Hey Little Cupcake!

What better way to celebrate the month of love than with cupcakes?

This year I decided to treat myself to a cupcake decorating class at Hey Little Cupcake to combine my love of baking with my blog – after all, we all need a bit of cupcake lovin’ sometimes.

After being blown down Deansgate by the horrendous weather, I was welcomed by the Hey Little Cupcake girls with a lovely cup of tea. As I was enjoying my tea, I noticed that around the room, the walls were full with lots of impressive illustrations which were designed following a competition on Twitter. I spotted some amazing pieces which I want to decorate my apartment with – including a fab little cupcake clock.

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Once everyone had arrived, it really was Cupcake’o’Clock and so we got down to the decorating business.

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We started used sugar paste, which admittedly, I had never used before. Our first cupcake to decorate had a hidden Oreo nestled inside the chocolate sponge. We used simple buttercream icing which was piped onto the cake and on top we added our sugar paste creation. I’m not too sure if mine was meant to be a little bear or a mouse – but I’ll name it a ‘cupcake creature’. As you can probably see, I found it a little fiddly to get the rounded shape and small enough pieces for the eyes…! But by using lots of different shaping tools, I think the heart and flower turned out rather nicely.

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Next up, we made my ultimate favourite – Cookie Monster in Love! After a quick lesson on how to make the perfect buttercream, we spread it over our vanilla sponge which began to resemble an ice cream. After we coated the cupcake in a thick layer of buttercream, we dipped the cupcake (head first) into a bowl of blue sparkly sugar beads. It was such a great technique which I had never thought of doing before and it was weirdly satisfying! Once our cupcake was coated in blue sparkles, we made the Cookie Monster’s eyes by using a white chocolate button, chocolate chip and pink hearts. To attach them all together we used edible glue and discovered that vodka works equally as well – I guess we could almost create a cupcake cocktail! Once our eyes were securely in place, our Cookie Monster was definitely beginning to look the part – however one thing was missing; a cookie. But as it was a February decorating class, we added a mini Jammie Dodger – how lovely!

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Using some of the sugar paste, we made a dip-dye hearts to top off our rose by mixing together the pink, red and white paste. The colour was amazing and it was so easy to create. We used a selection of the heart cutters to decorate our next cupcake with. The plain vanilla sponge transformed into a rose after we piped (or at least tried to!) some pink icing onto it. I found this to begin with quite easy as we started in the centre and worked our way around the cake. However as I was about to ease some of the piping bag pressure, it went a little wrong. However, I think with a bit of decoration from the sugar paste hearts it doesn’t look too bad!

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We all got caught up chatting and had to rush the last part of the class. For our remaining couple of cupcakes, we used a star-like piping tube to create little peaks of chocolate which were topped off with edible pink hearts. For the next cupcake, we used a simple tube to ice a thick, pink buttercream into a swirl which was then scattered with chocolate hearts.

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To finish, we all got a little Crazy in Love and decorated our final cupcake with a jungle inspired decoration. The piping tube for this was a lot of fun to use as the bright green icing oozed out of the bag in a wild-like manner – perfect for the jungle theme! Again, it’s strange to say but it was rather therapeutic! We topped off our jungle cupcake with the remaining sugar paste hearts.

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After our lesson, I had a little browse around the store and found so many great gifts including decorating kits and baking books. I decided to buy a pretty cool present for myself to remember the evening by – as I knew the cupcakes wouldn’t be around forever!

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The evening was absolutely lovely and I learnt so much from the class. Sarah and her team were so friendly and made me feel really welcome from beginning to end. I will definitely be returning to enjoy some tea and a cupcake, but I’m also keeping my eyes peeled for future classes as they really are too good to miss.

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A belated Happy Valentines everyone! I hope you enjoyed a few cupcakes… or if you’re like me, several.

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21st February 2014
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