We’ve designed two cupcake styles for you, and they’re easier to replicate than they look! Don’t be intimidated by the fondant. If you can roll out dough, you can make this work.
There’s no need cupcakes from scratch – I’m definitely a proponent of “semi-homemade” treats on any dessert buffet because it will save you time and money. Dress them up a little more with one of the great wrappers in stock at Bake It Pretty – we love their blueberry hot dot and pleated white baking cup designs, and used them on ours!
Helpful hint: if you want to use the hot dots wrappers, I suggest baking them in the pleased white baking cups first, then after decorating them, insert the cupcake (wrapper and all) into an unused hot dots wrapper. The pattern won’t be as apparent if you bake in them, and the white baking cups will keep your presentation looking clean.
After baking your cupcakes, let them stand. When they are cool to the touch, spread a thin layer of icing over the tops of each cupcake, leaving about ¼” of an open area around the perimeter. This icing layer will keep the cake fresh and moist but will also act as a “glue” for the fondant.
Lightly powder a flat rolling surface with confectioner’s sugar. Break off a large piece of fondant and roll it out with a fondant roller to an eighth of an inch thick. Ensure that there are no bumps or air bubbles in the fondant. Using the 2″ round fondant cutter, cut a circle firmly and cleanly out of the fondant. Remove the circle and lightly place it on top of the iced area of a cupcake. Adjust the circle so it covers the iced area and is centered on the cupcake, then press down softly on it, working from the center to the edges. You want it to “adhere” to the top of the cupcake, but you don’t want to leave finger prints or dents on the surface of the fondant. Repeat this for the rest of the cupcakes.
Dye the remainder of your fondant. Roll the fondant into a ball and add food coloring, one drop at a time, working to a light aqua color. Knead the color throughout the fondant before adding additional color. For more precise coloring, dip a toothpick into the food coloring and transfer it to the fondant that way. Follow the directions for the design you want to complete below.
While your fondant decorations are firming up after completing them, make a mixture of equal parts of the luster dust and edible glitter. With a fondant brush, apply the glitter-dust mixture to the tops of the fondant-covered cupcakes. A little goes a long way, so don’t overload it – you want a consistent shimmer all over the fondant top, so apply a little at the time until you achieve that. Repeat on all of the cupcakes, then put any additional mixture aside to paint on your aqua fondant decorations.
To Make The Gift Cupcakes
Roll out a large section of blue fondant – to get a grosgrain-like texture like we did, roll it out on a textured cutting board. Cut the fondant into strips approximately ½” wide by 4″ long. Begin to form the bow by bringing both ends in to the center to create two loops. Press down the ends to keep them in place. Let the fondant start to dry in that shape before continuing to build the bow (hint: to make sure the loops of the bows stay in shape while it dries, insert drinking straws through the loops to support the fondant). You don’t want it to be completely dry, just a little harder than it is when you’re normally working with it so it doesn’t warp on you while you’re creating the “knot”. While it firms up, repeat to create the bases of as many bows as you’ll need.
For the center of the bow, continue to use the ½” strips you made. Take the end and pinch it down slightly and attach to the back of the bow base you made. Wrap the knot strip around the center of the bow base (where your ends seam is) and bring it around to the back. Cut off the excess and pinch the end again, then press into the back of the bow. It’s important to remember to pinch the ends when you attach them to the back of the ribbon base to thin out that strip so the bow will sit flat on your cupcake later. Continue to attach the knots to the rest of the bases you made.
Using any excess glitter and luster dust mixture, add a little shimmer onto your bows. Repeat on all of the bows.
Attach the bows to the top of your cupcakes. To do this, take more of your canned icing and spread a thin layer on the flat back of your fondant bow. Center the bow vertically and horizontally on the cupcake and press down lightly on the center knot and inside the loops of the bow to affix. Wipe away any excess icing that comes out carefully. Repeat to finish off the rest of your cupcakes.
To Make The Graphic Floral Cupcakes
Roll out a section of the aqua fondant. Using floral fondant cutters (mine come from this kit, but any floral cutters that come in a mini, small, and medium size will do), cut multiple flowers in each size out. The first floral design requires one small flower and two mini flowers; the other design requires one medium flower and one small flower.
After cutting enough out for the number of cupcakes you want to complete, let the flowers firm up slightly. Optionally, you can add a center to the larger flowers as shown by adding a little bit of icing to one of these white sugar pearl sprinkles from Bake It Pretty and pressing them into the center of the flower shape before it dries.
To apply the flowers, spread a thin layer of the canned icing on the back of the fondant decoration. Follow the designs in the photograph for placement of each flower; place on the surface of the fondant cupcake cover and press down lightly on the flower to affix. Wipe away any excess icing that comes out carefully. Finish off the rest of the cupcakes through the same process.