Sunday, 1 November 2015

Winter Essentials

Being a postlady, I spend a good few hours a day in the cold, wind, rain, fog, etc. Therefore my skin and hair definitely take a daily beating. Here a few of my holy grail products that help protect me from the not so great parts of the cooler months.
My skin is very dry and sensitive and I have bouts of eczema since I was little. I have to be very careful with what I use on my skin as a lot of products can just make things worse. For the past year or so I have been using the Garnier Body Intensive 7 Days Nourishing Lotion for dry skin with mango oil. I have been through bottles and bottles of this. I use this twice a day and it just helps to soothe my itchy skin, leaving it silky smooth and moisturised. Its super fast absorbing and doesn't leave you with that horrible sticky/greasy feeling. Plus it smells delicious and is pretty much always on offer in Superdrug or Boots! 

To give my hands some TLC, I use either the Body Shop Hemp Hand Protector or the Burt's Bees Almond & Milk Hand Cream. Both of which have a very thick consistency. Both also have a smell that is quite acquired, with the hemp cream smelling very herbal and plant based and the Burt's Bees smelling very much like marzipan. I can't praise these two enough. Even Adam will pinch some occasionally. They absorb like a dream and leave your hands feeling moisturised but never greasy!

I have used the Blistex MedPlus lip balm for years and years and years now! It is the only lip balm for me that not only soothes and repairs chapped/dry lips, but prevents them too. I struggle with lip balms as a lot of them can make my lips worse or cause me to have a weird reaction, making my lips swell up in little tiny bumps.. Very weird.. I discovered this lip balm after having one of the bad reactions, it was the only product that made the swelling disappear. It tingles when it is applied which to me makes me think its doing something beneficial. Super cheap and absolutely my holiest of grails.

Using a face mask to give my skin an extra burst of moisture is essential in this crappy weather. I love the Sanctuary Brightening Facial Moisture Boost Mask for this. You can buy the sachets super cheap from Boots just as and when you need them. I will either pop this on while I'm in the bath or you can actually leave it on overnight if you're in need of a serious boost. This mask leaves your skin unbelievably soft and just helps brighten and even out your skin. I love it to bits.

Being curly and bleached, my hair is especially dry, damaged and unruly. It is also quite fine aswell so I have to be careful with what sort of products I use on my hair. I am currently testing out some higher end products which I will post about in the future but at the moment I have found a fairly cheap and organic treatment to use on my hair that just helps it out a bit. Everyone knows the benefits of Argan Oil on our hair, but in a lot of hair products the good ingredient is watered down with chemicals no one can pronounce. I bought some 100% Argan Oil from Amazon and I just smooth it through my hair 30 minutes before washing as normal. A couple times a week I will also flip my head upside down and give it a really good massage into my roots for 3-5 minutes. This just helps to ensure that the new hair growth is nice and moisturised and also just helps the hair to grow in general because of the increase in blood flow to the scalp. I also recently bought a pack of Popband hair ties. They have a thicker band and don't cause any breakage to your hair. The little things help too! 

What are your Winter essentials?

Wednesday, 28 October 2015

Sugar Skull Halloween Costumes

When I was at sixth form my A Level Art project was the study of the Mexican tradition, The Day of The Dead. Since then I have always wanted to use it as inspiration for a Halloween costume but have never got round to doing it. Adam and I are going to a friend's Halloween party next Sunday so finally I am going to do it! We didn't want to spend a tonne of money on costumes and the basics of this idea we already had so we just needed little extras to bring it all together.
If any of you fancy doing the same thing, I am going to talk you through how we're going to do it and where we have got all the bits and bobs from. 
For Adam's costume he will be wearing black trousers, white shirt, black suit jacket and black shoes. All of which he already owned. We ordered him a top hat and a black bow tie from eBay fancy dress shops, both of which were ridiculously cheap and were delivered super quick. I bought a bag of artificial flower heads, also from eBay, to add onto the top hat to make it look the part. I am going do this by glue gunning the flower heads to piece of black elastic and simply placing it over the existing band on the hat already. I didn't want to glue directly onto the hat just in case we needed the top hat again in the future. I am then just going to paint Adam's face a sugar skull design using the Snazaroo Rainbow Face Painting Kit and then he's set to go! The colours in that kit are absolutely perfect for this kind of face paint design, they're nice and bright and great quality. 
For my costume I am going to wear a collared black dress with a lace bodice that poofs out slightly at the waste with black tights and black boots. All of which are already in my wardrobe. I ordered some lace black gloves from Amazon and bought some fake eyelashes to pop on after my face paint. I have done a practice run of the face paint design so I'll put the picture further down. I'm really happy with it but it did like 2 and half hours so I'm going to have to speed up on the day because I'll have 2 of us to paint! I am going to curl my hair and create a quiff at the front and then pin the flower heads into the side of the quiff. 
There we have it! A cheap but really cool Halloween costume! 
What are you going as this year?

