It was my friend's daughter's 4th birthday over the weekend (Happy Birthday, Brianna!) so, as usual, I jumped at the chance to bake something.
The birthday girl was having a critter party (which was super fun!) and wanted ladybugs and flowers for her cupcakes. Four-year-olds are pretty easy to please, so the design was pretty simple.
I've been dying to make gumpaste ladybugs lately, and I was pretty surprised with how easy they were to make. I just a flattened circle of red gumpaste, and imprinted a line for wing definition on the back. Then I attached a big black circle for the face and pressed little black dots onto the back. The eyes were white gumpaste dots with black dots drawn on with some edible markers that I had left over from a very unfortunate and unsuccessful cake pop incident (never again).
For the cupcakes, I used Martha Stewart's One Bowl Chocolate Cupcake. They're my go-to chocolate recipe these days-- moist, chocolately, and really versatile. And you can't beat anything that's made in just one bowl. The only downside is that the batter is a bit runny, so if you're like me it will end up splattered and dripped all over the pan and counter. And the floor. And for some reason the oil bottle across the counter. The icing is vanilla buttercream.
But they turned out pretty cute, and they definitely had the kids bouncing off the walls for the afternoon!