For this instructable I'm not going to get into cupcake recipes as you can use any cupcake you like. I have included recipes for Crusting Buttercream Frosting and a super simple homemade Marshmallow Fondant, however you can buy regular fondant in any cake decorating store or online, and you can avoid the buttercream altogether if you like. The main focus of this instructable is to demonstrate the decorating process. As an added bonus, if you use gluten free muffins, and follow the recipes I have provided, these can be made completely gluten free.
One final warning... These little guys are so cute that it's hard to make yourself take a bite! Don't say I didn't warn you!
Step 1: Crusting Buttercream Icing
- 500g, (1 lbs.) sifted pure confectioners sugar
- 1/2 cup or 1 stick butter, softened.
- 1 cup solid vegetable shortening (Copha or Crisco) melted.
- 1 cup thickened cream (suitable for whipping) chilled.
- 2 tbsp. clear vanilla extract.
- 1/4 cup water for stiff consistency. Add more water if using frosting to decorate a cake.
- 1/4 tsp of any flavouring.
- Stand mixer
- Using an electric stand mixer, beat the butter and sugar on low speed until combined and then increase speed to high for 3 minutes scraping the sides of the bowl regularly. You will find this to be quite a dry mixture and may add a few drops of the water if required. Failing to beat well enough at this stage will result in a grainy sugar texture in the final mixture.
- Allow the melted vegetable shortening or Copha to come to room temperature but not to solidify again. With the beater running at medium speed add the shortening in a thin stream into the side of the bowl. The mixture will become very sloppy and wet at this point. Continue to beat for a further minute.
- With the mixer still running, pour the chilled cream and vanilla into the mixture and beat for a further 3 minutes until the frosting begins to thicken slightly. Colours and flavours may be added at this point or you might divide the mixture and make a variety of colours.
- Place the mixing bowl into the refrigerator for 10 minutes or until needed. This helps solidify the shortening. Before using, return it to the mixer and beat again for approximately 3 minutes to soften and gain a consistency suitable for spreading or piping.