As a cake decorator of about seventeen years (oh man), I can honestly say that I see cake everywhere I look. I see cake in architecture, I see it in fashion and design trends, I see it in museums—everywhere. About a year ago, I came across a picture online that stopped me dead in my tracks.
A woman with the sweetest little flowers, sprouts and leaves "growing" from the top of her head! The article was about a fashion fad that struck China some years ago in which people were clipping little plastic bits of foliage into their hair. There was some speculation that, especially in big cities like Beijing, this was a sort of silent protest against the relentlessness of the urban landscape.
This struck me as such a cool, interesting form of expression, and I tucked it away in my notes about projects and neat stuff I find inspiring (everybody should keep some notes like that; how many times have they saved my life when I've had caker's block?). And then, I made these cupcakes.
I started with chocolate cupcakes baked in my favorite recycled paper cupcake liners, and then I swirled together a darker and a lighter green buttercream with my favorite decorating tip for cupcakes: Wilton's 2D. I finished the swirls off with my favorite sprinkles, tiny, subtle white nonpareils.
By the time I was assembling these cupcakes, I had already created my little sprout and flower toppers. I started by using an assortment of small gum paste and cookie cutters I scrounged from my cutter bin, and cut out green and white pieces, and thinned and cupped them with a ball tool.
Then I brushed on a mixture of different colored petal dusts and lemon extract to give the pieces a little more texture, and then I stuck these pieces to floral wire with some soft, moistened little blobs of gum paste.
And then I inserted my greenies into my cupcakes, and created a sweet little clover field.
I love these cheerful cupcakes. At this point it's looking like we need to will spring into existence, so this is my effort to do that. It would be really nice if there were no more snowstorms this year, just putting it out there!
Allow yourself to be inspired by things that are entirely non-cake-related, and you'll create cakes and treats that will surprise you!