Happy (Almost) Spring!
It’s March and with the record high snowfalls across the country it is hard to imagine there are any signs of spring in sight. Even with the snow that does not appear to have an expiration date of any time soon and the sub zero temps, I did spot a sure sign that spring is coming. The days are getting longer! As I was working on dinner and clean up, I thought to myself that I was sure it was later than what it seemed and checked the clock. Sure enough, it was 6:30pm and there was still day light out my window! PLUS, there are sap buckets on the trees around my town. Definitely a great sign! It might seem small but it is certainly promising.
What’s not small are the smiles you’ll get when you serve these great butterfly cupcakes! If you don’t see real signs of spring out your window, make your own with these fun butterflies perched on fresh green grass! They are quick and super easy to make.
- 2 dozen baked and cooled cupcakes
- buttercream frosting – colored green and purple (or your choice of color for the body) - I like to use gel food color
- mini pretzel knots (2 for each cupcake)
- icing bag with “grass” tip and medium round tip
- gummy candy or fondant scraps for cutting into antenna
First, make sure that your cupcakes have had plenty of time to cool. If you start to decorate them too soon, it will melt the buttercream as it goes on and the grass look will not be as nice.
For the buttercream, you want it to be stiff enough to hold good peaks but not so thick you can’t squeeze it through the “grass” tip. Try this buttercream recipe for a homemade, delicious, and easy to work with option.
I learned a trick a while back that has made my cake and cookie decorating life so much easier! I used to use a new piping bag for every color icing I needed to use and at the end of a batch of cookies or cupcakes, I’d throw out the bag because they are not terribly easy to wash (and they are disposable after all). I hated throwing those bags out and being so wasteful. What I learned was a trick to make reusing the bags easy and it lets you quickly and easily change colors of icing. Here is what you do!
Mix the colors of icing you will need (in this case, green and purple). Scoop the icing out onto a large piece of plastic wrap.
Roll and fold the plastic wrap around the icing. Begin twisting both ends of the plastic wrap by holding one end in each hand and twirling so you have a tightly twisted length of plastic wrap on each side of your icing. Drop this pouch of icing into your prepared icing bag and pull the twisted plastic wrap through the end. Trim the extra length off and attach your tip as normal. Squeeze your icing bag tightly around to top of the icing where the top twisted plastic wrap is. This will keep your icing inside the plastic wrap and allow you to easily pull that little icing pouch out when you want to change colors with no mess left behind! Just slip it out and insert your next color the same way. Reuse the same icing bag many times without a ton of clean up!
Okay so back to decorating these cute butterfly cupcakes!
With the green icing in your bag and the grass tip attached, begin piping in small bursts to create tufts of grass. We used this same method to create the fur on our “What Does The Fox Say” cake last fall.
Continue piping the icing on until the tops of all your cupcakes are covered with fresh, beautiful, spring grass.
Once you’ve covered the cupcakes, add two mini pretzel knots to form the wings of your butterflies.
After all your wings have been added, remove the grass tip and the pouch of green icing from your bag. Insert the plastic wrap pouch of purple frosting, trim the plastic wrap off, and attach the medium round tip. Begin piping softened dots of purple to create the butterfly’s body.
From scraps of fondant or pieces of gummy candy (orange slices or gum drops) cut small sticks to create the antenna of the butterflies and insert 2 into the purple body.
These cupcakes would be a perfect birthday treat or a wonderful addition to your Easter menu!