Jun 29

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Baby Shower Cupcakes – Bows & Happy Flowers

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cupcake tier

These are the cupcakes I made for my friend Shannon’s baby shower.

shannon baby shower

They’re easy peasy to make.  I used the chocolate cake and lemon vanilla recipe from Planet Cake and the buttercream recipe from Peggy Porschen’s book, Pretty Party Cakes.   Since I’m not a coffee drinker, I think I’ll eliminate the coffee grounds in the chocolate cupcake recipe next time though.  Have to say; even just thinking about them makes my mouth water again… they were so moist and delish!

cupcake tier 2

I made two simple toppers… pastel-colored bows and smiley, happy flowers.

cupcakes closer2

If you’d like to make the cupcakes and icing you’ll need the following items:

  1. chocolate cupcake recipe
  2. vanilla cupcake recipe
  3. buttercream recipe
  4. white food gel coloring (to color the icing)
  5. cupcake liners
  6. disco dust*** (see p.s. note)
  7. large piping bag (preferably 18 inch)
  8. large star piping tip #829

cupcake bow

To make the bows you’ll need the following:

cupcake tools first one

  1. parchment paper
  2. spacers for rolling pin (they usually come with the fondant rolling pin)
  3. fondant rolling pin
  4. fondant & gumpaste – mixed 50/50 ***
  5. pin
  6. bow cutter
  7. disposable food prep. gloves
  8. food gel coloring of your choice
  9. Ziplock bags
  10. cornstarch
  11. vegetable shortening
  12. tea-towel or non-slip mat

*** I like the texture of the 50/50 fondant and gumpaste.  It tastes better than straight gumpaste, and dries harder than fondant on it’s own.  Straight fondant doesn’t hold it’s shape as well as gumpaste does.

cupcake tools 2b

After you’ve colored your 50/50 mix of gumpaste and fondant by massaging small bits of food gel color in, start by rolling out your fondant very thin.  To do this I use a small fondant rolling pin with the thinnest spacers on each end of the rolling pin.  I sometimes roll my fondant between two sheets of parchment paper to prevent sticking, but dusting your surface with a little cornstarch, or a little vegetable shortening also works.   Sliding a small tea-towel or non-stick mat under the parchment prevents it from sliding everywhere.  Remove the tea-towel or mat for one last roll when you’re almost done, so that the underside of the fondant/gumpaste has no indents or marks.   Store any rolled-out fondant/gumpaste which you’re not immediatel using, in a ziplock bag or between plastic wrap etc.

cupcake tools5

Press the bow cutter into the fondant/gumpaste and shake it gently back and forth to loosen it.   Lift the cutter away.

cupcake tools 2 3 or 4

Use the pin to gently lift out the fondant/gumpaste pieces.

cupcake tools6

The small pieces above are extra… you don’t need them to make the bow.

cupcake tools7

Begin the bow construction by laying out this piece above first.  Dab a wee dot of water on either side of the center.  Even though my hands are always washed, I generally wear disposable gloves to keep my fondant/gumpaste clean.

cupcake tools8

Bring the right edge towards the middle, being careful not to fold it flat… just let a little round loop form.  Do the same for the left.  You can then insert small bits of rolled up kleenex or paper towel to help the loop dry in the proper shape.

cupcake tools9

Place the middle piece over the center and gently tuck the edges in.  You can either let the hanging-ribbon-pieces dry flat, or rest them on something to give them some shape.  Ta dum!!  Finito!  (Well, you have to wait until they dry for best handling, but that’s it!)

Now for the happy flowers.

I got the inspiration for them from a combination of this crocheted flower and this cheery clip art:

cute flowers

cupcake flower close up

Making them is also very easy.

