Monday, November 7, 2011

Sunflower and Ladybug Cupcakes

Sunflower and ladybug mini cupcakes with Oreos and M&M's in the batter--YUM.
I made these for the two girls who "brighten" my day, Tiera and Siera, on their birthday.

For the M&M cupcakes, I placed a few M&M's in the bottom of the cupcake,
 and then added batter, placing more M&M's on top, pushing them down into the batter.
And then baked them using my mini cupcake maker.
 Aren't the colors pretty?
 For the Oreo ones I put a mini Oreo in the bottom of the cupcake liners.
 And filled it with batter, topping the cupcakes with crushed Oreos.
 And again, baked them in my mini cupcake maker.
 Yum! I love the big pieces of Oreo.
Don't these look great?
 So now for the sunflowers. You'll need a can of frosting and mini Oreos (I used mini Oreos and mini cupcakes but if you did regular sized cupcakes you would want full-sized Oreos).
Take half of the frosting and tint it orange. I put it into my Tupperware froster and used a leaf tip to create the flower petals.
The other half tint green for the base of the cupcakes and for the leaves.
 Frost the "base" for the sunflower cupcakes green and pick out clean mini Oreos that aren't broken and are nice circles.
And place an Oreo in the center of each cupcake.
 Using a leaf tip (or similar tip) pipe the orange petals. With the tip right on the side of the Oreo, squeeze out some frosting and then pull away quickly.
 The first layer it just looks like a weird sun.
Try to use big petals, squeeze as much frosting as you can for each one, it'll look better and you'll have to pipe less. Plus the bigger petals seem to make a better shape when you pull the tip away quickly.
And then go back and do a second layer on top of the first in between the spaces. It'll look much more full and normal that way.
 See? Much better!
 Also, I found that you have to pipe underneath the Oreo on the cupcake. See the top one that looks AWFUL? That's because I piped on the Oreo itself and then it runs down the Oreo in a really weird way and loots really awkward, almost like a henna tattoo of a sun or something. When you start piping, you should start on either the lower Oreo edge or where the white cream is, but not the top edge!
So now for the leaves. I frosted the other half of the cupcakes green.
 And I used these edible food markers and mini M&M's to make ladybugs and bumble bees.
 And I just drew on them with a black maker. For the lady bugs I made a dark section for the face with a line down the center and little dots on the sides.
 For the bumble bees I drew little zigzag lines and a tiny smiley face. I also went back and darkened the other end for the little bee butt.
 And I piped on leaves with the green frosting. I really should have tinted it darker but it already was in the bag and I didn't think about it in time. Sorry they're so hard to see! In person they were a bit better.
 And then I just put one of my little critters on each of the leaves.
 So easy, but really a nice touch.
 I loved the little ladybugs :).
 And it compliments the sunflowers really well.
 But on a plate all together they looked a bit weird. Too much green and not enough flowers.
 That's when I had the idea to pair them, almost like they were stems.
 And that worked out much better. Two leaves in between two flowers in a diamond shape. It just looks much more natural I think.
 And of course I had to try one! The wrapper was a bit hard to get off, maybe the minis were a bit overdone? Mini cupcakes are always a bit hard to get perfectly moist but yet done all of the way. See the Oreo on the bottom? Yum.
Here's the bisected cupcake!
And here's the final gift. Cupcakes and two homemade candy jars (that's where the mini M&M's came from!). Simple and easy but pretty cute. Enjoy! :)

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