Monday, May 18, 2009

Sunflower Cupcakes

We hosted a BBQ over the weekend in honor of some good friends who will be leaving us for Texas this week. I wanted to make a cake in the shape of Texas, but Hubby said I shouldn't go overboard, so we went with sunflowers instead. (They have sunflowers in Texas, right? They seemed bright and warm and sunny anyway.) I found the idea for these cupcakes in the book, Hello, Cupcake (cutest cupcakes ever!). I used chocolate cake for the dirt, green tinted buttercream for the grass, Oreos for the flower centers, and yellow tinted buttercream for the petals. In the book, they used red M&Ms for the ladybugs, but I didn't have any on hand. I tried to make my own with red candy melts but they turned out all globby, so I searched through my cupboards and luckily found half a box of Runts left over from my April Fool's Cupcakes. I loved the shape of the red Runts and thought they would make perfect ladybugs with some spots from melted chocolate chips.

You should have heard the chorus of "WOW"s from all the kids when I brought the cupcakes out. They LOVED them! These were very quick and easy. Give 'em a try!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

What does a droid taste like? R2D2 Cake

For his birthday party cake, my son asked for his favorite Star Wars character - R2D2! I've been looking at R2D2 cakes online for a couple years now, wondering if I could do it. Here was my chance.

I started with six 8-inch round cakes. I stacked four for the torso and shaped the remaining two for the head. Frosted with buttercream frosting.
I covered both pieces with white rolled fondant and painted R2's head with silver Pearl Dust. (This was the first time I've ever worked with Pearl Dust. I think I over-diluted it with lemon juice and it ran all over the place. To compensate, I added a little cornstarch, but that just made it gummy and gloppy. In the future, I will add less lemon juice or just use it dry. Pretty cool stuff though!)
R2's legs were blocks of rice crispie treats cut to shape...
...and covered with fondant.
Here's R2 stacked and getting some details with fondant tinted blue. (Please don't hate me, Star Wars fans; I know he'd not droidatomically correct! He ended up being shorter than I planned as the heavy fondant squished him down a bit. Oh well.)
Here he is finished: an R2D2 cake! He's not perfect, but my son loved him, so that's what's important!

Mmmm...sprinkle cake!