All you need is:

  1. parchment paper
  2. small fondant rolling pin
  3. spacers for rolling pin (usually come with small fondant rolling pin)
  4. fondant & gumpaste – mixed 50/50 ***
  5. food gel coloring
  6. black edible food markers
  7. flower cutter
  8. vegetable shortening
  9. cornstarch
  10. tea-towel or non-slip mat
  11. disposable gloves

*** I like the texture of the 50/50 fondant and gumpaste.  It tastes better than straight gumpaste, and dries harder than fondant on it’s own.  Straight fondant doesn’t hold it’s shape as well as gumpaste does.

After you’ve colored your 50/50 mix of gumpaste and fondant by massaging small bits of food gel color in, start by rolling out your fondant very thin.  To do this I use a small fondant rolling pin with the thinnest spacers on each end of the rolling pin.  I sometimes roll my fondant between two sheets of parchment paper to prevent sticking, but dusting your surface with a little cornstarch, or a little vegetable shortening also works.   Sliding a small tea-towel or non-stick mat under the parchment prevents it from sliding everywhere.  Remove the tea-towel or mat for one last roll when you’re almost done, so that the underside of the fondant/gumpaste has no indents or marks.   Store any rolled-out fondant/gumpaste which you’re not immediatel using, in a ziplock bag or between plastic wrap etc.

Press the flower cutter into the fondant/gumpaste and shake it gently back and forth to loosen it.   Lift the cutter away.

To make your flower centers, simply take a small amount of fondant and roll in into a ball between your palms.  For the flower centers I just used straight fondant, as a spehere/ball holds it’s shape easily, and it costs less than gumpaste!

Wet the center of the flower, and gently place the ball of fondant onto it.

Draw the face onto the ball of fondant using an edible ink marker.

And voila!

cupcake sunflower toppers

One important thing I learned with these… Don’t mix disco dust into the fondant… it ends up looking like little flecks of dirt instead of something pretty and sparkly!

Enjoy the cupcakes!

xo,

Marian

cupcake eating

p.s.  Thanks Michelle for being in the picture!

p.s.s. ***Added note… I recently found out that disco dust is non-toxic, but not necessarily ‘edible’.   As far as I know it is not FDA approved, but can be used with food as decoration.   I had no idea!  My sincere apologies that I didn’t look into that first before I used it and posted it on my blog!  I thought it was like Goldschlager {vodka with real gold flecks in it}, which is FDA approved.  I will definitely continue to use it because I love it so much for added shimmer, but only for ‘for show’ items.

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28 Comments

  1. June 30, 2009 at 5:32 am | Permalink
    1

    Very sweet. Perfect for your friend’s shower.

  2. June 30, 2009 at 6:26 am | Permalink
    2

    love the happy flowers!

  3. Cindy
    June 30, 2009 at 3:57 pm | Permalink
    3

    So pretty…did you mix the disco dust into the buttercream icing or just sprinkle it on top?

  4. June 30, 2009 at 5:18 pm | Permalink
    4

    Thank you!
    Cindy I just sprinkled it lightly on top.

  5. June 30, 2009 at 6:46 pm | Permalink
    5

    Oh, so pretty! I bet those litte bows were time consuming, weren’t they?

  6. July 1, 2009 at 4:22 am | Permalink
    6

    Oh my!! Just TOO cute, if that is possible!! I love the ideas! THanks so much for the step by step :)

  7. July 1, 2009 at 10:40 am | Permalink
    7

    Thanks for showing us all the “how to”‘s!! I love it! And that little flowers is sooo cute!

  8. July 5, 2009 at 1:04 pm | Permalink
    8

    thanks for the great instructions on how to make the bow! next time i order baking supplies i’m gonna see if i can find that cutter. and the cupcakes are of course gorgeous!!!

  9. July 6, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Permalink
    9

    Hello! SO cute! Lovely! I really love them! Amazing work! :)

  10. July 31, 2009 at 10:50 pm | Permalink
    10

    These are gorgeous! I just saw some adorable baby-shower cupcake decorations at Joan’s on Third in Hollywood…and was wishing I had a baby shower to go to.

