I have sung the praises of cupcake toppers before... Easily made weeks in advance of a party, they can be stored in an airtight container, then bought out to be quickly placed on frosted cupcakes on the day.
As you may already know, my daughter's 5th birthday party is in less than two weeks and so I have been busy with various preparations including these little toadstool cupcake toppers. I will ice the cupcakes with green buttercream, using a grass tip (like these rugby ball ones from Master J's party in April), and the toadstools will sit on top of the grass. I'm hoping it will look as cute as I envisage it!
Here's a quick how-to including some pictures, in case you would like to make some toadstool cupcake toppers of your own.
For my Toadstool cupcake toppers, I used:
* White gum paste or Mexican paste (can be purchased from all good cake decorating supply shops)
* Red Fondant
* Sugar cel or gum tragacanth (optional)
* Edible glue, such as gum arabic with water added
* A Bodum coffee scoop
* Vegetable fat
* Edible shellac spray (optional)
Sorry - what a terrible photo!
To create the bases, just break off a piece of gum paste and roll it in your palm until it is completely smooth. Then roll it so it becomes a little more elongated - like an oval. Squash it down gently on your work surface so it is flat on the top and the bottom, with the bottom being a little wider than the top.
To create the tops, use a teaspoon of red fondant. I kneaded a little gum tragacanth through my fondant and left it to rest (covered) for about 30 mins before using. This helps it to go slightly harder than it would otherwise.
Using a measuring spoon to measure out the fondant will help them all to be a similar size - grease your spoon with a little vegetable fat on your fingers so it slides out easily.
Roll into a ball between your palms until it is completely smooth. Place in your round coffee scoop which you have lightly greased with vegetable fat.
Use the pad of your thumb to push it down as shown then slide it out with your thumb. Repeat until you have a little collection of tops.
To add the dots, break off tiny pieces of white gumpaste, roll them into a ball between your fingers, then squash them flat. Make the dots varying sizes. Stick them to the toadstools with a little of your edible glue.
Leave all the tops and bottoms out overnight to dry (cover loosely in clingfilm to keep dust and bugs off).
Attach the tops to the bottoms using your edible glue and leave to dry. Spray with edible shellac for a nice sheen (if desired). Store in an airtight container with a few grains of rice in it to absorb any moisture.
UPDATE: 2nd July, 2011 - click here to see these cupcake toppers on the finished cupcakes.