Tuesday Trend – Fondant Cupcake Toppers

Have you used fondant in your cake or cupcake decorating yet?  If not, why not?

About three years ago, I tried my hand at decorating with fondant and made a pretty fabulous (if I do say so myself) Princess Birthday cake for my daughter. (Ok, just the bodice of her dress was made with fondant, but I am still proud).

Since that time, the use of fondant and edibles for CUPCAKE toppers has grown like crazy, and this year, I plan do try again, BUT making individual princess toppers for cupcakes!

You know I found a few tutorials, right?  AND some super fab fondant artists from whom you can purchase fondant cake toppers, if you aren’t brave enough to try your own!

First off – let’s start you off with a super-easy, incredibly delicious marshmallow fondant recipe (or you can purchase fondant from a bakery or the baking aisle of a craft store).  Learning how to make cake fondant (or cupcake fondant) is fun and a money saver!

 

From Glorious Treats, a fondant tutorial, to help you get started!

From Crave. Indulge. Satisfy, one of THE best tutorials I found… how to make owl fondant cupcake toppers:

From The Crafty Penguin, a fun tutorial on ladybug cupcakes:

From Cake Journal, how to make embossed teddy bear fondant cupcake toppers (GORGEOUS!):


And remember when I said I was hoping to make some Princess cupcake toppers for my daughter’s birthday?  Well… I may just BUY them instead.  Check THESE out, from Edible Details:

And these from Parker’s Flour Patch, some rose and princess-theme toppers:

Cute, cute, CUTE!!

Christmas Cupcakes!

December is the PERFECT month for baking… and we’ll be highlighting holiday baking in a few posts over the next week or so.  Today we’re talking about HOLIDAY CUPCAKES!  I’ve got some great tutorials and posts for you to check out:

From Sand and Sisal, step-by-step instructions with photos to make these gorgeous white ornament cupcakes:

From Better Homes and Gardens,  this delightful “Oh Tannebaum” Christmas Tree cupcakes recipe:

From Hoosier Handmade, the simple ingredient list and instructions to make some adorable Christmas ornament cupcake:

And some inspirational Christmas cupcake pictures, this time from Cupcake Envy:

While not TECHNICALLY a cupcake, I think these Santa Hat Brownies from Daisy’s World qualify for today’s post, don’t you?  Click here for the easy instructions on how to make these Christmas brownies.

And two more Christmas cupcake ideas for you… first, from Martha Stewart, elegant Christmas tree cupcakes.  A tad more complicated than the previous recipes, but worth it if you are crafty!

And from Bakerella, a simply sweet (you use sugar cones for the tree!)  Candy Cane cupcake; her instructions are great – pictures included!:

What will YOU be baking this holiday season?  We’d love to hear about it!

Wednesday Wow – Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes

How about a fun WOW for this fine Wednesday morning?  For those of you planning Thanksgiving parties that will include children… why not make Thanksgiving Turkey Cupcakes?

You can click HERE to read how to make these:

And in case you would rather offer a more sophisticated turkey cupcake (is there such a thing??), here is another tutorial for you.  Click the image below (or HERE) to get the instructions:

One more option… not a tutorial… but pre-made fondant Thanksgiving cupcake toppers that you can purchase from Sweet Thing Topper Shop:

Gobble, gobble!!

Chocolate Meringue Cupcakes

These chocolate dipped meringue cupcakes were  absolutely heavenly!  I don’t have a lot of meringue-making experience and I’m thrilled to tell you that none is necessary.

Keys to Success: 1) The goal of heating the meringue is to dissolve the sugar – not actually ‘cook’ the whites.  In fact – you want to be sure that you only heat the meringue to the point where it is hot to the touch – no further.  Otherwise you’ll have cooked the eggs and ruined the meringue. 2) Let the chocolate cool (about 15 minutes) before you use it to glaze the meringue so that you don’t melt the meringue. 3) The original directions said to ladle the chocolate glaze over the frozen meringues but that ended up a mess with glaze all over the liners and surface.  I found it much easier to tip the pan with the glaze to one side and then gently dip and roll the cupcake in it (meringue only). 4) Keep refrigerated until you are ready to serve them.  The meringue tastes better and won’t lose it shape.

