When I was planning Emily’s Minnie Mouse birthday party, I fell in love with this gorgeous cupcake:
I found it on a party web site but the source was missing. Finally after much searching, I discovered Claudia Cupcake Lady on Etsy. She sells the fondant ears and bows in her online shop in case you’d like to make it extra easy on yourself.
But you know me… I like to do things myself. Plus I don’t care for fondant. So I found another way to get this look. And… it was EASY. Seriously. I am not a cake decorator. But everyone at Emily’s party was asking me where I bought them…
C’mon. Give ‘em a try.
- Cake mix (your choice)
- Cupcake liners
- Buttercream frosting (see recipe below)
- Electric mixer
- Wilton Icing Color – Pink
- Wilton Decorating Tip: #4B
- Decorating Bag or Tube (like Wilton Dessert Decorator Plus)
- Candy Melts - Black
- Tootsie Fruit Rolls (or Frooties) – Pink
- Mini bow mold (I purchased mine on Etsy for a few dollars; size: 31mm)
- Candy pearls – white
Tips & How To’s
Make cupcakes according to cake mix instructions. Be sure to use cupcake liners. Don’t overfill. Most cupcakes don’t rise like muffins, nice and round on top, so you’ll just have cupcakes that spill over the edges if you overfill the batter. Bake and let cool completely before frosting.
Make buttercream frosting following the recipe below. Don’t try to use the canned frosting – it won’t keep its shape like buttercream will.
- 1/2 cup solid vegetable shortening
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter softened
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 4 cups sifted confectioners’ sugar (approximately 1 lb.)
- 2 tablespoons milk
In large bowl, cream shortening and butter with electric mixer. Mix it really well – this is the key to getting the best taste. Add vanilla. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar, one cup at a time, beating well on medium speed. Scrape sides and bottom of bowl often. When all sugar has been mixed in, icing will appear dry. Add milk and beat at medium speed until light and fluffy. Refrigerate until ready to use. Store in refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 2 weeks. Rewhip before using. Makes about 3 cups of frosting. You may need to make larger batches depending on the number of cupcakes you make. Plan for about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of frosting per standard-sized cupcake (your preference in how much you like to put on).
Tint frosting by adding a tiny amount of Icing Color. This is not food coloring. Icing Color is a highly concentrated coloring and it won’t make your frosting runny like food coloring does.
I use a toothpick to get a small amount out of the jar and add VERY little at a time. Mix thoroughly with an electric mixer. Continue to add very small amounts until you are happy with the color. Even for my brightly colored Cookie Monster cupcakes, it did not take much icing color to get the vibrant look.
Frost cupcakes. Attach 4B tip to decorating bag/tube and fill with frosting. The Wilton 4B tip that I used makes the ripply edges that you see on the cupcakes. It’s also quite wide, so it puts out a lot of frosting fast and covers the cupcake quickly.
If you have to stop and start a few times to finish your cupcake, no worries. It will still look great.
I placed all of my cupcakes into disposable plastic cupcake carriers before frosting them. It was easy to decorate them all at once and I did not have to worry about dropping any decorated cupcakes. Plus the carriers are ideal for transport and they close tightly to keep the cakes fresh and tasty.
To see how easy frosting these cupcakes really is, check out this quick little video that I found online. It demonstrates several cupcake frosting techniques including this one. At the 2:15 minute mark you’ll see a comparable tip used to create this look on a mini cupcake. I think you’ll find it helpful:
Make candy bows. I made these a couple days ahead of time to save time, so if that works better for you, go for it! I kept them in a plastic Ziploc bag to keep them fresh.
Don’t they look perfect? And they couldn’t be easier. Some people thought the bows were molded chocolate, but they are made from Tootsie Fruit Rolls. So no melting and no mess! You can also use Tootsie Frooties which are smaller than Fruit Rolls. You can get 2 bows out of each Fruit Roll, depending on the size of your bow mold, and one bow out of each Frootie.
To mold a bow, unwrap a piece of candy and smoosh it up a little to get it pliable. Push it into the space in the mold and be sure that it fills the whole area. If a little sticks out or looks uneven, no worries. The back side will face the frosting anyway.
This mold is made of silicone so it’s really easy to pop the candy out of it. A little push and it easily comes out. And it looks like a perfect bow! The Etsy seller that I purchased this mold from was no longer listed when I went to add a link to her. So you can either search “bow mold” on Etsy.com, or try one of these other options that I found: Bow mold #1 is very similar to what I used and bow mold #2 is even more perfect for Minnie – wish I’d seen it first!
Add bows to frosted cupcakes. Place bows at the top center in front of the peak of frosting. Press lightly into the frosting so it stays in place.
Side note about the candy bows: extreme heat will melt the candy so keep away from heat sources. We were at an inflatable jump place for the party. It was so hot in the party room from the inflatable birthday throne that the bows started to melt a little at the end. I would think the sun outside could do the same thing if left to sit out for very long. They were fine unrefrigerated just sitting on my kitchen counter though.
Place 2 candy melts on each cupcake for ears. Candy melts are small discs of chocolate or candy that are most often used for creating molded candies. But these perfect little circles totally look like mouse ears to me!
They do have a slightly dusty looking appearance when they come out of the bag. The warmth of your fingers will make a little of that disappear, but don’t worry about it – it really isn’t that obvious once they are on the cupcakes. Stick them into the frosting far enough to hold in place.
Place candy pearls on cupcakes. This is the only step that’s a little tricky. I thought you could just shake a few of these on and they’d stick.
Not very well. I ended up using tweezers to place many of the pearls on where I wanted. That took a little time, so I kind of cheated and only put the pearls on the front side of most of the cupcakes. It gave the look I wanted in less time. Win-Win.
I think you’ll find these cupcakes are as delicious as they look.
So go ahead. Have one. They’re done!
What bakery treats have you been baking up lately? Let me know – I’ll be right over!
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