Category: Cake decorations

Fun cupcake ideas for kids party

Color polka dot vanilla cupcake

fun cupcakes for kids party

Have had a ‘short break’ from baking (and hence blogging) due to an assignment that involved a trip to Bali followed by 3 weeks of writing time. Now the assignment is done and it is time to get back into the kitchen to spend some time with my KitchenAid heavy duty mixer. πŸ˜›

But before that, I would like to share some photos of the cheerful cupcakes, hee hee, that I made WEEKSSSS ago, just before my left for the working trip. I think these cupcakes are easy and fun to make–albeit spending a little bit more time–and will make wonderful treats in a kids party. I’m not going to write the recipes for the cupcake and buttercream. You can just use any of your favorite vanilla cupcake/cake and buttercream recipes. So here are the fun cupcakes ideas that you might want to consider. :)

Colorful sprinkles

You will need a bottle of colorful sprinkles or confetti used for cake decoration. You can also use additional types of candy sprinkles (e.g. chocolate candy sprinkle, not shown in pic) if you like. A simple idea to cheer up plain vanilla cupcakes is to add the sprinkles into your cupcake batter, mix just enough so that the sprinkles are spread out in the batter. The baked cupcakes will look like the ones in the pic below.

vanilla cupcakes with colorful sprinkles inside

You can also scatter the sprinkles on top of the cupcake before baking. You can serve the cupcakes as they are in this way, or pipe some buttercream on top. For me, buttercream is a must have, as it adds moisture to the cupcake with even more buttery flavor!

vanilla cupcakes with chocolate candy sprinkles on top

If you don’t have sprinkles, another way to add colors to cupcakes is to make a colored cupcake batter by adding a couple drops of food coloring. I used Americolor gel based food color. What I did was I colored a portion of my cupcake batter with pink, and keep another portion plain (no sprinkles). I first poured the pink batter into the paper casing, gave them a light tap to even out the surface of the batter, then poured in the ‘colorless’ batter. You can do it the other way round (i.e. plain batter in first followed by pink batter), or even up to three layers of color if you want to!

pink Americolor color gel

I piped some swirls onto my cupcake, and added more color sprinkles on top!

colorful sprinkles on buttercream

I don’t like how my swirls look like. Need more practice, my piping skill still has much room for improvement! πŸ˜›

colorful sprinkles on buttercream

Now, take a look inside the cupcakes – two-color cupcakes and color polka dot cupcakes! πŸ˜€

two-colored cupcakes

colorful sprinkles in the cupcake

Oh dear, looking at these pics is making me craving for cupcakes and buttercream~

fun cupcakes with colorful sprinkles inside

Fun time making fondant cupcake toppers

Teapot and teacup fondant toppers

I started ‘playing’ with fondant last year when I attended a half-day class on cupcake decorating, where I learned to make animal face cupcake toppers.

Fondant animal face cupcake toppers

Following that I took a cake decorating class where I learned to covered a cake with fondant and make simple fondant roses as toppers. (Apologies for the less than satisfactory quality of some photos posted in this post. Those were taken with my mobile phone, hehe.)

Wedding cake covered with fondant

The third class I took was to make cute animal figurines, also toppers for cupcakes.

Fondant animal figurines

I was so excited to try decorating my cakes/cupcakes with fondant decorations, so I bought a big 5 kg packet of fondant. That was last December, when I decorated a red velvet cake for Christmas.

Red velvet Christmas cake

And in February, I played with fondant again on my Valentine’s day mini cakes. They were the ugliest things I have ever made. So I’m not gonna post them here. Haha!

So, that’s about it. All the fun time I had with fondant until a month ago.

I was left with still a big pack of the icing. I can’t eat it straight from the pack. I mean, I don’t even eat the fondant on cupcakes! To me, fondant toppers or decorations are merely for aesthetic purpose, hehe. Looking at beautiful fondant toppers lift up your mood and makes you happy even before you start eating the cake! :)

I can’t leave the fondant to waste. I don’t know if there is an expiry date to fondant, but I don’t like the idea of using it on cakes after the pack has been opened for 6 months! (I do take caution to wrap up the pack of fondant properly after use and keep it in an air-tight container.)

