Monday, October 1, 2012

Kid Bites: Decorating Cupcakes

You may remember one of my posts from a few months ago, in July, in which I put a few bags of vanilla cake batter into my freezer to experiment with baking batter that's been frozen and thawed.

The cupcakes you see in these pictures are my last bag from this batch. Yes, they were frozen since July! Isn't it wild?? I took the batter out from the freezer and let it thaw, then transferred the batter to a bowl and folded in sprinkles for the FUN funfetti effect. I then baked them as I usually would and sat nearby with my fingers crossed...

Turns out, we were blown away from the freshness and pure yumminess of these cupcakes! No one could tell they came from batter that was made and frozen nearly 3 months ago!

Moving on to the project of the week...
While decorating with kids may seem like fun for everyone, once it's all said and done, you realize it's hard work to entertain these kids with something so seemingly simple as decorating cupcakes, cakes, or cookies. But we've all done it - thrown together a fun decorating session or party for kids entirely underestimating what we're really in for.
I've found a way to make decorating with children somewhat easier. Rather than have ten piping bags filled with a rainbow of colors, a bunch of piping tips, spatulas, different flavored frosting, etc, this week, we approached cupcake decorating a tad differently. Why not draw or paint on a blank canvas and pop those little pieces of art onto the tops of prefrosted cupcakes!

The idea came to me while I was making a bunch of medallion-topped cupcakes for a friend the other week. You can check out the post here. I made a gumpaste-fondant blend (easily made by mixing 1 part each of prepared gumpaste and fondant) and cut them into circles and scallopped circles of various sizes. If you are wondering, the reason I used gumpaste with my fondant was so that it will dry hard.

The kids used edible markers and edible paint. The edible paint was easily made with a dab of gel food coloring mixed with a few drops of lemon extract, which you can replenish as the paint dries. Buy a set of paintbrushes that you can allocate exclusively for food use. A painters palette like the one shown below is an easy way to set up all the colors of paint you want, with spaces for mixing colors - because we all know kids love to mix colors together..! My kids had a great time embracing this new method of edible artistic expression.

This is such a great craft for the kids and adults alike. The possibilities are endless as well, only limited by your imagination. You can adorn cupcakes with initials, numbers, themed artwork, abstract designs - really anything at all!

You can tell Harry Potter is the sun in our universe.... :-)

And the medallions are easy to make as well. As I said previously, mix equal parts of prepared gumpaste and fondant, color if desired, roll it out and cut out the shapes you want for your cupcakes. Try to match the size of the shapes to the size of the cupcake tops. I believe this look best. Let the toppers dry for a few hours and then you are ready to decorate. The toppers can also be used to decorate sugar cookies - more on this to come... And while these toppers are edible, we usually take them off, admire them and just eat the cupcake underneath.

Mmm, cupcakes are always yummier when there are sprinkles and cute kiddie decorations involved!


  1. Those are really pretty cupcakes. And what a great idea for kids!

  2. can you please post a recipe for those medalions, they look amazing and i dont know how to make fondant or gumpaste and these would be perfect for my friends birthday.

  3. Fondant and gumpaste are both available at craft stores such as Michaels. Fondant comes premade in a variety of colors and gumpaste can be bought either premade or in powdered form. I generally use the powdered can of gumpaste and prepare it at home, this way I can make just what I need. You basically just add water and some confectioners sugar (follow the directions on the package) and voila! Just make sure to use it immediately as it dries out pretty quickly. Good luck with your friend's birthday!