Caleb wanted Lego Ninjago cupcakes for his birthday. I did a little bit of searching online and found several versions of this cupcake — which makes the entire cupcake a ninja’s head. Although it is not necessary, I did choose to put a layer of lego yellow frosting on each cupcake first. I was concerned that without this the cupcakes would not have enough icing. To get a nice deep color you need to use a good portion of the decorator colors from Wilton or another gel.
After covering each cupcake in yellow, I added either blue cloth covers for their face, or red cloth covers for the face. I did half and half because my son wanted some of each. Whenever I make a dark color of frosting like this I add an extra teaspoon of real vanilla to the colored frosting to take out that nasty dye taste. Without it, the frosting in these colors is inedible.
After using my ribbon tip to create the head covering, including a little smudge for the nose, I added eyes and eyebrows to the slit of face still showing. I used the tiniest round tip available and black frosting. All of the tips I used for these cupcakes are included in this Wilton Tip Set.
Black frosting is easy to make… it’s all about ratio. You need a high ratio of back food coloring to a much smaller amount of frosting. Since this frosting is only going to be used to make eyes and eyebrows, I didn’t need more then a couple tablespoons. I added an entire jar of food coloring to this tiny amount of frosting. The result is a gorgeous black that tastes awful. In this case, I knew no one would notice the taste because such a tiny bit was gracing the top of a well-iced cupcake. So, I didn’t bother adding any extra vanilla to the black. I did accidentally lick a smidge off my fingers and seriously — this stuff is gross.
Here is the yummy “special buttercream” recipe that I use:
Special Buttercream Frosting
2 Cups Shortening
2 Boxes Powdered sugar or 8 cups measured
1 tsp real vanilla
1 tsp salt
6-8 ounces of heavy whipping cream
First you cream the sugar and shortening. Then you add the remaining ingredients and keep whipping on high until it is smooth and all the lumps work out. This will take a few minutes. I have blown out three hand mixers making this frosting — it is tough stuff. My mother-in-law finally bought me this stand mixer for Christmas one year.
If you need a stiff frosting to decorate, add 6 ounces of whipping cream. If you are trying to frost a cake smooth, add 8 ounces of whipping cream and some extra milk to make a thinner spreadable frosting. I like to use two boxes of powdered sugar and sticks of shortening so that I do not have to measure, but technically the recipe does call for 8 cups of powdered sugar. I just add a little extra at the end if my frosting is not stiff enough to hold its shape. I also like to use the Wilton Disposable Bags so that when I am done I can simply take my tip out of the end of the bag and throw the rest away. Easy clean-up!