Wrap-Up: Cupcake Madness!

Okay, I think it’s unanimous that this year’s MOMs has started FANTASTICALLY. The cupcakes this week were super fun, and we had lots of time to chat and get to know the people we’ve been smiling at across the circle every week. Lindsay wrote out the instructions for us and they’re posted below. She also took pictures while we made them, and I made them into a ridiculous awesome collage for your viewing pleasure.

Check out what we made!


This morning’s MOMs was a total cupcake extravaganza – a little chaotic, but also (hopefully) a lot of fun!

Our goal was to introduce you all to a few new ideas or techniques, and to convince you that you do NOT have to be awesome to make cupcakes that will make your kids THINK that you’re awesome.

The best part? This morning, we made 180 cupcakes – including the cupcakes themselves and ALL the decorating supplies – for less than $75. That’s kind of ridiculous, don’t you think? And we had some stuff left over. Considering that I’ve paid $24/dozen for professional cupcakes with just a simple icing swirl on top, I’d say the little bit of effort that goes into making them yourself could DEFINITELY pay off.

Most of this morning’s supplies came from Bulk Barn – including most of the candy, the icing sugar, and the decorating gel. Nicole found the fall leaf sprinkles at Belle Cake + Candy in St Vital. The Twizzlers were from Macs (yes, the convenience store!). And everything else can be found at any old grocery store. (You could even buy a can of icing if you don’t want to do the work of making it yourself.)

We hope it was a fun morning for you. It was definitely fun for us to plan!

Now to go convince my kid to eat some lunch before demolishing the owl cupcake I brought home (her favourite!)…

– Lindsay + Nicole

1. Baby Owl

I guess technically, they were OWLETS (but I hate that word). This idea came from here and we improvised…

  • Like the original recipe, we used a layer of icing as the base and chocolate wafers for the wings + horns
  • We used gummy LifeSavers instead of jelly rings for the outer part of the eyes because that’s what we could find, and followed the instructions to make the inner part of the eyes with brown mini M+Ms
  • We used the yellow part of a candy corn for the beak instead of peanuts – because we’re a peanut free group (and because cutting peanuts into beaks sounded really, really hard)
  • We used plain white coconut instead of colouring it because we’re lazy
  • We skipped the mini chocolate chips on the baby owl’s bellies because they looked kind of dumb and didn’t really want to stick once the coconut was on

The wings seemed a little unstable when we first put them together, but as the icing hardens they really hold well. These were the trickiest of the bunch to transport safely, so that’s probably something to keep in mind at home – good for a party at your place, less good for a Thanksgiving gathering a few hours away.

2. Mummy

We saw a few different variations on the mummy cupcake floating around the internet – and Nicole had made a similarly decorated round cake a few years back – so we ended up kind of making our own.

  • The mummy cupcakes got an icing base (we used white on our samples but realized later that a chocolate icing looks infinitely more awesome)
  • Two mini M+Ms made the eyes, and we added a dab of decorating gel in the centre
  • We rolled out fondant and used a pizza cutter to make strips to use as bandages, trimming the ends with kitchen shears as we draped them across the cupcake

If you’re making a bunch of these, we came across some samples that used mini M+Ms on some and Smarties on others, and the decorating gel made it seem like they were looking up, down, or to the side – just to mix it up and add some humour.
3. Turkey

Oh, the turkey cupcake… SIGH. There’s just no way to make these look as awesome in real life as they looked on the internet. But they’re still pretty cute.

  • We started off with a chocolate icing base
  • We used candy corn for the turkey’s tailfeathers (three points here if I just got a bad Will Smith song stuck in your head – and YOU’RE WELCOME) and used chocolate sprinkles around the base
  • The turkey heads were piped on (you can use a Ziploc bag with the corner snipped off if you don’t have the *proper* equipment at home – it will work just as well)
  • The turkey’s eyes are made with mini chocolate chips + a dab of white decorating gel and his beak is another candy corn

These weren’t HARD, just a little hard to make look GOOD. Definitely try making thicker icing than what we started with today – especially for the head. Again, there are a ton of variations on this cupcake available online – this is a jumble of a few that we liked.
4. Werewolf

These guys are cute + super easy to make (especially if you need to make LOTS of something).

  • Start with the facial features: mini M+Ms for the eyes (you can add a dab of decorating gel in the centre if you want to), a chocolate chip for the nose (black mini jujubes work well too!), and the white part of candy corns for the teeth (use a small knife or a pair of kitchen shears)
  • Dip the entire cupcake top into a bowl of chocolate sprinkles until they’re nice and furry-looking

We’ve made these at home for a few years now, and my husband always manages to make really spooky-looking ones while mine just look like they need a hug. Not really sure what the secret is, but again, it’s hard to screw these ones up!

