Thursday, 19 August 2010

Rockabilly Cupcakes

(noun) Pronunciation:/ˈrɒkəbɪli/
a type of popular music, originating in the south-eastern US in the 1950s, combining elements of rock and roll and country music
Origin: 1950s. Blend of Rock and Roll and Hillbilly.

This was the Oxford dictionary entry I referred to when a dear colleague of mine asked me to do a 21st birthday cupcake job for her. I really had no idea what rockabilly was, but I was certainly honoured to be asked to create cupcakes for such a milestone occasion in someone's life and it was lovely to know I put a smile on the birthday boy's face :)

So what sort of imagery is appropriate if we're talking about rockabilly? Think Betty Page and Johnny Cash. Think pinup girls in red lips and vintage bathing suits, dashing rockers in suits with greased hair... Think nautical stars, cherries, dice, and LOTS of red and black. The more I researched, the more I grew to like the edgy-vintage feel of all things Rockabilly!

Rockabilly themed cupcakes would not be complete without rockin' flavour, so I used my absolute favourite chocolate cupcake recipe, which is in fact an adapted cake recipe posted by fellow blogger, Karen from Citrus and Candy. Thank you, Karen!

For me, the search for the perfect chocolate cupcake recipe ends here.

I have tried so many recipes, including the Planet Cake chocolate mud cake recipe, but nothing comes close to these. They are fluffy, moist and oh so chocolatey.. plus, they give the perfect cupcake dome shape - an excellent canvas for decorating no matter what you want to do with them. You will simply have to try making them for yourself!!

If you don't want to make 3 dozen simply divide the recipe in 3 for a batch of 12 cupcakes. I recommend use of a sturdy stand mixer for these.

Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes
(makes 36)

400g 70% cocoa chocolate, broken into pieces
400g unsalted butter, chopped
2 Tbsp instant coffee granules
250ml warm water
170g plain flour
170g self raising flour
1/2 tsp bicarbonate soda
400g light brown sugar
400g caster sugar
50g cocoa powder
6 eggs
150ml buttermilk

1. Preheat the oven to 160 degrees celcius and line 3 muffin trays with cupcake papers.
2. In a heatproof bowl over simmering water, melt the chocolate and butter together then remove from the heat. Combine the water and coffee granules, then add to the bowl of chocolate/butter mixture. Set aside.
3. In a large bowl, sift the two flours, bicarbonate soda, two sugars and cocoa powder. Combine with a whisk to remove any lumps.
4. In a separate bowl, gently combine the eggs and buttermilk.
5. To the bowl of sifted dry ingredients, add the chocolate mixture, then the egg mixture. Mix until just combined. Due to the volume, this may take about a minute.
6. Divide the mixture among the cupcake papers. If it helps, transfer the mixture to a large jug for easy and more even pouring.
7. Bake for 30 minutes, or until a skewer comes out clean.

Once cool I topped the cupcakes with a smooth coating of a double batch of my rich chocolate ganache, followed by the ready to roll (RTR) fondant.

If you try these, please do let me know how they go!

Ladybird x


  1. love the colour scheme esp the lips!

  2. Oh how funky! Love the theme! Perhaps something for my 30th... haha still another fair few years to go =D

  3. These are intense! Love the red colour, as it personifies rockabilly, I think. The chocolate cake sounds wonderful, too.

  4. They are stunning - Faster Pussycat at Newtown would be impressed!

  5. Absolutely beautiful! Love the colours and the designs - especially the cherry ones, but I'm a bit of a cherry fan! :)

  6. Aww what gorgeous cake decorations! They're so perfectly rockabilly! :D

  7. You are such a good decorator, they look fantastic!

  8. Those are some kickin' cupcakes...


    I've entered a contest to win a walk-on role on that retro-licious TV show, "Mad Men".

    If you wouldn't mind taking a couple of seconds to vote for me, go to my blog, or copy and paste the following link which goes right to my picture:

    Thanks a bunch!

  9. Omeegosh, I love love love rockability style and your cupcake decorations are spot-on awesomeness. I have to share this post!!!


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