Woodland-Themed Cupcakes

A first birthday is such a special milestone. For this little lady, woodland-themed cupcakes were in order. I admit that when her Mom asked for this theme, I didn’t have a solid image in my head. I turned to Google and promptly found some great inspiration!

Carters Treetops collection was my inspiration. I spent a long time looking at adorable nursery collections! I chose a bunny, owl, fox and bear for this cake. Time to get started! After some discussion about cake vs. cupcakes, Payton’s mom and I decided that cupcakes would be a perfect choice. We chose to use a homemade cupcake stand decorated with some grass for our little forest friend delectables.

To make the stand, I used 3 square cake dummies (6″, 12″, 18″). I also used cardboard circular shapes to serve as separators between the tiers. I covered each cake dummy and then created the tower.

Creating the Tower

Making the Cupcakes

When you are ready to make your cupcakes, follow the steps below. I recommend making the toppers before making the cupcakes, as the toppers will take a bit of time. Plan on 4 hours for 36 toppers, depending on how quickly you work (see pictures below). After you finish the toppers, it is time to bake and make your favorite icings. These cupcakes were gluten-free (for Mom) and vanilla (for Payton). Because I used chocolate fondant for the toppers, I made a crown cupcake topper for Payton without any chocolate fondant in it. Have fun making the toppers! (Written instructions are below the pictures)

  1. Select your base color, roll out fondant and use a round cutter to cut the number of bases you need for your cupcake toppers. Lay them on parchment paper for easy release later.
  2. Select your first animal and draw a rough design based on your inspiration. Then, use fondant tools, cutters or both to form the basic shapes for your animal. I used a flower petal cutter for the bunny ears and a circle cutter for its head.
  3. Select the fondant you plan to use, mix any colors you need and begin rolling, cutting and shaping. You’ll see that I used one petal for the straight ear. For the floppy ear I used 1 1/2 petals and bent and cut the ear to fit. Once formed, lay the bunny on the fondant base. Repeat until you have all your bunnies cut.
  4. Move to your next animal. Make a rough outline and identify the cutters you’ll use. Flower cutters of all types come in very handy with woodland animals. I used a petal cutter, a round shape and a smaller flower cutter.
  5. Color any fondant needed and roll out and cut. For the owls, I used the round cutter to cut the body. Once cut, I pulled the fondant quickly and formed a teardrop shape. Lay on your cupcake topper base and repeat until you have all your owl bodies formed.
  6. Begin embellishing your owls. You may want to turn to your inspiration again to see just how much you will want to include. I rolled out rope lengths for branches, used the small flower cutter to make feet and a part of a petal cutter to make wings. Embellish as much as you wish: this is where your toppers will take on your own flair.
  7. Repeat the process of selecting cutters and drawing a template for your next animal. My next animal was the fox. I used a big petal cutter, the same small petal cutter from the bunny and a round cutter. Use your knife to cut everything to create your fox shape.
  8. Lay your fox parts on the cupcake topper base.
  9. Add any embellishments with edible marker and non toxic decorating chalks.
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