Over the past ten years or so cupcakes have soared in popularity, and their versatility, small size and sheer deliciousness make them a firm favourite at most events.
A key trend for 2016 is superhero cupcakes. Building on the popularity of films such as The Avengers, Captain America and Batman, superhero cupcakes are brightly coloured, eye-catching and offer a range of characters to choose from, making them the perfect choice for a child’s (or even an adult’s!) party
When it comes to making superhero cakes that stand out, there are a number of options open to you. Here are some of our favourite ideas.
If you’re fairly artistic and good with your hands, topping your cake with fondant icing superhero figures can look really impressive. Modelling fondant figures can be quite time consuming however, particularly if you are catering for lots of children. For great results with slightly less effort, combine figure topped cakes with simpler, less time-consuming fondant designs, such as superhero emblems or badges.
You could also use modelling chocolate as an alternative. It holds its shape better than fondant and is ideal for more detailed sculptures. Try mixing chocolate and fondant together for a perfect mix of flexibility and durability.
If you’re a confident baker and want to make something a little different, why not turn your hand to cake pops. Cake pops are made up of small, pieces of cake (usually round), coated in icing or chocolate and fixed to the end of a stick, like a lollipop. Superhero emblems, masks, and even moulded figures all look really effective as cake pops – and they’re also great fun to eat. The process is more time consuming and complicated than standard cupcakes, but the results are worth the extra effort.
If the thought of cake decorating fills you with anxiety, avoid anything too complicated and instead make an impact with superhero-themed accessories. A simple cupcake with coloured buttercream frosting can really be livened up with superhero cake cases or ready-made cake toppers. You can even get superhero emblems printed onto edible rice paper, ready to place on top of your iced cakes.
Tips For The Perfect Cupcake
If you’re going all out with your cake decorations, you want to make sure that the cake itself is up to scratch. These top tips will help you get the perfect bake every time:
- It may sound obvious, but make sure you read the recipe thoroughly before you start baking. This helps to avoid oversights further down the line.
- Always bring ingredients such as eggs, butter and milk to room temperature before adding to the mixture. Using ingredients that are too cold can lead to uneven mixing, which will adversely affect your bake.
- Over mixing your batter removes air from the mixture, leaving you with a dense, heavy cake. For best results, mix on a low speed until everything is just combined.
- While it’s tempting to check on your handiwork, opening the oven door too soon can cause your cakes to sink. Wait until at least two thirds of the way through the cooking time before you open that door.
- Similarly, don’t decorate too soon. Remove cakes from the tin and cool completely on a wire rack before applying any decoration. Warm cakes equal melted frosting.
With so many options and characters to choose from, you can’t go wrong with superhero-themed cupcakes – and there really is something for everyone. Whether you’re baking for a Captain America convert, a Spiderman supporter, or a Wonder Woman worshipper, you can be sure your ‘super’ creations will go down a storm.
Eloise Durrant loves baking and teaching. She founded The Gourmet Cupcake Company, through which she runs cake baking and decorating courses in Essex. She also makes cupcakes and cakes for parties and celebrations to order!