Recently I did a post on how to make marshmallow fondant over at Moms and Munchkins as part of her Sunday Sweet series. After I made the fondant I realized I should probably make up a little sweet treat to properly show it off. I considered doing a cake but then I wasn’t sure who would eat it. I mean we like cake but there are only three of us in the house so it’s pretty tough to eat an entire cake. So, I decided cupcakes would be the way to go. I could leave some at home for us to enjoy and then take the rest to work and let my co-workers indulge a little. The cupcakes turned out pretty cute so I thought I would share how I made them. They are really pretty easy, especially if you already have the fondant made up and ready to go. Of course you don’t have to use marshmallow fondant, you can use traditional fondant as well. If you haven’t experimented with marshmallow fondant I highly recommend it. It’s cheap and pretty easy to make. It’s also pretty easy to work with and tastes way better! You can find the recipe here.
Bake the cupcakes
Start by whipping up a batch of your favorite cupcakes. From scratch or from a box. It really doesn’t matter. You just want a standard cupcake – that is don’t go adding berries or nuts or anything that might make them lumpy. And size doesn’t matter. I used standard size cupcakes for this post but mini cupcakes work great too.
When you are filling your cupcake papers keep them a little on the stingy side. You want your cupcakes to be on the flat side when they come out. Not too big and fluffy.
Let the cupcakes cool completely on a wire rack. I also like to put mine in the fridge for at least an hour before I go to decorate them. It just makes them easier to work with.
Ice the Cupcakes
Time to break out the buttercream! Don’t try to use the icing from the containers you buy at the grocery store because they just don’t have the right consistency. You need an icing that will hold it’s shape, especially after being covered with some heavy fondant. That’s buttercream. If I’m out and about I sometimes pick some up from the Bulk Barn because you can buy it rather cheap in bulk there. Of course it’s pretty easy to make as well. Here’s the basic buttercream recipe that I use:
- 1/2 cup of butter or margarine
- 1/2 cup of shortening
- 4 cups of powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of milk
Put the butter and shortening in a deep bowl and beat with an electric mixer until creamy. Continue to beat while gradually adding the powdered sugar. Once the sugar is all beaten in add your milk and beat your icing until it is nice and fluffy.
I put my icing in the fridge for about 1/2 an hour before I want to use it for doing fondant cupcakes because it needs to be nice and stiff. When you are ready to ice your cupcakes remove the buttercream from the fridge and give it a quick stir just so it’s not TOO stiff to work with.
Pick up a cupcake and start icing. You want to build a nice little mound in the middle of the cupcake.
You don’t need, or want, to go all the way to the very edge of the cupcake with your buttercream. Leave a little space at the edge of the paper. And you want the icing to be smooth but don’t worry about perfection. Once you make your mound use a spatula or kitchen knife dipped in warm water to help you smooth it out. Once you have them iced throw them back in the fridge.
Covering with Fondant
Once the cupcakes have set in the fridge for a bit, a good half an hour again and longer is ok, it’s time to break out the fondant.
Cover your work area with a light layer of shortening if you are using marshmallow fondant. If you are using regular fondant cover your surface with powdered sugar. Roll out your fondant to about 3/8 to 1/4 inch thickness.
You can either use your fondant “smooth” or you can use an imprint mat to add a nice pattern to the fondant. Imprint mats are fairly inexpensive. You can find them at places like Michaels or most other stores that carry a good selection of cake decorating items. To use the mats you just want to give them a very light coat of shortening then place them on the fondant and use your rolling pin to emboss the imprint on the fondant. You want to use a fair amount of pressure. Just experiment a few times to figure out how much. The great thing about working with fondant (and especially marshmallow fondant) it that you can always roll it up and start again!
Now it’s time to cut the fondant. You want to use a fondant cutter, or a solid round cookie cutter is just fine, that has a diameter that is about 1/4 inch larger than the diameter of the top of the cupcake.
Once you have your fondant circle cut place it in the palm of your hand, pick up a cupcake turning it upside down and center it on the fondant in your hand. Now gently start to smooth the fondant over the cupcake. That’s pretty much all there is to it.
If you have extra fondant, which you most likely do, with a few simple tools you can make some cute little embellishments to add to your cupcakes.
Any flowers, etc that you make can simply be attached to the fondant covered cupcakes with a little water. I have a little paint brush that I keep in my tool kit for that purpose. If you do add pretties to your cupcakes make sure you let them sit a while before moving or serving so the water has a chance to dry and your flowers stay put!