Always looking for new experiences and crafty creations, lately I’ve been really enthused about building my skills in decorating cookies, cakes, and cupcakes. When I saw these simple and beautiful Edible Button Cupcakes over at Sweet Lavendar Bake Shoppe, I couldn’t wait to try them myself. However, there were some intimidating ingredients that I wasn’t sure about. Christina makes them look super easy— but I didn’t feel professional enough to go out and buy the specialized components in ‘Gumpaste’. I’ll make it someday, when I’ve practiced more. The description of gumpaste reminded me of a few months ago, my sister covered a cake with marshmallow fondant for her daughter’s birthday. We skyped while she showed me how to make it, like she was on a cooking show! Surely, the same recipe could be used for simple flat discs on cupcakes—and it does; even with a beginner’s finesse.
First and foremost, look for objects in the right sizes, to eventually cut your fondant. I used a jar lid, camera film canister, and of course, a toothpick for the button holes. Then, begin the process by making your favorite cupcake recipe, being careful to fill the liners only 2/3 the way full, thereby having plenty of room to add a thick dollop of frosting. Bake and allow the cupcakes to cool fully. Also, prepare a thick, and luxurious buttercream frosting.
• 1 bag of mini marshmallows
• 1 bag of powdered sugar (usually about 2 pounds)
• Food coloring
• Flavor (optional)
Things You’ll Need
• A few glass bowls, microwave safe
• Parchment paper
• Rolling pin
• A large plastic cutting board or sheet
Grease a glass bowl with Crisco. Place a handful of marshmallows in a glass bowl and heat it in the microwave for 45 seconds. The marshmallows will grow slightly and puff up. Grease up your spoon, add a few drops of food coloring, a ¼ teaspoon (give or take) of flavoring, and stir vigorously. Next, begin adding powdered sugar in ¼ cup increments, stirring on between. The marshmallow dough will begin pulling away from the sides of the bowl. Grease the surface of your plastic cutting board, and then spread a bit of powdered sugar on top. Glop the dough out onto the cutting board, and continue to add small amounts of powdered sugar, while kneading, until the dough is no longer sticky. I was surprised at how much sugar I actually used, every time I thought it wasn’t sticking to my hands—I punched through to more tackiness. The dough goes a long way, so don’t think that if you have a ball the size of a pingpong ball, that you don’t have enough. You eventually roll it out quite thin, near to an 1/8 of an inch. Once the dough has lost tack, wrap it in plastic wrap and place in the fridge. Repeat this process with as many colors as you like, I originally tried four buttons on my first cupcake, but it looked far too cluttered, so take that into consideration. This is also the type of creation that is worth finishing one before moving on to the next, to perfect your vision.
After you’ve finished the marshmallow fondant dough colors, and they are resting in the fridge, wash the plastic cutting board, grease it, and powder it again. The dough will be quite hard now. Grease up your rolling pin, and roll the dough to be close to an 1/8 of an inch thick. Stamp out your buttons, and lay them, one-by-one, onto a sheet of parchment paper. As you punch the buttons out of the sheets of dough, you may find a rough edge, or the button may slightly miss-shape; all the more reason to spend that extra time perfecting each button. Use a greased butter knife to shape the edges a bit, or possibly even a large, flat spatula to smooth the top. Use the toothpick to poke the buttonholes, and do a little swirl motion in order to make the hole more pronounced. I used shapes with a slightly smaller circle to press in a bevel in the middle of the button. I definitely made more than enough buttons, for the very purpose of experimenting with the material and how I could decorate with them. Finally, allow the buttons to dry over night. They will not dry rock hard, like you may achieve with gumpaste, but I think that makes them all the more inviting to eat! Take out the cupcakes, and buttercream frosting. Icing the cupcakes doesn’t have to be fancy, as long as its thick. Place your buttons immediately after icing, and place back in the fridge, one-by-one.
My Own Labels now has free printable cupcake wrappers in an assortment, which made it so easy to dress up my boring white liners—delightful! To the wrappers, I added my Morocco personalized labels, and wrapped them around each cupcake. I’m psyched to present this twist on my sister’s idea, and give them to guests coming to celebrate her birthday.
Pale Pink Cupcake Wrapper (PDF)
More homemade gift ideas from Zoe:
Bird Nest Treats Root Beer Cookies Earl Grey Fudge Peppermint Patties
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