  11. August 16, 2009 at 7:50 pm | Permalink
    11

    This is only the second page of your site that I’ve visited on your blog and I am already so excited about it! love the bows – cant wait to learn more…

  12. August 17, 2009 at 7:33 pm | Permalink
    12

    Christy, they aren’t too bad at all actually! It looks time-consuming because of all the pics, but it actually goes quite quickly. The best part is that they’re so easy and you get an almost perfect bow every time.

    Jen, Isadora, Asa, unconfidential cook, Maria and Bonnielou; thank you!

  13. August 17, 2009 at 10:48 pm | Permalink
    13

    WAY to cute! You are so talented! I might have to try the little smiley faces on some cookies.

    Have a great week!
    Tiffany

  14. Farah
    January 6, 2010 at 10:24 pm | Permalink
    14

    Hi Marian,

    Your cupcakes are awesome! I love the swirl of icing on your cupcakes. How do you do that? And what tip do you use to create that?

    Thanks =)

  15. January 7, 2010 at 6:37 pm | Permalink
    15

    Thanks Farah, the swirls are pretty simple to do.

    Pipe the icing, starting in the center of the cupcake, in a circular motion until you’ve gone once around the cupcake, and meet back in the middle.

    The key is to use a nice big star tip. There are lots out there… depending on the brand they’re labelled as around number 829, or as about a 7 and upwards, like this Amazon one:

    large star tip

    Hope that helps!

  16. March 29, 2010 at 3:48 am | Permalink
    16

    Woh! What skills! Congratulations

  17. Elite
    April 10, 2010 at 10:20 pm | Permalink
    17

    Your site is amasing, thanks for the inspiration!

    I’m making my first steps in cupcake and cookie decoration (in my maternity leave).
    I’m planning a post birth baby shower for my co-workers and I want to make some cupcakes. I wanted to ask if the cupcakes could be decorated with the buttercream some time in advance?

  18. April 11, 2010 at 5:41 am | Permalink
    18

    Hi Elite; I wouldn’t decorate the cupcakes too far in advance – the same day for sure. That’s just me though – I just find it looks and tastes the best that way.
    Congrats b.t.w and happy decorating!

  19. Rona
    April 26, 2010 at 2:01 pm | Permalink
    19

    Thank you for the great tutorial for these cupcake designs. They are adorable! I have taken a couple of the Wilton cake courses, but haven’t taken the fondant and gum paste course yet. You make this look so easy. I especially like the links you have provided with necessary items to make these :)

  20. marian
    May 8, 2010 at 2:56 pm | Permalink
    20

    Thanks Rona!

  21. Heather
    May 18, 2010 at 7:08 am | Permalink
    21

    I LOVE that adorable pink stand you’ve used several times – where did you get it?

  22. Betsy
    August 11, 2010 at 4:23 am | Permalink
    22

    Hi, thanks for the pics and steps, I’ll definitely try it. Where did you get that beautiful stand?

    Thanks

  23. marian
    August 11, 2010 at 6:40 am | Permalink
    23

    Thanks! I got the pink milk glass stands off of ebay.

  24. September 8, 2010 at 1:56 pm | Permalink
    24

    loved those. and i am fasting :(

  25. Cris
    October 5, 2010 at 4:19 am | Permalink
    25

    Marian,
    Some years ago I was doing a sewing project and needed a dowel.
    Going into the lumber store & seeing the variety of widths was a
    real eye-opener. I now mainly use 1/2″ and 1/4″ dowels to fold
    my ribbons over but have used the 1″ dowels for larger ribbons.
    Most stores will cut pieces for you or at home you can easily cut them
    into the size you need with a jigsaw. I prefer the lengths at 3″.This
    gives you enough room for wide ribbons.
    Hope this will help someone else.

    • marian
      October 5, 2010 at 4:46 am | Permalink
      26

      Thanks so much for your input Cris!

  26. December 3, 2010 at 3:11 pm | Permalink
    27

    Wow…inspiring me to make beutiful cupcakes like that… And,… I like your site too…

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