Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy Birthday Mom! Cat Cupcakes

For my mom's 46th birthday (happy birthday mom!) I decided to make her cupcakes that looked like her new kitty, Harley.

Not so cute cat cupcakes..
But pretty cute cat in real life.

For Christmas, I got this amazing book called What's New Cupcake that I absolutely love and can't wait to start baking cupcakes from. It has a lot of really cute ideas.
One of their ideas is these squirrel cupcakes, which strangely enough, look exactly like our little kitty.
I'm not sure why you would make squirrel cupcakes, but the little acorns are awfully cute, aren't they?

With a few slight changes, this squirrel and acorns was easily transformed into our goofy new kitty and his long fluffy tail.The cupcakes were funfetti of course, since it's my family's favorite.


The cupcake liners were princess themed, since mom is, of course, the queen.

Aren't they cute?

The easiest way to fill the cupcake liners is using a cookie dough scoop (or an ice cream scoop, which is slightly larger).

It makes the process much faster and usually less messy.

I even used it on the mini cupcakes, keeping the scoop only about halfway full.

Put them in the oven at 350 degrees, and bake the normal sized cupcakes about 18 minutes and the minis about 10.

I baked both cupcakes together, checking on the mini cupcakes to make sure I didn't burn them!
To get them out (especially the mini cupcakes which don't have a liner since they're going to go on top of the normal sized cupcakes) I use a metal spoon and scoop them out.

While those are cooling I decided to make the tails. Now the book had a template for the tail, but when I traced it I realized that the template was huge and was way bigger than the cookies I wanted to use. It was bigger than two cookies put together. She must have made giant squirrels!

I took cut-out cookies that we had frozen in a zip-lock baggie, waiting to be frosted.
I took their template and free handed my own, smaller version. I had a few different shapes of cookies but I eventually decided to go with the Christmas trees.

I cut out the template and placed it over a cookie, and using a relatively sharp knife, began to carve the cookie into the shape of the tail.

The problem was that the cookies kept breaking.

:( So finally, I decided to try to soften the cookies a bit and I placed them in the microwave and microwaved them in 10 second intervals for 30 seconds until they were slightly warm and pliable. This made cutting much easier and the cookie less brittle.
Then because they were still soft, I put them in the freezer to harden for a few minutes. Next I took the icing I had made for the New Years Eve balls (see below) and dipped the tails into the frosting, coating them as if it were melted chocolate.As the frosting began to set up, the tails became a bit more textured, but looked similar to fur so I kept going.

I put those back into the freezer for a few minutes to set, and started frosting the cupcakes. I made a gray frosting (unfortunately slightly lighter in color than the tails, which I didn't realize until it was too late) and frosted the large cupcakes, edging them in white sugar.

I'm not sure why the book had this step, you really couldn't see a huge difference in the edging and it seemed like an unnecessary step for me, but the sugar did taste great on the cupcakes. Next I frosted the mini cupcakes that made up the head of the cat. Placing it sideways on top of the normal sized cupcake, I stuck a toothpick down through the middle of the mini cupcake to keep it stabilized, since some of the tails kept breaking off. I cut mini marshmallows on a diagonal for the ears, and dipped the cut edges in sugar dyed pink.
For the eyes I used tiny chocolate chips found in a trail mix container and I used bigger chocolate chips and sometimes M&M's for the nose. I used shredded coconut for the whiskers and for the tuft of fur under the chin of the kitty.
Once the tails had hardened I piped a white line of frosting on them to look a bit more like a tail and I pushed a toothpick about halfway into the cookie. To pipe, I usually use a plastic baggie and hold it in my hand to fill, putting the frosting all in one corner and then snipping a bit off of the corner based on the size you need.

Placing the tail behind the head, I pushed the tooth pick into the cupcake to anchor the heavy cookie tail and piped on a few details to make the cupcake look more like a kitty and less like the giant rats that my sister thought they were. (Thanks Jenn.) And yes, okay, this one did look like a rat at first before any piping. So, if for some reason you ever want to make rat cupcakes these would work too.

I kept trying to experiment with different eyes and noses and positioning of the ears to make them more cat-like.

I tried a brown mini butterscotch chip for the eyes.

And different colored M&M's for the nose.

And a chocolate chip for the nose.

So overall, I had many different kinds of kitties.

I ended up only making about 7 cupcakes because of how long they took and how easily the tails broke or something went wrong, but I think the end result was pretty cute.

Finally, a litter of kitties that my dad won't be insanely mad about. :)

And of course, thank you Harley, for being my kitchen assistant, for accidentally taste-testing any frosting that dropped (yes, he's worse than a dog!) and more importantly, for the inspiration.

1 comment:

  1. Harley and the "cakes" are sooo cute! Isn't there something about not telling a woman's age??? lol.