A child`s birthday party can be a wonderful opportunity to decorate Elmo cupcakes to delight your guests and hone your cake decorating skills. These bright cheerful cupcakes are definitely favorites of children celebrating any birthday less than four years old and can be made quite easily with a little imagination.
Elmo Birthday Theme
Kids still love Elmo even after 30 years on Sesame Street and this birthday theme is easy to organize from napkins and plates to the cake. Creating an Elmo cake can be a very simple process due to the character cake pans available at most craft and specialty baking supply stores. This cake frequently gets positive reactions; there is nothing cuter than a plate full of happy Elmo faces decorated on cupcakes!
Components Used to Decorate Elmo Cupcakes
Depending on your skill level and the amount of time you wish to spend, there are several different ways to decorate Elmo cupcakes. The cupcakes only have a few components, which include the cupcake itself, the fur, the eyes, the nose and the mouth. Try combining various techniques to create exactly the Elmo you want for your party.
The size and flavor of the cupcakes is a personal decision that does not really affect the visual appeal of the decorations. Red icing will cover the top of the cupcakes, so simply bake your child's favorite flavor and cool them completely before icing. If you want to really embrace the red theme of Elmo, bake a red velvet cake recipe.
The fur can be created using a variety of cake decorating techniques that each produce a different effect. The common denominator of all the methods is that the "fur" on the cupcakes must be a vibrant red. Anyone who has ever decorated a cake knows red is one of the hardest colors to create and usually the icing ends up tasting horrible. Do not use a cheap red food coloring for this project; purchase either a pre-blended red icing or get a no taste Wilton red paste coloring. These products might be more expensive but an edible cupcake is a great trade off. The following methods produce wonderful fur:
- Ice the cupcake surface with red buttercream and sprinkle red decorating sugar all over the top.
- Lightly toss shredded coconut with red food coloring paste until it is tinted the desired color and sprinkle on iced cupcakes.
- Use a Wilton grass tip (#133) to pipe luxuriant icing hair all over the top of the cupcakes. Simply screw the grass tip onto the coupler at the end of the piping bag and fill the bag halfway with icing. Twist the top and firmly squeeze the bag until the desired amount of icing comes out. Always practice using the bag until you achieve the effect you are looking for and then decorate the cupcakes.
The eyes on the cupcakes can be crucial for establishing a happy expression rather than a slightly disturbing unfocused look. The eyes should take up approximately one third of the cupcake and it is best to do them right after the fur.
- Fill a piping bag halfway with white icing and, using a round tip, create two smooth protruding circles for the bulk of the eye. Then use a premixed black gel to put the iris in the centers of the eyes. You can also mix black icing and pipe the black dots but besides red, black is the worst color to mix. It is difficult to get a true black rather than dark grey.
- Stick Mentos, white fondant spheres or white candies to the cupcakes with a dab of red icing and pipe small black dots in the centers of the candies.
- Cut large marshmallows in half and stick the halves onto the cupcakes with a dab of red icing. Pipe the black irises onto the marshmallows.
The nose on these cupcakes needs to be snuggled in between the slightly protruding eyes but not over power the whole face. The best method to create the nose is simply pipe brownish tan icing with a round tip to create the length and width of nose that you want for Elmo's face. You can also use unsalted peanuts or tan candies to create the nose, but be careful that your party guests are not allergic if using nuts.
Elmo's mouth is basically a black half moon conveying an open joyful smile. Achieve this effect in several different ways, depending on your time. The simplest method is to use the black chocolate wafer from an Oreo cookie cut in half. Place the half cookie in the correct position on the Elmo face with a dab of red icing to hold it in place. Another technique to make this feature is to use a black icing gel to pipe a mouth onto the red icing in a happy smile shape. This can take a little practice to achieve a perfect half moon, so try the shape on a plate first. Utilize black fondant to create a neat mouth by hand forming the shape you want and sticking it on the cupcake.
Putting Elmo Cupcakes Together
Great Elmo cupcakes can be produced using any combination of the described decorating techniques. However,if you want a very easy Elmo decorating idea for cupcakes you can also purchase Wilton Elmo faces to place on top of red iced cupcakes instead of creating your own.