Happy Monday! I thought I’d share a fun cupcake idea that I put together for a friend’s baby shower recently. Who doesn’t love lollipops and cupcakes? And when the two candy and cake worlds collide?
Inspired by a little blurb I saw in a Parenting Magazine article on creative cupcake toppers, I made balloon bunch cupcakes out of little dum dum lollipops using my favorite buttercream icing and rainbow nonpareils.
Balloon Bunch Cupcakes
Materials: Cooled cupcakes, icing (store bought or homemade – see recipe below), rainbow nonpareils (round sprinkles) – any color would be fun!, dum dum lollipops, ribbon
I usually love a great homemade cupcake but on this particular day I saved myself a bit of time by using a boxed mix (a delicious lemon raspberry or homemade red velvet would have been very fun for this particular design!). To make things a little interesting, I split my cupcake batter into two different portions, half with a few drops of red food coloring and half as the original vanilla mix.
Plop of vanilla, plop of pink, plop of vanilla plus a toothpick to swirl it up! I recommend filling cupcake liners to just over half way so that you have a nice flat icing surface to work with.
While these guys are in the oven, it’s on to the frosting. I didn’t skimp here, this is my favorite homemade buttercream and it’s buttery delicious! Sweet enough to bring out a great flavor but a version that won’t immediately melt in the sun on you, which is important for buttercream icing + outdoor parties. Though I’m not sure I’d be daring enough to use it on a cake in direct sunlight…
Pastry bags are wonderful, but I tend to use a gallon zip lock bag 99% of the time because of easy clean up (just toss that bag out when you’re through!). I simply cut a 1/3 of an inch off the end of the bag and fill it up with buttercream using a spatula.
These cupcakes involve two layers of icing, the bottom layer is a disk of buttercream and the top layer will be smooshed into sprinkles so that it is completely covered. To achieve that effect, pipe a single layer onto each cupcake by gently squeezing the ziplock bag to create an even spiral of icing, working from the outside in. You might try practicing on a paper plate if you’re limited on cupcakes.
Moving one circular ring from the outside in, I added a second smaller icing disk for that second layer.
Then upside down it goes into the sprinkle bath. You really want to smooth that top layer flat so don’t be afraid to apply a bit of pressure. Of course you could also skip the idea of two layers and just smoosh it all the way around the icing for a fun look!
Here’s the second layer covered in sprinkles while that bottom disk is still visible.
The last step is to add three unwrapped dum dums lollipops in a bunch, tying a ribbon around one before hand.
These would be really fun for a kids birthday party, or you could color coordinate your sprinkles and lollipops so that it matches a themed baby or bridal shower.
The baby shower was so much fun. Our good friend Trish did a beautiful job creating a lovely brunch for the mom-to-be! Favorite details of mine were the varying shades of tinted glass vases and an adorable game that required everyone to bring a baby picture. Can you tell which is me? Just like Liv’s photo, and yes, a little oversized.
Another favorite were these adorable wooden cars that we each painted. I believe Trish found them online at the Oriental Trading party store, and then made the little shadowbox to house them!
It’s hard to see in this next photo collage on the upper right, but that is a little handmade dinosaur sweatshirt by this blogger. Michelle has promised to post a tutorial on how to add the dinosaur spikes to a cute little zip up! (she also made these adorable onesies)
Great job, Trish! We all had so much fun.
Tags: Baby Shower, Blue, Crafty Solutions, Decorating, Desserts, Kids Party, Orange, Parties & Entertaining, Patterns & Color, Red, Tutorial, Yellow
Posted in Family & Friends, Parties & Entertaining | 41 Comments »
Hope you had a lovely weekend! We celebrated my birthday on Saturday night (so fun) which made it an extra special weekend for me. My actual bday is tomorrow and I’m looking forward to celebrating again with Kevin and Liv. There’s nothing like a little family time to make for a great day.
During a bit of my spring cleaning around here, I came across a camera card full of photos from this time last year, including this adorable Dr. Seuss baby shower thrown for our good friend Grace and her baby boy Cyrus! I had made Dr. Seuss-themed cupcakes for the special day and I forgot how much I had loved using the creative children’s books as inspiration
The shower was absolutely adorable with lots of Dr. Seuss inspired decorations and food. Great job Cassie and Denise! As for my part, I put together four different cupcake designs based off the One Fish Two Fish, Green Eggs and Ham, The Cat in the Hat and Thing 1 & Thing 2 books.
I’m pretty sure I used a standard boxed cake mix for the actual cake part of these guys, but when it came to the neck up I had the chance to get a little creative. I had fun creating four unusual looks and used inspiration from plenty of images found ’round the web, two designs that I especially loved were this one and this one.
The base for each of the four different cupcakes was a flat round icing disk that I made out of a pliable homemade fondant. I must have spent an hour yesterday looking for the recipe I used 11 months ago to share here – but I can’t find it anywhere… argh. You can actually purchase pre-made fondant and marzipan from craft stores or there are a ton of great DIY recipes out there (the marshmallow ones look especially intriguing). Now I need a new go to!
My one suggestion for creating your own is to watch how much you mix your icing. You want the fondant to be stiff enough to mold but you also want to avoid any cracking when it begins to dry. Aim for playdough consistency. (This is for small projects – if you were covering a cake with this stuff I would say that playdough consistency is far too soft and will lead to several lumps and bumps).
First up in assembly were the Cat in the Hat cupcakes. I dipped marshmallows halfway up in a small bowl of water and then in a dish of red sugar (or red sprinkles) to create the illusion of a striped hat. I stacked two marshmallows onto a skewer (that has been cut in half to size) and used the pointed end of the skewer to hold the flipped over hats into place on top of the cupcakes.
The One Fish, Two Fish cupcakes were as simple as a bit of blue sugar, a couple of Swedish fish and a small black icing dot to accentuate the eye facing up. A small dot of icing will also hold the fish in place.
My Green Eggs and Ham cupcakes were actually just green eggs without the ham… but I used a green M&M to serve as the egg yolk and reshaped the flat round icing disk into more of an over easy egg shape. Black icing (bought pre-made in a squeezable tube) helped to outline the cracked egg.
Tracking down blue cotton candy for the Thing 1, Thing 2 cupcakes was a bit more challenging… luckily we had visited Sea World the day before the shower and I snagged a cotton candy on my way out for 1/2 price! A glob of semi-shaped stringy cotton candy helps form the hair for Thing 1 and Thing 2, and a simple ’1′ or ’2′ in black icing finished the look off.
Cotton candy has a tendency to melt when in direct sunlight! Lesson learned. Best to bring out the dessert just before everyone gets ready to eat it lest you have a melted, sugary, globby mess on your hands:
All in all a success though! And so much fun to put together. I think my favorites were probably the Cat in the Hat cupcakes and next time I might try and cover that fondant base in a red sugar too for a little extra pop.
More from the shower!
That’s the guest of honor and the host there in the center above, and several of the cute ideas, labels, food and decor from the rest of the day.
Dr. Suess is a classic that I cannot wait to share with Liv when she’s a little older. And the books – amazing. I think my favorite is probably ‘Are You My Mother?’, do you remember that one?
Tags: Baby Shower, Birthday, Blue, Desserts, DIY, Kids Party, Parties & Entertaining, Recipes, Red, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, DIY, Family & Friends, Parties & Entertaining | 5 Comments »
Liv has just recently discovered the world of crayons, colored pencils and drawing (right about the time I made the floating bookshelves for the tree painting in her nursery and stocked up on the art must-haves), so this Mother’s Day I’m creating little gifts for her Grandmas and Great Grandmas out of her very own art. Speaking of, if you are one of the above mentioned, I recommend skipping this post or you might spoil your surprise . Oops, maybe it’s too late.
I call these guys candy bag cards because they’re made out of the small clear bags found in the make-your-own-candy aisle of most craft stores. They’re perfect for packaging up wedding favors, homemade lollipops, handfuls of M&Ms and adorable pictures or pint sized drawings by your kids!
To add a little of my own artistic love to each drawing bag, I made little rosettes out of cotton fabric and felt. They’re really simple to whip up and are a favorite little accent of mine.
The last time I created these little treat bags-turned-card was for Valentine’s Day when I sent salt water taffy and a photo of Liv to family.
Super easy idea.
For this version, Liv had a blast drawing on several pieces of white card stock for the bags. I included a picture of her making each creation because it was just too darn cute.
Here’s a look at all of the contents:
Candy Bag Cards
Materials: translucent bags, card stock or greeting cards (for the top of the bag), fabric for rolled flowers, needle and thread, felt for flower leaves, art, a photo to share, confetti for the bag (or candies that won’t melt), stapler, scissors, glue
Creating the rolled flowers was a quick and simple project, one that I’m thinking I might copy for a few cute barrettes or headbands for Liv?
To begin, I cut my fabric into roughly 2×6″ pieces (I used a t-shirt cotton found in my remnant box), and then began rolling the fabric lengthwise. Then I wound the thin roll around my finger to create a flower and added a small stitch at the end to keep the rosette in place. A second stitch helped me to tuck the edge of the fabric under so that it was hidden from out of view. Once I had my supplies together it took me 2 minutes per flower, maybe.
Lastly, using two contrasting colors of green felt I cut out little leaves for the rosette.
Next up was cutting out Liv’s art into bag-sized pieces. In went the confetti, the small picture of Liv drawing (which I just printed right from the home computer onto photo paper) and the actual drawing.
I used a little floral craft punch and burgundy card stock to make the confetti.
The last time I created these I used left over greeting cards cut to size to create the top of the bag (still love that idea), but this time I simply cut card stock and scrapbooking paper to the appropriate size and scored the edge with a credit card.
The card was stapled to the top on either side of the baggie and then I added the little rosettes for a finished look.
You could also write a little message right onto the front or back of the top of the bag making this a Mother’s Day present, drawing and card all in one!
I love this idea for a birthday or shower invite, too! The possibilities are endless.
Another idea is to deliver the treat bags with candy instead of confetti. Choose a candy that won’t melt, such as a wrapped hard candy, conversation hearts or another favorite.
Perfect for Mother’s Day! I’m mailing these guys out as we speak, the Grandmas and Great Grandmas in Liv’s life should have their drawings by Sunday.
Happy Wednesday to you all!
PS All Mother’s Day ideas can be found under the pink ‘Entertaining’ button in the left sidebar (with the rest of the posts sorted by holiday or event), or by using this short cut right here.
Tags: Crafty Solutions, Kids Party, Mother's Day, Tutorial
Posted in Crafty Solutions, Family & Friends, Holidays, Olivia | 5 Comments »