Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Vegetables for Dessert?

Have you been playing in the dirt yet?  Gardening season can come a little late around here since we still get snow well into May, but we've had a few days of promising weather and more people are tending to their gardens.  Today I am going to share how to turn a plain cupcake into an eye-catching display that will make you want to eat your vegetables!

Peas, Carrots, Radishes, Potatoes, Yellow Squash....Mmmmmmmmm. 
These garden cupcakes are inspired by a book my kids gave me a couple of years ago, Hello! Cupcake.  When I come up with an idea for a party or dessert, I like to search ideas online to gather inspiration and to make sure I'm not copying someone else's idea.  I like to give credit, where credit is due.
I wanted to make these cupcakes with as minimal supplies as possible, so I picked up a package of Starburst candies to use to shape the vegetables:  orange=carrots, red= radishes, yellow=corn.  In the process of shaping the corn, I thought the yellow looked a lot like a yellow squash, so I made a couple of yellow squash.  I didn't have any green candy, so I colored some gum paste with green food coloring for the corn husks, radish tops, carrot tops and peas.
I shaped the vegetables the night prior and baked the cupcakes the following day after work.  The corn was scored with an Xacto for the kernel details.  After frosting the cupcakes with chocolate frosting, dip the tops in ground Oreo cookies (remove the filling before grinding in a food processor).
 The Oreo crumbs conceal any poorly frosted cupcake tops, so feel free to speed through the frosting part.
 Now your candy vegetable toppers are ready to be applied to the top of the cupcake:
There are so many fun options of styling this batch of cupcakes.  I took the remaining ground Oreos and coated the bottom of a tray and then scattered a few gummy worms in the garden bed.
Place the cupcakes.  You'll see the mini-cupakes mixed in with the regular sized cupcakes.  The minis are topped with Starburst radishes.  The tip of the radish has a little vanilla frosting piped and stringing down, so it looks like it was just plucked from the ground.  The greens are gum paste.  If you don't have gum paste, think of other green pliable candies like taffy.  I needed one more dirt vegetable, so I made several potatoes out of gum paste.  You could also use Tootsie Rolls (chocolate & vanilla kneaded together for a lighter brown).

What do vegetables need to grow?  Sunlight and water!  I printed a "grow" label to replace the regular water brand label.
 Adhere the new label to the bottle with a piece of clear tape:
 Feel free to use the template below to make your own water bottle labels:
Total party prep time:  candy toppers 20 minutes, baking/frosting/decorating cupcakes 30 minutes, water bottles (while cupcakes were baking), styling 5 minutes = less an an hour!  Clean up, on the other hand...
Party Tip:  When planning desserts for your gathering, think about making a smaller size portion; in this instance, mini-cupcakes.  I like my desserts to be tasted, so rather than your guests skipping over dessert because they don't want to "waste" the whole thing for just a bite, or having them ask for just a "sliver" if you've already plated the dessert, a mini portion is perfect.  The mini-sized treats tend to disappear quickly.  It's like they don't come with calories in those small portions.
What will you grown in the garden this year?  Cupcakes, like me???  Follow Worth Pinning on Facebook.

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