Sunday, August 23, 2009

pirate cupcakes

At Brandon's swimming lesson on Thursday morning, I was handed a flier that said that Friday's lesson would be a Pirate-themed "family fun day". A short lesson would be followed by time for families to join the students in the pool, and then there would be a potluck.

Now of course I could have just brought regular old cupcakes. I could have done that, if I'd been anybody other than me.

If I'd had more time to prepare - say, if this was a pirate-themed birthday party that I had spent a few weeks planning - I would have obtained a toy pirate coin (to make impressions in the fondant) and some gold luster dust, and topped mini cupcakes with little gold fondant coins. But I can only get luster dust through internet-order (does anyone know of a cake supply shop in Kanagawa? I'm willing to take the train), and I had less than 24 hours to work with.

I whipped up a batch of marshmallow fondant, because I knew that would be more efficient than using buttercream - I mean we were talking about 4 dozen mini cupcakes here. I rolled it out, used my smallest biscuit cutter to cut out rounds, and attached them to each cupcake with a dab of icing. (Confession time: I used a tube of white Wilton decorator icing. And boxed devil's food cake mix. Both things that I would never do if it hadn't been a last-minute project.)

I found a pirate flag graphic on the internet, scaled it down to 1" square, printed it out on cardstock, and cut out the skull and crossbones. One cupcake at a time, I laid the two pieces down on the fondant rounds and brushed over it with some chocolate "paint" (Special Dark baking cocoa, powdered sugar, vanilla extract and milk - there's probably a better way to do it but I was improvising). Then I peeled up the stencils with tweezers, blotted them with a tissue and laid them down on the next cupcake. It didn't take that long at all, believe it or not.

Overall, I felt that they were "good enough for the last minute". To me, they looked like something a housewife would bring to a school picnic - which is fine, because that's what they were - but I have a long way to go before I get to the point where I can make a living doing this, I guess. I think they would have come out better if I hadn't been rushing.



Mother Hoodwink said...

Aw, they're cute! I doubt anyone would think, "Wow, she rushed on these." So don't worry. They look great.

Dianne said...

I hope the little swimmers appreciated them!

aquariann said...

They're adorable! Thanks for sharing the super neat way you created the stencil and "painted" over it.