How to Easily Prepare Unicorn-Themed Cupcakes for a Video-Recipe Shoot
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I’ve noticed that unicorns come up quite often in my shoots, whether it be cookies, cakes, or cupcakes. Though everyone loves sweets and I love making and shooting them, unicorns have become a prominent theme in some shoots, which makes my daughter very happy. For this shoot, I made unicorn-themed chocolate cupcakes with buttercream icing for a video-recipe style shoot.
A key part of this shoot was a unicorn-themed cupcake kit, which included ears, sprinkles, horns, and designed cupcake liners. I thought this would be a perfect addition to a shoot, and came up with some other ideas to solidify the unicorn theme of this shoot, starting with the icing.
Rainbow buttercream frosting recipe
For this shoot, I experimented with new ways to apply icing, which has also become a common theme in my dessert-based shoots. I baked simple chocolate cupcakes, but I changed up the way I used icing on them. I had three different colors of icing; blue, yellow, and pink, and I used one large piping bag and put two large scoops of each different color icing into the bag. I also used an extra-large cupcake decorating tip, which caused the resulting icing to be a swirl of three colors, which looks very nice on the camera. After the icing, I put on sprinkles and all of the unicorn accessories and ended with perfect unicorn cupcakes.
This shoot was surprisingly short and sweet- using one large piping bag with all colors of the icing was a lot quicker than using many separate bags, and had a really effective impact on the visuals of the cupcakes. The unicorn accessory kit was also very effective in this shoot, as I didn’t have to clutter my work area with too many props and was able to complete the theme I was looking for. Since this shoot was in a video-recipe style, I enjoyed the simplicity of the shoot because a bit more has to happen behind the scenes. I use 2 cameras, one overhead and one right in front of me to shoot from different angles, but this comes with a catch. The two cameras have to be the same (or calibrated on the same settings) in order to ensure that the footage all looks the same, and I don’t have to waste time in post-processing to change the footage to look similar. Shooting with two cameras also allows me to complete a recipe only once, wherewith one camera I would have to do it multiple times in order to get different views.
Unicorn Chocolate Cupcakes
- Preheat the oven to 350° F. Line a 12 cup muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- In a large bowl combine flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
- In a medium bowl whisk using the hand kitchen mixer eggs, granulated sugar, brown sugar, oil, and vanilla extract.
- Pour half of the wet ingredients and buttermilk into the dry ingredients. Whisk between each addition using a kitchen hand mixer. Add the rest of the wet ingredients.
- Spoon cupcake batter with a small (1.58 inch) ice cream scoop onto the liners.
- Bake for 18-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
Rainbow buttercream frosting
- While cupcakes are cooling make buttercream frosting. Add the butter to the bowl of a stand kitchen mixer and beat for 5 minutes until doubled in volume.
- Gradually add the sugar 1/2 cup at a time and beating between each addition.
- Gradually add vanilla and milk. Beat on high 3 minutes, until combined.
- Divide buttercream evenly into 3 bowls. Add different food coloring (pink, blue and yellow) to each mixing bowl. With a large serving spoon, add buttercream into a large piping bag. First spoon pink, blue, and yellow, continue pattern till the piping bag is full.
- Frost cupcakes with unicorn rainbow buttercream icing using a jumbo size closed star piping tip. Top with unicorn sprinkles, ears, and horn from Wilton unicorn cupcake decorating kit.
- This recipe makes 12 full-size cupcakes and 36 mini cupcakes. Bake mini cupcakes for 10-12 minutes.
Food photography props used in this photoshoot
Some of the props might no longer be available in stores. I selected props as close as possible to match those items.
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