I wanted to do a Sesame Street theme for my twins' 2nd birthday. I thought about buying the Elmo mold, but didn't want to spend the money on it since I would probably only use it once. I think I got the idea to use cupcakes to shape the heads from this site, but I added the birthday hats and little candle holder cupcakes to the top.
You can, of course, use whatever cake mix flavor you would like to make the cupcakes. I made one chocolate and one strawberry. The hardest and messiest part was mixing all of the colored frostings in different bowls, but it was a lot of fun! The kids can help you too so they can learn what colors combine to make orange (red and yellow) and black (all of them)...in case you skipped that day in art class!
The only tool I used to decorate them was a butter knife (to mix the colors and to spread the frosting). For the fur, I dipped the flat part of the knife in the frosting to add the texture. I used peanut M&Ms for the dots on the hats. At first, I tried sticking toothpicks in between the cupcakes to make them stick together, but found that they would just pull apart. Adding enough frosting to fill in the spaces seemed to do the trick well enough. You will need at least 3 tubs to make an even layer.
Their eyes are made from Oreos that I covered with frosting, adding black pupils with frosting also. Elmo's nose is bigger, though so I used a Chips Ahoy cookie and frosted it orange. I also used the cookies to put in Cookie Monster's mouth...and mine too.
I served them on two cookie sheets that I covered with aluminum foil. These were easy, fun and inexpensive to make since the only things I needed to buy were the 2 boxes of cake mix, 3 tubs of frosting, cookies and regular red, yellow, green, blue food coloring. It made 22 cupcakes. If you have more people you could just give them some cookies!