Super Simple Luna Lovegood Cupcakes (DIY Spectrespecs)
Hey there! Welcome back, good crimbo I trust? I can’t wait to dive right in with this week’s ode to Harry Potter and my all-time fave character Luna Lovegood. What a star she is! A couple of weeks ago I was wasting time on the internet and took the sorting quiz on Pottermore (for the 5th time) and to my horror I was switched from Gryffindor to Ravenclaw (gasp!). I’m not exaggerating when I say my huff lasted hours. But then, someone pointed out that Luna is a Ravenclaw and boom, I was googling for a new hoodie. Blue and silver, I see you!
When I think of Luna, two things come to mind; converse and spectrespecs. Well, since converse can’t keep away the nargles, spectrespecs are getting their cake on. I love them so much! I toyed around with making this a full-size cake but I landed on cupcakes because during the house move (read eternal headache) I had (have) some fridge issues and as we know, crumb coats gotta chill. Full cake was out. In the end though I’m chuffed it worked it like this, it’s just the perfect design for cupcakes. And what a cute party table they make, all lined up in their rows!
Before we get cracking on these cuties, I just wanted to give you a little update. For the moment, I’m gonna running a fortnightly posting. I’m still getting moved into the new flat and to grips with my new job, so it seemed like the best solution to avoid burnout and restore my love love love of cake!
So shall we get going on the coolest Harry Potter party ever?
Ingredients – Makes 24
285g self-raising flour
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
500g icing sugar
½ tsp vanilla extract
200g light pink fondant
200g dark pink fondant
200g pale blue fondant
15g red fondant
50g dark blue fondant
50g pale purple fondant
Cornflour (for dusting)
1 tsp vodka (optional)
Gel food colouring – pink
On a piece of clean card, draw out a circle using a cookie cutter as your guide. Try to match the size of the cookie cutter to the size of your cupcake cases. To one side of the circle add some wiggly fronds like the pic below. Cut this out as your template and put aside for later.
Roll 200g of pale pink fondant and 15g of red fondant into long ropes. Line these up against each other horizontally and lightly roll together. Take this combined rope and shape it into an ‘S’. Then roll the ’S’ together until it turns back into a single line. Repeat this ‘S’ pattern until the red is marbled through the pink.
Tear off a small piece, roughly the size of a large brussels sprout (xmas on the brain still) and flatten with a rolling pin* until it’s just bigger than the template. Lightly dust the top of the fondant with cornflour and place the template on top. Use a sharp knife to cut around it. Move the cut piece to a tray lined with parchment paper. Use a dry finger to smooth gently around the edges. Repeat until you have 23. Leave them to the side.
*I use a non-stick mat to roll my fondant but if you don’t have one, lightly dust your counter with cornflour before you get the rolling pin going to stop the fondant clinging to the counter.
Roll flat 200g of dark pink fondant so that its roughly 20 x 7 cm. and about the thickness of a £1 coin.
Roll flat 50g of purple fondant so that it’s big enough to cover the dark pink. This time it will be really thin. Lay this on top of the pink and trim away the excess.
Starting from one of the short edges, roll up the pink and purple like you would a swiss roll and then wrap it in cling film. Leave somewhere cool and dry for 30 minutes.
Repeat this process with 200g of pale blue fondant and 50g of dark blue fondant.
After 30 minutes lightly dust your counter with cornflour and unwrap the pink roll. Cut this into slices roughly 1-2mm thick. The pressure of the knife will slightly flatten the bottom, so after slicing gently turn each disc in the palm of your hand with your finger and thumb to reshape to a circle. Repeat until you have 12 each of the pink and the blue discs.
Gently wet the centre of one of the pink frames with a little water or vodka (vodka evaporates quicker) and lay on top one of the lenses. Gently press from the centre out to flatten the lens a little. Finally, rub around the edge of the lens to soften the join. Repeat for the remaining lenses. Leave to dry.
Dampen a clean (food only) paintbrush with water and shake off the excess. Dip the paintbrush into a drop of pink food colouring and rub around the edges of one of the lenses. Clean the paintbrush off with water and then run back around the edge with the damp paintbrush, working slightly inward to shade the colour.
Leave these to dry overnight. Or if you’re in a rush, you can put them in an oven that’s been warmed but switched off until they have completely dried.
Line a cupcake pan with 24 cases and pre-heat the oven to 160°C (fan).
Cream together 285g of butter (room temp) and 285g sugar with an electric whisk until it’s pale and fluffy. This can take a good 5-10 minutes but it’s worth it. To this bowl, add 285g of self-raising flour, 5 eggs, 1 tsp vanilla and 4 tbsp of milk. Continue mixing with the electric whisk but this time, you wanna try to get it mixed as well as possible as quick as possible and then stop because we don’t wanna over work the flour. So as soon as it’s smooth, pull the off switch.
Spoon this into the cupcake cases until they’re all roughly half to two thirds full. But make sure you don’t go over this otherwise they could spill over the top. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 15-20 minutes until a skewer comes out clean. Leave to cool in the pan for 5 minutes then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Using an electric whisk, beat 250g of butter until it’s pale and fluffy. Gradually add in 500g of icing sugar and whisk for at least 5-10 minutes. When it’s completely smooth, whip in ½ tsp of vanilla and a drop of pink food colouring. At this stage, if the frosting is too thick, gradually add water until it’s soft enough to pipe. I use water because then the frosting can be out the fridge longer, but you can swap this for milk if you’d prefer. Remove the electric whisk and smooth the frosting against the side of the bowl with a palette knife for 5 minutes until the air bubbles have been worked out. Transfer to a piping bag with your preferred tip.
When the cupcakes are fully cool and the toppers have completely dried, pipe a swirl on top of each cupcake and then add one of the specs on top. Make sure to add the toppers as soon as you finish frosting, otherwise the icing could crust and the topper wont stick properly.
And we’re done! Easy peasy right?