Moomin cupcakes and Moomin thoughts

"P.M.C." – Pre-Moomin cupcakes

Just before heading off to Angouleme Festival we saw something amazing on what some people are calling “The Internet” – Moomin muffins! The incredible baking duo Sylvia & Howard from foodie blog A Baked Creation had knocked up a batch of Moomin cupcakes.

SMH – There are lots of cake recipes in the Moomins Cookbook, but sadly no instructions on how to make fondant Moomin figures to decorate them!

Well, given our interest in all things Moomin-shaped and cooking-related (if you don’t know, we publish The Moomins Cooobook) we simply *had* to know the full story behind their creation and we wanted to share Sylvia and Howard’s (henceforth “S&H”) creations with you. So we (henceforth “SMH”) interviewed them and they kindly allowed us to include pics of the cakes. You can find S&H’s original post on A Baked Creation.

S&H – "This is Moomintroll, the son of Moominmamma and Moominpappa. He's also best friends with Snufkin."

SMH – "How wonderful to be a Moomin, to have just woken up, comletely refreshed, and dance along on the bottle-green waves in the first light of morning!" Taken from Moomintroll's Book of Thoughts.

S&H – "Here's Moominpappa with his top hat and walking cane."

SMH: How many colours of icing do you need to make all the Moomins?

H: We used fondant to make the Moomins, fondant is a sugar dough that can be molded and is primarily used for decorating cakes. We had to dye about 12-13 coloured fondant to make the 12 Moomin characters.

S&H – "This is Moominmamma with her apron and purse."

SMH – "Moominmamma was peaceful and content. She dreamed of carrots, raishes and potatoes growing fat and round in the warm sunshine" Taken from Moominmamma's Book of Thoughts.

SMH: Which was the most complicated character to make?

S: I would say the Hattifatteners, to get their little arms to stay put!

H: Thingumy and Bob with their little hair and delicate nose!

S&H – "Come on Moominpappa! Let's go shopping! Do Moomins like shopping?"

SMH – "'I was certainly a bit of a charmer in my youth!' he said to himself. 'And I'm not over the hill yet,' he added, stamping the ground with glee" Moominpappa, taken from Moominpappa's Book of Thoughts.

S&H – "What's a story without a little romance? I hear that Moomintroll is in love with the Snork Maiden. She has blond hair and wears a gold anklet."

What was your recipe for the cupcakes?

S: A chocolate cupcake recipe: makes about 3 dozen cupcakes.

1 cup of coffee
1 cup of cocoa powder
1/2 cup of water
3 cups of flour
2 teaspoons of baking soda
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
2 sticks of butter
2 cups of sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F). Mix the coffee, cocoa powder, and water together.
2. Using a mixer, combine the butter and sugar. Add the eggs one at a time until well combined. Add the vanilla extract.
3. Sift the flour, baking soda, and baking powder together.
4. Alternating, pour the cocoa mixture and flour mixture until the batter is well combined.
5. Scoop the batter into cupcake liners and place them in the oven. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean.
6. Let the cupcakes cool (30-45 minutes) before frosting and decorating.

S&H – "Snufkin here, as mentioned above, is Moomintroll's best friend."

SMH – "'One, can never be truly free if one admires others too much', said Snufkin suddenly. 'I Know'" Taken from Snufkin's Book of Thoughts.

SMH: Could you make a sponge cupcake that was bright white like a Moomin? (Meringue’s would count as cheating!):

S: Hmm, that would be difficult! I don’t know, it’ll require some research on my part.

H: Interesting challenge…

S&H – "This is Little My, she's Snufkin's half-sister!"

SMH – "Sometimes you have to be angry. Every little creature has the right to get angry" Taken from Little My's Book of Thoughts.

S&H – "Sniff here is also Moomintroll's friend."

SMH – "Once the day broke again, everyone was ready to get going. Mind you, Sniff neeeded to be prodded slightly – how some can sleep!" Taken from Sniff's Book of Thoughts.

S&H – "Too-Ticky is a friend of the family."

SMH: Which cupcake are you most proud of?

S: I love the way Moominmamma turned out! It was really fun accessorizing the Moomins after making their basic shape. It was fun dressing her with the apron and giving her the purse.

H: I thought Sylvia did the best job with the “momma” moomin.

S&H – "This is the Groke, who is very lonely..."

SMH: If you had Moomins round for tea, what would you serve them?

S: Some peanut butter and chocolate crispy squares, whoopie pies, and chewy cookies.

H: Moomin cupcakes. Yea, that could be a bit twisted but it’ll make a good conversation starter.

SMH: The correct answer is “Anything from the Moomins Cookbook“!

S&H – "Thingumy and Bob here remind me of mischievious Thing 1 and Thing 2 from The Cat in the Hat."

SMH: Do you ever read comics or graphic novels? If so, do you have any you’d recommend?

S: I do read comics and graphic novels sometimes, I enjoy fun stories like Archie, Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson, Alison Dare by J. Torres & Jason Bone, and Scott Pilgrim by Brian Lee O’Malley.

H: Too many to list. Some I will not take out of their wrap.

S&H – " Finally, the Hattifatteners! All I could think of when we were making these were jazz hands."

We’re sending S&H a set of “Moomin Thought” books as a little thank you. If you are now inspired to do some Moomin-baking between now and April, then post the results to our Facebook Page and we’ll send our favourites some Moomin goodies.

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