Ask Karen question:
Love your site. I want to make fake christmas cupcakes to decorate my tree with. Do you know how?
NO. I have no idea how. Not a clue. I’m at a loss here, drawing a complete blank. However, like it says on my homepage If I Don’t Know, I’ll Figure It Out.
So I did. I searched the Internet, sat and stared thoughtfully out the window, and tapped my head with a pencil. Using all of those tricks I formulated a plan.
Make the “cake” out of a can of Great Stuff expandable spray insulation foam. (found this idea on the Internet)
Make the “icing” out of a bucket of premixed drywall compound.
Using these 2 ingredients, some items from around the house, plus some do-dads for decoration you’ll have cupcake ornaments that will look exactly like cupcakes. They will not look like “ornamental” cupcakes. They will not look like fake cupcakes. They will look like edible cupcakes.
But you probably shouldn’t eat them. I don’t mean to tell you what to do, but if it were me … I wouldn’t eat them. What with being made out of poison and plaster.
This is incredibly easy to do but because of the sheer size of the pictures I’ve decided to post this as a Part I and a Part II.
HOW TO MAKE A CUPCAKE TREE ORNAMENT
Great Stuff expandable foam insulation
Muffin tin/cupcake tin
Paper Muffin/cupcake cups
Piping Bag and tips
Decorations (sparkles, Mini ornaments, beads) for top of cupcake
To make the cake portion of the cupcakes:
Get your Muffin Tin
Get your Paper Muffin Cups
They sell really nice decorative ones that even have designs on the bottom. This is great because if you’re hanging your ornaments from the tree you’ll be able to see the bottom of the cups on the ones you hang up high.
Some paper cups also come with these cute tooth pick thingees.
Line your muffin tins with the paper cups.
Grab your Great Stuff Expandable Foam
This size can will make around 40 cupcakes.
Remove the spray nozzle from the can and attach it to the nozzle.
Then all you do is slowly and carefully spray the foam into each paper cup.
After a little while I figured out that going around the cup in circles creates the best cupcake.
See that centre cupcake? The one in the green paper? It’s too full.
I knew the “Stuff” would expand, but wasn’t sure how much, so this first round was trial and error. That cupcake in the green paper? It’s there to represent “error”. The ones to the left and right of it are the right level to fill your cups up to.
Remember, cupcakes aren’t muffins. They’re smaller. You don’t want them too huge, because you still need to put icing on them. You will be tempted to fill them higher. Resist temptation.
Here’s a small illustration of how the “Stuff” expands.
Initial spraying … about 3/4′s full.
10 minutes later …
Another 10 minutes later …
Let your foam set for a minimum of a couple of hours.
I let mine set overnight.
Once they’re set you can pull them out of the muffin pan and start to paint them if you want.
When the insulation dries, it’s completely white and shiny. You can leave them like that, or you can paint the cupcakes. I painted mine to make them look as though they were really baked vanilla cupcakes.
So instead of looking like this …
They look like this!
As you’ll see, you really only need to paint the edge of the cupcakes.
I painted this entire cupcake for illustrative purposes. ’Cause I’m nice like that. Plus painting cupcakes is my idea of fun.
But for a lot of your cupcakes you’ll only need to paint the edges. Many of your cupcakes may end up too tall, so when they do, just cut the tops off with a serrated knife.
Like so …
… this way you only have to paint the edge of the cupcakes.
To paint them just use some folk art paints. I used a base layer of a pale and darker yellow mixed together.
Get most of the paint off of your brush then just brush all the way around the cupcake. It’s O.K. if you don’t have full coverage with the paint. In fact it’s better because it gives the cupcake some dimension if some of the lighter foam colour comes through.
Be careful not to get your paint on the paper.
Finally mix together some dark, golden yellow. Add a bit of dark brown to a lighter yellow if you need to. Just a *tiny* bit of brown.
A “kiss” of colour you could say …
Add the darker golden colour as a highlight to the bumps and ridges on your cupcake. This will make it look as though it’s a little bit more browned/burnt in those areas, just like a real cupcake.
O.K. Now that your cupcakes are formed and painted you’re ready to move onto the final step. Throwing them at people. Wait, no. Icing and decorating them.
* Great Stuff is incredibly sticky and if you get it on your arm it will require scrubbing with hot, soapy water, drenching with acetone, a splash of Goo Gone, and another treatment with acetone. Finally, remove your arm with a hacksaw. In other words, be very careful with the Great Stuff.
* Do not overfill your paper cups. 3/4s full and that’s all.
* Don’t attempt to pull them out of the muffin tins before they’re dry.
* Keep plenty of paper towels handy. And by handy, I mean pre-ripped off of the roll, sitting right beside you. You’ll need them to wipe the goo off of the nozzle when it accumulates there.
Tips may or may not be based on real life experiences.
Tomorrow … Part II. Icing and decorating.