Saturday, February 19, 2011

Sunflower Cupcakes

One of our family traditions is to celebrate our children's half birthdays.  We don't go all out as we would for the actual, big day, though we do make a special cake and sing "Happy Half Birthday".  This weekend we are celebrating my daughter's 7 1/2 birthday.  She had requested these Sunflower Cupcakes I had made for her birthday a couple of years ago.  I was so happy with these, and thought it would be fun to make them again.
cupcakes

Aren't they cute?  Let me again stress... I love to cook and bake, though I am not an expert in this department.  I had made these with the instructions found in the amazing cupcake book, Hello Cupcake, by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson.  They were so easy to make, even for a wanna-be pastry queen like myself!

This time, however, I had to do from memory.  I wasn't as happy with the end result as I was in the image above, but they did turn out cute.  The main problem, I believe, was that I chose the wrong frosting for the flowers this time.  I made buttercream frosting from scratch.  Perhaps not the best choice?  Or... perhaps I was too eager and made it from butter not fully at room temperature, so it didn't turn out nice and smooth like it should?  Ack... you tell me!  Oh well... the kids won't care.

recipe

My ingredients this time:
-  Chocolate Cake Mix (prepared 18 cupcakes)
-  Oreo Cookies
-  Mini Oreo Cookies
-  Store-Bought Buttercream Frosting
-  Chocolate Chips
-  Red M&M's
-  Food Coloring (Red, Yellow and Green... not shown)
-  Piping Bag and Leaf Tip (though the first time I made these I used a Ziploc bag that I had cut the end off of... worked perfectly fine.
-  Frosting for the Flowers (I prepared butter cream from scratch... not sure if that was the best choice)

** This time I believe I made smaller cupcakes (so less room for flowers on top), and omitted the green leaves from fruit roll-ups.  They were a pain to mess with, I thought.

Another note - Do not do these too far ahead of time.  I found that the frosting caused the Oreo cookies to get soggy when left to sit for too long.


Directions:

1)  Prepare your cupcakes, and let them completely cool.

2)  Make your lady bugs!  I melted some chocolate chips in a glass dish, 30 seconds at a time on medium heat, stirring well in between.  Then, using a toothpick, I carefully drew the chocolate onto the M&M's.
 lady bug M&Ms


 3)  Color some frosting green to be used as the base of your cupcakes.  This is where I used the store-bought frosting.
frosting


4)  Generously frost your cupcake tops.
icing


5)  Place an Oreo on each cupcake.
oreos


6)  Prepare your sunflower petal frosting.  Color it yellow, divide a portion of that into a smaller bowl to add some red... so you end up with an orange frosting as well. 
decorate


7)  Place your frostings into your piping bag (or a Ziploc bag).  If using a piping bag, select the tip for making leaves (it has a 'v' cut end).  Otherwise, you can cut a small 'v' out of the corner of your Ziploc bag.  I tried to place the orange on one side, and the yellow on the other so that it blended as I piped.
how to make a
Another note... I found that the frosting would warm up after being held for a while, and the results weren't as nice.  I'd recommend using smaller portions of frosting at a time to avoid this.  You'll get nicer petals in the end.


 8)  Begin piping petals around the lower perimeter of each Oreo Cookie.  You might want to practice forming your leaves before getting started.
sunflower


9)  Add a second row of petals above the first.  It looks best if you can add these between the petals on the first row.  I found that this time, I was inserting the tip into the "stuffed" part of the Oreo for my second row of petals.  If you notice the finished picture above, I may have done my first row here and the second row on top of the cookie.  Do whatever you think looks best.


10)  Add your Mini Oreos.  You'll likely have room for two of these on a regular cupcake.  I opted for one this time.

11)  Repeat Steps 8 and 9 for the Mini Oreos.

12)  Use a little frosting to secure your little lady bugs.

happy birthday

And.... Your cupcakes are complete!  Enjoy!!!

30 comments:

  1. This have to be one of the cutest cupcake designs I've ever seen! I didn't even realize the center of the flower was an Oreo at first. Thanks for teaching how to make these. I'm not quite sure I could pull it off, but it looks like it would be fun to try :)

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  2. Those are so cute! Stopping by from Not Baaad Sundays!
    jen @ messhalltobistro.blogspot.com

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  3. Thank you for sharing these directions. They may be the cutest cupcakes ever!! I found you on Under the Table and Dreaming and am now a follower.

