Friday, August 12, 2011

Grass, Bees & Ladybugs Cupcakes

These cupcakes are the most popular design for the cake decorating parties and workshops I do. The techniques are all simple, and even young kids can make these look cute and fun. The hardest part is coloring all of that icing! (You could always use the tubes of colored icing, though, if you want.)

What You Need
Cupcakes, baked & cooled
Filling & Tip #230
Green icing - Tip #233
Yellow icing - Tip #12
Black icing - Tip #3 (or 2) & 5
White icing - Tips #3 & 81
Red icing - Tips #5 & 12

The first thing you want to do is fill the cupcake.
Insert tip #230 about halfway into the cupcake, squeeze. The best way to know if anything's getting in there is to hold it in your hand while you do it. You can feel it "puff" a little on the bottom while you do it.
(Here's a link to the complete description of how to use a filling/bismarck tip.)

To make the grass: Hold tip #233 straight up over the cupcake. Starting very near the surface, squeeze. While squeezing, pull straight up. If you pull at an angle or to the side your grass will look weird.

I love decorating things with grass! Isn't it SO cute???

To make the bee, start with the body. Hold tip #12 straight up from the cupcake. Squeeze and let the icing dot get as fat as you want your bee's body. Then slowly move the tip towards you (keeping it straight up). If you move too quickly, the body won't be the same "fatness" all the way through. Stop squeezing before you pull away.

Next, you'll add the stripes. Using black icing, and tip #3, hold the bag so that the back of the bag points to your right (unless you're left-handed, then have it point left). Start on one edge of the bee's body. Squeeze and drag the tip across the body. Stop squeezing when you reach around to the other edge of the bee.

Add a tip #12 yellow head. With the back of the bag pointing at your chest, squeeze, and hold the bag steady. Let the icing get as fat as you want the head. Stop squeezing before you pull away.

Add the whites of the eyes with a tip #3 and white. You'll use the same technique as you did with the head.

Add the facial features with a tip #3 (or 2) and black icing. The eyes and nose are done as you did the head-- with the back of the bag at your chest, and the mouth is done like the lines-- with the back of the bag going to the side.

Add the wings using a tip #81 and white icing. Hold your bag so that the "divot" in the tip faces in towards the center of the bee's body. Begin by touching the surface. Squeeze. Slowly pull up while squeezing. Flip the tip the opposite way to do the other wing.
* If you don't have a tip #81, you can use a small petal tip like tip #101, or you could use a tip #5. The wings will look different, but they'd still work.

Finish the bee off with some antennae on the top of his head. Using a tip #3 (or 2) and black icing, hold the bag straight up from the bee's head. Begin by touching (lightly) the head, squeeze, and pull up while squeezing.

Now for the ladybug. Make the body using tip #12 and red icing. Hold the bag straight up from the surface, just a little bit above the top of the grass. Squeeze and hold the bag steady. Do not raise it up. Let the icing fan out and make a half-ball shape. When the ball is large enough for the ladybug's body, stop squeezing before you pull away.

Next, you'll add the ladybug's stripe, dots and head. I recommend starting with the stripe. Do this stripe just as you did the bee's stripes... with tip #3 and black icing . The bag should point to the right (or left, if you're left-handed).
Add the dots by holding the bag straight up over the ladybug's body. Squeeze. Stop squeezing before you pull away.
Add the head last. You may want to use a tip #5 for this. Add the ladybug's head as you did the bee's. Hold the bag so that the back of the bag points at your chest. The tip will be just off the surface of the ladybug's body. Squeeze. Let it get as big as you want, holding the bag steady. Stop squeezing before you pull away.

Add the whites of the eyes like you did the bee's.

Add the facial features just like you did the bee's, too. But I like to use red for the ladybug's mouth.

Finally, you can make a caterpillar, too, if you wish. Using your tips #12, make alternating dots (just like you did for the ladybug's body & spots) using your colors. 

Add legs, facial features, and antennae using your tip #3 and black icing. The legs are shaped like a backwards letter "L."

That's it! Enjoy your summer-y picnic cupcakes!

Click the Links Below to See:
Simplify icing bag clean-up with Icing Bag Bullets
Other Cupcake Decorating Ideas
Summertime Dessert Recipes and Ideas 

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