If you live in Sydney, it’s likely you have heard of Sparkle Cupcakery in Surry Hills. If you haven’t, get thee there without delay and try yourself some tasty cupcake treats.
Beloved decadent cupcakes for all occasions, if you are lucky enough to have a box of Sparkle Cupcakes delivered to work in honour of your birthday, you never have to question your workplace popularity… you are clearly very loved by your colleagues.
Owned by cupcake lover Kathryn, this Foveaux Street staple – now 6 years old – was borne out of Kathryn’s stint in the cupcake capital of New York. Each cupcake is lovingly made from scratch on site in the Surry Hills premises and include flavours named Morning Glory, Afternoon Delight, Oriental Flower and Black Velvet.
Voted the best cupcake joint by Sydney Food Bloggers last year, a group of us were invited by Kathryn to join cupcake makers Ka Wei and Sun for a special hands on cupcake making and decorating class at Sparkle Cupcakery (followed by a gorgeous afternoon tea).
Always keen to enhance my baking and decorating skill set, I jumped at the opportunity to attend and spent a few hours early one Saturday morning with the Sparkle crew learning vanilla cupcake basics.
To start the class, Ka Wei took us through a batch of vanilla cakes. The biggest revelation of the day for me came with step one – cream together butter and sugar. Seriously. It seems silly now but I finally realised, thanks to Ka Wei, that I have never creamed my butter and sugar for long enough to result in impossibly fluffy and airy cakes. I am a seriously impatient individual, and so have always under-creamed, but after being taught to cream the butter and sugar till it is an eggshell colour (see below) and realising that it took over 10 minutes to do so, all my subsequent baking efforts have yielded much better results.
After our batches of vanilla cupcakes hit the oven, Sun took over the class. We cleaned the centre bench and she proceeded to pull out all manner of coloured fondants, icings, paint brushes, rolling pins and cutters like some sort of Cupcake Willy Wonka. We became kids in a candy store (or cupcake shop) as we impatiently listened to Sun talk through and demonstrate working with fondant and coloured icing, keen to get turn our hands to decorating.
Finally the time came for us to let our cupcake creativity shine, and we were given a few vanilla cupcakes each and free reign on the fondant. Armed with pink and white fondant, a patterned roller, daisy cutters and some powdered colouring… I made the prettiest edible thing my two hands had ever crafted.
With thanks to Kathryn and the Sparkle Cupcakery team, I’ve been allowed to share their vanilla cupcake recipe with you all which you will find below!
Pure Sparkle Cupcakes
- 260 g unsalted butter, softened
- 270 g caster sugar
- 250 g eggs, room temperature
- 390 g plain flour, sifted
- 14 g baking powder
- 110 g milk
- 10 g vanilla bean paste
Cream the butter and sugar on high speed in a mixer (or with a hand mixer) for between 5 and 20 minutes (depending on the softness of the butter) till the mixture is a light eggshell colour.
Add the eggs, one at a time, allowing them to combine and not curdle (beat well between each addition).
Add half the sifted flour and baking powder to the mixture and beat to combine, then add half the milk and vanilla bean paste and beat to combine. Repeat with remaining flour and baking powder, then remaining milk and vanilla bean paste. Mix through to combine to a smooth batter.
Deposit into cupcake foils with an ice cream scoop.
Bake for 30 minutes on 140° - 160° Celsius, turning once during cooking.
Remove and cool completely before icing.
Chew Town was not paid to write this post, but was invited to attend the Sparkle Cupcakery class free of charge, and with thanks. If you would like to learn more about Sparkle Cupcakery visit the website. To read Chew Town’s disclosure policy please visit the About page.