Thursday, November 8, 2012

It's A Jungle Out There

Gabriel was turning one.  So naturally, his brother Noah had to pick out his cake.  (This is the same Noah of the dinosaur cake.)  He decided on a large elephant.  So his mother decided to go with a jungle animal or circus animal theme.  She had the elephant pan, but she also wanted some cool cupcakes to go with it.

First I made the elephant.

I love these "character" pans because they are so low-stress.  You just bake it in the shape, then pipe stars to fill it in.  And done.

It looks kind of creepy at this stage.
So I started by frosting the edges with blue frosting.  You don't have to be clean and precise because you can just cover it up when you pipe the elephant.

Then I did the outline and all of the smooth parts.  To achieve this look, simply pipe the frosting in the shape that you want and then smooth with a finger dipped in cornstarch.

Finished Elephant - So cute!
Then pipe your tip 18 stars in and voila!  A lovely elephant, with very little hassle.

Next came the cupcakes.  I was going to make three different kinds, lion, monkey and elephant, from a recipe in my Hello Cupcake book.  Here are the ingredients I used:

Mini M&Ms
Twizzlers (the kind you pull apart)
Chocolate Jimmies (yeah I didn't know what these were either.  It's sprinkles)
Candy Melts

I used candy melts to make the ears and trunks for the elephant using the template from the book.  I let these dry overnight.  I should have waited to put them on until I brought them to the party.  They looked really good on the cupcakes, but the next day they were kind of falling over and breaking.  So now I know to wait to put those final touches on at the last minute.

The elephants got a blue frosting face.  I added the ears and the trunk.  Then I piped white dots and added brown M&Ms for the eyes, with a little white dot on top.  Finally, the banana runts (which were always my favorite flavor of runt) go on for the tusks.

The monkeys got a chocolate face.  Then I dipped the edge of the cupcake in chocolate jimmies to look like hair.  I piped the white part of the face, the mouth, added brown M&Ms for the eyes and more jimmies for the eyebrows.  I was supposed to use sunflower seeds for the nose, but I just cut a mini orange M&M in half instead.  I also piped the ears on instead of using chocolate cheerios.

The lions were definitely the hardest because I had to cut up the licorice and it took FOREVER!  But they turned out really well.  They got an orangey face, then surrounded by pieces of licorice.  I added the heart from the Runts and piped the mouth and whiskers.  Mini blue M&Ms for the eyes and regular cheerios for the ears.

Gabriel's grandma had a lovely cupcake display (mine was in a box somewhere) for the party.

Here is the whole setup:

 I feel honored that Gabe's first bite of cake was one of mine.

Wasn't quite sure at first . . .

Wait, this tastes pretty good!

And it's gone.
Happy 1st birthday buddy!

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