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Alice in Wonderland Cupcakes (and a how-to!)

July’s baking endeavor was for a co-worker’s birthday bash.  He and his girlfriend were celebrating a joint birthday and decided on an Alice in Wonderland theme.  Originally I was planning on decorating a 3-tier cake, but realized that in a party setting, cupcakes would be much more practical.  The couple decided on a black and red theme and wanted red velvet as well as chocolate cupcakes to go along with the color scheme.  I set out not only to make 80 cupcakes, but I also had to create a stand that could display all of these cupcakes.  Here is the final product:

I’ve had several people ask me how I’ve made cake and cupcake creations so here I will try to take you though this project step by step with pictures along the way!

The display
was made by stacking bowls and plates on top of each other to create tiers.  I went to Party City and played around with different sizes and colors until I got the look I wanted.  I ended up using 4 transparent red plastic bowls and 5 black plastic plates.  Inside each of the bowls I taped several cards from an old deck I had on hand.  I then put a piece of white tissue paper and a battery-operated tea candle to give it a glowing effect (unfortunately you can’t see the candles in this photo).  I superglued the bottom of each bowl to a plate for some stability, but since I wanted to wait to turn the candles on until I got to the party, I couldn’t glue all of the pieces together.  I was a little worried that the whole thing would tip over, but it proved to be surprisingly sturdy.

The Cupcakes:

As you can see, I came up with several different cupcake designs including the Cheshire Cat, Queen of Hearts, the White Rabbit , the Caterpillar, cards, and the “Eat Me” cake.

Here is what you will need for decorating:

  • Melting chocolate (red, white, and pink)
  • Blue Airheads
  • Graham crackers
  • Starbursts
  • Silicon flower mold
  • Parchment paper
  • Ziplock bags (sandwich and 1-gallon sizes)

To make the cards I broke graham crackers into their smallest perforated pieces.  

I made even smaller cards as well, and for those you just cut the graham cracker quarters into smaller rectangles.  Lay these pieces on a cooling rack on top of some tin foil (you could use parchment paper instead). Then drizzle white melting chocolate on top (I normally choose to dip things in melted frosting, but the white frosting I tried originally was going on too thin and not solidifying on the graham cracker how I wanted).  After the dripping has stopped, place cooling rack in the refrigerator or freezer to harden up.









After 10 or 15 minutes, remove from fridge and melt the red chocolate melts in a small ziplock bag.  Cut a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe on the hearts and numbers for the cards.  Place in refrigerator to harden.  I made all of my decorations the day before I baked my cupcakes so once the cards were set, I placed them in a tupperware container, laying parchment paper between each layer of cards.





The Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, and White Rabbit decorations were all made with melting chocolate decorations.  I melted each color individually and piped each decoration onto parchment paper.  Once the chocolate hardened, I placed them in the freezer, just like with the graham cracker cards.  After about 15 minutes they were completely set and pretty easy to work with.  I made all of these decorations the day before baking as well, so I stored them the same way as the cards–in tupperware containers in the refrigerator.  Here you can see the white smiles for the Cheshire Cat as well as some rabbit ears and tails. 






For the Queen of Hearts decorations I made different sized pink and red hearts to mix and match on the cupcakes.  Additionally, for some of the Queen cupcakes I made yellow crowns out of melting chocolate.  I rolled small pieces of parchment paper (I clipped one end with a paperclip so it would stay rolled without me holding it) and piped the chocolate onto them so that they would harden in a curved shape.





The Caterpillars were made by melting blue Airheads on parchment paper in the microwave for less than about 10 seconds at a time.  Every 10 seconds or so I would knead the Airhead so it would melt evenly.  Once it became melted enough to work with, but not too hot to burn my fingers, I rolled out little balls for the body, a tiny oval for the nose, and one more odd little shape for the back/top of the head.

While the pieces were still warm I stuck each of the pieces together so it would harden up as one piece.  I did not make these guys the day before the cupcakes as with the other decorations because I wasn’t sure the candy pieces would stick together in the fridge.  As additional decorations for the caterpillar cupcake I also melted different colors of Starburst candy in the microwave, and smooshed little balls into a silicone flower mold.  This was super fast and easy to do because the warm Starbursts pop right back out of the silicone mold and hold their shape beautifully.




Onto the cupcakes!
As I said at the beginning, my co-worker wanted chocolate and red velvet cupcakes, so I did just that, baking them into shiny red and black cupcake liners.  I ended up also surprising my coworker with carrot cake cupcakes because they are his favorite.  I thought it would be cute to do a flower garden on the top tier so that’s where I tied it in.  Once all the cupcakes were baked and cooled I frosted them with either chocolate frosting or cream cheese frosting with pink/purple/green food coloring, depending on the design.

After the cupcakes were frosted I was able to just add the pre-made decorations right to them, making this part go pretty quickly.  The only decorations I had to make the same day as the cupcakes themselves were the caterpillars, I had to pipe “Eat Me” along with some decorative borders to the purple cupcakes, and then I also made some flowers for the last-minute carrot cake cupcakes out of melting chocolate (just piped those on parchment paper).

I put them all into a couple of cake boxes and was off to the event to put it all together!

One response to “Alice in Wonderland Cupcakes (and a how-to!)

  1. […] not going HAM on a whole plate of Fudgie the Whale. In the long run it might just make sense to bake cupcakes and call it a […]

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