5. Fall Tree

Totally the Delilah of cupcakes. It looks so harmless…

  • Start with a base of white icing
  • Cut a length of Twizzler equal(ish) to the diameter of your cupcake
  • Cut down the Twizzler at least halfway, and bend the ‘branches’ to separate them
  • Add a sprinkling of fall leaves

We’ve brainstormed many ideas for how to get the branches to stay branched out without destroying the rest of the cupcake (or looking like a straight lame chunk of Twizzler just hanging out on top of a cupcake). One mom had success this morning cutting thin little wedges out of the Twizzler instead of just cutting straight lines. We’ve considered heating up the Twizzlers a little bit, then bending them and letting them cool that way (not sure how edible they’d be after that process – maybe check your dental coverage before you try it). It could be worth experimenting, because it’s a pretty cute basic cupcake design! Let us know if you figure anything out at home…

6. Spiderweb

I think we’ve saved the easiest for last! The original recipe we found online was HARD and involved a bunch of steps that we quite simply didn’t have the patience for – so we decided to try a similar idea with our own ingredients and VOILA…

  • Start with a layer of icing (the aim is to hold the fondant in place)
  • Cut a circle shape out of fondant using a cookie cutter
  • Using decorating gel, make a blob in the centre of the circle and then add two circles around the blob to form a target
  • With a toothpick, begin in the centre blob and drag out past the edge of the largest circle and repeat all the way around the circle to form a spiderweb

Easy peasy. Seriously. And the options for customizing this one are limitless… You could alternate black + purple gel to make a multicoloured spiderweb. You could use colouring gel in the fondant and do orange fondant with a brown spiderweb… Or whatever combination makes you happy!

And last but certainly not least…


4 cups mini marshmallows
2 tbsp water
4 cups icing sugar

Put the mini marshmallows + water in a large microwaveable bowl (they’ll puff up!). Microwave for 20 seconds, then give it a good stir. If the marshmallows aren’t completely melted, microwave for another 10-15 seconds and then stir it again. Do it again if you need to.

Once you have a smooth mixture, add your icing sugar and knead into a dough. Use icing sugar to dust your work surface (and a little bit of oil and butter if you need it). Roll it flat and do your thing…

Note this is a simple 1:1 recipe and you can scale it up or down as needed.


6 thoughts on “Wrap-Up: Cupcake Madness!

  1. Great job Lindsay and Nicole! The cupcakes were a super hit with my kids, with first prize going to the spider web (“cuz it’s purple”), and the turkey. The owl and mummy got 2nd place.

  2. Great morning girls! You have given me a tonne more confidence for my next round of birthday cakes (though not until next summer), might have to make some seasonal cupcakes just for fun! I’ll even give the fondant a try, so awesome!!

  3. So glad you ladies enjoyed! Just a few additional thoughts on fondant.

    1. If you ever need to color it red, use the Wilton NO TASTE Red Gel. You will likely use half a container for it, but won’t get that funky weird taste that you would otherwise using that much coloring. It can be found at Bulk Barn (or Michael’s – use a 40% off coupon to save!)

    2. Fondant dries out VERY quickly so if you aren’t going to use it all at once, either store in a Ziploc bag or in tightly wrapped Saran Wrap and store in the fridge. It will keep for a good month or two no problem. When you remove it from the fridge it will be ROCK HARD. Work it like you would any dough by kneading it and it will soften under the warmth of your hands.

    3. As I mentioned butter CAN work to keep the surface that you use to roll your fondant on less sticky, but I wouldn’t use it unless you plan on using all the fondant when you make it as otherwise the butter can go rancid (if you store the fondant in the fridge) essentially ruining your batch of icing. I would, instead, recommend using Crisco SHORTENING (not oil, sorry I wasn’t clear on that Lindsay) to rub on your surface and hands before handling the sticky fondant. Also don’t forget to lay down more icing sugar (kind of like if you were making pizza dough) to help in your kneading of the fondant.

    Hope that helps! If you decide to give it a try and ever have an questions – please don’t hesitate to contact me 🙂

  4. hey
    I was wondering if you can freeze the fondant or if you can’t how long does it stay good for and how do you store it? also can you add flavouring to it like coconut extract or anything else?

  5. Erika: Hmmm … I haven’t tried it myself, but I did some research and it would appear that you can. Just be aware that if you add an extract it will make it more liquid so you will likely need more icing sugar. That being said if you add FLAVOR you will need significantly less – like a drop or two as opposed to 1/2-1 tsp. of extract. Yes, Extract and Flavor are different. You can find Flavor at Bulk Barn. They are teeny tiny bottles – quite literally the size from the tip of your pinkie to your pinkie knuckle. About the only thing you should know about flavor is that if they are tinted a color (like cherry or lemon) and the same applies to colored extracts like vanilla, so it’s probably that your fondant will not be a pure white – so I would only recommend a colored flavor or extract if you plan on coloring the actual fondant with a food color.

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