In a previous life, I used to have a little cake business so cake decorating is one of my favourite things to do. In recent years, I haven’t had a lot of time to indulge in it so lockdown has allowed me to rediscover what I loved about it and we’ve enjoyed having our weekly baking sessions as part of our home learning. In week one, we were reading the book Giraffes Can’t Dance so, of course, we had to make giraffe cupcakes!
Where possible, I’ve tried to make the instructions as lockdown friendly as possible. That means no fancy tools and most of your ingredients can be bought in the supermarket. If not, then I’ve included an alternative.
What you need
To start, you need something to cut your circles. I use a 2 inch circular cutter but something like a highball tumbler glass will also work.
Then you will need sugarpaste. Personally, I would buy white, yellow and brown. However, if you have brown food colouring gel (not liquid!) then you could get away with buying white and yellow then making brown yourself, as I have done below.
First, roll out your yellow sugarpaste to around o.5cm thick. If you don’t have a rolling pin then a glass tumbler or bottle should work. Cut out the desired amount of circles which will be the base of your giraffe cupcake topper.
Then, thinly roll out your brown sugarpaste and cut horizontally and vertically to create roughly cut pieces.
Lightly wet the pieces with water and stick these to your base. I prefer to stick them around the edges of the base but you could stick all over if you prefer.
Next, create your ossicones (did you know this was the name for a giraffe’s horns?!) by rolling two small pieces of brown sugarpaste into sausage shapes. Follow by rolling two smaller pieces into balls.
For the nose, mix a very small amount of yellow sugarpaste with white sugarpaste. If you have the Sugarflair gels then a small amount of egg yellow works too. Roll the mixed colour into an oval shape and then gently flatten it with your fingers or a flat (clean!) object. [If you own a 1” circular plunger then you can produce a much neater nose by using this then manipulating it into the shape with your fingers].
Now you need to create the ears. To do this roll two small balls of yellow sugarpaste and then using your thumb and forefinger, pinch one end to create a tear shape. Use the tip of your pinky finger to create a delve for the inner part of the ear. Stick both the ears and ossicones onto the base using water.
Finally, make two small eyes by rolling two small pieces of brown into a ball. (I have used black on mine but I had it in the house and it really is a waste of money to buy a full pack of black sugarpaste for two tiny eyes :)). I like to make two small delves for the eyes to sit in but this is up to you. Stick the eyes on with water. Ta da! An army of giraffes!
Yellow icing is very sticky and soft so I would highly recommend leaving them to dry out for an hour or two before placing them on your cupcakes.
For any questions about any of the steps for making giraffe cupcakes (or any other cake decorating advice) then please leave a comment below!
Don’t forget to check out my other recipes and food posts. You can also find some other cake decorating posts here.