Nobody wants to be stuck in the kitchen baking cakes in summer – so I often turn to our Food to Order service for a few handy shortcuts. This mini cupcake selection, with fluffy butter-rich sponges topped with lemon, raspberry or vanilla buttercream, is great for celebrations. I make the cakes even more impressive with sweet toppings, which are easy to make at home. Try our Red Diamond strawberries or King cherries dipped in chocolate, Jazzie sprinkles and a caramel pistachio brittle. Use the ideas below to create Instagram-worthy cakes – or, for some interactive fun, put out all the cakes and toppings so guests can decorate their own.
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Sweet strawberry: Dip whole strawberries in melted white, milk or dark chocolate. Dip in Jazzie sprinkles or coconut flakes while the chocolate is still warm, or create swirly patterns by drizzling the chocolate over the fruit.
Lemon and berry: Add a blob of lemon curd to the cupcakes, then top with halved strawberries, blueberries or raspberries.
Pistachio caramel: Melt sugar until it forms into a deep golden caramel, then pour over greaseproof paper covered with chopped pistachios. Finish with some flaky sea salt, then leave to set before smashing into shards and using to top the cupcakes.
Chocolate bark: Melt white chocolate and pour over a tray lined with greaseproof paper to make the chocolate bark. Add Jazzie sprinkles, crumbled meringue or melted dark chocolate. Leave to set, then roughly chop and place on top of the cupcakes.
Words: Heather Taylor / Images: Issy Croker / Food and prop styling: Emily Ezekiel / Art direction: Claire Coulthard