Cupcakes are always a popular party food, but why not make it an activity too? These fun animal cupcakes are perfect for little hands to craft and super cute also.
Makes: 10 cupcakes
125g butter or margarine (at room temperature)
125g caster sugar
½ tsp grated lemon zest
2 eggs, at room temperature
125g self-raising flour
¼ tsp baking powder
Buttercream (or use ready-made vanilla and chocolate icing)
100g unsalted butter, softened
225g icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp milk
½ tsp vanilla extract
Pink food colouring (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180C and line a muffin tray with 10 paper cases. Put the butter, sugar, lemon zest, eggs, flour and baking powder into a bowl and beat in an electric food mixer or with a hand-held electric whisk until smooth.
Divide the mixture evenly between the paper cases and bake for about 20 minutes, or until golden and springy to the touch. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the muffin tray for a few minutes, then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cupcakes are baking, prepare the buttercream (if you are not using ready-made icing). Beat the butter in a bowl until soft. Add half the icing sugar and beat until smooth. Add the remaining icing sugar, the milk and a few drops of vanilla extract. If you like, put some icing into a separate bowl and colour it with a few drops of food colouring.
Once the cakes are cool, spread some of the buttercream icing on top of the cakes, then decorate them with sweets, biscuits and black icing to look like animals.
Tip: For best results when making cakes, the butter and eggs should be at room temperature before you mix them together.