Sunday, 25 October 2015

5 Affordable Things to do in Autumn

Finding things to do in our spare time is always a challenge, especially when we are being very strict with our spending. Everything seems to cost the earth these days! You can't go to a sweet cafe for a cuppa without being charged a tenner for two drinks and a brownie. Adam and I are used to Yorkshire prices. Now the weather is on the turn too, we are even more limited with our options! I don't think we are alone in this predicament so I thought I would let you know what sort of things we end up doing and hopefully it'll help out.
1. Get into the Halloween spirit and get your pumpkin carving on! 
This is one of my absolute favourite things to do this time of year and I feel it is an important tradition to keep up. I have always done it religiously since I was a kid. My mum actually told me that pumpkins used to be blinking expensive when I was little so she used to buy us turnips to carve instead...Yes turnips! Can you imagine hollowing out a turnip?! Our pumpkins were 2 for £3 from Asda which I thought was a good deal. Adam admitted to me the other day that he has never even carved a pumpkin before! I was horrified so am taking it upon myself to rectify the situation on Monday. Carving pumpkins always takes a while and is always a lot of fun. So there we go, an afternoon of festive fun for £3!
2. Baking! 
For me, baking in the cooler months is all about tradition and anything with warm flavours. Anything that makes me feel homely. Treats such as gingerbreads, shortbreads, carrot cakes are perfect and all very simple. I will be blogging a carrot cake recipe soon. I love spices but I don't like them to be over powering. Carrot cake is lovely because it has sweetness alongside hints of nutmeg and cinnamon with the crunch of tasty walnuts. It is one of my favourite things ever.
3. Get into a series or watch some festive films.
 I love to watch the traditional Halloween type films at this point every year. I'm not talking about scary films, I'm talking Disney's Hocus Pocus and Practical Magic with Sandra Bullock and Nicole Kidman. Both oldies but goodies in my eyes.
Adam and I recently watched an amazing series on Netflix called Narcos. The series tells the true story of Pablo Escobar and the creation of the Colombian drug cartel.. Not festive at all admittedly BUT still fantastic! We binge watched it over 2 days whilst cosy-ing up with baked goods and big fluffy throw.
4. Another thing to do with a fluffy throw and baked goods is to snuggle up and read. Often on a night we will be at either end of the sofa with our noses firmly stuck in a book. At the moment I am reading Alan Carr's autobiography which is hilarious. I just finished The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion and I can't recommend it enough. If you love a awkward and humorous love story then you're in for a treat with that one!
5. I know I mentioned the turn in the weather but when it isn't raining, Autumn offers up the most beautiful, crisp, sunny days. When we're feeling energetic on days off (which is very rare) we'll wrap up go for a little walk to the park a couple of minutes away from our flat, just to get us out and about. I love being wrapped up in a big scarf and hat, scouting around for the perfect conker like I'm 5 years old... 
Take a flask and some gingerbread, sit on a bench OR a picnic blanket if you're feeling extremely Pinterest, and just take in the wonderfulness that is Autumn!  

Whats your favourite thing to do in Autumn?

