Public service announcement: don’t put more icing on a cupcake than actual cake, it may lead to structural weakness and cause them to topple over.
Yep, it happened.
I regret nothing.
Cake-to-icing ratio is a subject quite dear to my heart. Mainly because I have a tendency to over-ice. Because who doesn’t love icing?! No matter what form icing takes, I am all for it. If all cupcakes were 50-50 cake and icing, the world would be a better place. There would be no awkward last bite where you don’t have any icing to accompany the cake!
I spoke to a friend recently who had never had a tea cake.
Tea cakes are a thing of folk lore in my family. On the rare occasion that I came home find an elusive tea cake beast after school, it disappeared so quickly that I wondered whether my eyes were deceiving me. With nothing but a smear of pink icing and a dusting of desiccated coconut left on the plate, I often questioned their existence.
So when I found this friend looking puzzledly at the tea cake, I jumped in (she’s English, and I never miss an opportunity to educate people about Australian delicacies!)
She considered it for a moment. Looking quite repulsed, she asked “does it always have icing that thick?”
My heart dropped. (I’d like to pause for a second send my apologies to all those icings she inadvertently offended.)
“Thick?!” I responded. “That tea cake is barely iced!”
We’re still friends, but I’m going to have to try and encourage her to be more accepting of impressively iced baked goods.
- 115g butter
- 3/4 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups plain flour
- 3/4 cup milk
- 1 tsp bicarb
- ½ cup blueberries
Cream cheese icing
- 225 grams cream cheese
- 115 grams butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 cups icing sugar
- ¼ cup blueberries (optional)
Preheat oven to 180°C and grease a 12 capacity cupcake tin.
Cream together your butter and sugar until pale. Add in the eggs, whipping them together with the butter and sugar until they’re pale and almost doubled in volume. Add in the vanilla, then mix. Stir in the bicarb and flour until just combined, then gently fold in the blueberries. Make sure you avoid over-mixing so as not to end up with super tough cupcakes!
Pop into the oven for 20-22 minutes, until they’re a golden colour. Set to one side to cool.
While the cupcakes are cooling, grab your room temperature cream cheese and butter and mix them together until smooth and pale. Add in the vanilla extract, followed by the icing sugar (one cup at a time), mixing after each addition. When you have a white, lump free, spreadable icing, you’re ready to pipe.
Scoop into a piping bag and pipe to your heart’s content. Top with a single blueberry.
If you don’t plan to ice your cupcakes as much as I did, I’d recommend making 1/3 of the amount of icing, then adding extra icing sugar until it’s a spreadable consistency.