Animal Cupcakes

I really wanted to make cupcakes for my daughter’s zoo birthday party, but I’ve been doing a lot of work trying to get and stay healthy, so I wanted the cupcakes to be at least a little better for you without being those icky, “healthy” baked goods.

I went searching and found exactly what I wanted…

Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Cake Mix

Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Cake Mix

Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Icing

Pillsbury Reduced Sugar Icing

Pillsbury makes reduced sugar mixes and icings!  I got yellow and chocolate cake, plus chocolate and vanilla icing.  Using tips from watching this video, I put together my own marginally successful cupcakes.

To start, I made the cake mix as directed but substituted unsweetened applesauce (in equal amounts) for the oil.  Once the cupcakes were all baked and cooled, I lined them up and got ready to make four different kinds of animal cupcakes.

Cupcake PrepI had a box of reduced fat Nilla wafers, a can each of vanilla and chocolate reduced fat frosting, and a box of Junior Mints candy.  I started with the zebras, since they were the most complicated.

Zebra CupcakesI started by cutting small horizontal slits into the top/side of each cupcake and putting in a Nilla wafer.  Then I iced each one with vanilla icing.  I took out some of the vanilla and mixed it with black gel food coloring to make the black icing and put that into a baggie with a hole cut into the corner.  Fancy, right?

Zebra CupcakesI used the black icing to ice the wafer, making a nose, and then to add eyes and stripes.  I used the mint candies for ears.  I made nine zebras and then moved on to the monkeys.

Monkey CupcakesThese were iced with chocolate icing, and then a little chocolate and vanilla mixed together for the lighter brown.  I thought they looked ridiculous and sort of like pigs, even with their mint candy ears, so the husband came through with a great modification.

Monkey and Tiger cupcakesVanilla wafer mouths!  He cut the cookies in half and we squished them onto those silly icing pig snouts, and suddenly we had the world’s most adorable  monkey cupcakes!  The ears are Junior Mints and the eyes are just icing.  In the back you can also see the tiger cupcakes.

The Tigers are vanilla icing, mixed with orange gel food coloring, with black icing striped and faces and Nilla wafer triangles for ears.  Once the nine monkeys and nine tigers were done, the lions were all we had left to do!

Tiger and Lion CupcakesFor the lions, I set aside what was left of the tiger icing for the manes.  I mized up some more orange icing and then added a little bit of chocolate icing to it to make a darker, browner color for the faces.  Black icing for the eyes and mouths, and then tiger icing for the manes.

All in all, these cupcakes took several hours to do, but they were fun and everyone loved them.  If I had to do them again though, I’d leave out the black icing.  It was a MESS and stained everyone’s tongues/teeth/fingers.  The monkeys were my favorite, so if we do a zoo party again next year we’ll have an all-monkey cupcake line up!

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7 Responses to “Animal Cupcakes”
  1. n. says:

    these are adorable! adding to gourmet cake decorator to your resume!

  2. H says:

    So cute!

    I love that products are trying to address too much sugar but prefer “lower sugar” to “reduced sugar” as in the latter they add artificial sweeteners. And even though I’m happy to eat Splenda by the barrel, I’m still a bit hesitant about feeding it to my LO. . . I suppose that’s just superstition, since I know of know reason to suspect it more than any other chemical in our lives.

    • Skinny Sushi says:

      I worry about that sometimes too, but I just don’t know where the balance is. Is less sugar but more Splenda alright? Who knows. I think we’re all just doing the best we can!

  3. Brittany Horst says:

    OMG!! those are soooo cute

  4. Brittany Horst says:

    OMG!!! Those are soo cute! And the nilla wafer mouths on the monkeys are perfect! I love them! Wish I could have been there! ❤

Check out what others are saying...
  1. […] super casual lunch.  Everyone sang Happy Birthday to Evi (she cried!) and then we all enjoyed some animal cupcakes before heading out to see the animals.  Evi took a nice long nap, and then woke up to enjoy the […]

  2. […] Animal Cupcakes « Over the Fence, on May 10, 2010 at 3:27 pm Said: […]

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