Friday 9 December 2011

Cupcake Penguins

Last year I decided to treat myself to a new book - Hello, Cupcake! I came across it on the internet and was intrigued by the book's unusual designs for cupcakes. But they are not as easy to make as you might think!
I would say two main things about this book: firstly, it isn't a baking or recipe book - it is best described as a set of instructions for assembling novelty cupcakes. Secondly, a lot of the products are recommended by name, but they are all American brands. Sometimes I wasn't even sure what they were, and in most cases I found them impossible to buy in this country. However there are often substitutes you can use.
I decided to make penguin cupcakes, as they looked less fiddly than some designs, and I also thought they were really cute! But I'll save the finished cakes til the end of this post..
To begin with, you need to bake (or buy) a batch of cupcakes. I thought plain vanilla would be best but chocolate would probably have worked quite well here too.
The next photo, below, shows several stages at once. For this recipe, I needed a pack of mini ring doughnuts, and a pack of doughnut holes - basically mini doughnuts which in this case had a chocolate filling. The only place I could find that stocked these was Asda, and there wasn't a supermarket I could get to very easily as I don't drive. So my boyfriend - who at the time I had only just met - offered to pick me up from the train station on my way home after work and take me to pick up the stuff I needed. So that's how we came to spend our fourth date at Asda! That was more than a year ago now:-)

I have intentionally left out some of the parts of the process here to not give too much away.

The next step is colouring some more icing to make it black. I decided to use Betty Crocker's chocolate fudge frosting, thinking it wouldn't be too hard to turn brown icing black. Think again! I must have used about half a bottle of black food colouring.Coat the penguins - I'll leave you to work out how best to do it!

Then I added a white bib and some wings... can you guess what they are made of?
I used piping icing in white and then black to make the eyes, and half a Fruitella for the beak (which is not what the book recommends but my alternative suggestion). Unfortunately the beak was a little heavy and kept slipping down -and I didn't have a particularly steady hand when I was piping the eyes!
And that's it! Repeat on each cupcake.... obviously I was making more than one when I did each step :-) The black icing was pretty runny and they all look a little messy but I think that just adds to the charm. Be warned though, while the black icing will set a little, it's still quite sticky and these are really messy to eat!
A whole ice rink of penguins!


  1. These are so super cute! I smile everytime I see them. It is a good book and I got the sequel as well although I've only ever made 3 things from the books - penguins, duck and pandas. Let's make something else next year at the next party sans Dave :)

  2. there amazing!!!! I must get that book!

  3. I keep trying to follow your blog but it wont let me at the moment, I will try again!

  4. awww they came out really great!
    well done :)

    1. Thank you - they were really fun to make, but quite messy!

  5. These look really cute - it's inspiring me to try making my own animal cupcakes!


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