Decorate cupcakes to resemble hydrangeas, fun to make and serve for a birthday celebration, tea or garden party! You’ll find piping and decorating techniques and tips, using edible wafer paper butterflies, as well as a Vanilla American Buttercream recipe.
How about a little food fun in celebration of hydrangea season?
The first bloom of Endless Summer Hydrangeas is always cause for celebration!
Our hydrangeas are blooming a little later than normal, but I’m happy we actually have blooms,
after a late freeze in March, following an unseasonably warm winter.
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Endless Summer Hydrangeas, as well as French or Bigleaf hydrangeas,
can be can be blue or pink depending on your soil’s pH level;
turning blue in acidic soil and pink in alkaline soil.
Most of our hydrangeas are blue, but we also have some that are pink.
I had some flower food fun, inspired by these plates that will be featured in a table
for a Summer Tablescape Blog Hop next week!
These Hydrangea Cupcakes are easy and fun to make for a birthday, tea or garden party!
Here are the easy steps to pipe hydrangea petals. Use the cupcake recipe of your choice;
I used Easy 2-Ingredient Cupcakes, from a box mix and lemon flavored seltzer water.
For best piping and frosting to hold its shape, I used a Vanilla American Buttercream.
American Buttercream is typically a 1:2 ratio of butter to powdered sugar.
If you’re in a hurry and want to use a canned frosting, check out these
No worrying about pH of your hydrangeas, as you can tint your frosting the colors of your choice. ;)
Divide your frosting in half and place in two bowls. Add food coloring and mix to your desired shades
to mimic hydrangeas; pink and blue, light pink and darker pink, blue and purple, etc.
Here’s a favorite and easy method that makes for tidy pastry bag filling. . .
use plastic wrap!
Place your two colors of frosting side by side on a long piece of plastic wrap.
Roll up the plastic wrap, twisting the ends to seal. Snip off one end of the plastic wrap
and place into a piping bag fitted with a 2D tip (large closed star tip).
To pipe hydrangea petals:
Pipe large star shapes around the edge of the cupcake.
Repeat star shapes, filling in the center of cupcakes until top is covered.
If your frosting starts getting too soft and no longer holds its shape, place
your piping bag in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to let the frosting to firm up a bit.
Pretty blue and pink petals!
I wanted to add butterflies to the hydrangea cupcakes to pair with the plates.
I considered looking for a mold to make fondant butterflies, but was all aflutter
when I found these edible wafer paper butterflies!
If you’re not familiar with edible wafer paper, it’s is a starch-based material,
made from potato or rice starches.
It’s gluten and dairy free, and pretty tasteless. . .
more for decoration than for eating as it doesn’t have any flavor.
That said, it’s a fun and food safe way to add embellishments to cupcakes and cakes.
You can find cake decorating suppliers on Etsy that sell a wide variety of wafer paper sheets and cake wraps.
To attach paper wafer butterflies:
Bend butterfly gently to give them some dimension then place lightly on frosting
while frosting is soft and before it ‘crusts’ over.
If the buttercream has crusted over and no longer sticky, use some
fresh buttercream to attach the toppers to the cupcakes or roughen the buttercream
that’s crusted a little bit to reveal the softer buttercream underneath.
Vanilla American Buttercream Frosting and Hydrangea Petal Cupcakes
- 2 D piping tip (large closed star tip)
- piping bag
- plastic wrap
- food coloring of choice
- 2 sticks (8 ounces) unsalted butter at room temperature
- 4 cups confectioners' sugar 1-pound box
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1 to 2 tablespoons milk
- Food Coloring of Choice
To make buttercream:
- Combine the butter, sugar and salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment (or in a large bowl if using a handheld electric mixer). Mix on low speed until mostly incorporated.
- Add the vanilla, increase the speed to medium-high and mix until smooth. Adjust the consistency with milk as desired.
- Divide frosting in half into two bowls, adding food coloring of choice and mixing to desired shades to mimic hydrangeas; pink and blue, light pink and darker pink, blue and purple, etc.
- When colors are mixed, add both colors side by side to piping bag fitted with a 2D (closed star) tip. Use plastic wrap for a tidy way to add frosting to your piping bag.
To use plastic wrap in piping bag:
- Place two colors of frosting side by side on a long piece of plastic wrap. Roll up long tube of plastic wrap, twisting the ends to seal it. Snip off one end of twisted plastic wrap, placing that end into piping bag fitted with a 2D tip (large closed star tip).
To pipe hydrangea flowers:
- Pipe large star shapes around the edge of the cupcake using a 2D tip. Repeat star shapes, filling in the center of cupcakes until top is covered.
- If the frosting starts getting too soft and no longer holds flower shape when piped, put the bag of frosting in the fridge for 15-20 minutes to let the frosting to firm up a bit.
To attach paper wafer butterflies:
- Bend butterfly gently to give them some dimension then place lightly on frosting while frosting is fresh before it ‘crusts’ over.
- If the buttercream has crusted over and is no longer sticky, use some fresh buttercream to attach the toppers to the cupcakes or roughen the buttercream that's crusted a little bit to reveal the softer buttercream underneath.
- Use the buttercream on cupcakes, cookies or a 9 x 13 cake. You will need more buttercream frosting for a layered cake so adjust recipe accordingly.
- You can store any extra frosting in the fridge for up to one week or freeze it for up to one month. If freezing, be sure it's placed inside a freezer-safe bag with as much of the air removed as possible. This will help prevent freezer burn and keep the frosting fresh. Thaw in the fridge and use as normal.
- Alternatively, you can doctor a can of store-bought can of frosting by adding 1 cup of confectioners’ sugar, so it will hold the flower shape when piped.
- Find an recipe for Easy 2-Ingredient Cupcakes, HERE.
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