Friday, October 29, 2010

Fondant Ghost Cupcakes + a Tutorial!!

For each holiday, I try to let Emelia pick out a baked goody that she likes and wants me to make for (or with) her. I asked her what she wanted me to make for Halloween and she told me that she wanted ghost cupcakes. I had seen lots of pictures of cute fondant ghost cupcakes online and in magazines. Unfortunately, almost all of the directions for them were crazy. No offense to Martha, but making baked goods for your kid shouldn't involve 10 tons of effort.

So, I knew what I wanted the ghosts to look like on the outside:
Fondant Ghost @

But, I didn't like any of the directions for how to get them to look that way. Martha suggested using a mini cupcake and a big cupcake but I thought that would make my ghosts look too fat and not tall enough. Then, several of the other sites/articles I looked at used a mixture of a jumbo marshmallow and a mini cupcake. Ummmm, no - then my ghost would be out of proportion with my cupcake! The last one I looked at last night before tackling the cupcakes this morning showed cutting a jumbo marshmallow into a cone shape. Ha, ha, ha. Have you ever tried to cut marshmallows? Snort.

So, onto my tutorial. I started with pre-baked off cupcakes. One thing I do when I'm baking is I always bake extra. If I am making a layer cake, I bake off more layers and freeze them while I do it. I also use any additional extra batter to make cupcakes or I pour small cake loaves out of them too.

To start, I took some of my pre-frozen cake loaves and cut them in about about 1 inch rectangles. As I cut them I made them about 1/2" thick. I wanted them to be tall enough to give the ghosts some height, but not too wide to where the cake would stick out and show underneath the fondant when I placed it on the ghosts.

I had some canned frosting that I had gotten for free w/ a coupon so I used that up on these ghosts. I took my cake squares and dipped them in the frosting and placed them on top of my cupcakes. Here's what it looked like when I was done:

You may notice that underneath the cupcakes I have laid out extra grocery bags. This catches all the crumblies during the decorating process and is such a time saver when it comes to clean up later on!

I wanted the heads of my ghosts to have a small but round top of them. Like Charlie Brown!

So, I came up with idea of using small cake balls on the top of the cake square.

Cake Ball Mix
It took less than 2 minutes to make them and I used my trimmed scraps off of a cake I'd made the day before. I smeared each cake ball with a dab of icing before placing it on the cake square.
Waiting for their ghost clothes!
So, the next step was to make the fondant circles to place on top of the cupcakes. Fondant sounds scary, but it's like anything, the more you do it, the better you get at it. You can buy some the first time you want to work with it to teach you what the consistency of it should be like but it can be pretty pricey. The store-bought stuff doesn't really taste that yummy either. The fondant that I like to work with is marshmallow fondant that I make at home. There are tons of recipes and tutorials out there. This one was the one that I started with, but with some experience, I've switched to this recipe because it's more pliable and tastes better (imho).

I rolled out the fondant as thin as possible without tearing it so that my ghosts would have nice draping and it would look like they were wearing sheets! I used a round cookie cutter (3.5" diameter) to cut the circles. I used a heaping handful of fondant each time I rolled out and cut and I ended up using less than half a batch of fondant to cover 30 cupcakes.

I rolled, stacked and then placed my circles on my cupcakes. I'm sorry that I can't show you that part since both of my hands were busy! Basically you take a circle in your hands and kind of toss it back and forth like pizza dough. Then take it and pull down over the cake ball/cake square combo, lightly stretching as you go. Let the bottom of the circle kind of fall and drape naturally!

After that, I took a food-safe marker and drew cute faces on my ghosts!!

The whole project took an hour or so start to finish. Emelia is definitely worth it! Here is our completed ghost army!! BOOOOOOO!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Candy Corn Extravaganza! - 10.28.10

I had a lot of fun making these cakes + cuppies! I didn't have a lot of time to get the buttercream under the fondant on the big candy corn super smooth before I covered it so it's a little bumpy but still cute. The cuppies are carrot cake with pineapple cream cheese frosting.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Butterfly cake - 10.23.10

This was a super fun cake to make! The only requests for the cake were that it have green grass, butterflies, frogs, and bumblebees. I really enjoyed making the gum paste frogs and butterflies as well as doing the hand drawing on the cake itself. The cake got a little saggy in the heat but it help up pretty well otherwise! I made cupcakes to go with and cookie favors too!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Chocolate Music Note Cake - 10.20.10

This cake was so fun to make! Our music pastor's birthday is tomorrow, and he loves chocolate cake. It's has two layers of devils food with chocolate chips mixed into the batter, chocolate mousse filling, and the music note and top covering is modeling chocolate. Shaved chocolate is on the sides. I apologize for the pics not being better, but I didn't have time to take pics before we left the house and there were hungry church members waiting on cake while I took these!!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Cake Praise - General - 10.15.10

This is for a cake that I baked for our neighbor. Simple vanilla bundt drizzled with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with powdered sugar. Mmmm!

Cake Praise - Stockbroker Cake - 10.15.10

This is a thank you note from the stockbroker cake that I made last month. "Cake praise" is the best!!

Mini Strawberry Cupcakes - 10.15.10

Whenever I make layer cakes, I undoubtedly have leftover batter. I like to put it to good use and make "happies" for those around me who need cheering up. I made these for a friend who was under the weather recovering from a root canal. (Yes, I know it's kind of dumb to make sweets for someone who just had their teeth worked on. But it's the thought that counts!)

Boy Baby Shower Cake - 10.15.10

I was blessed to be able to make this cake for a fellow church member who was bringing it to a shower this evening. It has a "from scratch" strawberry cake on the inside (with fresh strawberry puree) and cream cheese buttercream frosting. The gum paste booties adorning the top were a first time effort for me but I think they turned out cute!