I actually made this homemade cupcake alligator birthday cake for my grandson's 8th birthday in 2009. I had seen a book that was all cakes designed with cupcakes and thought it was cool. I looked at this site and got some ideas and then came up with a plan.
I baked the cupcakes in the foil cups thinking they would hold there shape better than the paper ones. I arranged them on the table and realized I would need a very long cake board to put it on. I cut a couple of layers of cardboard and covered them with foil (which makes the picture a little difficult to see because of the glare).
The nose is 4 cup cakes (2x2) the next row is 3 cupcakes, then 4 in the next row with another for each of the legs. Then another 2 rows of 3 and then a row of 4 again with 2 for each of the back legs. Another row of 3, then 2 rows of 2 and down to 1. You could add as many as you want to make the tail. You will need about 37-38 cup cakes to make this size. You could always down-size for a smaller version.
I used the star tip to cover all of the cupcakes to start, then filled in with stars between the cupcakes to make it look like it was all connected together. I used mint gum leaves down the center of the back for the spine. The claws are candy bananas, the teeth were cut out of large marshmallows, the eyes are large marshmallows covered with green frosting stars (except for the outside end to make them looked raised out of the head) and a junior mint for the pupil.
He thought it was an awesome homemade cupcake alligator birthday cake.