Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Tianna Cupcakes: a Tutorial and Free Printable

My niece turned 7 this last month and requested a Tiana, or Princess and the Frog birthday.  I wanted to do something different than this cake that I've done:

So I started perusing, and came across this bad boy on Cake Central by KO_sbaker!

YES!!  Then, sadly, I had to check myself before I wrecked myself, and remind myself that she's SEVEN and save this one for her 16th birthday.  So, I went with these instead:

They were super easy.  You can make them too!  See the cute invite in the back?  My sister bought it from and I used it so everything would match.  It's illegal for me to let you do that too, since you didn't buy it.  Don't be sad!  I made this one for you!  Just click to download my free printable!

I'd love to make you an invitation too!  Just e-mail me at

Okay, so, after you print those out on white cardstock, cut them out while you watch The Princess and the Frog.  After that's done, bake some cupcakes in pretty liners.  I got my flower liners at Micheal's.  After I baked them I got the idea to plop a Hershey's kiss in the middle of each cupcake before baking.  You know, because she had to kiss the frog?  Anyway...

Let's talk icing.  A good ratio is 2 cups shortening or butter for every pound of powdered sugar you use.  If you use shortening, your frosting will have a truer color and it will be fluffier.  However, it will be a little greasier than butter.  A pinch of salt can help cut the greasy factor.  Butter is great too and tastes like a true buttercream, but it will color your frosting yellow.  And lets face it, sometimes you don't have 4 sticks on hand!  I typically use half shortening and half butter in my frosting, unless I'm worried about color. Let's get to the good stuff.

Basic Vanilla Buttercream:
yield about 4 cups, enough for 24 cupcakes
2 cups (4 sticks) butter or shortening, or both
1 tsp vanilla (Use clear vanilla to avoid coloring your frosting yellow.)
pinch of salt
1 lb (about 3 and 3/4 c) confectioner's (powdered) sugar, sifted

  1. Cream butter/shortening, vanilla and salt in a mixer till fluffy and smooth
  2. Place a towel around your bowl to avoid a sugary cloud
  3. At your mixer's lowest speed, add powdered sugar 1/4 c at a time, turning up the speed as needed.  
Voila!  East peasy, right?  Now, about adding color.  If you can, use gel colors instead of liquid.  Gel colors have less of a thinning effect on your icing.  They are available in the baking section of grocery stores and hobby stores.  Betty Crocker is even making them now so they are easily available!  Add your color a little bit at a time using a toothpick.  Remember, you can always add but you can't take it back!  Dye all of your icing yellow for now.

Now, lets fill our bags.  If you are looking for icing tips, I used a large standard leaf tip, #366 for the yellow petals, and a small standard leaf tip, #352 for the leaves on her skirt.  If you don't own icing tips, you can cut the corner of a ziplock bag into a V, just like this tip:
Cut small, you can add later if you need to.  Also, if you're using this method, reinforce the sides of your bag with tape.  

Decorating Tiana Cupcake:
  1. Fill your bag with yellow icing; we're using the large tip first.  I find it makes it easier to put my bag into a tall glass and fold the edges over; like this:
  2. Now grab a cupcake.  Hold your tip in the middle of the cupcake with the tip turned like a beak, so the points are vertical from your point of view.  
  3. Squeeze the bag and build up the base of the leaf.  Pull out from the center, decreasing pressure as you go.  Drag out to the edge of the cupcake and release all pressure, forming a point.  Don't worry.  If it's ugly, just scrape it off and put it back in your bowl.  Form six petals that meet in the middle on each cupcake.
  4. Stick Tiana in the middle
  5. Squeeze remaining icing into your mixing bowl and add blue to create green.  
  6. Switch to the smaller tip, or cut a smaller V in a ziplock bag and fill.
  7. Use the same method to make smaller, shorter leaves on top of the yellow petals and around the base of Tiana.
  8. I used fondant and this tiny cutter tool to create the lily at the base of her skirt.  You could easily use cookie cutters if you had them, or cut them by hand.  A flower-shaped sprinkle would be cute too!
  9. Finally, I sprinkled gold-colored sugar over it to make it sparkle!
I hope you can use this tutorial to make your own Tiana cupcakes!  Don't forget to comment and leave me a picture!

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