So I started off with this recipe for Red Velvet cupcakes, minus the icing. It’s a favourite of mine if I’m making cupcakes. It’s rich without being heavy, and looks great. That recipe I don’t tweak much, except to leave out the salt.
Then, I made the little ducks to go on top. I didn’t take any photos of that step of the process, but I use Fondant icing, which I then roll in whatever dye I’m using at the time, then shape as needed. I try to go with a natural dye. Not through any sense of not wanting artificial dyes, but more because they’re thicker, which gives a better colour, and they’re much, much easier to get out of clothing if there’s mess. And there’s going to be mess. Please don’t kid yourself.
Later on, when the cupcakes have cooled and the ducks have hardened (Fondant doesn’t need to “set” per se, but when you add dye, you’ll find it tacky to touch. You want it to be pliable but firm when you’re moving it around), I made a simple buttercream icing, like the one used for these vanilla cupcakes, substituting the milk with Buttermilk. I think this gives the icing an interesting flavour, and a much creamier texture.
I used disposable icing bags, and a Wilton M1 tip for the main part. The last post, they used a round tip, but I like the effect of an M1. Another thing on the Wilton products. Their dyes are excellent, but every one I’ve bought so far has leaked. I’ve bought the pots and the bottles, and they all leak. What’s up with that, Wilton? Anyway, I take a Cupcake, and do a simple swirl, holding the bag fairly loosely and with very light pressure. Start at the outside, work your way around and in, and to end, press down slightly, and twist when finishing. You end up with this:
I used these ones for the duck cupcakes. There were a few that won’t have a duck, for the grown-ups.
For those, I do the same as above, and then starting on the second swirl there, do another swirl in the opposite direction.
For the big ones, it’s sugar sprinkle time. I love sugar sprinkles. They add a slight crunch without the annoying “is this going to break my teeth?” fear you get with a Cachous, plus they come in great colours. Usually you need to go to a specialty baking or kitchen store to pick these up.
For the small ones, after the sprinkles, I placed a duck on top.
For some, I got a bit creative with the placement. This one is riding a wave
This one has a bit of a swan like shape happening
And yes, I made tiny baby ducks to go on the ducks backs. I don’t know why.
And the finished product: