I was invited to Easter at a friend's house this year and was very excited at the prospect of baking cute, kid friendly Easter things. This is the first time I've done any Easter baking, and everyone told me that meant I had to make a lamb cake. I googled lamb cake. I entertained the idea for about a twenty-four seconds before one of the ladies at work mentioned that, unless you really know what you are doing, the head of the lamb cake often falls off. I'm a lot of things, but I am NOT the guest who shows up with the decapitated lamb on Easter. (Maybe on Christmas.........;-))
Risk of headless lamb aside, I continued to google and see if I could find an adaptation of the lamb cake that held less risk of accidental, offensive, mutilation. I came up with these little lamb cupcakes that are SO CUTE!! (My inspiration came from here and here.)
What you need to make these little sheepy cupcakes:
- One dozen cupcakes (I used the dark chocolate cake recipe here. I wanted the cupcakes to have nice, high, domes on top, so to bake them, I started them at 450* for seven minutes, then took them down to 350*F for another seven. This process makes them 'poof' more while baking.)
- One medium sized bag mini-marshmallows.
- One dozen Milano cookies. (Chocolate ones also make cute little sheep, but they are more difficult to find.)
- Two dozen mini-chocolate chips or two dozen candy eyes. (I used Wilton candy eyes.)
1 cup shortening
6 cups confectioners sugar
3 tablespoons milk
1 teaspoon clear vanilla or almond extract
Mix all ingredients together with a mixer until smooth. If icing is too think, add a little extra milk; if it is too thin, add a little more sugar.
Decorating the Sheep Cupcakes
Step #1 - Put the eyes on the Milano Cookies. If you are using icing and mini-chocolate-chips, pipe two blobs of icing and put a chocolate chip in the middle of each. If you are using candy eyes, put a small amount of frosting on the back of each eye and place it on the cookie. The icing will act as glue.
Step #2 - Apply a thick layer of icing to the cupcake. I suggest making these one at a time so the icing does not set while you are working. Also, make sure you cover the whole top of the cupcake, including the edges.
Step #3 - Cover the cupcake in marshmallows, leaving a gap about 1.5 inches wide in the front where you want the head to attach. I squished some of the marshmallows between my thumb and forefinger before applying them, as I liked the look of the variety of marshmallow shapes on the sheep.
Step #4 - Put a blog of icing on the back of the top of the Milano cookie and affix the cookie to the front of the cupcake. Hold for a few seconds to make sure it is secure.
Step #5 - Using your fingers, shape two marshmallows into ear-like shapes by rolling them between your fingers. Using icing, affix them to each side of the sheep's head.
Step #6 - Fill in any gaps with extra marshmallows and you are DONE!
For the kids, I made little scenes. I just wrapped a piece of cardboard in foil (a paper plate would have been ideal, but I didn't have any, so I improvised,) added some green coloring to my leftover icing, and piped a few grassy knolls for bunnies and eggs to rest in. I put each kid's initial on the scene, too, just for fun.
|At first we weren't too sure about the whole thing, but eventually we were taking down two peeps with one hand.|
|Warning: Sheep cupcake eating is messy business. Seeing as it was too cold to hose them down in the back yard, we had to directly follow dessert with bubble baths.|