After my success at the Cupcake Smackdown last weekend, I have since received lots of shout outs and comments about my cute little birds that adorned the tops of my coconut lime cupcakes. Those little fellas were really easy to make, so here is a tutorial on how to make them!
To get started, you'll need a few things:
* Fondant (I used SatinIce in white/vanilla)
* fondant coloring (I used Americolor)
* paintbrush for food purposes only
* a clean workspace
* cutters of various sizes and shapes or pastry cutter/exacto knife
* toothpicks or beading pins
1. First things first, pick your color scheme and dye your fondant accordingly (I am assuming you know how to do this, if you don't, let me know!). Depending on how many birds and the size you're making will determine how much fondant you need. I made a baker's dozen of birds that measured about 2” long and used *maybe* a quarter pound of fondant.
2. Roll out your fondant to about 1/8"-1/4" thick. Make sure they’re thick enough to stick your toothpick or beading pin into!
3. Using your cutters or knife, cut out a body and two wings. I used the Wilton leaf shaped fondant cutters and then rounded them out with a pastry cutter. I used the medium leaf cutter for the body and the small leaf cutter for the wings. Make sure to cut 2 wings per body, and cut extras just in case. Set these aside for the moment.
4. Take your beading pins or toothpicks and carefully stick them in the body of the bird about halfway in. If you get too close to the surface, don’t worry; you can cover it with the wings!
5. For the beaks I chose to use a small heart cutter and then lop off the pointy part of the heart because of the width and angle it made the beaks. You can use your pastry cutter or knife instead to cut out your beaks. Again, cut a few extras just in case.
6. Water on fondant causes the sugar in it to dissolve and become like glue. Using your paintbrush, paint a little bit of water on the wing pieces and “glue” them onto the bodies. It’s best to do the same side on all of the bodies first and then flip them over and repeat the process. Remember, a little bit of water goes a long way!
7. Once the wings are attached, give them about 10 minutes or so to dry and adhere. Then you can glue on the beaks; you might need to shape them a bit around the front of the bird’s face.
8. To do the eyes, mix a small drop of Americolor fondant color with the vodka. DO NOT MIX WITH WATER. This will cause the fondant to become a gummy mess. Use a leftover toothpick or beading pin to mark the spot for your bird’s eyes, going through the head completely. Then use the point of your paintbrush and lightly fill in the tiny hole you’ve made, expanding it to as large as you want.
9. Allow the birds to dry completely for several hours. You may need to gently lift them off of your work surface once you’ve finished working on them to make sure the eyes aren’t bleeding through improperly or that your bird isn’t stuck on the other side. If there is excess cornstarch, simply use a pastry brush to brush it off.
And voila! Now you have some really stinkin’ cute birdie picks for your cakes!