I received a cookbook a few months ago, Little Cakes from the Whimsical Bakehouse, that has some of the cutest little cakes and cupcakes I’ve ever seen.
However, most of them require an incredible amount of time, experience and ingredients. I found these popcorn ones to be especially cute. You actually have to make the little cups from chocolate with those silicone cupcake cups and paint the red stripes. Who has that kind of time? One cupcake did jump out at me, a basket-full of apples. The outside of the cupcake is piped in a basketweave and then you pipe and pile little apples on top!
They would be great “back-to-school” treats, but I knew that I wouldn’t be able to pull them off at the beginning of the school year without pulling my hair out and driving myself crazy trying to get them perfect and finished.
I wanted to do something with an apple theme to give my co-workers to start the school year. I remember seeing an apple cupcake in a Martha Stewart magazine a while back that was iced in a vibrant red and boasted a chocolate covered pretzel stem and a cute green candy leaf…but I couldn’t find an article on how they were made. I finally came across a blog by a woman who’d also seen the magazine, but I didn’t get much more help except that I found out that Martha used green sour tape candy for the leaf. I couldn’t find the candy, so I figured that I try my hand at using fondant. My sister Sarah had conveniently planned a trip to Waco on Saturday, so she helped me create these adorable cupcakes! We baked the cupcakes (from a mix…yikes!) the night before. In the morning we made the House Buttercream from the Whimsical Bakelouse cookbook. Sarah and I were both surprised by the method she uses. Can anyone explain to me the purpose of adding boiling water? Anyway, We colored the frosting red. Ok, so we tried to color it red. I used quite a bit of my Wilton no-taste red color gel but it never got to the vibrant apple red I wanted. It also got a little streaky in color. But we decided that they looked like galas and therefore more authentic. I frosted the cupcakes normally. Then we stuck chocolate covered pretzel sticks in the center as a stem.
Now for the leaves. I bought white fondant and colored it with Wiltons leaf green gel and added a bit of almond extract hoping to help the flavor of the fondant…no such luck. It still tastes like stale sugary icky paste. We rolled out the fondant and used a small leaf cookie cutter to make the leaves.
Sarah placed all the leaves in a lovely artistic manner on our little creations and they were complete! I could not stop looking at them and thinking about how cute they looked all together. Is it bad to be proud of something like this?