Studio 5 Holiday, Party and Ideas Contributor Alisa Bangerter shows you how.
How to Tint Coconut or Granulated Sugar: Place coconut or sugar in a zipper top plastic bag. Add several drops of liquid food coloring to bag. Shake and gently knead coconut or sugar until color is distributed. (Note: Sugar may need to be poured onto a baking sheet, spread out and let dry to prevent clumping.)
Batter Ideas: Color white cupcake batter using pastel food coloring. Toss in a handful of spring colored candy sprinkles in batter before baking. Make cupcakes using angel food cake – try flavoring and tinting batter. Place a chocolate candy egg in batter of individual cupcakes before baking for a “surprise inside” when eaten.
Icing Ideas: Frost cupcakes using pastel colors. By combining several pastel colors in a piping bag, you can create a nice “rainbow” effect. Cooked 7-minute or fluffy marshmallow icings are great for spring and Easter.
Ideas for Displaying Cupcakes: Cupcakes can be not only dessert but can be your Easter centerpiece as well. Display cupcakes on a pedestal cake plate or tiered tray. Place several trays together at different heights. Nestle cupcakes in Easter grass on trays or place in a flat basket. Wrap bottom of cupcakes with a circle of pastel tissue, gather and tie with a ribbon. Place cupcakes in a second liner after baking to create a prettier presentation.
Easter Basket: Sprinkle top of cupcake with green coconut (see coconut tinting instructions above). Place candy eggs on coconut. Bend pipe cleaner or licorice and place in either side of top of cupcake to create a handle. Tie a bow on handle with a tiny name tag if desired.
Easter Bonnet: Place a mini cupcake upside-down (remove paper) on a flat round sugar cookie. Frost using a pastel color. Decorate with tiny dots of icing, tiny flowers and a ribbon.
Bunny: Frost cupcake with white icing, sprinkle with white coconut if desired. Make ears by cutting a large marshmallow in half at a slight diagonal and pressing the sticky cut part in pink sugar. Place two small dark candies as eyes and a pink candy as a nose. Cut a small marshmallow in half to create cheeks. Use string licorice for whiskers. Make large teeth if desired by placing two pieces of white hard oblong/square gum under nose. (Note: Ears can also be made from cookies or paper.)
Fresh Flowers: Place a clean fresh rose bud, daisy, pansy, viola or mini carnation on the top of each frosted cupcake. Flowers can be crystallized by brushing with egg white (or corn syrup) and sprinkled with sugar. Let dry overnight or for several hours before placing on cupcakes.
Bird Nest: Frost top of cupcake. Sprinkle on nest material (Shredded Wheat cereal, pretzel sticks, oriental chow mein or rice noodles, toasted coconut, etc. Place egg candy in nest or make icing chicks. To make icing chicks, use a decorating bag and a large round tip to pipe three large balls of yellow or pale blue icing. Add two tiny black eyes on each chick. Using a leaf tip, create a yellow or orange icing beak on each.
Marshmallow Flowers: Cut large marshmallows in half. Press the sticky side into colored sugar. Arrange each “petal” on top of cupcake. Place a small candy in center.
Butterfly: Frost top of cupcake. Arrange four candies to create wings (use flat or round candies – foil wrapped eggs would work as well). Use a decorating bag and a round tip to pipe an icing body down the center of the candy wings. Add licorice antennae.
Ladybug: Frost top of cupcake a deep red. Place a flat black or brown candy at one top side to create a head. Use black string licorice or icing to pipe a line down the center of the cupcake from behind the head to create the wings. Pipe black icing dots on either side of the line or use tiny chocolate chips. Place string licorice as the antennae.
I have found a very fun online store that has beautiful laser cut cupcake wrappers available in many themes and colors. Baked and decorated cupcakes are placed in these wrappers for beautiful presentation and gift giving. They are lovely! They also have tons of unique cupcake baking papers as well as toppers and embellishments. The online store is found at www.fancyflours.com (They also have a retail store in Bozeman, Montana and the phone number is: 406-587-0118).
The possibilities are endless for creating spring and Easter cupcakes. Have fun!