Last note: I used a 3/8″ round tip with a disposable pastry bag (all purchased cheaply from a craft store – go to their website for 40% off coupons) but you can easily fill a ziploc storage bag with the meringue and clip off one corner and build your meringue frosting tops that way.  There’s no right or wrong shape – you just want to get some height to them (they are also called high tops cupcakes).

Turn to Diva Entertains for wonderful favors including Cupcake Favors!

Luscious Lemon Frosting Recipe for Cupcakes & Cakes

This lemon frosting recipe is a breeze to make and tastes absolutely scrumptious.  It’s got a double dose of lemon, first from fresh lemon juice and then from lemon zest. The cream cheese adds another flavor note that works beautifully with lemon.

And now a totally selfish promotion of my party favor store, Diva Entertains, this lemon frosted cupcake is shown on Individual Cupcake Stands!  They look great set next to each place setting and come in white, blue or pink!

Also… super cute is the new Single Cupcake Box – you can even order them with personalized labels.  The scallop insert that holds the cupcake in place comes in white, pink, blue or chocolate brown.  Matching satin ribbon is included too!

Lemon Frosting Recipe (adapted from Allrecipes.com)

  • 1 (8 ounce) package of cream cheese, softened
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. grated lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 5 cups confectioners’ sugar (powdered)

Beat cream cheese, butter, lemon juice, zest and vanilla together until smooth and fluffy.  Add confectioners’ sugar in two additions.  Beat until creamy.  Add more sugar if you prefer a stiffer frosting.  Makes approximately 3 1/2 cups.

Mocha Cupcakes with Cappuccino Cream Cheese Frosting

Diva Entertains Mocha Cupcakes

After spending way too much time on my last cupcake venture, Cupcake Pops, I decided to pursue a more sophisticated, adult cupcake.  This time I went for a homemade mocha cupcake that I topped with, not one, but two luscious frostings: a chocolate ganache and a cappuccino cream cheese frosting.  If you want to save time and only make one frosting – go for the cappuccino; it’s amazing!

Diva Entertains Mocha Cupcakes Open

The cupcake recipe is easy and straightforward.  The sour cream, extra egg yolk and a bit of oil keep the cupcake moist.  For the chocolate flavor I used Hershey’s Extra Dark Cocoa but you can use regular – the cupcake will simply be lighter in color (and taste) than the one shown.  If you’ve never made chocolate ganache before – you are in for quite a treat.  After making it you can cool it in the fridge until it is thickens somewhat and it is spreadable (don’t let it harden, though) and use it as is or you can instead whip it into a lighter, fluffier frosting.

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    Cupcake Pops

    Diva Entertains Cupcake Pops

    If you’ve never heard of cupcake pops, I’m here to spread the word!  These became wildly popular a few years ago when Angie Dudley, who authors the “Bakerella” blog, sampled a cake pop at an event, loved them, and then proceeded to come up with her own versions.  Her cupcake pops were an instant internet sensation and soon Martha Stewart came calling to have Angie on her shown  Recently Angie came out with her cook book, Cake Pops: Tips, Tricks, and Recipes for More Than 40 Irristible Mini Treats. (if you scroll down on the link there’s a great little video by Angie explaining what she does).

    Diva Entertains Cupcake Pops Up Close

    Instead of me writing out out the out to do these I am going to link you directly to Bakerella’s Cupcake Pops Recipe because she has wonderful step-by-step pictures.  But what I would like to offer are these tips and ‘lessons learned’ from my afternoon of making cake pops.

    First of all – let me say for the record: “I am not a crafty person”  I don’t do a lot of crafts because my failures are far greater than my successes.  And although mine certainly do not look as great as Angies – they still worked out and were LOVED by family and friends.  If I can do it you can do it!

    1. Set a side a few hours to do these.  You will definitely need it.  But your hard work will be repaid with nearly 50 miniature desserts that will stay fresh for several days and that can also be frozen for future enjoyment
    2. If you don’t have the cute little flower shaped cutter that Angie uses, that’s okay.  Shape them with your hands like I did (I had actually bought some round cutters but they all ended up being too small or too large.).  I took the round cake balls and started to make a round cupcake liner of the lower half of the ball by shaping it with my fingers (basically pushing in and turning the cake ball to make the liner).
    3. I purchased candy melts (these can be purchased at most craft or baking supply stores) for the cupcake liner and frosting; I didn’t use bark.
    4. Make sure you follow the instructions for the melts and/or bark.  Otherwise they can burn or seize (yep – happened to me; I hadn’t followed the directions).
    5. No matter how I tried I could not successfully dip the ‘top’ of the cupcake in the candy melts.  It either wouldn’t coat properly or the whole cake pop fell into the melts.  Instead I just used a knife and ‘frosted’ them like you would an ordinary cupcake.  Sometimes I would have to frost over the first thin layer to fully cover up the cake pop.

