DIY: House Plant CupcakesPosted on April 12, 2013
As I mentioned on Wednesday, I took inspiration from a recent gardening project to make a variety of house plant cupcakes. And it resulted in a whole bunch of cacti cupcake cuteness! Click below to check out a tutorial for these delectable edible house plants.
- A batch of pre-baked cupcakes
- Graham Crackers or Teddy Grahams®
- Icing dye: Green, Yellow, Red
- Pastry bag
- Icing tips: #352, #21, #102 (roses)
FOR THE CUPCAKE BASE:
Step #1: Bake your cupcakes. In an effort to not too realistically portray potted house plants, I decided to leave the liners on the cupcakes (instead of covering them in a clay fondant pot). These unbleached liners are great when going for a natural look.
Step #2: Once your cupcakes are baked, add some icing into a bowl and add green dye – I used the Wilton “Moss Green” dye for mine. As you can see from the photo, just a little dye is needed.
Step #3: Now for this step most people use graham crackers, but I love the honey flavor Teddy Grahams because they’re a bit lighter in color, which makes the dirt look more like sand (the look I was going for with these house plants). Process the teddy grahams in a food processor until semi-fine and transfer them to a bowl.
Step #4: Ice your cupcake and then dip it face-down into the bowl of processed grahams, making sure to completely cover your cupcake. Now, you have your base for all of your house plants. And, make sure to save your extra icing, because you’ll need it later!!
Now, once you have your cupcakes iced and covered in “sand” you’ll be able to jump around the next sections, dependent on which plants you want to make.
FOR THE RIBBED CACTI CUPCAKES:
Step #1: For both of the ribbed cactus plants, you’ll want to make the cactus base with fondant. First, add your green dye to the fondant and work it a bit to blend. Make sure your surface (and your rolling pin!) is sprinkled with either confectioners sugar or corn starch to avoid the fondant from sticking.
Note: For any unused fondant, make sure to always cover your fondant in plastic, as it will dry out very quickly.
Step #2: For the taller cacti, I took one of my unfrosted cupcakes and cut out a rectangular shape of cake, which I then covered with fondant. For the smaller, round cacti, I just used a small ball of fondant for my base. Whichever style you’re going with, make sure to apply a bit of icing under your cactus, to keep it sturdy. For the taller cactus, I used a toothpick for extra stability.
Step #3: For this step, you’ll need icing tip #352 (typically for leaves). Using a pastry bag with your tip, add your leftover green icing and working with the tip parallel to the cactus, work in a linear pattern up towards the top of your cactus. Once you finish one line, you’ll want to make your next line immediately next to it, so that there aren’t any gaps in between the lines.
Step #4: Once you’ve made all your lines, you’re about set, but since you worked toward the top-center of your cactus, you’ll want to add a flower here. For this step, I don’t have photos because I had previously made a bunch of these roses for another cake I was working on, but there are amazing YouTube tutorials HERE and HERE that will show you exactly what to do. Once you have your flower, add it to the top of your cactus plant. You’ll need a piped pastry bag with either yellow or red buttercream icing to make them.
And for the cupcake with the leaves and the rose, I just molded those leaves out of the fondant.
FOR THE LEAFY PLANT CUPCAKE:
Genius name, right?! I am no botanist, so apologies for the lack of proper verbiage here, but I thought leafy plants did it some justice.
Step #1: You may need to make some more icing if you’ve already used your leftovers. If so, do it up!
Step #2: Add your green icing to the pastry bag, using icing tip #21. Add a base of icing in a circular pattern – going up about 1.5 – 2″ from the center of your cupcake, dependent on your desired plant height. Once you’ve added your base icing, test out the tip a bit on a plate so you can see the pattern that comes out. You’ll notice that if your icing isn’t chill enough, it’ll be a bit runny.
Step #3: I made the other leafy cupcake (pictured in the photos at the beginning of the post) with less chilly icing, but for the plant pictured right above, you’ll want your icing to be very chill, so it’s a bit harder of a consistency. Remove the tip and refrigerate the bag of icing for 20-30 minutes to get this desired consistency. Step your cupcake with the icing base on it in the fridge as well, to allow it to harden.
Step #4: Pull your icing bag out of the fridge and working outwards, add your spiky leaves. There’s no great way to show this, you’ll just have to play around and become comfortable with how the icing tip and the icing work together. It may not be super easy, but don’t worry, you’ll be able to figure it out with a bit of practice! Just remember, if you want longer leaves, you’ll need the icing to be fresh out of the fridge and chill.
FOR THE SUCCULENT CUPCAKE:
For the succulent plant, I followed THIS awesome tutorial from Pixel Whisk. Basic steps are below.
Step #1: Just as directed with the ribbed cacti cupcakes, you’ll want to add green dye to fondant and work it to blend. Again, make sure your surface (and your rolling pin!) is sprinkled with either confectioners sugar or corn starch to avoid the fondant from sticking.
Step #2: Roll out your fondant so it’s about 1/8″ thick. Using these 3 various-sized flower cookie cutters, cut out different sizes of flowers. You can just do 1 of each or up to 2 of each size.
Step #3: Once you have your flowers, pinch the corners to achieve the succulent leaf look. I’m sure there are better cookie cutters for this out there, but these are all I had on-hand at the time, which were easy to turn into succulent leaves with just the pinch of a finger. Once you’ve pinched the tips, place the flower molds into mini cupcake tins and let them sit out for a couple of hours uncovered to dry a bit in that shape.
Step #4: Take a small ball of fondant and make a few mini leaves for your center. I find it’s easiest to just mold these leaves by hand. I made 3 small leaves to wrap around my ball and then added 4 more leaves, just a little larger around my base to make up the center of the succulent.
Once you have your center, you’ll want to just stack your flowers by size. Use a bit of water in between each layer to stick the fondant layers to each other.
And now you have yourself some house plant cupcakes! How great would these be for a house warming party!?