I think we can relax, it would seem snowy days are behind us. Let’s celebrate flip flop weather with some fun summer cupcakes. Now, normally, you would just load up a bag with a big frosting tip and ice away. But I’d like to present something a little different. Let’s flip the cupcakes over!
The following five ideas all have the same thing in common. They are iced like tiny cakes! You’ll want to have a small spatula, I’m using a 4” spatula. It’s also nice to have a large cake icing tip. You can just zip around the outside in one swipe. You’ll need something to put your cupcake on, I used both small paper plates and cupcake liners. And it doesn’t hurt to have a turntable for this. If you don’t have an actual decorator’s turntable you could also just dig out your lazy susan if you have one.
Start by removing the liner from your cupcake. Your guest don’t need the additional fiber. You may need to take a little slice off the top so your cupcake can sit level and stable. If you are going to use a cupcake liner under your cupcake you’ll want to use a fresh liner, I like the foil ones since they are a little stiffer. Flatten out your liner and place your cupcake on it, bottom side up. You can use a little dollop of icing to hold it in place. Then you ice the cupcake like you would a tiny cake, hence why I use tiny tools. The cake icier tip makes this process super easy. In one spin you can wrap the outside in icing. You only have one little seam to blend in. The first few times you try this it may feel awkward and a little roly poly. But once you figure out the right touch you’ll be good to go. Hint, if your cupcakes are giving you problems put them in the freezer for a few minutes. They’ll be firmer and easier to ice. Now, on to the fancy stuff!
Ladybug! How cute would these be on a little tiered cake stand or sitting at table settings for the kids at the party? I iced my cupcake in red and then piped on the rest of the details. If you can do dots and lines, you can do this. You could also do pink ladybugs. Or why not a rainbow assortment of fun, summery, beetles? That would be great for a little bug explorer’s birthday!
What about an undersea adventure party? Here is a cute little octopus idea. I used a small dessert plate for a base this time. Pipe the tentacles first, then it’s up to you how to proceed. I, myself, plopped that cupcake, bare, in the center and then iced it on the plate. It takes a little bit more care, but it’s doable. Especially if you are using that large cake icer tip. You could also ice them and then move them to the plate, but there might be some fingerprints left behind as you lift and position. Again, freezing them will make the transfer process easier. You should be able to lightly touch them and position them without leaving marks on the frosting. Once the main body is in place it’s just a matter of adding a cute little face. If you want to make him more squid like I would put the eyes further apart, almost on the sides of the head. Then use a coupler to pipe a little cone of frosting on his head. With a little extra smoothing you would have the nice pointed shape of a squid body.
If you want to be on the beach versus in the waves you can also make these cute little sandcastles. I iced my cupcake and then rolled it in crushed graham crackers. You’ll want to have the crackers crushed and ready. After icing your cupcake immediately roll the cupcake in the crumbs to get the best stick-to-it-ivness. Once they are coated in crumbs you can add on the little finishing touches. I used pieces of graham crackers to give my cupcake that classic castle look on top, and to make a little draw bridge door on the front. They would also be very cute with little colorful paper flags on toothpicks on top. I completed my cupcake by placing it on a dessert plate with more graham cracker “sand” and a few bubble gum pearls.
While not specifically summery there is no avoiding the popular unicorn trend. As an adult who had a unicorn obsession as a child I’m overly happy to oblige. So, here is the hot summer trend, but tiny. If you have seen the large cakes with a unicorn horn and a rainbow piped mane then you will recognize this cupcake. It’s basically a scaled down version. Ice your cupcake in your preferred color, add a face, horn, and rainbow mane. I used a mini marshmallow, cut in half on the diagonal, for the ears. If you are wondering how to make that horn stand up I’ll tell you a secret. I piped the frosting horn around an uncooked spaghetti noodle. Being a pro I was choose to pipe a coil of icing, using a size 4 tip, around the noodle.
If you are starting out on your cake journey I would recommend starting with this other technique. Use a round tip that the noodle will fit into with a little room to spare, probably about a size 5, depends on your noodle. Put the noodle in the cupcake, slide the tip down the noodle from the top, with the noodle going into the tip. Start at the base of the noodle and starting gently squeezing. As you squeeze you will slowly draw your tip upwards. Every 1/8” or so you’ll want to give a little a little downward push with the tip to create the ridges in the horn. You might want to practice it a few times before you do it on your unicorn.
And finally, the ultimate summer activity, eating a tasty, melty, ice cream cone. I put my cupcake on a line, but you could do little plates as well. It depends on how you want to display, transport, or the age of the eater. Start with icing your cupcake in your chose ice cream color. I then piped a little extra of the color at the bottom for that melting ice cream look. (Don’t forget some sprinkles!) Next we will add the cone, but you might want to hold off on that if you are driving around with these. They stayed on just fine for me when they were on the table, but I wouldn’t trust them not to fall off if being jostled in a car. Now, for an extra surprise grabbed some more sprinkles and mini marshmallows. You could also use little candies or chocolate chips. Fill your cone, about half way with fun little treats. Tilt it on it’s side, not enough to spill, but enough that we can stick it on the cupcake. Hold you cupcake in your other hand and tilt it at an angle towards your ice cream cone. Now, fuse the two together. You’ll want it to be either on the top or at a slight angle. Too far leaning and your cone will tip off. Keep that in mind as well when filling your cone. If you pack it full of chocolates they are much heavier than marshmallows and the weight may pull the cone off. Now, for the fun part… Sit the party folks down, hand out those cupcakes and watch the fun of the surprise spilling out!
Coborn’s, Inc. Pastry Arts Training Specialist
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