Wednesday, October 23, 2013

EASY MODE: Totoro Cupcakes

I love food - eating it, cooking it.  I am not a baker.  I just don't love sweets, at least not enough to make them myself.  For this reason I have mostly abstained from making any sort of birthday cake for my daughter.  Preferring, instead to have some really delicious brownies with strategically placed candles or even *gasp* a store bought cake.  She's only three so that is the sum total of all birthday baked goods thus far.

However, being recently inspired by Cake-mom extraordinaire Kristin Rutherford, I decided to go all out this year and make cupcakes for Chloe's preschool class.  I decided pretty early on that I wanted to do a Totoro theme, since it was her first movie, so I did the precursory Google search for "Totoro cupcakes."  Most of what I saw was way beyond what I would consider feasible given my constraint s- I was making them the same day that I was bringing them to her school.  Yes, I procrastinate.  I consider it one of my finest honed skills.

Most of the really good ones were made using fondant - which, for cost and time reasons, was out.  There was just no way I was going to make 15 individual fondant Totoros.  Sorry, but no.
From: Black-chips

From:  That Girl's Site

From: Celebrate With Cake!

Feeling a little exasperated I headed to Michael's Craft Store to see what I could dig up.  After about an hour of aimless wandering and picking stuff up and then putting it back down, I had finally decided on my approach. 

First I made the cupcakes, sorry bakers it was out of a box.  After they cooled I iced them all with cream cheese frosting - also not homemade, no shame.

Then I cut a stencil out of a cereal box in the shape of Totoro's white stomach.  I held the stencil over the cupcake as I sprayed on his grey fur.  I used Wilton's Color Mist food spray in silver.
Next, it was time to use the Wilton's Decorating Gel tubes for the details.  Note: I considered buying pre-made candy "eyes" but they didn't have the right size in stock plus they tend to be unpleasant to eat, especially for toddlers.  The unfortunate part about using the gel tubes is if your cupcakes aren't flat, i.e. you used to much batter per cup, they eyes and whiskers will run and distort.

You'll need black, white and green.
Overall I was happy with the results, though some of them came out better than others - usually depending on how domed the cake I was working on was.  As I said before, if I overfilled the cups it made the eyes and whiskers janky.  I recommend using a measured scoop to ensure an even, flat cupcake.  DO NOT OVERFILL 1/3 is less than you think!

But, janky eyes or not the kids didn't seem to care!

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