Sunday, 18 October 2015

A Croc-ing Day Out

Today we took a little road trip to Crocodiles of The World in Brize Norton, the UK's only crocodile zoo. Adam's absolute favourite thing is anything with scales. It has been his dream to visit this place for a very long time so when our friend Erica suggest we go this weekend, we jumped at the chance.
The admission for an adult was only £8.95 which I thought was really reasonable. Admission for children is £6.95 and children the age of 2 and under go free!
It was fantastic to hear about how the zoo started just from one man's dream and to see how the zoo has progressed over the years. The zoo is still quite a small premises but it has grown vastly over the past few years and they spoke about further expansions in the near future. 
Don't be fooled by the name! The zoo is not exclusively crocodiles/alligators, there are a variety of other animals dotted around. Meerkats, Kookaburra, Lizards, Macaw and snakes to just name a few. There is also a little play park for if you are visiting with children. Talks and activities go on through the day also. We watched the Nile Crocodile feeding and were involved in the Meet the Animals talk, which finished we an absolutely adorable baby skunk! Both were brilliantly presented by a zookeeper called Terry (I'm pretty sure he was called Terry). Another lovely zookeeper called Ian was on hand to tell us info on some of the other crocodiles in the enclosures. One of which had just had babies (Awwww). We also got the opportunity to touch one of the slightly older babies, they have super soft tummies and were very very cute. 
Overall, we had a really lovely day and the staff were all brilliant. It was nice to see the scalier animals get a bit more attention! 
On the way back home we stopped off at a country pub and had a tasty Sunday dinner topped off with a chocolate brownie for me and pint of Guinness for Adam. Perfection. A very nice way to spend a Sunday I think!
Now we are just cosied up watching The Big Bang Theory so I thought do a quick blog post to show you what we've been up to! 

Hope you've all had a nice Sunday!

Thursday, 15 October 2015

Seasonal Makeover / Affordable Ways To Change Your Decor For The Change in Season

Interiors and changing up our decor in the flat is something I love to do so if you're anything like me, the change in season not only effects your wardrobe, but effects your home decor as well. Gone are the days of bright patterns and florals. The time for spicy scents and fluffy blankets are upon us! 
Its unrealistic to change every single part of your decor and honestly, who can afford too?!
I recently got a couple of things that have helped to transform our flat ready for the chillier months.
You don't have to break the bank to change things up with your decor, just a few subtle changes will make a big difference.
I don't have the best of cameras so the pictures aren't as great as I would've liked. Also we only have a diddy one bedroom flat so they're is only one angle I can really take pictures from. 
Anyways, here we go!  
1. Every year, I always buy some sort of seasonal bedding. George Home at ASDA have some absolutely fantastic duvet sets in at the moment. There were so many to choose from. In the past I have picked a design that is super super christmassy, like a fairisle print or like last year I got a set that was covered in stags (Both of which I still love). This year I was conscious that I also had to take Adam's taste into account so I didn't want to got tooo crazy. I chose the George Home Christmas Tree Duvet, just a plain white cover dotted with black and grey winter tree drawings/paintings. Not only did I love the design but the price was too good to miss out on as well. For a kingsize duvet cover and two pillow cases, £14 seemed like an absolutely amazing price! I was slightly weary of what the quality would be like but when the set arrived I was happy to discover that my doubts were unnecessary. The quality is brilliant, no scratchiness, no cardboard-like feel and it felt even nicer after a wash. The parcel arrived super super quick too so I definitely recommend taking a look.
2. Cosy is without a doubt the way to go in the Autumn/Winter months. Fairy lights and candles just scream cosy! There is just something about snuggling up in a big fluffy blanket (or your new bedding) with your candles lit and you fairy lights twinkling away. Both can be bought on the cheap too. You can get some gorgeous fairy lights from places like Primark, Home Bargains, Wilko's, eBay, tonnes of places. My white fairy lights came from a DIY shop in my hometown about a billion years a go and they've lasted me years.
The pearly tealight holders on our bedstands were from the Yankee Candle Outlet store in York. They were only a few pounds each and they look absolutley beautiful when they are lit up.
3. Everything always smells so much more warming and homely in the cooler months. I love to get the foodie scents out that have a hint of spice to them. It smells like your baking delicious treats all of the time just without the effort. The last thing I got was a reed diffuser from Homebase. It was the lovely price of £3.99 and it smells delicious. I can't find the scent online to leave a link and unfortunately it doesn't have it on the bottle either so I am not sure of its exact name. It came in orange packaging and definitely had a name related to spices... I'm a doughnut and can't remember. If you're near a Homebase, do go and smell them because they have some lovely ones and they usually come in candle form too. This one smells like a spiced cake in the oven. You get a whiff of it every now and then and its like heaven! £3.99.. can't go wrong!

So there we go! I know these changes are probably obvious but I just wanted to prove that you don't have to do much or spend much to change things up! 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Rosie Loves / Autumn / Wishlist #1

Hello everyone!

