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Kitchen Queries

Welcome to Kitchen Queries, where the nigella.com team will answer your cooking or food related questions.  We’d love you to submit some of your recipe problems, dilemmas or queries for us to get our teeth into!

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  • Wedding cupcake decorating crisis (2)

    Hi, I am getting married in May, and my bridesmaid's and I all love baking so we're going to make our own cupcakes instead of getting a wedding cake. My other half-to-be is not keen on royal icing, but we're not sure what kind of icing would look good, but also keep ok out of the fridge all day giving that it might be really hot. Any ideas?

    From the nigella team:

    A regular buttercream icing, made from butter and icing (confectioner's) sugar will be safe to leave at room temperature and even warmer room temperature. The main risk is that it will be quite soft if it is in a warm place for too long, though you can use a high quantity of icing sugar to try and offset this - roughly double the weight of icing sugar to butter (for the US this is 2 cups confectioner's sugar to 1 stick of butter). This buttercream can be flavoured with vanilla and tinted with food colour (we would suggest using a gel paste as the colours are stronger) and either piped or swirled on to the cakes.

    The other type of icing worth using is the ready to roll icing (rolled fondant icing) that you buy in blocks. It will be very stable, even in warm weather. Again it can be coloured using gel colours (knead in just a little at a time as the colour can become very bright very quickly) - or some cake decorating specialists sell blocks of already coloured icing and even chocolate flavoured icing. Use a round cutter to cut out circles the size of the top of your cupcakes. You can brush the tops of the cupcakes with a little warmed apricot jam to help the icing to stock on, or it is nice to spread a thin layer of buttercream on top of the cupcake before adding the icing (also good it your future husband doesn't like very sweet icings as he can easily remove the fondant bit). The cupcake will look quite professional and can be decorated with flowers, dragees etc. We would suggest adding sprinkles and dragees to cupcakes on the day ofserving as the colour from some can bleed into the icing if left for too long.

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