No, don't worry, these aren't the cupcakes I'm making for my sister's baby shower on Sunday. These adorable ballerina cupcakes were in the running, but they didn't make the cut for the final cupcakes. I'm sure you've seen the millions of ballerina cupcakes on Pinterest, but unlike those cupcakes, these cupcakes actually taste good (Air Heads instead of fondant) and are really easy to make (all you need are cherry Air Heads and vanilla frosting).
These adorable pink fondant cupcakes are found HERE.
Or the t-shirt version, found HERE.
Both are really cute...but both use fondant. Fondant is expensive, doesn't taste as good, and can be hard to dye the exact color you want without staining everything within a 10 foot radius of your kitchen. For my cupcakes, all you need are cherry Air Heads (or whatever color you want your leotard) and white frosting. I chose white frosting, because I found it really difficult to match the pinkish red color of the Air Head exactly.
See the difference? No thanks.
I used these mini cherry Air Heads, found in the candy aisle at Walmart.
Using a knife, cut the Air Head in half. You can stretch the Air Head to make it thinner, rolling it out doesn't work very well, but the candy responds really well to light pulling and stretching.
Cut the Air Head into a large rectangle for the tank top leotard, leaving it a little wider than you think necessary. Once the straps are cut it looks much thinner.
Notch out a small semi-circle for the neck area, are carefully remove the piece of candy.
If the edges are uneven, take the straight edge of the knife and press it against the sides of the candy to keep them nice and straight.
I found that the Air Heads are really pliable and this has to be done quite often to keep a nice shape.
Once you have your 90's tank top, you can decorate it with the white frosting.
I also decided to try to make an M initial, since the shower is for my sister who is naming her new baby girl Molly.
But it ended up being too blocky and manly.
I just cut it out of a rectangle using diagonal cuts.
Now for the frosting. I was thinking that the ballerinas would look really cute with a huge fluffy tutu of frosting instead of the piped petals.
But honestly, once the Air Head piece was placed in the swirl, it really didn't look quite right.
The cupcakes were cute, but didn't scream "ballerina."
Here's the M cupcakes.
Still just not that cute. See why they didn't make the cut for the actual shower?
The petals turned out much better. These were frosted with a petal icing tip, which has a tear-drop shape.
But really this could be easily done using a ziplock bag and just looping the frosting around like you're drawing a flower with the frosting.
Carefully place the candy piece into the center of the cupcake. I found it easier to decorate the pearl belt of the ballerina (or whatever that is, I just thought it looked good but honestly it doesn't make much sense..) after placing the candy on the cupcake, so that you can touch the sides without smearing the frosting.
Just pipe tiny little beads of white frosting in a semi-circle.
And there you have it! Ballerina cupcakes, the easy way.
...But there is bad news. The Air Heads were a bit flimsy and after sitting out for awhile they bent over and fell. Maybe if I had let them sit out overnight to dry out they would stiffen up? Or maybe if they had been dusted with some powdered sugar to dry out the moisture that keeps them flexible? I'm not sure. These cupcakes were really cute, but I'm not sure that I'd make them again. Maybe fondant really is the best way to go. Stay tuned to see the actual cupcakes I made for the baby shower!