Enchanting Rose Garden Cupcakes
Welcome spring with these charming, chocolatey treats presented in terra-cotta flower pots.
It’s finally spring! The weather is getting warmer, flowers are starting to bloom and while I don’t particularly have a green thumb, I like to think that one day I’ll have a garden full of beautiful flowers, fresh vegetables and herbs.
Until that day, these rose garden cupcakes will have to do. No green thumb required.
First, gather all of your ingredients for the cupcakes. Here's what you'll need:
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup shortening
- 2 eggs, unbeaten
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 teaspoons baking soda
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
Pre-heat your oven to bake at 350 degrees. Mix together the sugar, shortening, eggs, flour, baking powder and salt. Tip: Gradually add the flour to the batter and sift the flour so it blends together well. If not, you'll end up with a few white specs in your cupcakes.
Next, add your buttermilk, unsweetened cocoa, hot water, baking soda and vanilla extract. Optional: Fold in mini semi-sweet chocolate chips.
The batter will be thin. Pour the mix into your cupcake liners. Filling liners can be messy, so use a cookie or ice cream scoop to divide the batter evenly.
Bake in the oven for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in each cupcake comes out clean.
Let your cupcakes cool down for about 15 minutes. Then place them in the terra-cotta pots. I stuffed the bottom of the pots with a half sheet of tissue paper so the cupcakes didn't sink down inside the pot.
Top the cooled chocolate cupcakes with a homemade fudge icing. Here's what you'll need:
- 1 pound confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/3 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup softened butter
Combine sugar, unsweetened cocoa and salt. Mix together the boiling water and softened butter separately and then add to the mixture. Note: Once the cupcakes are cooled, immediately frost them because the frosting dries quickly. If it does, simply put the frosting in the microwave for 20-30 seconds.
Now it's time to decorate!
- tissue paper
- gel food coloring
- white fondant
- green fondant
- crushed-up chocolate creme cookies
- 3 inch terra cotta pots
- paper doilies
Add the crushed-up chocolate creme cookies to the freshly-iced cupcakes. Pile it on and fill in the cracks to get the look of potting soil.
Finally, form your fondant roses to top the cupcakes. I wanted a soft peach color, but could not find it already colored, so I bought gel food coloring. I did not know how difficult that would be. For this step, use parchment paper and wear gloves to prevent dye from getting on the countertop and your hands. As you can see below, it took me some time to get the right shade.
Tear off small, even pieces of fondant to make the rose center and petals. You'll need about 16 pieces for each rose. Using wax paper or parchment paper, flatten out the pieces and thin out the edges. Roll up one piece to form the center and add the remaining pieces around it until it forms a rose.
Attach the rose to a toothpick and wrap green fondant around it to form the stem. Use the same method as the petals to form the leaves. I used a toothpick to add dimension to the leaves. Insert the rose into the cupcake as the finishing touch.
Now, wouldn't these be perfect for a baby shower or bridal shower? Display them on a cake stand or set them on the table with paper doilies underneath.