Rubber duckie cupcakes
- 125g unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup caster sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 ½ cups plain flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- ¾ cup (185mL) milk
- 2 cups icing sugar
- 1-2 tablespoons water
- blue food colouring
- 650g white ready-to-roll fondant icing*
- yellow and orange gel or paste colouring (liquid food colouring not compatible with the fondant icing)*
- icing sugar, for dusting
- green writing gel
- 1 cup desiccated coconut
- green food colouring
*from cake decorating shops
- You will need 12 large cupcake papers (base 52mm x height 30mm) for this recipe. I found the duckie cupcake papers in my local cake decorating shop.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Place cupcake papers in a 12-hole muffin tray.
In an electric mixer, beat butter for 2-3 minutes until pale in colour and creamy. Add sugar one third at a time, beating well between each addition. Add the eggs one at a time, beating for about a minute between each addition. Add the vanilla essence and beat until combined. Sift flour and baking powder and add half to butter mixture with half the milk, beat until well combined. Repeat with remaining flour and milk.
Spoon into cupcake papers (I use an ice cream scoop) and bake for about 15 minutes until a skewer inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean. Transfer to wire racks and allow to cool completely.
Combine icing sugar and enough water to form a smooth, spreadable paste. Add 2-3 drops of blue icing to get a suitable ‘pond’ colour.
Chop 600g white fondant icing into small pieces and knead until starting to soften. Add a small amount of yellow colouring using a toothpick. Knead until the colour is even, add more colour if required, knead again. Use 25g (about 2 tablespoons) of yellow icing to form an oval shape body 3cm long; make one end pointy for the tail. Use 15g (about 1 tablespoon) to form a 1.5cm round head. Use a small dot of water to attach the head to the body. Repeat until you have 12 wingless duckies. Reknead the scraps and roll out on a surface dusted with icing sugar to 3mm thick. Use a small scone cutter to cut 6 circles. Cut each circle into 4 quarters/wings. Attach two wings to each duck using a small dot of water.
Knead 50g white icing until starting to soften. Add a small amount of orange colouring using a toothpick. Knead until the colour is even, adding more colour if necessary. Form 12 small triangles for the beaks. Use a small sharp knife to cut into the peak of the triange, but don’t cut all the way through. Attach beak to duckie using a small dot of water.
Use the green writing icing to pipe two eyes onto each duck. Have a practice before you attack the ducks – the trick is to stop squeezing the tube before you pull away. Don’t worry if there is a little peak – it will drop down into the circle after a few minutes.
Spread a tablespoon of blue icing over the top each cupcake. Combine coconut with green icing and sprinkle an edging of ‘grass’ around the side of each cake. Place a little duckie on the top of each cake — it will stick to the blue icing.
- Preparation time: 15 minutes, baking time: 15 minutes, decorating time: 1 hour.
- The fondant duckies can be made the day before, stored in an airtight container and then placed on each cupcake just after icing.
- Make the cupcakes in advance and freeze until needed; it is also easier to ice the frozen cupcakes. I usually freeze some cupcakes from each batch I make, so my duckies were a combination of chocolate mud cake, red velvet and vanilla cupcakes.