Here are 3 simple ideas for 100% edible (and 100% adorable) cupcake toppers that you can make this Christmas. And when I say simple, I mean simple! Even a pre-schooler could do it! (No seriously, I made 45 of these with a bunch of preschoolers.) The pictures show the finished product and all the main things and shapes you will need to assemble them. Which one is your favourite?
Scroll to the bottom of the post to see some tips and hints.
Tips and Hints and Other Related Things I Just Really Want to Say:
- I mix tylose in with my fondant. It acts as a firming agent and helps the fondant to hold its shape, especially when it is humid and/or hot. It is in powder form and you knead it into your icing. You can vary the amount according to how firm you want your fondant to set, but you only need a little bit so a bag will last you a very long time. You can also use it to make edible glue, by dissolving a teaspoon of it in warm water. I love tylose and almost always use it with fondant in place of gum paste as it tastes so much better! If you don’t have access to tylose you can easily make these from fondant alone, they just may not hold their shape for as long.
- I forgot to include my star cutter on the tree but any kind of cross or star shape will do – even a circle! As long as it is yellow (and preferable sparkly!) it will do the job.
- The bigger circle cutter for the snowman and santa is used to cut the more shallowed round from the bottom of the snowman’s hat and the top of santa’s beard.
- I cut the band across santa’s hat and the snowman’s beanie freehand with a sharp knife, but you can use a ribbon cutter if you have one and prefer to.
- Most tiny things like the snowman’s carrot nose, the eyes, the moustaches and Santa’s hat pom-pom are just handmade. Trial and error works a treat. The general rule is when you think you have enough icing to mould whatever it is, cut your amount in half! And then you have enough icing!
- Leave the toppers to set overnight at room temperature, or even longer. A few days is best, particularly if you don’t add tylose. Fondant does not ever need to be stored in the fridge! If you do this, it will sweat when you remove it and colours will begin to run. Just take my word for it.
These are surprisingly time-consuming to make but also surprisingly brainless and simple. The greatest thing is that you can make them a few days or weeks in advance. You can even make your cupcakes in advance and freeze them (even the pro’s freeze their cakes, have you seen Cake Boss? They taste totally fresh when you defrost them!), and you can also freeze buttercream for a few weeks! This means you can make your buttercream, cupcakes and toppers in advance and then whack them together in no time at all when Christmas day rolls around.
- Taste – lots of people prefer buttercream over fondant, particularly when fondant is thick. When you start adding layers and shapes and accessories to the top of a cupcake the fondant piles up and many people pick it off and throw it away. Using toppers means you can still pipe a beautiful buttercream swirl on for people to enjoy, and you get the fancy top which people can either choose to eat, throw away, or even save (I have had people keep these for months afterwards!)
- Convenience – you can make these well in advance (the closer to the time you make them, the more vivid the colours will be, though)
- Look – The cupcakes can still have a gorgeous swirly top, and personalised and fancy decorations. Flat fondant-covered cupcakes simply aren’t as adorable!
Happy holidays xoxo