Jake's class is having a spring picnic today and his teacher asked if I would be able to make cupcakes for them. When you are feeding a class full of five and six year old kids I've always found it to be a good idea to give them all the same thing. That way no one can complain that they didn't get the one they wanted. Since I would be making only one flavor of cupcake I decided to stick to vanilla because pretty much everyone at least likes vanilla, even if it isn't their favorite. Vanilla cupcakes also make my life easy because I always make them from a box mix. Trader Joe's vanilla cake mix is richly vanilla flavored, unbelievably moist, and just plain delicious.
With the easy part of the cupcake decided I had to figure out how to decorate them. Since it is a spring picnic I knew I wanted something springy. Then I was at Target and they had the 15 packs of Peep's chicks on sale. As soon as I saw those cute little marshmallows I knew exactly what I wanted to do. Chicks sitting on the grass. Very springy! On top of that, it was a technique I've used before on this amazing (if I do say so myself) Cars cake I made for Jake's 3rd birthday.
I started out by baking up two boxes of vanilla cupcakes (I needed 32). Once they were cooled I made a batch of vanilla buttercream and then used Wilton's gel color Leaf Green to make it a soft green, I was going for a springlike color. Before I got out my grass tip, I just used a frosting spreader to spread a thin layer of green frosting over the base to give the Peeps something to stick to.
Next I used my grass tip to pipe little blobs of grass around the edge of the cupcake. Then pipe another layer of grass inside of that edge until you are left with an oval in the middle with no grass.
Plop a Peep chick down in the center of your cupcake and you have an adorable springtime treat.