With summer just around the corner, we thought it would be fun to share a fruity take on cupcakes with these strawberry, orange, and pineapple cupcakes made by Jennifer of Trophy Cupcakes inspired by my Oh Joy for Target summer collection! The cupcakes themselves could be any flavor, and I love how she transformed simple chocolate cupcakes into fun fruit ones with frosting, food coloring, inexpensive pastry bags and tips, and a little imagination. Here’s how you make them too…
1. Tint part of your buttercream to the desired shade of red or pink.
2. Hand frost your cupcake with a flat top and make one side a little pointy so that from the top the shape is like a strawberry.
3. Place your sprinkles in a bowl, scoop up a generous amount in your hand and carefully dip only the edges in the sprinkles with your other hand. Use pressure to create more of strawberry shape if needed.
4. Now, make a small amount of black and green buttercream. Place the black in a small pastry bag with a small round tip and the green in a small pastry bag with a small star tip.
5. Pipe dots on the cupcake to make “seeds” and a few green segments to make the stem (see photo for reference).
To make pineapple cupcakes, you’ll need:
– yellow, brown, and green gel food coloring
– yellow nonpareils or sprinkles
– an offset spatula
– fat pretzel rods
– 2 pastry bags and Ateco tip #842 & #2 or #3
1. Place about ¾ of your buttercream into a bowl and tint it the shade of yellow that you like.
2. Take the rest of the buttercream and divide it into 2 bowls. Tint one bowl brown and one green. Place the brown buttercream into a pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (like an Ateco #2 or 3). Place the green buttercream in a pastry bag fitted with a medium star tip( like Ateco #842).
3. Place a scoop of the yellow buttercream on each cupcake. Now frost the cupcake so the top is flat and the sides are a 90 degree angle. Use your off set spatula to make the shape a little oblong (like a pineapple).
4. Now take your pastry bag with brown buttercream and make a cross hatch pattern (see photo) and place a dot in each opening.
5. Now place your yellow nonpareils (or sprinkles) in a bowl. Cup one hand and scoop up a generous amount of sprinkles. Pick up a cupcake with your other hand and carefully dip only edges of the cupcake in the sprinkles.
6. Now break fat pretzel rods into 2-3 inch pieces. Carefully poke the end into the side of your cupcake (the side that you want to be the top of your pineapple) until its secure (a good inch or two should be sticking out).
7. Use your pastry bag with your green buttercream to pipe several “leaves” to create the stem over the pretzel (see photo). Enjoy!
To make an orange slice cupcake, you’ll need:
– orange food coloring and sprinkles
– a small pastry bag fitted with a small round tip (Ateco #2 or #3).
1. Start by tinting part of your buttercream orange. Now hand frost your cupcake in orange buttercream so it has a flat top and the sides straight up and down.
2. Fill a small pastry bag fitted with your small round tip with white buttercream.
3. Pipe a circle on the top around the edge, then pipe straight lines to create the “segments” (see photo).
4. Now pipe tiny seeds (either in white or a lighter orange) in the inside corners.
5. Place your sprinkles in a bowl, scoop up a generous amount in your hand and carefully dip only the edges in the sprinkles with your other hand.
Finally, if you want to make your own cupcakes and frosting from scratch, here’s a recipe for the chocolate cupcakes and vanilla buttercream we used here (but you can make any flavor you like as the base).
Trophy’s Chocolate Cupcake Recipe
(makes 2 dozen cupcakes)
– 3 cups all-purpose flour
– 1 1⁄4 cups cocoa powder
– 2 1⁄2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1 1⁄2 teaspoons baking soda
– 3⁄4 teaspoon salt
– 3 eggs
– 1 1⁄2 cups milk
– 3⁄4 cup canola oil
– 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
– 2 3⁄4 cups sugar
– 1 cup boiling water
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line two 12-cup muffin pans with cupcake liners and set aside.
2. In a large bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Set aside.
3. Combine the eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Add the sugar and dry ingredients. Blend at low speed, then increase the speed to medium and mix until the batter is completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Remove the bowl from the stand and add the boiling water and stir with a wooden spoon, carefully so that it doesn’t splash, until the batter is smooth again. It will be thin. Let the batter rest for 15 minutes and stir gently before using.
4. Fill the cupcake liners three-quarters full and bake until the tops of the cupcakes are firm and a cake tester inserted in the center of a middle cupcake comes out with just a few crumbs, about 17-20 minutes. Be sure not to over-bake. The cake tester should not come out clean. Let the cupcakes cool for 5 minutes in the pans before removing to a rack to cool completely.
Trophy’s Vanilla Buttercream Recipe
(makes enough to generously frost 2 dozen cupcakes)
– 3 cups (6 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
– 6 cups confectioners’ sugar, sifted
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– 1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1. In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter. Start with the mixer at the lowest speed, then gradually increase the speed, using a rubber spatula to scrape the bowl as needed, until the butter is light in color, perfectly smooth, and makes a slapping sound as it hits the sides of the bowl. If the butter is soft, this should only take 30 seconds, but if the butter is cool, it can take a couple of minutes.
2. Add the sugar, 1 cup at a time, and mix at the lowest speed until it’s fully incorporated before adding the next cup. When all the sugar has been added, scrape the paddle and the bottom and sides of the bowl. Add the vanilla and salt, and beat them at low speed for 15 seconds. Increase the speed to as high as you can without making a mess and whip the buttercream until the mixture is perfectly smooth, creamy, and light, about 2-5 minutes. Stop the mixer once or twice to scrape the bowl and paddle, then continue beating. At first the buttercream will appear to soften, then it will stiffen and increase in volume. Be sure to beat it long enough for it to double in volume and get super light and dreamy.
3. Use right away, or store in an airtight container for up to a week in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to use it, let the buttercream come to room temperature, then put it back in the stand mixer and use the paddle attachment to beat it until it’s creamy and stiff again.
A big thanks to Jennifer of Trophy Cupcakes for her amazing work and showing us how to make these! For more fun ideas like this, check out the Trophy Cupcake book! You can find the fruit tray and plates we used right here…
(Photos by Casey Brodley for Oh Joy)