Keyword: birthday party cupcakes, cupcakes, fun party food, kid-friendly desserts, narwhal cupakes
Dessert Type: Cupcakes
Prep Time: 1hour30minutes
Cook Time: 0minutes
Servings: 24narwhal cupcakes
Author: Elizabeth LaBau
These cute narwhal cupcakes are made from frosting (not fondant!) and just a few decorations, so they're easy to make and come together in a snap. Kids LOVE them, and they're perfect for birthday parties!
You can use your own favorite frosting recipe if you’d like, as long as it’s stiff enough to hold its shape while piping. You’ll need about 2.5 lbs of frosting for this recipe.
1TBSPvanilla extractor other flavoring (use clear if you want whiter buttercream)
8ozunsalted butterat room temperature
8ozshorteningcan replace with equal amount butter if desired
28ozpowdered sugarsifted (7 cups)
Blue food coloring
For the Narwhal Cupcakes:
24cupcakes of your choicebaked and cooled
2cupssprinkle mix of your choice
6pink Starburst candies
Round sprinkles for eyes
Sequin sprinkles for cheeks
Jimmies for the smile
To Make the Frosting:
Combine the milk, vanilla extract, and salt in a small bowl, and stir them together to dissolve the salt.
Place the butter in a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Mix for 2 minutes on medium speed, until the butter is lighter in color and creamy. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl.
Add the shortening and milk mixture, and place a towel over the top of the mixer to prevent splatters. Run the mixer on low until the liquid starts to incorporate, then turn it to medium until everything is well-mixed and smooth (20-30 seconds). Scrape down the bowl again.
Keep the towel over the mixer, leaving only a small opening in front, turn the mixer to low, and add the sugar to the bowl. Once all of the sugar is incorporated, scrape down the bottom and sides of the bowl, and turn the mixer to medium-low for 30 seconds to mix the frosting well.
Add a few drops of blue food coloring to the frosting to color it a bright sky blue. At this point, you can add additional liquid as needed (milk or water) if the frosting is too stiff. It can be stirred in by hand or mixed in on low speed. Avoid mixing on higher speeds, as this will incorporate air bubbles. If you’re not going to use the frosting right away, transfer it to an airtight container and press a layer of plastic wrap directly on top of the frosting.
To Decorate the Narwhal Cupcakes:
First make the horns. Unwrap the Starburst candies and rub a very thin layer of shortening on your hands so they don’t get sticky. Knead a candy briefly between your fingers to warm it up and make it pliable.
Form the candy into a rope, then fold the rope in half and twist it around itself. Pull the twist apart in 1-inch intervals to make small horns that taper on one end. Each fruit chew should yield 4-6 horns. Horns that are very thin will droop over time, so you can prevent this by making the horns thicker, making them at least 24 hours in advance so they have time to dry, or adding them shortly before serving.
Next, fit a piping bag with a coupler--the round plastic piece that piping tips can be screwed onto. Fill the bag about two-thirds full of blue frosting and twist it closed.
Put the sprinkles in a wide bowl, and pipe a small swirl of frosting on top of a cupcake. Immediately dip the top of the cupcake in the sprinkles, and gently turn it around, pressing the sprinkles into the frosting and pushing the frosting into an even, round layer on top. You can use your hand to reshape it if you need to so it's round.
Next, make the narwhal itself! Hold the bag perpendicular to the top of a cupcake, about 1/2 inch above the surface. Squeeze the bag until the frosting comes out and starts forming a round blob on top of the cupcake. Apply even pressure, making the blob grow bigger, until it’s at least 1.5 inches wide. Continue to squeeze as you slide the piping bag back toward one side of the cupcake, then stop squeezing and pull the bag away from the cupcake, forming a little tail at the back.
Screw the leaf tip onto the coupler, and add one fin on each side, and a tail on the back.
Finally, decorate the faces! Add small round sprinkles for eyes, a curved jimmy for the mouth, and two sequins on the side for the cheeks. Finish the narwhals by adding a candy horn on top.