sparkle kitchen: fairy fort cupcakes
February 8, 2017
In this week's So Many Fairies story, “The Magic Birthday Candles,” Sarah Jane's friends love all her fancy toys and her big playroom, but she would rather play "Hide-and-Seek" or "Explorers" or tag—not cars or dolls. On her sixth birthday, surrounded by her friends, she makes a birthday wish that inspires a certain fire fairy to create some unique birthday magic for the whole party.
If you would like to inspire fairies to visit your next birthday celebration, in addition to the traditional lighting and blowing out of candles, may I suggest these fairy fort cupcakes?
“Fairy forts” are the slightly domed remains of ancient ringforts and other circular dwellings in Ireland. Legend has it that the forts were gateways to the fairy world, and there are many superstitions surrounding them, ranging from Leprechaun gold to blessed cattle.
These cupcakes are so easy to decorate that they do, indeed, feel a bit blessed.
Start with your favorite chocolate cupcake recipe—chocolate to mimic the color of the rich earth under a fairy fort—and make twelve cupcakes. (If I want an unusual flavor of cupcake I will start from scratch, but a professional baker once told me that she often starts with a boxed mix for standard flavors, like chocolate, and I've never felt bad about using a mix since.)
Then, whip up the green icing and graham cracker crumbs as set out in the recipe below. (I am agnostic about making cupcakes from scratch, but devout about the icing—make it yourself, it's so much better!)
Last, no fairy fort would be complete without a few flowers growing on top. As always, make certain any flowers you use are unsprayed. If fresh flowers aren't in season where you are, dried flowers can be equally lovely or even better — there's something otherworldly about them that seems to fit the fairy theme. If all else fails, you can find all manner of gum-paste flowers (and fairies and butterflies, even) at a good baking supply store or online.
Fairy Fort Cupcakes
12 unfrosted, chocolate cupcakes
1 cup (2 sticks) butter
4 cups powdered sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla
3 tablespoons milk
4 graham crackers
green gel food coloring
dried, fresh, or gum-paste flowers
Once your cupcakes are baked and completely cool, beat the butter until it's softened.
Carefully draping a clean dishtowel over your mixer to contain the mess, add the powdered sugar a little at a time until it's incorporated.
Add the vanilla, milk, and several drops of green food coloring, then beat the icing for about thirty more seconds to get it all mixed-in. Spoon the icing into a pastry bag or large zip-top plastic bag, and set aside. Next, crush four graham crackers. (A food processor will make the process go more quickly, but you can do this by hand, too.)
Add several more drops of green food coloring into the cracker crumbs, mixing well so that most of the crumbs turn green. Pour the green crumbs into a small bowl.
Now, snip a corner off the bag with the icing in it. Pipe icing onto your first cupcake, smooth the icing with a knife, then dip the top of the iced cupcake into the green crumbs.
Continue in this manner until all of the cupcakes are iced and dipped in crumbs.
Last, decorate each cupcake with a few flowers, and wait for the fairies to come!
If you liked this recipe, here are others you might enjoy:
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About the Author
Sparkle Kitchen & Craft Blogger
The Sparkle Kitchen Series is created by Meryl Carver-Allmond.
Meryl lives in a hundred year old house near the prairie with her sweet husband, two pre-schoolers, one puppy, one gecko, and about ten chickens. While she's been writing since she could pick up a pen, in recent years she's discovered the joy of photography, too. She feels lucky to be able to combine those skills, along with a third passion--showing people that cooking for themselves can be healthy and fun--in her weekly Sparkle Kitchen posts.
When Meryl isn't writing for Sparkle Kitchen, you can find her on her personal blog, My Bit of Earth, where she writes about chickens, babies, knitting, gardening, food, photography, and whatever else tickles her fancy on any given day.
About So Many Fairies
There are so many magical beings in the world: stone beings, air fairies, wood elves, fire sprites. Most of us cannot see or hear them, but sometimes — especially when we are very young — we can. Each week in So Many Fairies, children will enter the magic of the natural world, encounter fairy folk, and meet questions of ecology and sustainability with their imaginations.