Elephant cupcakes are a cute way to pay homage to your favorite pachyderm pals. Use frosting and other decorative materials to top your cupcakes, or use many cupcakes to assemble a large elephant cupcake cake. The cupcakes can be any flavor of cake, but incorporating peanuts into your recipe would be a clever way of giving a nod to an elephant snack-time favorite.
Elephant Cupcake Toppers
Transform a plain cupcake with fun elephant toppers. Ice the baked and cooled cupcakes with a frosting of your choice, and then decide what kind of topper you'd like to use. Pre-manufactured toppers are available for purchase in craft or baking stores; some are made from edible ingredients like sugar, but many are made out of plastic. Instead of relying on a store-bought cupcake topper, make your own at home. Roll out some sugar cookie dough and use elephant-shaped cookie cutters to make your topper shape. Bake the cookies, and then decorate them with icing and other creative edible materials like colored sugar or candy. Mount the cookies on top of the cupcakes for a cute, entirely edible elephant treat.
Frosting Elephant Faces
Use any flavor of cupcake mix to bake enough treats for your guests. While the cupcakes are baking, whip up some of your own frosting, or to save time, simply use a store-bought variety. Use food coloring to dye the frosting a silver-gray color, and then coat the surfaces of the cooled cupcakes. Use edible items like chocolate chips to make the elephant's eyes, and fill a pastry bag with the remaining frosting to pipe out each elephant's trunk. For the ears, frost round wafer cookies and attach them into the sides of the cupcakes so that they overhang the edges.
Fondant Elephant Faces
Using fondant to decorate your elephant cupcakes gives the finished product a sleek, professional look. Fondant can be tricky to work with, but if you like a challenge or already have some experience working with the stuff, this could be the right option for you. Use pieces of gray fondant to create the shapes you want for the elephant's face; include a long trunk, ears and eyes. Use pink fondant to fill in the ears, and use white fondant to create the base for the eyes. Etch horizontal lines into the trunk for the wrinkles, and add nostrils at the end of the trunk. Frost the tops of your cupcakes with an icing of your choice, and then assemble your fondant pieces on top.
Elephant Cupcake Cake
If you want to make a big statement for a big animal, skip the individual cupcakes and instead focus on combining them to create a large elephant cupcake cake. Plan out your design using a blueprint. This blueprint can be based on a pre-existing elephant image, or can be one of your own creation. Draw a grid on top of your blueprint to map out how many cupcakes you will need, as well as how you will need to decorate each one. Once you know how many cupcakes the project will take, bake and cool your batches and assemble the cupcakes directly on the display table. Frost the resulting cake design; use your blueprint to determine which colors of icing need to go where.
- Photo Credit Erik Snyder/Photodisc/Getty Images
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