Minnie Mouse Pretty Pink Cupcakes

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.

You’ll need:

  • 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
  • Tweezers

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.

Hold decorating bag/tube so that the tip is just slightly above the cupcake (about 1/8″). Starting at the outside edge of the cupcake, squeeze frosting onto cupcake as you go in an inward spiral pattern to the center, building to a peak on top. You want apply the frosting in one long “rope” of frosting. Like this:

  So that it looks like this:  

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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  1. How cute are these! And tootsie roll hair bows — brilliant. I would have never guessed.

    • Thanks Sharon! I love the tootsie roll hair bows – now I keep thinking of all the possibilities of this technique! You could use tootsie rolls or taffy with molds to make just about any kind of cupcake decorations – or even just shaped candy to complement a party theme. That may be another blog post!

  2. Of course I love it!!! my cupcakes have never looked that nice… trying your frosting recipe next time….. For the Holiday, I used my cookie press for the first time… thought it would be harder than it was… Jarrett didn’t believe I made them… said they looked store bought and tasted great….. :)

    • Thanks Gwen! I hope you love the frosting – it’s our favorite. It’s also perfect for Christmas cut out cookies. Congrats on the cookie press success! Pretty awesome impressing a teenager! That’s hard to do!I tried using a cookie press once and didn’t have much luck – I’ll have to find out which one you have and what dough recipe you used before I give that another try!

  3. wow!!! it’s just what i needed :) thanks so much…

  4. This has been so helpful to me! Just wondering if you remember what the size of your bow mold was? Trying to visualize the “right” size bow for a standard cupcake isn’t working well for me and I’d hate to get one too small or too big! Yours look perfect!

    • Seashell says:

      Hi Nikki, Thanks so much for stopping by my blog :) I checked my past purchases on Etsy and found that the size was listed as 31mm. Measuring the actual mold, the bow size measures 1 1/4″ wide and 3/4″ high at the largest points. I hope that helps! Please stop back and let me know how they turn out or if you have any other questions – Best of luck! –Michelle

  5. May I ask where you get the disposable cupcake holders?

    • Seashell says:

      I purchased mine from a Cleveland-area store: Hollo’s Papercraft. They carry the disposable holders very inexpensively. But I also just saw similar cupcake holders at GFS (Gordon Food Service) so if you have a store near you, that’s the first place I’d check. If not, a local restaurant supply store or bakery may be able to get you what you need. Thanks for stopping by!

    • I wonder if Sam’s Club or Maines Paper and Food Warehouse carries them!

      • Good idea Kristina – those are good possibilities – if anyone finds out for sure, please comment and I will update the post. Thanks!!

  6. Making these this week. Eek. Party on Saturday in AZ heat. Hoping they turn out. Thankful I stumbled upon this blog. Minnie mouse luau theme.

    • Seashell says:

      Love your theme, April!!!! Good luck with your cupcakes! They’ll be great but watch the candy bows and ears in the heat – they could melt. You may want to keep them in the house or a cooler until it’s nearly time for cake. Please stop back & let me know how they turn out :)

      • definitely wait to put the candy bows on at the last min. we tried to save leftover cupcakes and the bows totally melted into the frosting in the fridge! before party i kept my candy bows laid out on a sheet of wax paper in the fridge (it was hot then too so they def needed to firm up a bit before decorating!) and they were fine in the fridge on the paper, just after they were sitting in the frosting they got melty (literally, like puddles! lol). good luck!

        • Seashell says:

          Nicky – thanks so much for sharing your experience. There must be some reaction between the frosting and the candy. My daughter’s party was at an inflatable place and the room was so hot. I noticed a little melting when we were serving the cupcakes and thought it was the heat. I will add an update to the directions to help others. If heat will be a big issue or if anyone plans for leftovers, they may want to use fondant for bows instead. Again, thanks so much!!!

          • Thankfully the pool where we are having the party has an air conditioned party room. I Will definitely wait to attach bows until last minute. Thank you. I will update you as to how they turn out.

  7. What brand of candy melts did you use?? I looked at the Welton one’s but they’re kind of small for the bows I made :(

    • Seashell says:

      I used Wilton. It’s okay that your bows were larger than mine. I’m sure your cupcakes were still amazing! Remember, Minnie Mouse wears a pretty large bow on her head!!!!

  8. ok making cupcakes tomorrow. Any ideas where to get a mold quick? I tried hobby lobby and they didn’t have one. And where did you find the tootsie rolls?

    • i wasn’t able to find a mold locally, that may be difficult. i got my mold from etsy as well. the fruit tootsie rolls were sold at my target (you can actually check online to see if they’re in stock at your store which was nice). if you have to find a bow mold locally, maybe you can find a hard plastic mold for chocolate at one of the craft stores or something? good luck!

    • Seashell says:

      Check online for your area to see if there are any chocolate or bakery supply stores and check with them for molds. Or see if any etsy suppliers will overnight them. Like Nikki, I had gotten some of the Tootsie Rolls at Target and some from a candy store. Good luck!

  9. Love these! Can you recommend which flavor of Frooties makes the best pink color – strawberry, watermelon or fruit punch? I plan on ordering on amazon so I cannot see the shades of pinks.

    • Thanks so much, Kristy! It’s been months since I purchased these so I’m not 100% sure, but I will give you my best recollection. I used some of the Tootsie Roll Fruit Rolls that were Cherry flavored and those I thought had the best color IMO and were easiest to mold. From the Frooties line, I either used the Fruit Punch or Strawberry Lemonade flavor. I am almost positive that I used Fruit Punch and that the color was a little darker than the Cherry ones I had first purchased and they still worked fine. If anyone else has any experience, I hope they will comment. I would bet that the strawberry color would be lighter, so it’s a matter of whether you want a lighter or brighter pink. If you want to be sure, I found the contact info online for the Tootsie company (773) 838-3400 http://www.tootsie.com/contact.php and I am sure they would be happy to answer your question. Best of luck to you!

  10. Hi Michelle,
    Can I order the mini bow mold #2…..
    Please Et me know, we’re doing my grad daughters 1 st birthday and I love the idea of making these cupcakes…
    Thank- you

    • Seashell says:

      I ordered mine from a vendor on etsy.com, but I know she doesn’t sell there anymore. There are others though that sell these molds on Etsy and other websites – I think a quick online search will give you some options. Good luck! Please come back and tell me how your cupcakes turn out!

  11. OMG! You are a genius. Bow problem solved. Hooray!

  12. Which flavor did you use

  13. Hi there, I love your post. Your cupcakes turned out amazing! I’m doing a minnie themed party for my little girl’s first birthday and was debating how much stuff to diy. Can you tell me how far in advance did you make your cupcakes? Thanks for your time.

  14. When you make the bows, after you press the Tootsie Roll in do you have to let it harden or can you immediately pop it out?

  15. hi,
    Your cupcakes are inspiring! I was just wandering how soon did you start making your cupcakes and decorating them? I’m trying to figure out if I have enough time to attempt to make these or leave it to the pros. Thank for your help.

  16. They look great, I’m having difficulties finding the chocolate melts here in Australia. What can I used instead?

  17. Hi! Attempting these bows for this Saturday. Having a hard time finding the fruit tootsie rolls. Do you think laffy taffy or starbursts would work??

    • Seashell says:

      Hi Amber, great idea! As long as the candy is pliable, it should work. You could maybe even microwave a few seconds to soften if needed. Good luck! Please let me know how it goes!

      • The starburst bows worked great!! With the size of my bow mold I was able to get 3 bows from each starburst! So glad I found your blog! Thanks!!

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