The Dog Cupcakes
I’m lucky enough to have a niece that LOVES dogs with a passion, so I’ve had the opportunity to make dog cakes, dog cake balls, and now some dog cupcakes. The party was small with coronavirus still on the loose, but we still were able to have a modest party with a few good mutts. <3 These dog cupcakes were a vanilla cake filled with strawberry mousse. In the video you will see some pink centers. But any fresh cupcake will do.
These cupcakes were mostly made with a Wilton grass tip, but for the ears I also used the ridged-side of a basket-weave tip. But play around with what you have on hand!
The Fondant Details
For the eyes, I wanted an actual sphere so that it added some dimension when pressed into the buttercream. The night before baking, I made some black fondant spheres and allowed them to dry overnight to hold their shape. To get them uniform in size, roll a fondant log and slice it into pieces of equal length. Allow the fondant eyes to dry on parchment paper, plastic wrap, or silicone to prevent sticking. You can add one or two reflection dots on the eyes with either white fondant or white royal icing or buttercream. For these I used fondant, but I’d probably use royal icing next time.
The cute, pink fondant tongues were dried on the edge of a bowl, to ensure that they had a nice curve to them.
To make the cute little dog noses, I formed some triangles and used a toothpick to make the nostrils. Make a variety of sizes and many extras so that you have choices for each dog you create. Everyone has their own style, but I discarded the idea years ago that all my bakes should be exactly uniform. The small variations between each reminds me that these were not made in a factory, and are just like the natural world, no two anythings exactly alike!
Since I only made a small amount of fondant for this project, I went ahead and used the rest to make an excess of eyes, noses, and ears for future baking projects. I’m thinking these little pink noses might work well for some kitty cake pops. Once they are dry, I pack them away in an airtight baggie. Since this fondant is essentially just sugar and gelatin, they will keep in an airtight container for months. Similar to those sugar cupcake toppers and cake letters that you might find in the grocery store.
I knew going into these dog cupcakes that I would need a stiff buttercream to uphold all the doggy details. Swiss buttercream is the queen of great structure while keeping a light texture, but it can be labor intensive. I have this go-to buttercream that is nice and stiff, sweet, and super fast. I thought it would be perfect.
Unfortunately, it was a bit too stiff for this project. Especially for my grass tip. This buttercream was constantly clogging the tiny holes and causing my bags to burst. And OMG the hand cramps! More of the story, if you attempt to make these doggo cupcakes, I highly recommend you take the extra time to make some nice, stable Swiss buttercream.
Happy baking, friends.