Playing Around with Cupcakes

Some days, I just get a strong urge to bake, and I don’t really have a plan in mind. I had some leftover fondant from a cake and I wanted to use it up, but I didn’t have enough leftover to cover a second cake. So I thought it would be fun to make some little cupcake toppers.

I started with a basic devil’s chocolate food cake for my cupcakes and a vanilla icing. I haven’t used fondant too often, so I haven’t had a chance to pair it with different flavours. Vanilla icing seemed the safest, though I am normally partial to an orange-flavoured icing when it comes to chocolate cakes and cupcakes.

I’ve seen some marbled fondant cakes on Instagram lately, and I’ve always wanted to try some. I thought it would be fun to do it on a smaller scale, so I took my leftover fondant (in brown, blue, and white), and I twisted and folded until I had a pattern I liked. Then I took a small cookie cutter to cut out some little circles, which I sat in the middle of the icing on top of my cupcakes:

Marbled Fondant Cupcakes 2.JPG

I love that this technique creates a unique topper for each cupcake, because the pattern varies over the whole piece of fondant. I didn’t have quite enough fondant, so I had to reroll the leftovers after my first round of circles (pun intended), and I think I like these more when the colours are a bit more distinct; after another roll or two, the blue, brown, and white start to blur together a little too much.

I also wanted to try a fondant doily, which is a lot easier than it looks. I cut a circle out of my blue fondant that was roughly the same diameter as my cupcake. I chose the scalloped side of my circle cutter to give the scalloped edge that you would normally see on a doily. With a #3 circle tip, I cut out 16 circles around the edge of the fondant circle. I then took a #1 tip and made a second row of circles inside the first (this circle turned out a little wonky shaped; I think I rushed this step a little bit). I then took a #6 circle cutter and took a circle out of the very center of the fondant, and finished by cutting out slits using a #104 leaf tip. I tried this out just for fun, so it wasn’t the most planned out design, but I do think this has the potential to be quite pretty if it’s thought out a little bit more. If the outer circles were just a little further toward the edge, I think that would give just enough room to make the inside a little neater.

Doilie 3.JPG

I placed this on the same style of cupcake as for the marbled fondant. I really like how the swirl of frosting just peeks out from underneath the fondant topper.

doilie-2

The third cupcake design is my favourite. I’ve been watching a lot of The Scran Line on Youtube, and he does some amazing, outrageously topped cupcakes. I thought it would be fun to add a little extra height to these cupcakes by adding a second layer of frosting. I made a little nest by first covering the cupcake in a swirl of icing, then just doing the outline when making the second layer (this is something I’ve seen a few times on The Scran Line and I really wanted to try this style of icing). Piping the second layer around the outside only leaves a little “nest” in the center of the cupcake. I made a fairly thick chocolate ganache to drizzle on top (this was a 2:1 ratio of chocolate to cream), and started by filling up this icing “nest” before allowing the ganache to ooze down the sides. To finish it off, I placed three Aero bubbles on top of the cupcake. I think this would pair well with any of the available flavours (orange, mint), but I decided to stick with the plain cupcakes since there’s already a lot going on here.

choc-nest-cupcakes-2

I have to admit, these did not sit out long before I decided that I really should do a taste test. They are really as good as they look in the picture above, and I have to say the double layer of frosting definitely gives an improved frosting-to-cupcake ratio. And I love the little surprise of that extra ganache nested in among the icing.

I had a lot of fun playing with these cupcake designs, and I’m hoping I will have the opportunity to try the marbled fondant look on a full cake. It’s so deceptively simple and the payoff is great. If you haven’t seen them already, I definitely recommend that you look up some marbled fondant cakes. There are so many great examples out there. I’ve even seen a few with some edible gold accents that are absolutely stunning.

With February approaching, I’m looking forward to trying out some Valentine’s day themed cupcakes and cookies, so I’m hoping I’ll have a few of those to share with you soon! It’s always good to practice in advance so you can put your best food forward when Valentine’s day rolls around.

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