by Kelly Delaney
Cake decorating takes many forms and varieties as shown in these clever snowmen made out of buttercream frosting.
Tools Needed: Cupcakes, Buttercream, Food Coloring (to color your buttercream), melting chocolate (chocolate and white chocolate), scissors, off-set spatula, piping bags & tips (see notes below for specific tip numbers), and parchment paper.
Steps to Decorate a Snowmen Cupcakes
Cupcakes-make from scratch with a recipe you find or buy a box of mix from grocery store.
Buttercream , melting chocolate, parchment paper, and food coloring -use recipe or buy frosting at a grocery store, food coloring colors to use include orange, green, and yellow (but use your favorite colors if you like) , melting chocolate and parchment paper can be purchased at the grocery store. Scissors, off-set spatula, piping bags and tips-purchase at any crafts store.
Making White Chocolate Bark for Snowman to Stand Against
1. The first step is making some white chocolate bark out of melting chocolate because the snowmen need to lean against something and the bark needs to set in the fridge so it hardens. To make the bark, you first need to create a small bag to pipe the white chocolate out of. You can make this bag out of parchment paper.
2. Cut a piece of parchment paper in the shape of a triangle. Hold the pointy part to your belly and bring the right side down to your belly and then fold the other side to form the back. Where the pieces meet at your fingers, fold the top over and seal like an envelope.
3. Melt your chocolate. You can do this over a ban marie, which is a water bath, which will simmer the water and not burn the chocolate. The chocolate will melt even. Tip: You can use a microwave to melt your chocolate but be careful not to burn the chocolate. You want to set the microwave in increments of 10 seconds and stop it to stir the white chocolate.
4. Fill your parchment bag with your melted white chocolate and cut a pencil tip size hole at the bottom of the bag.
5. On a separate piece of parchment paper, pipe out your white chocolate moving the bag back and forth so the white chocolate crosses over each other but leave some spaces in between.
6. Put in fridge and let set for 30 minutes and then you have your white chocolate bark that your snowman will stand against.
Making the Snowman’s Arms
7. The next step is making the snowman’s arms out of chocolate. Create another parchment bag like in the steps above and melt your chocolate like in steps above.
8. Fill your parchment bag with the melted chocolate. Tip: You don’t need as much chocolate in your bag this time to make the arms. It’s hard to do fine work with chocolate, like making stick arms, when your parchment bag is too full. Once your bag is filled, fold over the top and slice bottom of bag like a needle head.
9. On a separate piece of parchment paper, draw a thin line down with the chocolate and then a “v” with the chocolate right over the line you drew. It doesn’t matter how long the line is because it will be tucked into the body of the snowman. Tip: Figure out how many arms you’ll need depending on how many snowmen cupcakes you are making and then make extra because you may break a few along the way. It happens!
10. Put your chocolate arms in the fridge to set for 30 minutes.
Time to Make the Snowman’s Body
11. Once your white chocolate and chocolate pieces are chilled from the fridge, it’s time to make your snowman body.
12. Take your pastry bag and fill it with vanilla buttercream. Pipe a base of “snow” for the snowman to sit right around in a circle on the top of your cupcake.
13. Break off a piece of your white chocolate bark and stick it 2/3 of the way into the back of the cupcake. Now the snowman has something to stand against, the white chocolate bark will help to prop the snowman up.
14. Take your pastry bag and make the first ball of your snowman right up against your white chocolate bark. You are going to pipe individual balls, working your way up, starting large and then getting smaller for the head. You are not using a tip on your bag to make this first snowballs, just the coupler. Pipe your next snowball, just a bit smaller, on top of the first one.
15. For your last snowball, the head of the snowman, you are going to use a #8 tip, which is round. It’s smaller and a good size for piping your snowman’s head on.
16. Once you have your snowman’s body, it’s time to accessorize with a scarf and hat. Take your green colored buttercream bag (or whatever color you select) and go around the top and middle snowball like a tie for the scarf.
17. To make the snowman’s hat, you are going to use your yellow buttercream (or whatever color you select) and a #3 tip, which is slightly smaller than the tip you used for the snowman’s head, to make a floppy hat. Pipe onto the head and release and pull up.
18. Time to put your arms into your snowman. Tip: Use your off-set spatula to peel the chocolate arms off of the parchment paper. Also, don’t hold the arms too long. They are fragile and can break easily. Stick an arm into each side of the middle snowball.
19. Using your chocolate bag, apply a little pressure to pipe two eyes onto the snowman’s face and dots for a mouth.
20. Using your orange bag and a #3 tip, pipe on a little carrot nose right in the middle of the snowman’s face.
Enjoy your snowmen cupcakes!
Recipe and instructions courtesy of Kelley Delaney, Cakes For Occasions, 2011.