One of the easiest treats to dress up for holidays and birthdays is the cupcake. All you need is food coloring, cake decorator gel and frosting, and a little imagination.
For the cupcakes
Ingredients and supplies:
- Your favorite box cake, any flavor
- Red, blue, yellow, and green food coloring
- White icing (recipe below)
- Green, black, pink and orange decorator gel
- Yellow and white decorator frosting
- Decorating tip
- White and multi-colored sprinkles
- Multi-colored non pareil sprinkles
- Yellow and blue sugar
- Circus peanuts
- Red licorice whips
- Red and white gumdrop
- Cupcake liners
For the White Buttercream Icing:
- 16-ounce package confectioners' sugar
- 6 tablespoons butter or margarine, softened
- 3 to 4 tablespoons milk
- 1-1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- Prepare cake mix as directed. If desired, you can make colored cupcakes with either a flavored mix, such as cherry, or add a few drops of red food coloring to a prepared white mix to make pink, blue to make light blue, and so on.
- Put cupcake liners into muffin tin and fill liners as directed on box cake mix. Bake as directed and allow to cool thoroughly before frosting and decorating.
- To prepare icing, in a medium bowl, with mixer at medium-low speed, beat all ingredients until the icing is smooth and of easy spreading consistency. When finished, separate into five small dishes. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. You can make pink , light green, light blue, purple, and yellow, or mix to make whatever colors you like.
Time to decorate!
There's really not much to decorating cupcakes, especially in the eyes of your admiring children. Just a dollop of frosting is artistic enough for them! Here are a few simple tips that will help you decorate your holiday cupcakes.
Piping -- Using the tip on the decorator frosting, pipe strips across the frosted cupcake to decorate like an Easter egg.
Sprinkles -- The beauty of sprinkles is that there is no perfection involved. SImply drop them and let them lay where they fall. Use contrasting colors, and mix colors when pleasing. A great way for kids to decorate with sprinkles is to have them dip the top of the cupcake right into the container of sprinkles.
Sugars -- Using colored sugars is easy, and doesn't have to be messy. Simply dip the entire top of the frosted cupcake into the sugar for a blanket look. Dip the edges of a frosted cupcake to create a border, and then decorate with a sprinkling of non pareils.
Bunny -- Cut the bottoms off of two circus peanuts for the bunny's ears. Cut two small pieces of circus peanuts for the cheeks (see photo). Cut the tip of a gumdrop for the nose, and cut two teeth from a white gumdrop. Use licorice whips for whiskers and black decorator gel for the eyes.
Frosting only -- Use the different colored frostings to decorate one cupcake. Spread half of a cupcake with one color, and carefully spread the other half with another. You can also spread a full coat of one color, and dot the center with another. Get creative and try swirls or other shapes by using only frosting.
Be sure to store your cupcakes in a tightly covered container so they do not harden or go stale. That is, if they last that long!