My daughters and I made these Zoo Crew Baby Shower Cupcakes for my niece's baby shower. We made our own marshmallow fondant by melting marshmallows with a small amount of water and adding powdered sugar. It takes about 10 minutes or more to knead in all of the powdered sugar. When it's done you will have a smooth, elastic molding fondant that tastes much better than the traditional fondant.
We used Wilton gel colors to get the shades we wanted. We tried to match the colors on the Zoo Crew shower decorations we had chosen. We found animal templates on line. They weren't exactly what we were looking for, but they gave us a place to start. We made a few modifications and got them as close as we could. None of us are gifted artists, but I think we came close. We rolled the fondant to about 1/16" and used a paring knife to trace around the stencil. After cutting out all of the pieces, we let them dry overnight. This made them easier to work with. We then assembled the animals by using a small amount of water to attach the pieces.
After allowing them to dry again we created paint by thinning our gel food color with a bit of vodka. Using thin paint brushes, we added the eyes, mouths and other details to our animal faces. Each of the animals were sitting in a different colored square on our decorations, so we tinted our butter-cream icing to match the colors of the squares. We placed the animal faces on the appropriate colored cupcakes and arranged them on the cupcake stand.
We created an arrangement in the front to mirror the decor. Each animal also had it's own cupcake flavor: Elephants were Peanut Butter cupcakes; Monkeys were banana flavored cupcakes; Giraffes were chocolate chip cupcakes (yellow with brown spots); Zebras were white and violet swirls and the Lions were Red Velvet (we were out of ideas and Lions like red meat!)
My daughters and I had a great time working on these together and my niece loved them. There were enough flavors for all of the guests to find something they liked and everyone raved about them.
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