...then we decided on a Guinness potluck to celebrate Cyd's birthday, inspired by a Guinness porter cake recipe posted on St Patrick's Day. I decided I could make the cake recipe as cupcakes and make them into corsets, since Cyd loves corsets almost as much as she loves Guinness. :) I had leftover marshmallow fondant from the guitar cake last fall, both black & white, so I decided in case people didn't want Guinness cake, I could make white cupcakes too, color-coding the flavor with the fondant color...and so it began...
Corset Cupcakes - Step by Step
I baked both flavors of cupcakes Thursday night trying various shapes of cupcakes pans to see which would give the best hourglass shape. My full-size cupcake pan had a nice angle but not tall enough in proportion, and my new Demarle silicone mini-cupcake pan was proportioned well for height but not as angled. After decorating I liked the smaller ones better, also for portion size, so if I do this again, I will only use mini-cupcakes.
different sizes of white cupcakes cooling on the rack
Friday night the cupcakes were plenty cool but still nice and moist, and I had let the refrigerated fondant set out to room temperature, so I started kneading & rolling. I used my teal silicone rolling pin on my new Demarle Roul'Pat with a little powdered sugar to help keep from sticking.
Rolling the marshmallow fondant
Since the frosting needed to be wet enough for the fondant to stick, I only frosted a couple at a time before rolling fondant to fit, rinse, lather, repeat, etc. If I could have done more assembly-line format it might have gone more quickly, but this buttercream frosting crusts over fairly quickly so I didn't want to risk it. Since I had to hold the cupcakes with thumb & forefinger on top & bottom to wrap with fondant, I gave up frosting the top & bottom since the cupcakes were moist enough on the tops that the fondant stuck anyway.
Frosting the cupcakes together, ready for fondant application
Covering such odd shapes probably was not the wisest project to tackle when I had only used fondant once before(!), and it took awhile for me to get the feel for how thick the fondant needed to be to cover easiest. By the time I had all the white ones covered, I had the hang of it, so the black ones are much smoother. I couldn't get the gathering to smooth out at the top & bottom, so I decided that would need decoration to cover later. Not only did this take MUCH longer than I expected, but my shoulders were sore for 2 days after from so much kneading & rolling the stiff fondant!
All cupcakes covered in fondant - must sleep now! :P
After a few hours of much needed sleep while the fondant dried, I painted them all with luster dust and vodka, which I learned from Ace of Cakes. I had always been using water before, but vodka evaporates more quickly. I had splurged on more colors of luster dust (purple for Cyd & turquoise for me!), I tried my best approximation of gold Chinese characters to make an edible model of Nathania's black corset, and even tried a few purple swirls on black, which was a bit difficult to see...plenty of variety!
All corset cupcakes painted with luster dust
At the same local specialty cake decorating store where I got the luster dust, I also found some fun assorted candy sprinkles to use. All my previous sprinkle assortments had been cleaned out by the last Hogwarts Celebration pretzel wands! This was when I learned that metallic dragees are no longer sold in California due to pending legislation (waah!), so I bought pearl dragees instead. I had really been hoping for gold & silver front busk buttons, but the pearls worked out fine instead. Since I was already so far behind timewise & had plenty of buttercream icing leftover, I didn't make a batch of royal icing that would have glued the decorations on better. I did tint some buttercream black to use on the black fondant so the white wouldn't show behind the trim. I also used the plain white buttercream with a large star piping tip for a nice swirl on top, just like bakery cupcakes, which covered the fondant seams nicely too.
Out of necessity I looked around for raised platforms so I could place the bottom row of decoration on each corset, and found my stemware upside worked great...and it looked quite nice for display, so I arranged them like that on the food table when they were finally all done...AFTER guests had started arriving already! *sigh* I was determined to finish these according to my vision, and this was a small party of all close friends, so they didn't mind...thank goodness!
Voila! At last, finished Corset Cupcakes!
No two were decorated the same, so to see all the designs, you can go through the full album if you like...
These took SO MUCH LONGER than I ever expected! I had baked the cupcakes the night before since I didn't want that cutting into my decorating time, but still kneading, rolling & forming the fondant for just 22 corset cupcakes took me FOUR HOURS! By then I was wiped at 3am, so I had to sleep before continuing decorating, which continued another EIGHT HOURS right up to the party start time...whew! Now I know either to do less intricate decorating, or to plan much more time if doing this ever again...but I am quite proud of how cute they turned out! :)