My mother is a woman of few words, but many birthday cakes. And summer is a busy time for her, with three (of her four) daughters and four (of her five) granddaughters having birthdays between May and August. Her baking process is usually a quick consult with the birthday-girl-to-be, getting a sense of most recent favorites (flavor, frosting, decoration), and then a good few weeks of plotting and planning.
FYI: For the past 40-odd years, I’ve been asking for the clown one seen below.
Last weekend, she kicked off the birthday season when my niece Kendall, who had clearly articulated (as much as an almost-two-year-old can clearly articulate) her birthday cake desire: little Elmo. I told my mom to check out this amazing Elmo cupcake display made by the husband of MSLO’s Jennifer Aaronson, but she thought the scale might be too big. Instead she made mini cupcakes, and decorated them to resemble everyone’s favorite red monster.
First, she made mouths and noses from fondant.
Then she made eyes by cutting mini marshmallows in half (horizontally) and dropping a fondant pupil onto the slightly sticky cut side.
Then she frosted the cupcakes using this tip.
And then she assembled the faces and loaded them up on a tray to bring to Kendall’s party.