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Princess Cupcake Tutorial

October 21, 2008

Someone had commented that they were looking forward to watching my tutorial video… and while I pride myself on being rather organized and managing to take ‘in progress’ photos of much of the baking creations I do…  I definitely am not so put together as to have a video of the cupcake process… sorry…

Princess Cupcakes…  these are so much easier than they look…

I only ever so slightly altered the ‘recipe’ if that is such a thing.. that I got from the cupcake book, Hello, Cupcake! By Karen Tack & Alan Richardson… if you’re a cupcake sort of gal.. wow… I really recommend this book.. such amazing ideas… I plan to do MANY before Christmas this year!

For my Princess cupcakes you need the following…

Vanilla Wafers, round shaped flatish cookie (like fudge stripes or some other flat cookie), melting chocolate (or just chips or some such chocolate you have at home), chocolate frosting, vanilla frosting,  12 standard sized cupcakes, 12 mini cupcakes, fruit roll ups, straight thin pretzels, jelly beans, yellow taffy style candy, paring knife, small heart shaped decorator sprinkles.

These cupcake gals were made for a 4 year-olds birthday party… I have yet to meet a 4-year old food critic, so I went with boxed cake mix… instead of my usual from scratch affair..  we did vanilla cupcakes because that’s what my Princess asked for…   I prepared mine in paper cupcake wrappers and just peeled them off later.

The nice thing about these cupcakes (and probably ALL from the book) is that cupcakes are quick to make, and can be frozen for a few weeks prior to decorating if you are THAT prepared…

I actually did freeze my cupcakes part way through the decorating process… but only a few days before I needed them… just because that week was INSANE as seems to be my USUAL trend of late…

1. Take the larger cupcakes and frost the tops with a bit of vanilla frosting (or chocolate if you should prefer).  Place a cookie on top of the frosted cake and invert the entire ‘unit’ onto wax paper or parchment paper.. whatever you have on hand.

2. Frost the mini cupcakes and invert on top of the larger cupcake unit you prepared in step 1.  The entire cupcake sculpture becomes the body of the princess.

3. Lightly frost the cupcakes.  You can choose to completely frost the cupcakes, I chose to only do a bit on the top… I figured that the sugar dress, and sugar cupcake were quite enough sugar for a bunch of 3 and 4 year olds…  I froze my cupcakes at this stage.  I inserted a toothpick into the center of each cupcake tower and lightly covered in plastic wrap for an initial freeze of about an hour before moving them to a freezer tupperware container.

The heads can also be prepared days in advance and stored in the freezer or at least in an airtight container.  I froze mine just to get them out of sight of the children here who were so desperate to sample them…

To prepare the heads place wax paper or parchment paper onto a cookie sheet.  Place 12 vanilla wafers onto the sheet flat side up.  Melt white chocolate melting wafers (or chips)… or if you do not want to use white chocolate, regular chocolate should work just as well…  in a sealed ziplock baggie in 10 second intervals in the  microwave.  Remove after each 10 seconds to mix the wafers by squeezing the baggie until completed melted and smooth.

Snip a small corner off of the ziplock baggie.  Squeeze a small amount (about the size of a dime) onto the flat side of a vanilla wafer cookie.  Place the end of a pretzel stick into the chocolate and squeeze a small amount more of chocolate on top of the pretzel before placing a second vanilla wafer (flat side down) onto the wafer/chocolate/pretzel.  Continue in this manner for a total of 12 heads/necks.


Place the cookie sheet with heads into the refrigerator for 5 minutes to speed the solidifying of the chocolate.

When the chocolate is solid, remove the cookie sheet from the refrigerator and begin decorating the faces.

