icing is suitable for vegans.
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