Directions for the Base:
1. Place a styrofoam ball into a terra-cotta pot or any cute decorative container that has a bit of weight to it. Make sure that the ball fits in snuggly. The ball should have the same diameter as the vase or be a tiny bit smaller. Anchor styrofoam base to the flower pot with hot glue.
2. Top Tip: if you do not want to use a styrofoam base a small head of cabbage could be used as a replacement (just omit the next stage of the cups and hot glue)
3. To support the weight of the cupcakes I like to use a paper cup for each cupcake to fit into this just gives you that extra support. Cut off the bottom of a paper cup, leaving the sides about 1 inch tall. (you can also use a 2oz portion cup, they tend to be plastic and can just be attached to the base ball with glue) Do this with enough cups to cover your base styro ball. Add a drop of hot glue to the bottom of one of the cut cups. Glue the cup to the styrofoam ball so the edge sits on the edge of the vase. Cover the base with the cups until the surface is covered in cups, making sure your placement of cupcakes creates the look of a flower bouquet and that you keep the cups as close as possible to each other. Keep in mind there will be small spaces in-between but those will be filled up later.
4. For cup pockets we will be using large skewers. Poke it deep in the Styrofoam and then trim them with clean wire jewelry cutters.
5. Now that your base is all ready for your cupcakes set it aside and lets get started with the fun stuff, time to decorate the cupcakes!
For the Icing: I prefer using the Simple Buttercream but a crusting buttercream can also be used.
Directions for Simple Buttercream
1. Using a stand mixer, combine pasteurized egg whites and powdered into mixing bowl, beat with a paddle for 4 minutes. Scrape down the sides. Now add in room temperature butter all at once and beat with the paddle for 10 minutes, or until light and fluffy.
Directions for Buttercream Decorations
1. Cream the butter & shortening together in a stand mixer.
2. Add vanilla & salt.
3. Beat in the powdered sugar, 1 cup at a time, blending well after each addition.
4. Scrape sides of bowl often with a spatula.
5. Add cream & beat at high speed until light & fluffy.
6 Keep icing covered with a lid or damp cloth *& store in refrigerator.
Tip: Eliminate cream altogether when making flowers. Add it as needed if icing begins to crack.
Directions for Flowers
Fit the piping bags with the large star tip, then fill with your tinted buttercreams.
Star Tip Hydrangeas: These are a beautiful and simple way for everyone to create a blossom cupcake. Start by filling your piping bag fitted with a Wilton #1M Open Star Tip. To make the blossom pop even more prepare two to four colors of icing in the same color family. Using a Straight Spatula, add dollops of icing to the decorating bag, alternating colors randomly. Time to pipe your blossoms, hold the piping bag vertically about ¼-inch from the surface of a cupcake. Apply pressure and allow the buttercream to balloon out of the tip, this will create a single, small blossom. Repeat and overlap blossoms until the surface of the cupcake is covered.
To pipe rosettes: This frosting rosette is a staple in the cupcake world and is super easy to create. Start by filling your piping bag with a Wilton 2D star tip, and then add in your buttercream, being carefully not to over fill your bag. Hold the bag straight up, with the tip just slightly above the surface. Apply pressure to form a star making sure the buttercream makes contact with the cupcake. Without releasing pressure, raise the tip a little bit and move it slightly to the side. This will be the starting point of your rosette. Continue applying pressure while moving the tip in a circular motion around the center. To prevent a tip from forming, decrease pressure as you close your rosette. Stop squeezing right before you connect and pull the tip down and away from the swirl to finish.
Place the cupcakes into refrigerator or freezer to chill the buttercream for easier handling. Once frosting is chilled, attach to your base, being careful when poking them onto the toothpick spikes. Fill in any gaps with the extra green cup liners, fold and gather sides together to create a ruffle effect and poke into the gaps. You can also use real leaves, like lemon leaves (making sure they are clean) or any natural edible greens.