For those of you in-tune with your international holidays, you might already know that today is International Women’s Day. And how perfect that it should fall on March 8th, a day when I celebrate a truly amazing woman who enriches the lives of every person she meets: my Mumsie. It took me no time, whatsoever, to come up with the theme for Mumsie’s birthday goodies. Some people you have to really think and work to come up with the perfect treat. Others, you just know, without a second’s thought. Mumsie fell into the latter category. You see, it’s about this time of year that Spring finally starts to become visible, and with it, comes my Mum’s all time favorite flower: the daffodil.
Yields 12 cupcakes + toppers
12 cupcakes of any flavor
3 sticks (336 grams) of butter, softened to room temperature
3 cups powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/3 box fondant OR 1/3 of this recipe
Food gel coloring in yellow
Flower cookie cutter
A fondant tool with a ball-shaped end
A small, clean brush
Sugar pearls (optional)
You’ll want to start by making your fondant daffodils. These will need to harden overnight in order to hold their shape before you start pressing them onto cupcakes, so make sure you give yourself enough time to do this. If you have access to pre-made fondant, feel fee to use it. If not, you can make marshmallow fondant very easily, and it tastes even better than the store bought stuff. This is the recipe I like to use (same link as above). Once you have your fondant, work in some yellow food coloring until you get the shade you want. Break off about a quarter of your fondant, and set it aside. We’ll use this to create the centers later. Taking the larger piece, roll it out until it’s just a few millimeters thick. Using your cookie cutter, cut out 12 pieces of fondant. If you’re in the market for a good cookie cutter for this project, I really like the one that I got from Global Sugar Art. Once you have you pieces, take your fondant tool with the ball on the end, and drag it from the center out towards the petals. This will add some dimension to the flowers. Using the same tool, work the edges of the petals to draw them out and thin them.
Now it’s time to make the centers for you daffodils. Taking the yellow fondant you set aside earlier, break off small pieces that make roughly 3/4″ balls. Roll the balls so they’re just slightly oblong, and begin pressing one end down to flatten it out. Using your thumb, begin working the flat end to create a hole, flaring the edges out as you go. Using your fondant ball tool, continue drawing the edges out until they flair and are marked by shallow ridges. I decided to paint a few of my flowers with some extra yellow for variation, so now would be a good time to do that if plan on doing it. To do so, simply use a clean brush with a little water and yellow/orange food coloring to paint the center of the flower-shaped pieces of fondant.
To attach your flower centers, brush a little water on the flower-shaped pieces, and press the centers onto the damp areas. Using the non-brush end of your brush, or the fondant ball tool, deepen the center of the flowers. If you’d like to paint the centers to match the surrounding flower, you can go ahead and do so now. Once your flowers are done, you can set them aside to dry overnight. If you’d like your flowers to curl a little around the edges, you can put them in a cupcake pan so the edges stay turned up while the fondant dries. I like to line my cupcake pans to make getting the flowers out a little easier.
Once your flowers have had a chance to harden, you can start preparing the rest and getting ready to assemble everything. Start by making a dozen of your favorite cupcakes. I used a simple chocolate cupcake for this batch. While your cupcakes cool, you can whip up a simple buttercream frosting by whipping the butter until smooth, and beating in the powdered sugar and vanilla extract until creamy. Using an offset spatula (or butter knife if you don’t have the spatula), frost your cupcakes creating a flat top and sides that slope down towards the edge of the cupcakes. Pour the sugar pearls into a shallow bowl, and coat the frosted sides of the cupcake with them.
Gently press a fondant daffodil onto the top of each cupcake.
Daffodil technique based on The Cake Journal