Culinary artists don’t just like food—they like making food look as good as it tastes. And why shouldn’t our eyes be just as pleased as our other senses? From a batch of video game–themed cupcakes to a mosaic of President Barack Obama made out of fondant-covered cupcakes, get a load of some confectionery creations that put simple frosted desserts to shame.
Naomi of Newcastle, Australia, has created a number of popular themed cupcake batches and has the pictures posted on her Flickr account to prove it. One such creation is the batch of Puccho-inspired cupcakes above. Naomi baked these for a friend who was visiting from Japan and had previously introduced her to the popular Japanese candy with these adorable characters on the packaging. Photo courtesy of Naomi via Flickr.com.
Super Mario Characters
Also made by cupcake-maker extraordinaire Naomi, as part of her video game–themed collection (check out her Pac-Man batch), these vanilla cupcakes would have anyone grabbing for their game controller. The fondant-made toppers are representations of Mario, Princess Peach, a 1-Up Mushroom, a Piranha Plant, a Power-Up Mushroom, Invincibility Stars, Mario Coins and cute clouds—all elements of the Nintendo game’s world. Photo courtesy of Naomi via Flickr.com.
Barack Obama Mosaic
Buffalo-based artist Zilly Rosen combined years of formal artistic training and a love for baking to create the mosaic masterpiece above. Using 1,240 cupcakes—an amount determined by an image grid that she worked from—Rosen, with a bit of help from her children, her good friend Shasti O'Leary Soudant and an assistant, set out to capture a special moment in political history—albeit in an edible form. Photo courtesy of Zilly Rosen at ZillyCakes.com.
This batch of Wii Miis was created to coincide with a January 2009 Wii giveaway on the blog Bakerella. Each of the characters portrayed on the cupcakes looks like a Mii created on Bakerella’s Wii game console—including her own mini-me Mii. The contest entrants able to pick out the Mii that most resembled the blogger qualified to win a Wii of their own (see the results)! The cupcakes, made from Martha Stewart’s One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes recipe, are topped with fondant and decorated with edible ink pens. Photo courtesy of Bakerella via Bakerella.Blogspot.com.
Bakerella is also the proud oven mitter behind this elaborate cupcake display. Inspired by a holiday-edition plastic Coca-Cola bottle—which eventually became the “globe” for the snow globe—she began with a Cola Cake recipe from Coca-Cola’s website, which was split into cupcakes and topped with buttercream frosting to create a “snow” effect. To make the polar bears, she rolled and shaped fondant by hand, then used black candy hearts and sprinkles for the eyes and noses. For the rest of the detailing, she used candy canes, red fondant and Haribo Happy-Cola Gummi candy for the edible soda bottles. Photo courtesy of Bakerella via Bakerella.Blogspot.com.
The Elmo cupcakes above, decorated by stay-at-home mom Ninotchka Beavers for her daughter’s birthday party, have garnered 25,000 page views since this image was posted on her Flickr page in 2007. The cupcakes were made with red, grass-like frosting by the bakery at SuperTarget, then Ninotchka created the Elmo faces with sliced marshmallows for eyes, a halved black licorice jelly bean for pupils and an orange gumball for a nose. Photo courtesy of Ninotchka Beavers via Flickr.com.
Billiard Rack and Balls
Pink Cake Box, founded by Anne Heap, is a pastry business based out of Whippany, New Jersey, that specializes in all things sweet. These pool hall-appropriate cupcakes were made for a client’s 50th birthday and are an exact cake replica of his own pool balls and cue stick. The cupcakes were made with a mix of chocolate and vanilla batter, topped with white frosting and then decorated with red, orange, yellow, blue, purple and black fondant to illustrate the solid and striped balls of the game. Photo courtesy of Jesse Heap via PinkCakeBox.com.
Using Duncan Hines’ Moist Deluxe Swiss Chocolate and French Vanilla cake mixes, Mike surprised his girlfriend with these sweet-as-cake cheeseburgers on her birthday. Slicing off the tops of the chocolate cupcakes to create the patties, he piled them between the similarly sliced vanilla cupcakes (a.k.a. the buns). For the mustard, ketchup and optional relish, Mike used basic tube frosting before brushing the tops of each “burger” with orange juice so the real sesame seeds would stick. Photo courtesy of KateDW via cheeseburgercupcakes.com.
New Zealand–based Flickr user Nick D created this Sesame Street character cupcake with the help of his girlfriend. Inspired by a Cookie Monster cupcake cake they saw on the blog Cake Wrecks, the two used vanilla cupcakes, blue icing and blue-dyed desiccated coconut for their creation. The eyes are made from two types of chocolate and a slit was cut into the top of the cupcake so a store-bought chocolate chip cookie could be placed inside. Photo courtesy of Nick via Flickr.com.
Shiver me timbers! Stephanie Batemen took her concept cue from Flickr user Swissy Missy, who is credited in the baking community for setting sail the pirate cupcake trend. Bateman cut out circles of skin-colored fondant to create the faces, and used half-circles of both red and pink fondant to create the bandannas. For the finishing touches, like the spots and stripes (and scars and stubble), Bateman used black fondant and an edible food marker as well as a decorative confectionery to create the earrings. Photo courtesy of Stephanie Batemen via Flickr.com.
Australian cake decorator and food blogger Su-Yin, who lives by the motto “Life is too short for ugly food,” made these b-boy cupcakes for her friend’s birthday party. She sketched out a few classic breaker looks (think Kangol hats, bandannas under baseball caps and special gear for head spins), then, using skin-colored fondant, she created cute button-nosed faces and adorned them with fondant-made details. Photo courtesy of Su-Yin via CookingIsMyPassion.Blogspot.com.
Land O’Lakes’ Halloween Hoot Owls recipe was created to help promote the dairy brand’s butter—which was used in the cupcake batter and frosting. To create the wide-eyed treats, after making the coconut cupcakes topped with cream cheese frosting, use sliced almonds for the feathers, butter rum candy rings with chocolate chips inserted in the holes for the eyes and whole cashews for the beaks. Photo courtesy of Morgan Moore via Flickr.com.
Blogger Jenny from Colorado is the master baker behind these panda bear cupcakes. Using a recipe for red velvet cupcakes and cream cheese frosting, Jenny detailed the look by melting chocolate and shaping it to form the ears, eyes and mouth and using chocolate chips for the nose and pupils. Photo courtesy of Jenny via blempgorf.blogspot.com.
To celebrate her son’s first birthday, baker Rhianna Allen—who runs her own food blog Happiness in a Bite—created these adorable monkey-themed cupcakes, which were inspired by the creative work of Los Angeles–based “custom cupcake company” Blue Cupcake. The three-dimensional animals were hand-molded while the faces were cut from a template. The bananas were made from fondant, but Rhianna said an easy substitute would be Runts candy bananas. Photo courtesy of Rhianna via HappinessinaBite.com.
iPhone App Icons
Danielle Bilton, a “culinary explorer,” and Nick Bilton, Design Integration Editor and User Interface Specialist at The New York Times, created this batch of edible iPhone app icons. Taking first place in the Cupcake Decorating Championship hosted by Ignite NYC II in September 2008, the mini-cupcakes are made of chocolate cake, grey buttercream frosting and fondant for the decorations. Photo courtesy of Nick Bilton via NickBilton.com.
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