Using an icing bag, or ziplock baggie, place about 1/2 a container of prepared chocolate frosting into the bag, with a small tip (or a small snip in the baggie corner) squeeze out ‘hair’ for your princesses.  I used the chocolate frosting to also make the eyes and a small ‘dot’ of red gel writer frosting to place the heart shaped decorator sprinkles for a mouth.  You can get as elaborate as you want here  using various colored gel writers for eyes, or by coloring vanilla frosting for various hair colors.. I went with chocolate only because I was strapped for time…

I froze my ‘heads’ at this stage until the morning of the party… though certainly the princesses could have been assembled the night before and kept refrigerated…

To create the crowns, I used the banana flavored Laffy Taffy candy.  I placed the wrapped candies in a bowl and microwaved them for 10 seconds to make them more pliable.  I unwrapped each candy and stretched them to about twice their original size and placed them on parchment paper.  I cut each candy in half with a paring knife and then cut the points out of each candy. The flat crowns could then be twisted into a crown shape .  The crowns again could be prepared in advance and placed in an airtight container.

To assemble the princesses work in this order.

‘Dress’ your princess cupcake with a fruit rollup (as I chose), or as the recipe instructed with  5 gumdrops rolled into a circle shape.  I did attempt this process and though it would be fun to have a variety of dress colors… however… rolling out gumdrops is harder than it sounded… even with half a bottle of decorator sugar (you know the prepared colored sugars in the baking aisle)… I still didn’t have a circle large enough (or thin enough) to cover the cupcakes.. and.. .I think I spent about 20  mins on that ONE dress…  so I went with the next best thing I could think of… fruit rollups…

In all actuality, the rollups weren’t quite big enough.. .and if you stretch them TOO much they tear easily… plus now a days they all come with ‘tongue tatoos’ on them… and they can be seen THROUGH the rollups… but… again.. with the time constraints… I just went with it… if I were to try this again, I’d try rolling the gumdrops in cornstarch perhaps… and maybe even microwaving the drops to start so that they would stick together a bit better from the start…  another option to allow the rollups to work would be to fill the cupcake tins less than the usual 2/3 with batter so that the cakes didn’t puff over the tops…

So.. anyway.. stretch the rollup over the cupcakes and use a toothpick to prick a hole in the top.  Insert your pretzel ‘neck’ and head cookie into the top of the cupcake.  Use vanilla frosting to create a ‘collar’ to the dress around the necks of each princess.

To create the arms, cut triangles out of a fruit rollup (two per cupcake) and attach a small piece of thin pretzel stick to the dress with a bit of frosting so that it sticks out just a bit from the small flat side of the triangle (representing the hands)…  Attach the whole sleeve/pretzel combo to the dress with a bit of frosting.

To create feet, cut a jelly bean in half and attach to the bottom of the cupcake so that they stick out just a bit from the dress (… um.. I totally forgot to do that part on mine…)…

Place your crown on top of the head of your princess cupcake.. .and VOILA… pretty princess cupcakes for your own pretty princess…

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5 Comments leave one →
  1. October 21, 2008 7:55 pm

    Dang, I hope you get voted Mother of the Year! Those are awesome!

  2. October 22, 2008 12:37 am

    Okay…I’m convinced now. You’re really Martha Stewart, aren’t you? ;-p For real, you do the most amazing stuff. You’ve got some lucky kids. 🙂

  3. chanknits permalink
    October 22, 2008 12:13 pm

    Looks WAY too labor-intensive for me. Luckily the Knight just likes exra icing on his cupcakes…

  4. Loren permalink
    August 3, 2009 8:17 am

    Thank you for this! I planned on doing this for a friend’s baby shower (she’s having a girl, so I thought why not princesses?) and I did a test run last night that went horribly ary! I tried rolling out sugared cherry slices and fruit gems for the capes but it was such a mess, stuck to the surface, then tore apart, took forever and barely worked. I made ONE whole princess before giving up. The fruit roll-ups are probably a lot more stable to work with. I also tried yellow salt water taffy for the crowns and it was just a ridiculous attempt! Laffy taffy looks a little easier.

    Thank you so much for the tips!

  5. January 10, 2011 3:46 pm

    You are my HERO!! I am making these for my 4 year old’s birthday party this month along with 7 other recipes from Hello, Cupcake (getting much help from older daughters!) I have been looking online for more how-to pictures of the Princess & this is perfect!

    This is definitely the most fun cookbook we have ever baked from. At Christmas we did Penquins & Snowmen. Super fun!

    Thanks so much for the tips! 🙂

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