    And finally……

    Diva Entertains Cupcake Pops - Whoops

    Don’t be disheartened if you have a few flops along the way…they taste just as good as the others!

    Turn to Diva Entertains when looking for the largest selection of Cupcake Favors.

    Pumpkin Cream Cheese Cupcakes

    I loved pumpkin baked goods.  Not only for their rich flavor – but also for pumpkin’s ability to keep a cake, cupcake, muffin or cookie moist.  It’s a shame that I only remember to bake with it around the holidays.

    I concocted these pumpkin cupcakes from two recipes.  The cupcake base is from Ina Garten (The Barefoot Contessa), to which I’ve added mini chocolate chips.  The cream cheese layer and ganache frosting is from my Chocolate Ganached Cream Cheese Brownies recipes.  Put them together and “wow”.

    However, they are a tad complicated.  Not hard, mind you, just a lot of steps.  You can streamline your efforts by leaving out the cream cheese layer (the pumpkin cupcakes on their own are divine) and/or using canned frosting.

    With no further adieu, I bring you:

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    Apple Cider Spice Cupcakes with Maple Cream Cheese Frosting

    Diva Entertains Spice Cupcakes

    I came across this recipe for Spice Cupcakes that basically took a spice cake mix and ‘doctored’ it up with cider and grated apple.  Sounded good to me.  But never having used a spice cake mix I was a bit disappointed with its spice flavor – or in reality, lack of.  So I added a little extra cinnamon and a bit of cardamom.   Nutmeg would also be a fine addition.  An extra 1/2 – 1 tsp. of spice will do it.

    Diva Entertains Spice Cupcakes

    It called for a butter cream frosting made with a bit of cider which did sound nice.  But something just called to me that said these cupcakes needed a cream cheese frosting.  And not just any cream cheese frosting, but one that had been subtly flavored with real maple syrup and then finished with a bit of cinnamon.  Oh yeah…that did the trick!

    Diva Entertains has the largest selection of Cupcake Favors.  We have cupcake place card holders, candles, cookies, party bags and so much more!

    Easy Strawberry Cupcake Recipe with Homemade Buttercream Frosting

    Diva Entertains Strawberry Cupcake

    A terrific baker and cook from the recipe site I belong to directed me to a picture of a white cupcake with a strawberry in the middle when I asked for suggestions for a ‘summer’ cupcake.   I did my own take on it by using a white cake mix that I doctored just a bit (to make the cupcake part easy).  And I decided that my way to make these really *divine* would be to frost them with real, homemade buttercream frosting and then finish them off with a bit of sweetened coconut for pizazz.

    Diva Entertains Open Strawberry Cupcake

    Let’s first talk about a white cake mix.  It keeps its white color because egg whites, not the yellow yolks, are used.  But it’s the yolks (in my humble opinion) that give most baked goods a rich texture and taste.  So I always add an extra egg yolk to any cake or cupcake recipe I make.  But in this case I simply replace one of the egg whites called for on the package directions with one egg (yolk and egg white).  I find the change in color is minimal if noticeable at all.  Then I also add 1/2 cup of either sour cream or plain, Greek yogurt.  To add moisture and richness.

    As for the homemade buttercream frosting….

    A real buttercream frosting is made from sugar, egg whites  and unsweetened butter. Often flavors (lemon juice) and extracts (vanilla, for example) are also added.  This type of buttercream frosting is light in texture and absolute divine in taste.   And a pleasure to work with.  And it’s easy to make.  Okay – not as easy as creaming powdered sugar and butter for what most people consider ‘buttercream’, but not that hard.

    One thing, however, to take note of is that with this type of buttercream if you are serving it in hot weather (which would be the goal for a summer cupcake:) – keep it inside (best yet, in the refrigerator) until a bit before you are going to serve it.  It doesn’t hold up well in prolonged heat (butter turns to liquid in heat).  Serving these cold is an absolutely delicious treat!

    Diva Entertains has a fun and fabulous line of Cupcake Favors!  Perfect for any celebration!