One of the most attractive features about cupcakes is their ability to be decorated in any which way imaginable. All you need are a few specialized pieces of equipment, and some specific decorating supplies and of course, some creativity. In this How-To article, I will show you how to decorate a cupcake like Cookie Monster.
What you’ll need:
- 12 standard sized cupcakes, un-iced
- Vanilla Frosting, store-bought or homemade Buttercream
- Blue food coloring gel: I used Wilton Royal Blue. You can find all Wilton Food Coloring at Ares, Michael’s, and Bulk Barn, as well as any specialty cake decorating store.
- Wilton Piping tip 234: Used for making fur or grass. There are multiple holes on the top.
- Plain piping tip. This is just a round circle opening.
- Piping bags
- Chocolate Chips
- 12 Chocolate Chip Cookies, soft and chewy. Homemade is preferable, or 24 mini cookies.
- Small cookie cutter or large plain piping tip.
- Cake decorating turntable: This piece of equipment will just make piping easier, but it is not essential. If you do not have a turntable you will simple have to rotate your cupcake manually.
Ready to decorate? Here’s what you do.
Before you begin, place a baking sheet in your fridge. You will have to put each cupcake in the fridge right after icing so that the frosting can set.
1. Colour your frosting.
Make sure that your frosting is nice and spreadable, but still firm enough to hold a shape. You can mix the colour in by hand with a spatula or in a mixer. Don’t be frugal with your food coloring; in order to get a deep blue you will need a good tablespoon of color.
If you are using a stand mixer to mix your icing, make sure that your whip it on medium-low speed.
2.Filling your piping bag:
Cut the top off of your piping bag and insert your piping tip. Use a small piping bag, 12 ” or so, because you will be working with only a small amount of icing at a time. With this type of piping job that requires constant squeezing, having too much icing in your bag is counter-productive; a full bag is harder to squeeze and you will only end up hurting your hand, not to mention that the heat from your hand will melt the icing and prevent it from piping properly. For ease and optimal icing consistency, only fill your bag about halfway, and refilling as needed.
3. Piping the fur:
Starting at the outer perimeter of the cupcake, start piping the icing applying a short squeeze of pressure and then pulling your hand up to create short strands of fur icing.
Continue to pipe inwards until the entire surface of the cupcake is covered. Once you are finished, place the iced cupcake in the fridge, and let the icing set. If at any point during icing, you find that your frosting is getting melty or too soft, empty the contents of your bag into your frosting mixing bowl, and place it in the fridge for a few minutes, then start again.
Reserve a small amount of this blue icing for the final step of decorating- attaching the cookie.
4. Making the eyes.
To make the eyes, you will need plain white frosting. Fit another piping bag with a plain piping tip and fill the bag halfway with your frosting.
At the top side of your cupcake pipe a poof; one squeeze of pressure, with no wrist movement. You are trying to pipe a circle of icing. Don’t worry about the little peaks on the circles- you can cover these with the “pupils” a.k.a chocolate chips.
To add the pupils, simply place a chocolate chip at the bottom of each circle. You could place one higher than the other to make a googly-eyed effect.
5. Adding the cookie.
You could buy mini cookies rather than cutting smaller cookies out of bigger cookies. As I used homemade cookies for this recipe, I had to cut out smaller cookies. If you chose to do the same, use a large plain piping tip or small cookie cutter for the job. I used chocolate chip cookies, but any other soft cookie will suffice.
Once you have your smaller cookie, cut off a small portion so as to make a straight edge. This simply allows the cookie to stick on the cupcake.
To attach your cookie to the cupcake, simply put a bit of your leftover blue icing on the straight edge, then press onto the cookie, about 1/2 cm under the eyes.
Granted that I was raised on Sesame Street, and consider myself an eternal fan, but I am 27-years-old, and as made these cupcakes I said to myself that I would be thrilled to have these as my birthday cupcakes.
These Cookie Monster cupcakes are a prime example of how awesome cupcakes are, and how with a bit of extra attention, they can bring so much joy and added flair to a special occasion.
Making them is also a wonderful activity to share with your kids, and even their friends for a party activity.
Decorating cupcakes is fun and relatively easy. If you ever mess up, just remember that you can always wipe off your work, and start again.
I hope you try these out!