If you and your troop have a longing to gather around a fire pit, here are some adorable cupcakes that will make everyone a happy camper. Decorated with logs and flames, there are even marshmallows roasting by the open fire. These treats are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts, boys and girls scouts, and even people who are more into glamping than camping. One bite, and they'll be singing kumbaya.
Things You'll Need
Red, yellow and orange frosting dye
Clear plastic wrap
Open star piping tip #1M
Step 1: Bake Cupcakes
Bake a batch of chocolate cupcakes, either from scratch or with a cake mix. I used a devil's food cake mix for convenience. These baking cups with a woodgrain were super appropriate for the campfire theme, but a plain cupcake liner with a dark color would be just fine. Stay away from polka dots or stripes, which would be distracting.
Step 2: Prepare the Frosting
You can use store-bought white frosting or make your own. I like the way homemade frosting holds its shape, so I made a basic buttercream frosting with a stick of butter, half a cup of vegetable shortening and four cups of confectioner's sugar. After mixing those ingredients, I added a pinch of salt, a teaspoon of vanilla and three tablespoons of water. Divide the frosting into three bowls.
Step 3: Dye the Frosting
To give the frosting the look of flames, we'll dye it in three colors — red, yellow and orange. Place a few drops of frosting dye in each bowl and stir. Add a little dye at a time until you reach the color intensity you desire.
You will need very little of the orange and yellow dyes to color those frostings. Red takes a little more to get the darker hue. Also, instead of using orange dye, you can use a mixture of red and yellow.
Step 4: Prepare the Piping Bag
Cut a 15-inch piece of clear plastic wrap and set it on your work surface.
Spoon the frosting in three rows onto the middle of the plastic wrap, almost like a rainbow.
Roll up the frosting in the plastic wrap like it's a sausage. Snip off the excess plastic wrap from one end.
Place the rolled up frosting in a piping bag fitted with a 1M open star tip. Now when you squeeze out the frosting, it will come out in three colors.
Step 5: Sprinkle Powdered Sugar
Sift a little powdered sugar on top of your cupcake. This layer gives the cupcake a look of ashes. And, well, who doesn't love a little more sugar?
Step 6: Add the Logs
For logs, we're using Pirouette cookies. Break them into one-inch pieces. If the ends are ragged and uneven, that's even better because they are more realistic that way.
Squeeze a round dollop of frosting onto the middle of the cupcake and position three logs on the frosting on top.
Step 7: Pipe the Flames
To create the flames, hold the piping bag over the cupcake, squeeze while raising the bag, stop squeezing and then lift the bag. You'll want about five flames. Don't worry about making them look perfect. Actual flames vary in size and shape. As long as you have some twisting red, yellow and orange colors on top of your logs, it will look like flames.
Step 8: Add More Firewood
While the three sticks of "wood" covering the "fire" provide a fun look, they also keep the frosting flames from drooping over until they're set. For this step, we're using pretzel sticks. Position three sticks around the fire, alternating them between the logs, so that they intersect at the top. You don't need to actually insert the sticks in the cupcake — just rest them against the frosting flames. When the frosting sets, it will lock the pretzel sticks in place.
Step 9: Add the Marshmallows
Skewer two miniature marshmallows onto a toothpick.
With a lighter, singe the surface of one side of the marshmallows. You want just a little bit of color, not a totally blackened marshmallow.
Stick the toothpick into the side of the cupcake by the fire.
What a delightful way to enjoy a campfire without worrying about ants, mosquitoes or bears.