Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Recipe: David Bowie Aladdin Sane cupcakes

Bowie inspired Aladdin Sane cupcakes, as made by EJ

Who will love Aladdin Sane?

With the launch of the V&A's hotly awaited exhibition David Bowie is, it seems everyone has Bowie fever at the moment. David Bowie was a big influence throughout my childhood, in fact, if I were to create the soundtrack of my childhood, there would definitely be a few key Bowie tracks in there. With his presence as narrator in children's classics The Snowman and Prokofiev's Peter and the Wolf - and of course his unsettling, compelling - and undeniably cool performance in Labyrinth, Bowie had a role to play in my upbringing before I was even consciously aware of his music. It was ultimately my Dad's love of Bowie which cemented him in my awareness - and his music has followed me from my childhood into adulthood as a result.

Aladdin Sane inspired cupcake detail
I was quick off the mark and pre-ordered tickets to the V&A exhibition as my Dad's birthday present back in November. I only wish I had had the foresight to pre-order my own, I logged on the other day and ordered the soonest tickets available for my visit, in - yikes - May!

So, I made some David Bowie Aladdin Sane cupcakes, a celebration of one of his most iconic looks. These are classic vanilla cupcakes, sprayed gold and topped with a disc of white chocolate favoured icing and an Aladdin Sane style lightning bolt. Someone told me they looked like Flash Gordon cupcakes. Flash Gordon used to terrify me as a child, but you could totally re-purpose these, making the lightning bolt from yellow icing against a white and red background for a Flash Gordon theme. But let's stick with Aladdin Sane for now!

To make 6 classic vanilla cupcakes, you will need:
120g self raising flour
120g caster sugar
120ml milk
40ml rapeseed oil
1 egg
1tsp vanilla extract

For the decoration:
Gold edible shimmer spray
White chocolate flavoured ready to roll icing
Red ready to roll icing
Blue ready to roll icing
Edible glue

How to:
Pre-heat the oven to 170C (fan). Line a cupcake tray with 6 cupcake cases

Separate the egg, using an electric hand mixer, whisk the egg white until it forms soft peaks.

Slowly add the sugar to the egg white while whisking on a slow setting.

Add the egg yolk, vanilla extract, rapeseed oil and milk and continue to mix.

Sift in the flour and mix into a smooth batter.

Spoon into the six cupcake cases until they are approximately 3/4 full, then bake for 20-25 minutes, until cooked through.

Remove from the oven and leave to cool on a wire rack.

To decorate:
Use the gold edible shimmer spray to spray the tops of your cupcakes gold.

Roll out the white chocolate favoured icing to a thickness of approximately 3-4mm, use a 7cm round cutter to cut out six discs- one for the top of each cupcake.

Top each cupcake with a white chocolate icing disc, securing in place with a little of the edible glue, the gold edges of the sponge should be visible around the circumference of the disc.

Draw a lightning bolt on a piece of card (a little shorter than the diameter of your cupcake), cut this out to use as a template.

Lightning bolt template

Roll out the red icing to be 3mm thick, place the template on top of the icing and use a small sharp knife to cut out the lightning bolt shape. Remove the surrounding icing and carefully lift the lightning bolt from your surface (a palette knife is useful for this), neaten the edges of the lightning bolt by pressing the flat side of the knife gently against them. 

Carefully secure the red lightning bolt on top of one of the white chocolate icing discs using a dot of edible glue.

Roll out the blue icing until it is the same thickness as the red icing (3mm), cut a strip 3mm wide with straight edges. Cut two lengths - 40mm and 35mm, cutting the ends so that they are slanted downwards from right to left. Slot these in place along the left hand side of the red lightening bolts and use a little of the edible glue to stick them in place.

David Bowie, Aladdin Sane inspired cupcake detail

Repeat this process with each cupcake and enjoy the results with fellow Bowie fans :)


  1. Thank you so much for posting this. just what I've been looking for, for my upcoming birthday. Jacqui (NZ)

    1. Thanks for your lovely comment Jacqui, I hope you enjoy making them & have a wonderful birthday :)