Saturday, September 5, 2009

Beachy Cupcakes

My niece was having a luau theme for her 9th birthday party so I decide to make some beachy cupcakes. I had grand visions of surf boards, tiki huts, volcanoes, and big toothy sharks adorning the tops of my cupcakes, but reality and my lack of time management skills did me in once again. By party time I had only managed to make a few malformed flip flops, a single lei, and some lame beach towels.

Oh well, at least my water and sand looked good (this time).

A few months back I made a Hawaiian themed bridal shower cake and I did learn a few things from that experience.

Lesson #1 - For the mock “sand” it is better to use crushed cookies and not raw sugar. I used sugar the first time and made a huge mess. The grains just wouldn’t stick to the butter cream icing and kept falling off in damp hunks.

Lesson #2 - Dye the icing that goes under the sand a light brown in color. If you leave it white, it shows through the “sand”. I know you think I’m one dumb decorator (cake wrecks here I come), but honestly I didn’t think to dye the icing the first time around. I thought the “sand” would be thick enough to cover all the white icing.

Lesson #3 - Press the crumbled cookies into the icing as soon as you spread it. If you wait too long the buttercream starts to crust and the “sand” won’t stick.

Lesson #4 - When dyeing the water, don’t mix it too much. Stir the icing until it is a swirl of blue and white. This way when you spread the “water” on the cupcakes, you have built in, natural looking white caps.

Happy Birthday, Amanda! I hope you like your cupcakes.

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