So I celebrated my Seventh Annual 29th Birthday last week. That’s right, in keeping with the long-standing tradtion of the women in my family, I no longer age. And haven’t since I turned 29. Six years ago. It’s pretty awesome. I can still remember my grandmother, well into her sixth decade on earth, celebrating her 29th birthday. As much as I enjoyed my first 29th birthday, I’m looking forward to each new one every year. I mean, it’s quite an accomplishment to reach, say your Forty-fifth 29th Birthday, after all.
I agonized back and forth on what kind of cake I wanted this year. I briefly considered a fluffy, pink buttercream swirled, cloudy, girly confection, but I’ve been on a swirly girly cake kick for awhile, so I vetoed the fluff this year. That narrowed it down to picking one of my geek interests. This is always a dilemma. I mean, Harry Potter! Star Trek! Doctor Who!! DISNEY.
I realized I’ve never had a Disney birthday cake, so that pretty much answered the question. And Donald Duck is my spirit animal, so he was the obvious choice for theme. I had originally intended to make a whole cake, but I have a wee baby Donald tsum tsum, and he kept whispering ‘cupcakes’ at me. So I made cupcakes. Of course.
To get the soft, plush look of the tsum tsums, I simply frosted each cupcake with white frosting, covering the tops entirely, and smoothing it out a bit. Then, I rolled the frosted cupcake in plain granulated sugar. You could use sanding sugar here, but it’s important to note that sanding sugar looks more sparkly, so you won’t get the same sort of plush, velvety look.
You can use this technique with any of the tsum tsum chracters, just using the appropriate colors and designs (black and tan for Mickey Mouse, for example).
For Donald’s wee hat, I pressed a small piece of blue fondant into a soft cornered, obtuse triangle, then I flattened the bottom a bit, where the hat will sit on the cupcake. Next, I used a black foodwriter to color a simple stripe across the bottom of the hat. To attach the hat to the cupcake, I just used a bit of frosting to hold it on as a sort of “glue”.
Donald’s eyes are simple, small black circles that I cut from fondant and glued in place with frosting. His little duckbill is pretty self-explanatory. Just press some yellow fondant into a flattened half disk and “glue” in place. I also pressed a small line into it for my detail.
The finishing touch on these cupcakes was to give Donald sweet blushing cheeks. I was a bit stumped at first, until I remembered that I have some powdered food coloring for tinting macarons. I used the tiniest dab of cherry pink, applied with a small, dry paintbrush.
On a couple of the cupcakes, I did some red fondant bow ties, in place of the heart-sprinkle-bows. If you don’t have the larger-sized heart sprinkles, then it’s really easy to shape up some simple red bows with fondant instead. I just pinched and rolled the fondant until I had a shaped I liked, no bigs.
When placing all the elements of his face on the cupcake, make sure to keep the eyes grouped close to the mouth, and set somewhat far apart. To capture the ‘tsum tsum look’, the face should set lower on the cupcake, rather than being centered.
I seriously just want to snuggle these cupcakes. They are the sweetest little guys. I dare you not to hug them.