Potential Projects

Friday, February 11, 2011

Panda Cupcakes

Aren't these little panda's cute?

OK, time to admit a few things.  First off, my camera's battery is dead.  And I can't find the charger!  One of those many moments when that nagging little voice rings in my ears "Isn't this the year you were going to get organized?"  Oh well.  Maybe next year....

So I took this picture with my old camera.  And I only realized after I had all the pandas assembled that I should have taken pictures.  I suppose I wasn't thinking they would turn out so cute!  So sadly all you have is finished product pictures.  Sorry!  But they were relatively EASY.  And fun!

I found the "recipe" and procedure in the book Hello, Cupcake!
Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make

I found this book used at Third Place Books and as soon as I saw the Pandas, I knew I would buy it and make them for my friend Lisa's birthday.  Lisa loves all things Panda.  Now I found this book last March, and her birthday is in February, so I've been having fun for months thinking about her birthday panda surprise.

For those of you who know me, I very rarely make anything from a mix.  But Hello, Cupcake! is all about using store-bought ingredients to make really cute cupcakes without a lot of work.  And although I originally planned to make cupcakes and frosting from scratch, in the end it saved me tons of time to buy store bought ingredients.  

To make the Pandas, I baked up 8 regular size cupcakes and 8 mini-cupcakes using a vanilla cake mix.  You could have made 16 pandas with that amount of cake mix, but it was also Superbowl Sunday, and my pants were already feeling tight.  I made the Panda faces first.  A mini-marshmallow helps make the snout, and then it's a simple matter of adding black food die to some vanilla frosting to create the eyes, nose and snout.  Hello, Cupcake! gives really clear directions on how to use ziplock bags to pipe on all your frosting.  It suggests using Oreo Os for ears, but I never did find those, so Chocolate Cheerios worked for me in a pinch.  The Panda fur on the big cupcake is made up of Oreos that I pulsed up in my blender.  Oreos also make up the arms and feet on the pandas.  Everything is held together with frosting.

Now is perhaps a good time to admit some other things.  These Pandas looked super cute (see above picture) when I put them in the car to take to Lisas.  Upon arrival at her house, they pretty much all needed major surgery.  I looked over at the passenger seat to find 8 headless Pandas.  Fortunately, they were easily put back together.  But note to the user--I suggest assembling these at the party location, or else having someone carry them in the car, as opposed to letting them bounce away on the pothole-filled drive to your friend's house.

If you like this sort of thing, this book has a lot of very creative ideas to make cute cupcakes with regular ingredients that you can find at most grocery stores.  If you get really into it, there's also a sequel book, "What's New, Cupcake?" that I've heard is also cute.  Both books are about $10 on Amazon (don't forget free 2-day shipping with you free membership in Amazon Mom!) or you could probably find them at your local library.  Or support your local bookstore!

Happy Birthday Lisa!  Happy Creative Endeavors everyone!