The Great Cupcake

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The Great Cupcake

The Great Cupcake

I am a sucker for a fun cake pan, and this Great Cupcake Pan has been calling my name for quite some time.  In spite of my efforts to be selective, somehow my collection of specialty shaped cake pans keeps growing, but who can resist a giant cupcake? I think I can squeeze one more pan into the attic!

White Chocolate Cupcake Shell

White Chocolate Cupcake Shell

I love the scalloped detail that makes up the “cupcake liner.”  I wanted to preserve this detail but I was afraid that it would get lost if I covered it in frosting, so I went a completely different direction, chocolate!  I melted some white candy melts and threw in a few pink candy melts to get a light pink color.  I sprayed the bottom part of the cupcake pan with non-stick spray and then wiped out the excess.  Then I brushed the melted candy coating up the sides of the pan.

Inside of candy shell

Inside of candy shell

To make sure the candy shell was nice and sturdy, I painted two coats of chocolate.  I waited for the first coat to dry before applying the second.  I left the candy shell to set overnight and then unmolded it in the morning.  I wasn’t sure if the chocolate would stick, so this was experimental, but to my surprise and delight, the shell released from the pan beautifully!

Cake in chocolate shell

Cake in chocolate shell

You may recognize the cake here; it’s Funfetti! This cake was for my goddaughter’s birthday and she always makes a special request for Funfetti.  The bright colorful spots always liven up a party, and kids especially love it.  The cake fit perfectly in the shell; I just leveled it a bit to make it slightly shorter than the top of the chocolate shell.

Frosting top of cupcake base

Frosting top of cupcake base

I added some light pink frosting to seal in the cake and make sure no cake would peek through.

Top of Great Cupcake

Top of Great Cupcake

So this is the top that I originally made.  I covered the cake in poured icing and added some confetti sprinkles.  I was happy with the color and sprinkles, but the icing started to crack, and that wasn’t the look I was going for.  Also it looked more like an ice cream than a cupcake.  Hmmm… Scratch that one!

Cupcake with poured icing

Cupcake with poured icing

I went ahead and put the top on just to see the overall look.  As you can see, the top of the cupcake is a little too small for the cupcake base; it doesn’t go all the way out to the edge of the chocolate shell.  Details, details! These are the kinds of issues that you just can’t think of! The top portion of this cake would make a really cute shell for a snail cake.  I’m putting that one on my list!

Frosted Cupcake

Frosted Cupcake

So here is the revised version frosted with Ateco tip 825 in pink buttercream. It takes a lot of frosting to cover this cupcake! Hint –  Use a large pastry bag to get one continuous swirl of icing.

Great Cupcake with sprinkles

Great Cupcake with sprinkles

A few confetti sprinkles and voila! Time to dig in! This giant cupcake is sure to be the center of attention at any party!


Dancing Goldfish Cake

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Dancing Goldfish Cake

Dancing Goldfish Cake

This is a fun little cake I made for my mom’s birthday.  I was inspired by the goldfish chocolate mold, and couldn’t resist putting this little happy goldfish on top of a cake.  I like using chocolate figures on cakes because I can make the figures way in advance and then just pop them on the cake at the last minute.  For this particular cake, I knew I would be short on time and sleep because I had a two month old baby at home. Even though I was short on time, I wanted to make something special for my mom, so I chose this design.

Painting Chocolate Mold

Painting Details on Chocolate Mold

I have tried a lot of different methods for “painting” chocolate molds, and for fine details like these I prefer to use a candymelter palette and paint brush (one that is dedicated to food use only).  Once I found the candymelter palette, I really got excited about chocolate because it allows you to keep up to ten colors warm at the same time in the small aluminum cups attached to the palette, and for painting details, there is nothing better.  When you stop having to worry about keeping all of your chocolate melted, you find there is so much more you can do with your designs.

Painted Details Front of Mold

Painted Details Front of Mold

The basic strategy for painting chocolate molds is a layering technique where you paint all of the details first and then fill in the background color.  You need to leave a little bit of time in between layers so that the colors don’t run.  For example, I painted the black pupil of the eye first and had to let it set before applying the white part so that the two wouldn’t run. All of the colors that you see are melted candy coating (a.k.a candy melts, confectionery coating, summer coating, chocolate wafers).  Candy melts are not actual chocolate.  They have a higher melting point than chocolate, do not require tempering, and come in a variety of colors, so they are quite convenient.

Filling in the Background

Filling in the Background

Once all of the details have been painted and are dry, you are ready to fill in the mold.  For this, I use a chocolate squeeze bottle. I melt my background color, pour it into a chocolate squeeze bottle, and then fill the mold.  Make sure to tap your mold so that all of the nooks and crannies are filled in with candy coating.  Luckily, the molds are clear so you can just lift them up over your head to see if there are any gaps or bubbles.  For this goldfish, I stuck a lollipop stick in at this point since I knew I would be putting it on a cake!

Goldfish in Mold

Goldfish in Mold

This goldfish just makes me smile!  It is so cute and it reminds me a bit of Cleo, the goldfish from Pinocchio.  The pretty pink flowers and lovely bow remind me of my mom.  Once your chocolate is dry, you can flip the mold over and unmold your figure.

Unmolded Chocolate Goldfish

Unmolded Chocolate Goldfish

Once your goldfish is unmolded, you are left with a beautiful, shiny, chocolate goldfish!  Looks like the perfect cake topper to me!  This happy goldfish looks like it is dancing for joy.  I was so excited about the goldfish, I almost forgot about the cake!  For my mom’s cake I wanted the chocolate goldfish to be the focal point, so I needed something simple that would coordinate with the goldfish and not detract.

Coconut Cake

Coconut Cake

To keep things simple I frosted the cake in cream cheese frosting and decorated the sides with toasted coconut.  I love how the toasted coconut is a thousand different shades of golden brown.  I am partial to Baker’s Angel Flake Coconut, and use it whenever I can.

Dancing Goldfish Cake

Dancing Goldfish Cake

Whimsical, simple, and fun!  That is how I describe this cake.  Next time you need a cake in a hurry, think about using a chocolate cake topper.  It adds a lot of interest and detail to the cake, and can be made well in advance so you don’t have to invest a lot of time decorating at the last minute!  You may have noticed that there is a happy dancing boy goldfish as well!  Hopefully someday soon, I will be able to make a happy pair of dancing goldfish!