Cupcakes with jungle animals
How cute... these jungle animals cupcakes are far too adorable to eat. I found this post on Instructables and just had to share with you. What little boy wouldn't love these cupcakes for a birthday party?
Bake the cake:
Purchase your favourite boxed cake mix (and prepare it following the instructions on the box. Make sure to use room temperature eggs so that your cupcakes bake up light and fluffy. Using boxed cake mix is not cheating - these will still be homemade!
Pour your cupcakes into cupcake pans that have been lined with cupcake papers.
Do not under bake the cupcakes! Many inexperienced bakers often worry about over baking the cupcakes so they end up taking them out too early only to find a sticky mess. Test the cupcakes with a toothpick or by pressing the top with your finger to see if they spring back. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan for 2 minutes then flip them out onto a cooling rack to completely cool before icing.
Making the Buttercreme Frosting
1 cup unsalted butter (two sticks)
3-4 cups icing sugar (sifted)
1 tbs pure vanilla extract
3-4 tablespoons milk
pinch of salt
In a mixer creme the butter for about 2 minutes until light and fluffy. Slowly add in the sugar 1 cup at a time until it is incorporated into the butter. Add in the salt, vanilla,
and milk and whip until light and fluffy (5-10 minutes).
Add in food colouring.
Piping the icing
It is very important that your cupcakes have had a chance to cool before frosting them. If you fail to wait you will end up with a puddle of melting frosting on each cake. Cut a corner off the icing bag and make sure the tip is snug. Pipe the cupcakes starting from the outside and working your way in to create a leaf effect. This provides soft fluffy green swirls for the fondant animals to rest on.
Make your own fondant
Purchasing fondant at the store is convenient, however it is not cheap. Here I show you how to make your own homemade fondant. This fondant is not only less expensive but it tastes great and the ingredients can be found at almost any convenience store.
450g bag of marshmallows
1kg icing sugar
2 tablespoons of water
1 teaspoon flavouring
Microwave the marshmallows and water in a glass bowl stirring every 15-30 seconds. Microwave until the mixture becomes smooth and is completely melted. Add in half of the icing sugar and mix to combine. Mound the remaining sugar onto a clean kitchen counter top and dump the mixture into the centre.
Making sure your hands and fondant are covered in sugar, knead the mixture to incorporate the sugar. Add in your favourite flavouring and knead to incorporate.
Cover the fondant at all times when not in use to prevent it from drying out. Take out small portions at a time and recover the remaining fondant.
To colour the fondant simply add a few drops of your preferred colour and knead to combine. If you are afraid of staining your hands you can wear food safe rubber/ latex
Do not use water based food dye as this will alter the consistency of the fondant. Gel colouring is a very inexpensive option. If you have any kool-aid packets lying around, these may also be used to colour the fondant.
Sculpting and painting the animals
Sculpting the animals is easier than it may look. These figures are very basic shapes with exaggerated characteristics to make them stand out and identify each animal.
Roll small pieces of fondant to create the body and form into a teardrop shape. The arms and legs use a similar tear drop shape and the head is a round ball.
Mold ears, noses, etc depending on the animal and attach using a small amount of water as the glue (if necessary). Once sculpted let your fondant sculptures dry to firm up a bit before painting.
Use gel food colouring and a paintbrush to detail the characters with stripes, eyes, etc. Let dry before topping the cupcakes. Paint sticks better if the sculptures have had some time to dry.
I suggest waiting a few days to let them set before applying the paint, though this is not completely necessary.
Use your imagination and create any animal/ creature/ design you wish.