    Melanie
    youmadethat.blogspot.com

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  4. Wow! What a great tutorial! I am a brand new follower. Saw your post on Kuzak's Closet. You are so talented. These look yummy.

    www.theelephantstrunk42.blogspot.com

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  5. these are amazing! I love your blog header too.

    megan
    craftycpa.blogspot.com

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  6. These are TOO cute!
    My baby's special flower is sunflowers.
    So now I HAVE to make these for her baptism party.
    I'm not sure if I should thank you or wag my finger at you ;o)
    So cute!!

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  7. Wow. Those are amazing. And I love the little lady bugs. I'm your newest follower. Be sure to stop by my blog Monday and add your project to the More The Merrier Monday Link Party.

    http://diyhshp.blogspot.com

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  8. I love the two-tone petals and the whole entire thing is just soooo neat! I have that cupcake book. I should whip it out and get crackin' because my daughter's half birthday is in just a couple of weeks. Thanks for the inspiration!

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  9. Those are absolutely adorable!! I can't believe they were that easy.

    LOL...I suppose that's easy for me to say since I'm watching you do all the work in pictures. :)

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  10. Those are adorable! So creative! Love that you used a red M&M to make the lady bug! Thanks for linking these up too.

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  11. ah those are amazing!! LOVE them!! I am actually going to feature them on Handmade Features. So make sure to go grab a badge once the post is up :)

    Thanks so much for linking up to Handmade Tuesdays @ Ladybug Blessings and make sure to come enter my giveaway for Handstamped Silver :)

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  12. These are the cutest ever! Thanks for such a great tutorial as well. I would never have tried them had you not shown these step by step instructions....they look too pretty to eat...well almost. I love cupcakes and oreos and frosting. I can't wait to try them!

    Nancy

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  13. SO very sweet! They look really yummy!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!
    AllieMakes.Blogspot.com

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  14. Absolutely DARLING!!! They look delicious too! Thanks SO much for linking up to Thrilling Thursday @ Paisley Passions! I hope to see you again next week. Oh, and if you have time, come link this up to my Fun w/Food Friday linky too! :)

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  15. Laybugs and sunflowers..two of my favorite things! Your cupcakes look great! Thank you for sharing..these will be made several times this summer, I'm sure!

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  16. These are so cute, I love that you used an oreo for the center, very clever!

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  17. Super cute!! I'm featuring this tomorrow night!

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  18. Too cute!!! I'm your newest follower and featured you on my blog today.
    www.acreativeprincess.blogspot.com

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  19. OMG! <3 these! Wishing I had these for this party:

    http://babicmama.blogspot.com/2011/02/mayas-first-birthday.html

    just started blogging,stay and look around awhile!

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  20. So many fun ideas!! Love your creativity, thanks for linking up to my blog bash K.I.S.S. @ The Tattered Tag. Please link up more of your great ideas tomorrow. :)

    Drop by The Tattered Tag

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  21. very cute! I just wish I had an event to use them for...making 18 cute cupcakes for myself just doesnt work. Thanks for sharing all the tips!
    Crystal

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  22. I LOVE sunflowers and cupcakes so these are perfect! Now for an occasion to bake them. (Or not, maybe because it is Monday I should try them) ;)

    I found your blog from Sweet as Sugar Cookies. So happy you shared this recipe! It is adorable!
    You can check out my blog, which is still new, at http://dinnerordessert.blogspot.com/

    Happy baking!

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  23. Thanks for linking up to our Sweet Links Party! Be sure to link up next Wednesday!! Smiles~ Noelle

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  24. These are adorable! I decorate cakes, and I'd love for you to come link this project and any other great ideas you have at DIY Thrifty Thursday @ www.thrifty101.blogspot.com
    ~Michelle

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  25. these are adorable! i love, love, love sunflowers!!!!

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  26. these r simply gorgeous!!absolutely stunning....v v creative!!

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  27. I am very eager to know about an actual recipe from the very famous and different restaurant for an easy family dinner. These all are such a yummy dishes.

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