Are you ready, bakers??? Here we go, down a little path toward tutorial-land. Some of you may have your hand hovering over the ‘X’ to leave this page because you may think (erroneously or for good reason) that you are not a baker. Or, better said, you can bake pretty well, but when it comes to decorating, you’d rather have bunion surgery than attempt to do something that involves purchasing a pastry tip.
For what it’s worth, I am two-months post bunion surgery. Trust me: The pastry tip is the way to go.
Here’s what you’re going to need to make your little forest:
Cupcakes – any flavor, preferably baked in a dark brown cupcake paper, but as you will see from my pictures, I baked my cupcakes in silver cupcake liners. No big deal.
Munchkins – any flavor works well, but avoid the ones covered with nuts
Green colored frosting
Melted chocolate (optional)
One pastry bag
One leaf tip
Small kitchen knife
Here we go!
1. Prep your pastry bag by placing the leaf decorating tip into the bag.
2. Don’t give up if you don’t understand #1…just keep reading and breathe deeply.
3. Place the green frosting into the pastry bag
4. Take one cupcake and place it in front of you. If your cupcake if flat on top, you’re good to go. If your cupcake has a peak or dome, use the kitchen knife to slice off the dome and make a flat surface (about 1″ in diameter).
5. Now we need to attach the munchkin to the cupcake. I used melted chocolate, but if you don’t want to add another step into the process, you can use frosting. Either way, pipe, smear or squirt the melted chocolate or the frosting in the middle of the cupcake, then cover with the munchkin. Place this cupcake on a tray, then continue with the remainder of your cupcakes/munchkins. When finished, place the tray of cupcakes into the fridge to set up. Note – don’t refrigerate the frosting!!! This will need to stay at room temperature in order to complete your forest.
6. Now, it’s piping time! Remove one cupcake from the fridge. Take your pastry bag, take aim, and get ready to start piping. You will need to start piping little leaves from the bottom of the cupcake. Note – you will need to leave enough room on the bottom of your cupcake paper to be able to grab the cupcake once you’re finished piping the tree. Once you figure out where you’re going to start the bottom of your tree, pipe leaves in concentric circles, making your way from the lowest point of your tree to the top of the tree.
7. Once the cupcake and munchkin is fully covered with frosting leaves, you can decorate your tree (if desired) with red non-pareils, other candies, or colored frosting dots. Once the cupcake tree is fully decorated, carefully move the cupcake onto the tray in the refrigerator and refrigerate until firm. Once the frosting is firm, the cupcake will be much easier to move around. (Note – my trees are not part of a cute Christmas tree farm because they happened to be surrounding a cake for a Bar Mitzvah celebration. I cannot lie, however. All I could think while these little trees were growing was that they would be perfect with just a bit of holiday bling)
8. Ask me questions, send me pictures, and have fun playing in the kitchen!