When I first started decorative baking, these hot cocoa cup cakes were all the rage. I found these to be a great project for a beginner baker looking to push their limits and skills!
Tips for “Cup” Cakes
Keep it simple
I baked these babies without a liner in a greased jumbo cupcake because I thought that’s what I had to do. It worked fine. But now that I’m a more experienced baker, I know that there are more efficient ways to do it. Baking regular or jumbo cupcakes in parchment cups is easier and faster. Just fill the cups with batter and peel them off once they’re baked. Even easier, if you have a tall circular cookie/biscuit cutter, just bake a sheet cake and punch out circles from the cooled cake!
Buttercream your cupcake!
You can see in the photo that I did not put a layer of buttercream between the cake and the fondant. Making buttercream at the time felt like an extra, unnecessary step. But since then I’ve learned that skipping this step actually made my life harder in a couple ways. Buttercream helps smooth the surface under the fondant, which in turn gives your fondant a smooth look. It’s not impossible without buttercream, but it’s much more difficult. Buttercream also helps adhere your “cup” to your cake. Adding it ensures that there’s not unexpected shifting as the cake and fondant settle.
Use chocolate ganache
Use chocolate ganache or temper your chocolate. I used tempered dark chocolate with this batch. If you are not experienced at tempering chocolate, your chocolate will end up with a hazy or gritty look if it cools incorrectly. Using straight chocolate is also harder to get perfectly smooth. To get a nice smooth and shiny look, try using chocolate ganache (chocolate and cream), or cut your chocolate with a small amount of coconut oil. This will give you a better hot cocoa look for your cup cakes!