Archive for December, 2007

Apple cupcakes

Saturday, December 29th, 2007

Did you know you can substitute applesauce for the oil in a cake mix recipe and end up with cupcakes that are lower in fat as well as especially moist? Complete the experience (or take a tongue-in-cheek jab at guests who don’t believe in crazy applesauce substitutions) by decorating your cupcakes like apples.
apple cupcake
What You Need: 1 cupcake (baked and cooled); icing tinted red; thick pretzel sticks; green icing and pastry bag with leaf tip (or just buy some of those sugared gel candy leaves).
How to Make It: It’s notoriously hard to get a good, deep red when tinting icing. It’s a good idea to use concentrated gel icing (as opposed to liquid drops), and spring for the No-Taste Red in the cake aisle, because red icing can taste funky when you’re using a lot of it. (You could also just go with green apples, or pink “Pink Lady” apples.) Frost cupcake. Break off end of pretzel and stick in cupcake for stem. Pipe green leaf using pastry bag and leaf tip, or simply add candy leaf.

Snowman cupcakes (lying flat)

Wednesday, December 26th, 2007

There are as many ways to make a snowman cupcake as there are to make a “real” snowman! This version comes to life someday thanks to two piped icing blobs, mini M&M eyes and red licorice arms.
snowman cupcake with M&M eyes
What You Need: 1 cupcake (baked and cooled); white icing tinted light blue; white icing; pastry bag and #5 tip (or just use packaged tube of icing or a plastic bag with a hole cut in it); 2 brown mini M&Ms; red licorice strings.
How to Make It: Frost cupcake blue. Fill pastry bag or plastic sandwich bag partway with white frosting. (If you’re using a plastic bag, cut a small hole from which to squeeze the icing. If you’re using a pastry bag, use metal tip #5 or similar.) Squeeze icing into one spot until you have a quarter-sized blob. Stop squeezing before you pull away so the blog stays flat (You can flatten it yourself if you need to, but do it before the icing hardens,) Pipe a similar but smaller blob above the first. Place 2 mini M&Ms, upside down, on the top circle for eyes. Cut strands of red licorice for arms. You could also add buttons, a fruit leather nose or whatever you’d like!

Mouse cupcakes

Monday, December 24th, 2007

Twas the night before Christmas, and all through the house we were making mouse cupcakes. And it was easy.
Christmas mouse cupcake
What You Need: 1 cupcake (baked and cooled); chocolate frosting; 2 black Necco wafers; 2 red hots (cinnamon imperials); red licorice strings; red gumdrop.
How to Make It: Frost cupcake. Stick lengths of red licorice into cupcake for mouse whiskers and tail. Insert 2 Necco wafers at an angle for ears. Add gumdrop nose and red hot eyes.

Christmas tree cupcakes

Saturday, December 22nd, 2007

These Christmas tree cupcakes are basically a triangle of icing stars with sprinkled decorations and a simple M&M trunk.
Christmas tree cupcake
What You Need: 1 cupcake (baked and cooled); white frosting; frosting tinted green; red sprinkles; yellow star sprinkle; brown M&M.
How to Make It: Frost cupcake white. To make the stars, you can use a purchased tube of green icing with twist-on plastic tip, or use pastry bag with star tip. When you’re making stars, be sure to stop squeezing before you pull the tip away from the cupcake. Make triangle shape with green stars for tree. Decorate with red sprinkles and large star sprinkle, or whatever you’d like. Use brown M&M for trunk.

Horned reindeer cupcakes

Friday, December 21st, 2007

Here’s another take on reindeer cupcakes. Instead of using mini pretzels for antlers, make horns out of the thick style of pretzel.
reindeer cupcake with horns
What You Need: 1 cupcake (baked and cooled); chocolate frosting; thick pretzel; red gumdrop; 2 Tic-Tac mints.
How to Make It: Frost cupcake. Break pretzel and stick into cupcake to make two horns. Add gumdrop nose and Tic-Tac eyes.

Gingerbread man face cupcakes

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

This cupcake, a variation on a Wilton design, is quick and easy to make using basic decorating tips and tinted icing.
gingerbread boy cupcake
What You Need: 1 cupcake (baked and cooled); chocolate frosting; white icing; icing bag and round metal tip such as 2 or 3 (or just use prefilled tubes and plastic tip set from the grocery store.) We used pink M&Ms for the cheeks, but you could use pink icing or candies instead.
How to Make It: Frost cupcake. Use white icing and tip to pipe hair curl, eyes, nose and mouth. Add pink M&Ms for cheeks. If you don’t have pink M&Ms, using pink icing. Pipe a circle by squeezing the bag while keeping the round tip (size 2 or 3 would work) in the icing and be sure to stop squeezing before you pull away.

Christmas wreath cupcakes with M&Ms

Monday, December 17th, 2007

What could be easier than placing M&Ms on a cupcake in the shape of a wreath?
M&M wreath cupcake
What You Need: 1 cupcake (baked and cooled); chocolate frosting; green and red M&Ms.
How to Make It: Frost cupcake. Arrange green M&Ms, flat, on the cupcake to make a wreath circle. Then place 2 red M&Ms on end next to each other for a bow.