This is my first ever wishlist on this blog. I love Autumn and the fashion at this time of the year is my absolute favourite. I love to be wrapped up all nice and cosy! 
Adam and I are trying to be super super good with money at the moment so I'm just going to have to keep window shopping for the time being. 
So here are just a few things from the high street that I am absolutely in love with. 
1. Black Cord Dungarees - New Look £26.99
2. Ankle Boots - H&M £29.99
3. Zazula Faux Suede Biker Jacket Mustard - Missguided £40.00
4. Mini Cable Knit Roll Neck Jumper - Topshop £28.00
5. Topshop Matte Lip Bullet Shade Get Me Bodied - Topshop £8.00
6. Handbag - H&M £29.99
7. ASOS Open Cage Ear Cuff Pack - ASOS £5.00
8. Sleeveless Belted Coat - Topshop £50.00

So there we go! All the things I'm lusting over currently. Let me know what you're wishing for this Autumn.

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Salted Caramel Dark Choc Chip Cupcakes

Hi again! Long time no speak!

Salted Caramel is one of my favourite things of all time. I'm not always a fan of sweet with savoury but I just feel that salted caramel really really works. As it is now Autumn (my absolute favourite time of the year) I thought it was time to bring out the Autumnal-ish bakes! This is a recipe that I haven't attempted before so it was a bit of a guessing game. I chose to add dark chocolate chips as I thought they would tone down the super sweetness of the caramel. Its easy to get sickly with such a strong flavour. I had quite a few taste tasters for this bake and they seemed to be a success. So lets get started!

6oz (170g) Butter (Softened)
6oz (170g) Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
6oz (170g) Self Raising Flour
1/4 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
1x 100g Bag of Dark Chocolate Chips (Keep a few aside for sprinkling at the end)

Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting
1x 397g Can of Caramel
3oz (85g) Butter 
1/4 tsp Coarse Sea Salt
15oz (425g) Icing Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 170C and fill your muffin tin with 12 cases. I picked a bright Autumnal Orange for this bake. 
2. Cream butter and caster sugar until smooth.
3. Measure flour into seperate bowl and add salt. Add the flour and eggs gradually to the butter and sugar mixture.
4. Stir in dark chocolate chips, making sure to leave a few for sprinkling if you'd like!
5. Spoon mixture into cases and bake for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer/sharp knife comes out clean.
6. While the cupcakes are cooling, whip up your buttercream. Measure approximately half a can of Caramel into a large bowl along with the butter.
7. Measure icing sugar and salt into a smaller bowl and add gradually to butter and caramel mixture. Use an electric whisk to whip the mixture up until it is holding its shape.
8. When the cupcakes have cooled, use some of the remaining caramel and spread it on top of the cupcakes.
9. Fill up your piping bag with the buttercream and pipe away! I attempted to put stripes of the caramel into my piping bag before my buttercream so that it would make a nice swirl effect, which it did! BUT it only lasted for a couple of cupcakes so I wouldn't recommend it.
10. Sprinkle the remaining chocolate chips on the top to finish them off.

There we go! A tasty autumnal bake to cheer you up in this bleak weather!

Saturday, 12 September 2015

Pecan Blondies

Blondies are something that I have never attempted before. I love love love white chocolate so I really should've tried these earlier...
The recipe I tried is a Tanya Burr recipe. I loved the idea of adding nuts to the blondies and pecans are absolutely delicious.
This was a really easy recipe to make and most ingredients I already had in the cupboards. 
I love to make these into a dessert and serve them warm with a big dollop of ice cream. Soooooo tasty. 
So here we go, I hope you enjoy!

150g Caster Sugar
125g Butter
1.5 tsp Vanilla Extract
A Pinch of Salt
100g Pecans
200g Plain Flour
150g White Chocolate
2 Eggs

1. Preheat oven to 170C
2. Gently melt butter and white chocolate together.
3. Add caster sugar to melted butter and chocolate and mix until smooth.
4. Add vanilla and 2 eggs to mixture.
5. Add a pinch of salt along with the plain flour.
6. Chop/break up your pecans into chunks and pop them into the mixture.
7. Line your square cake tin with baking paper.
8. Cook for 35 minutes approximately. I cooked mine for 30 mins as they were beginning to go golden on the top. I also left the centre very very slightly gooey, just so they would be nice and moist in the middle like a brownie/blondie should be.
9. Leave them in the tin to cool for 5-10 minutes then place on a cooling rack.

Tah dah! There you have your white chocolate pecan blondies! 
In the pictures above I have served mine with some delicious vanilla fudge ice cream. Absolutely gorgeous!

Give them a go and let me know what you think!

