Let your kiddo explore new tastes, scents and textures by helping out in the kitchen.
If you're looking for a special tasty treat for you and your youngster to surprise Grandma with on her next birthday, look no further than the cupcake bouquet. You can customize it with any flavors you like and dress up the vase with ribbons and bows. If Grandma's birthday has already passed, the bouquet will make your kiddo the envy of his preschool class when he surprises his classmates with this delectable dessert for his next school celebration. Just remember not to make it too far in advance -- the bouquet may just look too tasty to resist!
1Prepare a batch of cupcakes from a store bought cake mix. You can make a batch from scratch instead using your favorite recipe if you prefer.
2Fill the cupcake pan with paper cupcake liners and fill each liner about 2/3 full with the batter. You can make full-size cupcakes or a bouquet of miniature cupcakes instead.
3Bake the cupcakes according to the recipe's instructions and then cool the cupcakes in the pan for about 10 minutes. Transfer them to a cooling rack or large plate to cool thoroughly at room temperature.
4Mix together the butter and sugar and blend thoroughly to prepare the vanilla buttercream icing while the cupcakes cool. Stir in the vanilla bean paste and milk and beat at medium speed for about one minute. If the icing isn't stiff enough, mix in a bit more confectioner's sugar. Get your taste tester to make sure the icing is perfect. It should taste almost like melted vanilla ice cream.
5Fill the pastry bag with the buttercream icing with a 1M tip. Hold the tip perpendicular to the center of one cupcake and squeeze the bag gently. Turn the cupcake around in a circle as you continue to squeeze gently and move out slowly toward the edge of the cupcake. Voila -- the first cupcake flower is complete. Repeat to transform each cupcake into a flower for the bouquet and then place the entire batch in the fridge to cool and let the icing firm.
6Fill the vase with a Styrofoam ball. The ball should fit about halfway into the vase, but you can glue around the inside edge of the vase to hold the ball firmly in place.
7Insert two toothpicks into the Styrofoam on an upward 45-degree angle. Space these about 1/2-inch apart to form the support for one cupcake flower. Repeat to make a support for each cupcake flower.
8Take the cupcake flowers out of the fridge and slide one onto each of the two-toothpick supports.
9Cut the green tissue paper into strips about 1 inch wide and 3 inches long. Fold each strip accordion-style and pinch the bottom as you would a paper fan. Hold the pinched end of the tissue paper against an exposed part of the Styrofoam and secure it with a small piece of clear tape. Repeat to cover any exposed areas of Styrofoam.
Things You'll Need
- Cupcake mix
- Paper cupcake liners
- Cupcake pan
- Cooling rack or plate
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
- 1/2 cups unsalted butter
- 2 tsp. vanilla bean paste
- 1 tablespoon milk
- Pastry bag
- Styrofoam ball
- Glue (optional)
- Toothpicks (2 per cupcake)
- Tissue paper, green
- Clear tape