Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Duck Cupcakes

In keeping with the theme of the Duck & Elephant Diaper Cake from my niece's shower, I also decided to try my hand at some duck cupcakes that I saw in my cupcake book that I had gotten for Christmas.  This book has a ton of cute ideas, not many of which I thought that I could actually pull off, but I decided to give it a shot. 
I mean, how cute are those ducks on the front?  My ducks did not turn out that perfect, but they were cute.  If you don't have the cupcake book, iVillage also has a link to the Duck Cupcakes here.  The entire process of making these ducks wasn't that difficult, it wasn't until the final icing that I thought they might be more trouble than they were worth.  In the end, I came to love the little guys. 

You will need the following: 24 vanilla cupcakes baked in yellow paper liners, 20 plain doughnut holes, 4-5 cups of vanilla icing, 14 orange fruit chews (recipe recommended Tootsie Fruit Rolls or Starburst, I cut up an orange Airhead & it was pretty legit), yellow food coloring, 12 marshmallows & 48 brown mini candy-coated chocolates (M&M's Minis).  I don't know if you can actually buy just the brown M&M's Minis in a store without special ordering them online.  I recommend just buying a big bag of them & eating all the other colors while you enjoy making your ducks. : )

First, I just baked 24 regular vanilla cupcakes.  Disclaimer: I use store bought cake mix.  I am awful at following rules, which includes following recipes.  My husband always tells me that I never make the same dish twice. He isn't wrong.  So I stick to store bought cake mix because even I, the rebel, can follow like 3 steps.  So I made 24 cupcakes & frosted the tops with regular vanilla icing (spoiler alert, also store bought) using some of the 4-5 cups of icing.  It only took me 4 cups, but for whatever reason, the recipe calls for 5.  I will tell you, extra icing is never a bad thing.  Icing just the top of the cupcakes will probably take you about 1- 1 1/2 cups, depending on how much you like icing.  But don't worry too much about this icing...there will be more added.  Whatever is left after icing the top, tint that icing yellow with food coloring.  If you want to save a little of the white icing (allegedly about 1/4 of a cup) to make the whites of the duck's eyes, you can.  I don't even know that ducks have eyes like that, so I didn't.  I just made their eyes brown.  Your call. 
 After icing the cupcakes, take your donut holes & place them on one end of the cupcake.  Take all of your marshmallows & cut them in half diagonally & place them on the other end of the cupcake so that they look like this below. 

 Take some extra icing & make sure that you fill in any gaps or uneven spots.  Throw your non-feathered ducks into the freezer for about 15 minutes.  Now here comes the fun part (I didn't really think so though).  Melt the yellow tinted icing in the microwave for about 30-45 seconds, enough to make it look like whipped cream.  Turn your ducks upside down & dip them in the icing until their whole little duck body is covered.  Most of my ducks stayed intact, but I think if I were doing them again, I might freeze them a little longer because the couple of duck heads & duck tails that I lost in the Big Dip almost made me lose my mind.  Although if you have a few extra donut holes & marshmallows just laying around, you can just eat the icing covered ones & start over dipping your duck. 

After their Big Dip, I took the brown M&M's & gave the ducks some eyes & cut up the orange Airhead into small little pieces, folded them in half & stuck them on like a beak.  I didn't make the whites of the eyes like you can see in the book above, but my ducks didn't seem to feel any less pretty.  In the recipe in the book & on iVillage listed above, they also make a couple of upside down ducks who are supposedly ducks diving into the water.  Yeah, I wasn't inclined to get that crazy about it, so I just stuck to the regular upright ducks.  So all in all, definitely not a pastry chef & they are definitely not as cute as the cupcake book, but I thought they turned out pretty good considering.  Also, putting candy, donut covered holes & marshmallows covered in icing on top of a cupcake...yeah, you can't go wrong with that. 

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