This recipe is all about the preparation. You just need to be a busy bee (with helpers if possible) getting everything ready. Think of it as a baking version of a stir fry. Lots of chopping (ie/beating, whizzing, rolling and snapping) before a fast fry (assembly job).
My sons are tickled by these cupcakes. Hope you like them. There’s a video in case my instructions are difficult to understand. Please forgive the poor lighting, obsession with uttering ‘erm’ and the general detritus in the background. I’m clearly an amateur when it comes to video making. Forgive me. I will get better. Well, I can hope.
- 12 cupcakes (any flavour – perhaps these?)
- 150g soft butter
- 300g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp milk or water
- 4 chocolate creme Oreo cookies
- 160g white fondant icing
- 45g mini mint Matchmakers
- Food colouring: I used Sugarflair Tangerine/apricot, Liquorice, Primrose, Red Extra, Christmas Red, Dark Brown
Make the buttercream by beating the butter until soft using either a wooden spoon, a handheld mixer or a stand mixer. Then add the icing sugar a spoonful at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the vanilla and milk/water and beat well until soft and creamy – about 7 minutes.
Divide the buttercream into equal thirds, then remove a heaped tablespoon from each bowl and transfer to another (a 4th bowl). This 4th bowl will have less buttercream in that the other three. This is the one to colour dark brown. Use a toothpick to transfer the food colouring into the icing. Mix well with a spoon. Colour the other three bowls of buttercream red, orange and yellow. For the red colour use both red food colourings to achieve a really dark red. Spoon the buttercream into an icing bag fitted with a Wilton 1M tip, a teaspoon at a time, alternating between red, orange and yellow.
Make the ‘dirt’ by food processing the Oreo cookies. If you use the original ones with the cream centre, remove this before blending. Place the ‘dirt’ in a bowl into which one of your cupcakes will fit. Prepare the Matchmakers by snapping the mini ones in half to make 72 sticks – or cut regular Matchmakers up into 72 sticks about 2cm long. Massage a dot of the black food colouring into the white fondant until you have a marbled effect. Roll a ball of fondant about 1cm across between your palms to make stones. Repeat to make 72.
Use a knife to spread some of the dark brown buttercream around the outside rim of the cupcake, about 1cm thick all round. Be sure to spread it to the edge. Tip the cupcake upside down and push into the Oreo dirt. Pipe a swirl of buttercream ‘fire’ into the middle of the cupcake, holding the piping bag at a 90 degree angle, inside the Oreo dirt. Be sure to release the pressure of the piping bag as you come to the end of the piping. Place 6 fondant stones into the very edge of the buttercream fire, evenly spaced. Add 6 Matchmaker sticks in between the fondant stones. Done!