Tuesday, September 22, 2015

DIY Lion Cupcakes

Morning everyone! Before we get down to cupcake art tutorials, take a minute to visit Confessions of a Northern Belle! I am guest posting and desperately need some advice on my upcoming Maid of Honor Speech! 

Over the weekend I helped host a baby shower for my friend Abby and her little peanut due to arrive in November. Abby is an AVID Lion King fan so a Lion/Jungle baby shower was essentially a must. The decor turned out super cute and the food was amazing!
However, I've got to toot my horn a little and say the hit of the party were my Lion Cupcakes! This was a first for me and no I did not use a Pinterest tutorial {for the first time ever} so I was feeling pretty stinkin' good that they came out as good as they did. And shockingly, they were really easy! So, I'm going to share how to make them so you too can make adorable little lion cupcakes. 
WHAT YOU'LL NEED

For the Vanilla Cupcakes

  • 1 c Granulated Sugar
  • 1 3/4 c Flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/2 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 c {or 1 stick} Unsalted Butter, at room temp
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 c Greek Yogurt or Sour Cream {full fat versions!}
  • 1 tbsp Vanilla Extract {spring for the good stuff - not the fake}
  • 2/3 c Whole Milk

For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

  • 1 c {or 2 sticks} Salted Butter, at room temp
  • 1 tsp Whole Milk
  • 2 tsp Vanilla Extract {again, the real stuff}
  • 3-4 c Powdered Sugar 

Additional
  • Yellow, Red & Blue Food Coloring
  • Brown Cupcake Liners {I used these from Wilton, found at Target}
  • Candy Eye Balls {available at Target, Michaels, JoAnn, etc}
  • Black Decorating Gel
  • Piping Bag & Tip {I used a #32 Tip}
DIRECTIONS
  • Start by preheating your oven to 350˚.
  • Add butter to a mixing bowl and beat until soft and smooth.
  • Add sugar, flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt to bowl and beat on medium speed until well combined and a tad crumbly. It helps to add flour just a bit at a time. 
  • Add eggs, Greek yogurt {or sour cream} and Vanilla then mix. 
  • Finally, add the milk and mix on low speed. Your batter should be pretty thin. 
  • Fill the cupcake liners about half full and bake for 12-15 minutes {testing after 12 minutes to see if they're done}. They should be lightly browned on top and a toothpick should come out without any wet batter stuck to it. 
  • Let your cupcakes cool, ideally overnight in the fridge.
  • Once the cupcakes have cooled, you can start your frosting!
  • Add 2 sticks of butter to mixer and beat until completely smooth. 
  • Add vanilla and milk and mix until combined. 
  • Slowly add powdered sugar, I will usually add one cup at a time and mix well. Continue to add powdered sugar until you reach your desired taste and consistency, usually between 3-4 cups for me. 
  • When you've got your frosting where you want it to be it's time to add food coloring for the lion's face. I added mostly yellow with a couple of drops of red. Just play around with it until you get the color that you want. 
  • Fill your piping bag with frosting making sure to push the frosting to the bottom of the bag and remove any air bubbles. I started on the outside of the cupcake and frosted in a swirl motion creating a nice flat base for the face. I made a few extra cupcakes so I had some practice ones - I definitely recommend doing this, specially if you aren't used to a piping bag!
  • Next I added another smaller swirl on the bottom of the cupcake. I tried to pick a spot on the cupcake that wasn't completely frosted to add the snout. The on the top of the cupcake did two quick little lines for the ears. 
  • Now it's time to add your eyes! I learned the hard way that not all pupils are created equal. Take the time to try and pick two eyes that have the same sized pupils, otherwise you end up with some pretty wacko looking lions. 
  • Although your cupcakes now look like pigs, do not be alarmed! The mane makes all the difference. At this point you should clean out your piping bag and tip. Let them air dry while you create your mane frosting. With the remaining buttercream frosting add a little more red food coloring and a drop or two of blue. This color took me a bit to get, so just experiment! Add to your piping bag and simply add little drops of frosting all around the perimeter of the cupcakes. 
  • Then, finally, you will use your black decorating gel to add a nose and mouth. I practiced a few times on some paper towel to be sure I got the look I wanted. I added a glob for the nose first, then went back and added the thin line down the middle, then added the little smile last. 
VOILA!



17 comments:

Jenn said...

Oh my gosh, these are adorable!!!

P!nky said...

What an adorable party and the cupcake are amazing!

BLovedBoston said...

You are so talented - these are adorable!! xo, Biana -BlovedBoston

Carolyn said...

So cute!

Erin LFF said...

I am seriously SO impressed! I can barely frost a cupcake, let alone make it look like a lion! These turned out SO SO cute :)

Molly said...

These are so fun! Love them and thanks for sharing the tutorial.

Angie said...

Props to you girl, those are amazing!!!

christina @ the new mrs said...

This looks like the best kickoff to fall! I need to get me some apple cider - and soon!

ajs {of MN} said...

super impressed by you lion skills here!!

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