So, one way to use up the sugar dough is to play with it, even if there are no cakes or cupcakes to go with it. πŸ˜‰ There are many fondant decoration techniques I would like to learn and practise. I have quite a number of fondant cutters and plunger cutters to play with; I also have some sculpting tools that I still don’t know how to use, haha!

Therefore, after watching some online fondant class videos, and browsed through some images on the web, I decided to create four cupcake toppers with the theme of picnic tea party! (The photos from this point onwards are of better quality. ;))

The flowers, topper bases and scallop-shaped plates were cut out using cutters and plungers. The rests, e.g. teapot, teacups, cake, cake knife and birdie were shaped using hands.

Cupcake fondant toppers - tea party theme

I saw photos of fondant teapot and teacup on the web, so I tried to make a set of my own without knowing how to do it. Well, just gotta do it and find out I supposed. πŸ˜‰ The teacup didn’t actually turn out to be the shape that I had imagined. Still cute though, hehe.

Fondant teapot and teacup

I have bought quite a number of cake decorating video classes from Craftsy. One of the classes (Tiny Cupcake Toppers, with Sheryl Bito) teaches how to make tiny cupcake toppers featuring desserts such as layered cake, jelly roll, strawberry shortcake and macarons. I watched the video lessons quite some time ago. I did not review the videos before doing this, but simply tried to remember the techniques I learned and came up with this purple layered cake. πŸ˜›

Cake figurine made with fondant

A piece of cake cut out from the purple cake shown above. The two weird-looking thingy with a green base and pink topping were supposed to be cupcakes, haha! I had no idea how to make them look like what they were supposed to be. Tried to mould them into the correct shape but I guessed I’m not good at handling tiny, delicate items at the moment.

Fondant toppers - a slice of cake and cupcakes

I wanted to show that this is an outdoor tea party. And that’s how the birdie came into the picture. You know how one enjoys picnic in the park, accompanied by birds and flowers in the surrounding. I saw some simple cartoon sketches of birds on the internet and got some idea how I want my birdie to look like.Fondant birdie and flowers

View of all the toppers from the top. I guess I could have made another one with a picnic basket and blanket so that the tea party theme would be made more obvious.Picnic tea party theme fondant toppers

I did not bake any cupcakes when I made these toppers. So I just stuffed some paper towel into the cupcake liners as to support the fondant toppers. That way I could have an idea of how these fondant toppers would look like if they were on real cupcakes. πŸ˜‰Fondant birdie on cupcake

Teapot and teacup fondant toppers

My favourites among these fondant cupcake toppers are the ones I put on the cupcake liners – the teapot/teacup and the birdie/flowers toppers, hehe. I could have done a better and neater job with the layered cake. It’s all about timing; knowing when to cut/shape, e.g. while the fondant is still soft, or when it is slightly hardened, etc. And I will try to find out or figure out how to make fondant cupcakes that will look like cupcakes, haha!

Buttercream birthday cake with Doraemon face

Doraemon birthday cake

Since I took up a part-time baking and pastry program and another few single sessions of cake decorating class, I have been experimenting with decorating cakes and cupcakes with fondant and buttercream. I have made a red velvet cake decorated with fondant snowman and Christmas tree. I have also baked cupcakes and topped them with buttercream. My first ever buttercream cake challenge was thrown to me by my sister – that was to make a buttercream birthday cake for my niece (in February) to bring to her kindy and share with friends. And, the cake should feature her favourite character, which is Doraemon. πŸ˜€

This is the one and only full buttercream cake I have done till today! What I can say about decorating cakes with buttercream like this one is not complicated at all. The tools are simple, the technique is easy. However, it does require a lot of patience; from preparing and colouring the buttercream, to piping each drop of cream, and to cleaning up the greasy mess after the masterpiece is completed. Haha!

Buttercream birthday cake with Doraemon face

There is of course some preliminary work to do before I actually got down to decorate the cake. The very first step to making a buttercream cake with the face of a cartoon character (or whatever designs that you’re going to put on top) is to do a quick research on the Internet to find a suitable design or pattern that fits the shape of the cake.

