Hey sugar friend! Thanksgiving is just a few days away. Need an idea for dessert? Here’s some easy but really cute cupcakes that you can put together really quickly. How adorable are these little owls dressed like Indian and Pilgrims? I die from cuteness.
1 Batch of Cupcakes
6, 13, 30, 44, 64mm circle cutters
44mm & 64mm scalloped circle cutter
Non-stick rolling pin
Water brush for sticking
Sharp or craft knife
Windsor Clikstix small
Pair of white pop socks, cornstarch and a small plastic container
Wilton 6B piping Nozzle
Tall glass to pop your piping bag into.
80g of gumpaste (I used Satin Ice)
50g of chocolate fondant
60g of white fondant
20g of Orange fondant
40g of black fondant
2g of yellow
Brown food color gel/paste
Wafer paper (various colors, I used what I had left over)
These toppers will take at least 12 hours to dry hard enough so they won’t sag onto your cupcakes, so make sure you give yourself plenty of time before you decide you want them.
To start with, I’m going to teach you a trick to stop things sticking to your board, cutters etc. I can’t claim it as my own idea but it works a treat. Starting with a pair of white pop socks (stockings), put one inside the other. Open the socks up together and put 1 tablespoon of cornstarch in the socks. Hold the socks at each end making sure the cornstarch is in the center and tie the two ends together cutting the ends to tidy them up. Voila! A brand new dusting bag. Keep it in a little container to keep it fresh and clean. Why cornstarch? Well I know many people use icing sugar, but that for me just makes everything even stickier, so it’s just a preference thing.
Mix 80g of gumpaste with 40g of chocolate fondant and knead well. I added a touch of brown food color gel just to bring it back to a darker brown color again. To make the owls – cut 8 x 68mm rounds, making sure you keep any paste you are not using in an airtight container so it doesn’t go hard while you are working.
To make the Owl’s ears, you’ll need the 44mm cutter. Use this to cut a small section away from the top of the round, like this.
To give the Owls a stitched look, I used a cocktail stick to emboss the outer edge. You can buy a stitch embossing tool, but using a cocktail stick is just a nice, quick, CHEAP way of getting the same effect.
Next, knead 10g of chocolate and 50g of white fondant together to get the nice beige tummy color for the Owls. Roll the paste out to 2mm thick and cut 8 x 30mm rounds out for the tummies. Remember to keep the spare paste wrapped up tight, so it doesn’t go dry.
Repeat the stitching effect with your cocktail stick again, just inside the outer edge of the rounds.
Using the water brush, gently brush under where you want the tummies to go, I placed mine in the center at the bottom but you can off set them if you like.
To make the eyes you’ll need the 13mm round cutter. Roll and cut 16 x 13mm rounds, trimming the tops like this.
Using the water brush, stick the white rounds above the tummies, and then using the 6mm round cutter, add the pupils to the whites of the eyes. You can make them crossed or looking in different directions; it’s fun to give them a bit of personality.
To make the beaks, roll and cut small triangles from the orange paste.
Using the water brush, stick the beaks just below the eyes.
To make the wings you will need the 44mm scalloped round cutter. Using the remainder of the brown paste, cut scalloped rounds, and then cut them into four. I made sure the wings were 4 x scallops wide.
Stick the wings to the side of the Owl’s body with the water brush.
To make the Native Owl’s headdress – roll the orange paste and cut a long thin strip. Use the cocktail stick to emboss a pattern into it. I chose triangles and dots, but you can do which ever pattern you like.
Stick the headdress on with a brush of water above the eyes and trim the excess off with a sharp knife.
To make the feathers I used wafer paper. I had some Autumn leaves left over from some previous cupcakes and thought they were the perfect colors. You can use plain edible paper and dust it with powder food color to get these sort of colors. You could also use colored gum paste and feather it with a sharp knife. I used a craft knife to cut feather shapes out of the wafer leaves, and then feathered the edge by cutting thin strip into the edges.
When you are sticking the feathers together with the water brush, you need to make the brush is quite dry as you don’t want to melt the paper. Once they are all stuck together, use a tiny brush of water to stick them to the back of the owl’s head.
To make the pilgrim’s hat I cut a 4cm triangle and cut 5mm of the tops.
Then fold the bottom edge upwards to make the hat rim.
To make the buckles, cut tiny yellow fondant rectangles, and then cut tiny black fondant squares, sticking them onto the yellow rectangles with a dot of water.
Then add the buckle to the hat like this. The hat can then be added to the Owl’s head with a small brush of water.
To make the ‘Give Thanks’ topper cut 4 x 64 mm scalloped round.
Use the 48 mm plain cutter to cut 4 x rounds for the center of the scalloped rounds.
Roll the orange fondant out, making sure the counter and cutters are well and truly dusted with your cornflour dusting bag. I used the Windsor Clikstix Small for these letters and committed a sin by popping the plunger backs out. I just prefer the look of the rounded letters without the plunger backs in the cutters. I then remove the letters from the cutter with a small soft brush so as not to mark them.
Arrange your message onto the plain toppers and stick down with a brush of water.
To ice the cupcakes I added a Wilton 6B to a small piping bag. I find it much easier to pop the piping bag into a tall glass so I have both hands free to add the buttercream to the bag.
Pipe the tops of the cupcakes by starting in the center, piping out towards the wrapper, using this as a guide to pipe round to where you started and then up once more, finishing in the center by pushing down slightly and pulling up quickly.
Add the dried topper to your cakes and they are ready to serve.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone!!