Sunday, 6 September 2015

Luscious Lemon Cupcakes

I have mentioned before how anything lemon is my absolute favourite! So today's post is going to be my favourite recipe of all time: Luscious Lemon Cupcakes.
These cupcakes are perfect even for people who don't usually like lemon. "You've made me like lemon", quote from my other half who, til now, was a strict chocolate dessert type.
They're deliciously sweet and light with a lovely lemon zing.
So lets get into it!

Recipe: (Makes 16... for some reason)
Lemon Cupcakes
250g Butter
350g Caster Sugar
3 Eggs
250g Self Raising Flour
3 Lemons: 3 Zest, 2 Juice
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
Lemon Curd (Optional)

Vanilla Buttercream: 
110g Butter
340g Icing Sugar
A splash of Milk

1. Preheat oven to 160c and line your muffin tray with cases.
2. Add the butter, caster sugar, eggs, flour, 3 lemon zests, 2 lemon juice and vanilla extract to large bowl and mix until thoroughly combined and creamy looking.
3. Portion out into muffin cases and bake for 15-20 minutes on a middle shelf.
4. Leave to cool in the muffin tray.
5. Whip up your buttercream by measuring your butter into a large bowl and adding a splash of milk. Add your icing sugar gradually and whisk with an electric mixer until nice and thick and forming stiff peaks. 
6. (Optional) Use a teaspoon to scoop out the centre of the cupcake and drop in a dollop of lemon curd. I just used a Gale's lemon curd from the supermarket, I'm planning on attempting to make my own at some point so stick around for that.  
7. When your cupcakes have cooled, pipe or spread on your buttercream. I added little fondant flowers too just to have a play around.
8. Tah Dah! There you have your Luscious Lemon Cupcakes!

I hope you enjoyed this recipe! If you give it a go, let me know!

Sunday, 30 August 2015

Key Lime Pie

Hi everyone!

I absolutely love Key Lime Pie. Anything citrus-y actually! Its so fresh and light, you don't realise what you're eating and how naughty it really is!
So today I am doing a recipe that is based around a Key Lime Pie created by her majesty, Mary Berry. I have only adjusted a couple of things, just because of the resources/ingredients I had.
This recipe is soooo simple but just tastes so delicious, I could eat the whole pie to myself.
You can whip this up in no time so its ideal if you need a tasty dessert, last minute. 
Lets get started!

Mary's recipe called for a 9 inch loose-bottom flan tin, all I had was a 12 inch so that's what I used. In hindsight, I would've maybe increased the ingredient quantities by a quarter, just to make it a little thicker. Mine turned out quite thin but we just cut bigger slices, so it was ok ;). 

Recipe (9 inch tin):
Biscuit Base
5oz (150g) Digestive Biscuits
2.5oz (65g) Butter
1oz (25g) Soft Light Brown Sugar (Original recipe called for demerara sugar)

Grated zest of 1 large Lime and 1 small 
Juice of 4 large Limes
14oz (397g) / 1 can of condensed milk
300ml double cream

1. Measure your digestive biscuits into a plastic bag and crushed with a rolling pin (or get your boyfriend to do it because you find the rolling pin).
2. Melt butter in a medium sized pan. Remove from the heat and stir in the biscuits and brown sugar.
3. Press the crumb mixture into your tin until nice and compact and leave to set.
4. Add your lime juice (I added an extra small lime juice just to make the flavour a bit stronger), condensed milk, zest and double cream into a large mixing bowl and beat until nicely blended. Pour onto your biscuit base and level out. 
5. Leave to set for 2-3 hours before removing the tin to serve.

I hope you enjoyed this recipe. I can't stress to you how easy it really is AND how tasty it really is!!
If anyone has any citrus-y recipes, I'd love to see them and give them a go.

Have a nice bank holiday weekend everyone :D


Wednesday, 26 August 2015

Mint Choc Chip Cupcakes

Hi again!

I don't know about you but mint choc chip ice cream is one of my favourite ice cream flavours! 
This cupcake recipe is super tasty and really does give the taste of mint choc chip ice cream, without the brain freeze. I was really happy with how they came out (even if I did forget the chocolate chips...oops) BUT, I added them on the top instead which worked out well too. The recipe is based around a normal cupcake recipe, with just a couple extra bits. Really easy, honestly!

Chocolate Cupcakes
6oz Butter
6oz Caster Sugar
2oz Cocoa Powder
4oz Self-Raising Flour
3 Eggs
1x 100g Bag of Milk Chocolate Chips (Added into the cupcake or sprinkled on top)
12x Brown Cupcake Cases or colour of your choice.