Many people have made Doraeon buttercream cakes, so it made my work easy. I found some Doraemon faces that I like, and showed them to my sister for her to choose. At the end, I actually combined the design from different cakes, i.e. Doraemon’s eyes from design #1, his mouth from design #2, and his bell collar from design #3. πŸ˜›

I then drew the outline of the face onto a parchment paper (can also use tracing paper). I would later use the ‘piping gel transfer’ method to transfer the design onto the cake. Since my cake is round and it doesn’t matter which side Doraemon’s tongue is sticking out from, my job was made easy. If you are designing a cake with a specific orientation (e.g. certain designs/patterns have to be on certain side or direction), then you have to take that into consideration when drafting your design on the paper.

(You may like to check out this simple explanation on transferring patterns to cake, or learn icing pattern transfer from the video at the end of this post.)

The next step was to bake the cake. I used a sponge cake for this one. Considering that kids (all below 7 yo ) would be eating this cake, a light sponge cake would be more appropriate. But other types of cake (e.g. chocolate cake, butter cake) can be used, too. I followed a sponge cake recipe from Aunty Yochana. After the cake was baked and cooled down, I kept it in the fridge overnight. I sliced the cake into two layers the next day for frosting and decorating.

Doraemon birthday cake

For the buttercream, I used this following recipe, which I got from one of the cake decorating classes.

Buttercream recipe
Unsalted butter, softenedΒ Β Β  1 block (~227 g)
Krimwell shortening ~227 g (always in equal ratio with butter)
Icing sugar, sifted ~600 g
Vanilla essence 2 teaspoons
Salt A pinch
Cocoa powder 2-3 tablespoons (for filling between two layers)

Method

Beat butter and Krimwell in the mixer till smooth. Add icing sugar slowly and continue to mix on low speed. After all sugar has been added, increase mixer speed to medium and beat mixture until creamy. Add in salt and vanilla essence. This is the plain vanilla buttercream for frosting and decorating. For the filling inside, I took out a small portion of the plain buttercream, added to it 2-3 tablespoons of cocoa powder, and mixed the cream well with a spatula. I figured that kids would like something chocolate flavour in the cake. πŸ˜‰

The next step is to prepare the coloured buttercream. The buttercream had a light tint of yellow due to the butter (which is yellow) used. It would have been much yellowish if I had used purely butter without the shortening. I prepared large portions of the white and blue buttercream, and small portions of black, red and yellow. I used soft gel paste food colour from AmeriColor.

To fill the cake, I spread the chocolate buttercream on top of a layer of sponge cake, and then place the second layer on top, pressing down lightly to make sure that the cream was properly ‘sandwiched’ between the two layers of sponge cake. I scraped off excess cream that oozed out at the side. I put the cake back into the fridge to let the filling set.

After 15 minutes, I took out the cake and started crumb-coating it. I applied a thin layer of the white buttercream on the top and around the side of the cake, then put it into the fridge for about 15 min again to let it set.

I applied buttercream to the side of the cake again, as I need it to be slightly thick so that I could make lines around the cake using a fine tooth scraper. I did not add on buttercream on the top of the cake, because the cake would be later cover with buttercream design anyway. Now, I transferred the outline of Doraemon face onto the cake.

Doraemon buttercream cake

The outline (from the piping gel) transferred onto the buttercream-coated cake was not clear; it meant to be just a guide. So I drew on top of the outline with black buttercream (piped using tip #2 or 3, I couldn’t remember) to enhance the lines that defined the different areas of the face.

After this, everything was easy. I just filled up Doraemon’s face with the corresponding colour of buttercream, using an open star tip #21 and a drop flower tip #24 (see below). As I have only one of each tip, but have different colours of buttercream to pipe, so I used couplers to allow the switching of tips from one piping bag to another. You can always experiment with other types of piping tips.

Piping tips and couplers

At any point of time, when I felt that the buttercream in the piping bag was getting too soft and runny, I would put it into the fridge for a while to harden it up a bit. When the buttercream is too soft, it won’t hold its shape very nicely when piped out from the bag.

After the decoration was completed, I kept the cake in the fridge till the time to be collected. My sister was pleased with the buttercream decorations, as she admitted herself that she would not in a hundred years have the patience to do it. More importantly, the kiddo said the cake was nice, and there was no complain from other kids. πŸ˜›