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One of the easiest treats to dress up for holidays and birthdays is the cupcake. All you need is food coloring, cake decorator gel and frosting, and a little imagination.
You will need
your favorite box cake, any flavor
red, blue, yellow, and green food coloring
white icing (recipe below)
green, black, pink and orange decorator gel
yellow and white decorator frosting
white and multi-colored sprinkles
multi-colored non pareil sprinkles
yellow and blue sugar
red licorice whips
red and white gumdrop
Prepare cake mix as directed. If desired, you can make colored cupcakes with either a flavored mix, such as cherry, or add a few drops of red food coloring to a prepared white mix to make pink, blue to make light blue, and so on. Put cupcake liners into muffin tin and fill liners as directed on box cake mix. Bake as directed and allow to cool thoroughly before frosting and decorating.
Prepare the white icing by following the recipe below. When finished, separate into five small dishes. Add a few drops of food coloring to each bowl and stir until thoroughly mixed. You can make pink , light green, light blue, purple, and yellow, or mix to make whatever colors you like.
White Buttercream Icing
16-ounce package confectioners sugar
6 tbsp butter or margarine, softened
3 to 4 tbsp milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/8 tsp salt
In a medium bowl, with mixer at medium-low speed, beat all ingredients until the icing is smooth and of easy spreading consistency. Add a few drops of red food coloring, 3 for light pink, 6 or so for dark pink.
That's really not much to decorating cupcakes, especially in the eyes of your admiring children. Just a dollop of frosting is artistic enough for them! Here are a few simple tips that will help you decorate your holiday cupcakes.
Piping - Using the tip on the decorator frosting, pipe strips across the frosted cupcake to decorate like an Easter egg.
Sprinkles - The beauty of sprinkles is that there is no perfection involved. SImply drop them and let them ly where they fall. Use contrasting colors, and mix colors when pleasing. A great way for kids to decorate with sprinkles is to have them dip the top of the cupcake right into the container of sprinkles.
Sugars - Using colored sugars is easy, and doesn't have to be messy. Simply dip the entire top of the frosted cupcake into the sugar for a blanket look. Dip the edges of a frosted cupcake to create a border, and then decorate with a sprinkling of non pareils.
Bunny - Cut the bottoms off of two circus peanuts for the bunny's ears. Cut two small pieces of circus peanuts for the cheeks (see photo). Cut the tip of a gumdrop for the nose, and cut two teeth from a white gumdrop. Use licorice whips for whiskers and black decorator gel for the eyes.
Frosting only - Use the different colored frostings to decorate one cupcake. Spread half of a cupcake with one color, and carefully spread the other half with another. You can also spread a full coat of one color, and dot the center with another. Get creative and try swirls or other shapes by using only frosting.
Be sure to store your cupcakes in a tightly covered container so they do not harden or go stale. That is, if they last that long!
About the Author:
Amanda Formaro is the entrepreneurial mother of four children. She is also the owner of FamilyCorner.com Magazine. Subscribe to her free weekly kid's craft newsletter, Busy Little Hands, by sending any email message to mailto:email@example.com or by visiting her website at http://familycorner.com
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