These are my Micro Cupcakes AKA Thimble Cupcakes! I really love making these, even though they take lots of time and consideration for detail and there is *little* room for error. :] (I've made them a few times, for a birthday, for family, for a graduation and my husband is taking a "dozen" into work today. Hahah!
I set out to find the most true-to-shape way to make the smallest cupcakes possible, and, without making my own sheet metal pans with micro-mini divots and the ability to make AIR-Bubble-LESS cake mix...well, this is the way. With thimbles!
Thimble safety - Mine are nickel-plated and this is what I found online - I did some research on nickel plating and saw that they do this for oven racks and people cook on those. Further research said that nickel plating would only be broken up by constant exposure to acidic properties. So I figured that as long as there is no acidic properties in the cupcakes, all is well. :) My advice, is to check that the plating exists in the insides of the thimbles when you open them, not just on the outside. Look for the shiny silver. This is based on information from spending time on google and searching before I baked in them.
Step 1: What You Need!
Cake mix, or your own batter recipe.
Thimbles (more will save you time!) - I got mine 3x- $1 at the dollar store!! Hale-yeah.
A Pan to Pam and put the thimbles in.
Squeeze bottles from the dollar store or Michael's for condiments.
An eye for detail, and PATIENCE. :D
Step 2: Prepare.
Make your cake mix, clean your condiment bottles, load them up with some cake mix and lay them on their sides or tip down to get the batter ready to squeeze out. Just be careful when you open to fill thimbles, may blob out.
Clean your thimbles and use a paper towel and your finger to dry and smudge-clean the insides, let dry. Pam the cupcake pan, set 3 thimbles into the pam'd cupcake pan, spaced out. Pam the thimbles. Squeeze batter into each one, a TINY bit less than half way full.
Preheat oven to 325.
Step 3: Baking the Babies!
Transfer to oven without letting the thimbles touch.
Put them in your preheated oven at 325 degrees for FOUR minutes.
Check to see that they puffed up and soon after that, do the toothpick test and make sure it comes out clean. Well...shake the toothpick until the cupcake falls off. Hahahah. Then pull them out, ******Without letting them touch!!******** If they slide into each other, just set pan down and immediately separate because they will stick together. Leave on a rack to cool.
To remove the cupcakes, wait until they've cooled completely and slide a toothpick down the side of the thimble to dislodge the cupcake from 1, 2, or 4 sides. Depends on how easily it will pop out. Careful when you pull it out. You want to make sure the TOP doesn't rip off and that you get the long bottom of the cupcake out of the thimble. You can cut the bottoms off later, to make them more proportioned.
You will notice holes in some of them, these are where the air bubbles were. That's just showing you how close you are to NOT having a cupcake, because we are taking it MACRO. ;)
Step 4: Decorating!
I used a tiny knife to ice my first cupcake and thought...nah, I'd rather pipe the icing on because it looks more awesome, and it does. But it's up to you.
Make sure to stick to small-scale sprinkles so that everything looks proportioned correctly. For cherries, I just used CakeMate cookie writers? The little hardening icing gel tubes. I airbrushed the sweet little blue star ones. (My mom used to airbrush cakes when I was a kid - 20 years ago - so I remembered to ask her to borrow it. And I love it!!) *Note* If you want to get your own airbrush, I saw one at Michael's, if you save a hefty coupon, you may get it for a good price.
For the red and yellow ones, I used the cakemate writer things again, and pressed decorations into them before they hardened. If you want the sprinkles to lightly lay on top, just drop them as SOON as you ice them. If you want to press them in, for another cool look, (the birthday image in the video), you just wait for a couple minutes for the icing to harden a little, then press them into the icing. The little blue ones that are smooth, they are my Sharks, lol. I used the cakemate stuff, blue dot sprinkles and Halloween ghost sprinkles turned upside-down to get the shark fin.
By the way - those golden mini sprinkle stars are my favorite things ever!! The red glitter is my mom's, freakin' $8 for a tiny little container of it! The tiny ball multi-sprinkles were from the dollar store, and a lot of the cake mixes, too.
Step 5: Presentation!
If you want to give them in a box, like you see in my video and photos, you can find them at a cake shop. If you want them to stay standing up, I suggest "piping gel", my cousin took a cake class and told me that stuff is like glue. So you can make dots at the bottom of the box and stick them on there.
I cut a paper doily to fit the box and it was perfect. If you decorate enough in the same way, they will make a cute set, or gift. I got a smaller box, and gave it to my cousin for his graduation. For the ease of carrying these, and for setting them down to dry, my husband bought a mini ice cube tray.
(Funny thing is...he was planning on making "bacon pops" somehow with this ice cube tray and when he brought it home, I just laughed at him. I thought it was the most ridiculous idea ever! But it ended up being the perfect thing-ever, for this project. :D Funny stuff! He got it at Albertsons. Interesting!) Here is a random link online.
My advice for perfect presentation, would be a viewer cake box, mini, at a cake shop, with these cuties glued down at the bottom with the piping gel (just use a toothpick), and tie with a ribbon. They would look adorable and unreal.