Peppermint Buttercream
4oz Butter
A Splash of Milk
1tsp Peppermint Flavouring
12oz Icing Sugar 
I added a tiny bit of green gel colouring to get the minty colour but thats optional.
A Sprinkle of Choc Chips or any Chocolate decoration.

1. Preheat oven to 160c and pop 12 cupcake cases into your muffin tray.
2. Cream butter and caster sugar together until smooth.
3. Sieve Flour and Cocoa powder into seperate bowl. Add eggs and flour/cocoa gradually to the butter mixture. Mix until nice and smooth.
4. Pop your mixture into your cupcake cases and bake for 15-20 mins on a middle shelf.
5. Leave cupcakes to cool thoroughly before adding buttercream

Buttercream method:
1. Cream butter, milk and peppermint extract until blended.
2. Weigh 12oz Icing sugar into seperate bowl.
3. Add icing sugar gradually to butter mix. I like to use an electric mixer as it gives a nice pale colour and makes sure the mixture is nice and smooth.
4. Add your colouring at the last stage of your mixing.
5. I always like to pipe the buttercream so I used a star shaped nozzle for this cupcake. If piping, I find it easiest to measure up the nozzle and pop it in the piping bag then fold the bag over the top of a tall glass to hold the bag up, ready to be filled with your buttercream. Leave a couple of inches empty so that you can twist the top of the bag. 
6. Hold the piping bag upright and start in the middle of the cupcake, work your way around the edge and back up into the middle. 
7. Sprinkle with a few choc chips!
I hope you give these a go! If you do, send me your links or pictures or whatever else :)


Tuesday, 18 August 2015

Classic Vanilla Cupcakes

Hi there!
This is my first ever post as "Rosie Loves to Bake" and I'm a bit nervous to be honest! But I hope you enjoy! 
I'm starting off easy, with the first recipe I ever learnt. Something simple with super easy ingredients: Vanilla sponge cupcakes with a delicious Vanilla buttercream.
This is the recipe my mum taught me when I first began baking. I base pretty much every sponge recipe I do nowadays around this simple set of ingredients. It always produces the most beautiful, light and fluffy vanilla sponge without fail. I have never met a single person who doesn't enjoy these cupcakes, they are absolutely scrum!

Vanilla Sponge Cupcakes
6oz (170g) Butter, at room temperature.
6oz (170g) Caster Sugar
6oz (170g) Self Raising Flour
3 eggs, at room temperature

Vanilla Buttercream
4oz Butter, at room temperature
A splash of milk
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
12oz Icing Sugar

1. Preheat oven to 160c (Fan).
2. Line muffin tin with cupcake cases. I recommend using a muffin tin instead of a normal bun tin as they are a slightly deeper so help to keep your cupcakes upright and nice and neat. 
3. Measure butter and caster sugar and beat together until smooth and creamy in consistency.
4. Measure your flour and eggs into seperate bowls and gradually add them to your butter and sugar mixture. Beat until nice and creamy. The mixture should be able to hold soft peeks. (See picture below)
5. Spoon mixture into cupcake cases. (I like to use a soup spoon, it gives you a nice even starting measurement into each case)
6. Bake at 160c on a centre shelf for approximately 15-20 minutes or until lightly golden on the tops. 
7. Leave to completely cool before adding buttercream.

Buttercream Method:
1. Measure butter into large mixing bowl. Add vanilla extract and a light splash of milk. Mix until smooth.
2. Measure icing sugar into seperate bowl.
3. Slowly add the icing sugar, a couple ounces at a time, into the butter mixture. Electric hand whisks are great for this. They create a nice pale colour and a lovely stiff, fluffy consistency that is perfect for piping.

Piping Method: 
1. Choose the nozzle shape you are going to use. I used a classic large star nozzle as it is easy to pipe and produces a really pretty shape. 
2. Snip the end of your piping bag and drop your nozzle in, ready for piping!
3. Fold down the edges of the piping bag and use a spatula to load it with buttercream. Leave a couple of inches empty and twist the piping to stop any spilling out of the top.
4. Hold the piping bag upright and start in the middle of the cupcake. Keeping a steady pressure, go around the edge of the cupcake and swirl back into the middle. Release the pressure and pull the piping bag upwards to create the little clean point on the top of your cupcake.
5. Decorate however you like!
I hope you enjoyed this recipe and have a go at it yourself!

Thanks for reading :)