Welcome to the jungle! These flamingo, alligator, and hippo cupcakes were a little bit of a handful but I really enjoyed making them. This recipe is another one from "What's New Cupcake", and required regular sized and mini cupcakes.
First I used neon blue food coloring to tint the vanilla icing. I iced the cupcakes only after I had the other animals made in order to ensure that the icing was wet. After icing, I rolled each cupcake in blue decorating sugar. This gives the cupcakes a little more pizazz, but if I were to do it again I would probably skip the sugar. While it looked better, it made the cupcakes a little too sweet for me.
(Ignore my wrinkly hands in the photo above, haha) I started out with the grass. I used airheads, only because I had them on hand from a different project - the recipe called for spearmint leaves. But I hate spearmint leaves so I opted for the airheads. I cut up two green airheads in different sized triangles and stuck them into the mini cupcakes. After about fifteen minutes, however, the airheads flopped over. But it wasnt hard to prop them back up.
Then I started on the hippos. I used a Nutter Butter for the hippo face. I iced on the orange Froot Loop ears and nostrils, and then I iced on the mini chocolate chip eyeballs. Let the white icing show behind the chocolate chips. I secured the hippo faces onto the regular sized cupcakes.
Next came the alligator. I used a serrated knife to cut the edges of a Nutter Butter to create a pointed shape for the head. I then used a knife to spread icing on top of the cut Nutter Butter and dipped the iced cookie into green decorating sugar. I cut the very bottom of two green Froot Loops and used them as the eyes of the alligator. I then used black tinted icing to pipe on the nostrils and pupils inside of the Froot Loops. Finally, I placed the heads on regular sized cupcakes, and used plain vanilla frosting to pipe on the alligators' teeth.
Finally I worked on the flamingos. I dipped pretzel sticks into pink melting wafers, placed the sticks onto wax paper, and stuck a large pink jellybean on the top of each stick. I put the pretzels and jellybeans in the fridge for 5 minutes. I then used a stencil to trace the wings of the flamingos onto wax paper with the pink melting wafers. I put those into the fridge for 5 minutes too. I iced the mini cupcakes with plain vanilla frosting and dipped them into pink decorating sugar. When I took the pretzel sticks out of the fridge, I inserted them into the mini cupcakes. Then, I cut banana Runts in half and used vanilla icing to secure them onto the pink jellybeans. I used black tinted frosting to pipe on the flamingos' eyes and smile. Finally, I inserted the wings and they were done!
The end result LOOKED great, but all the colored sugar made the cupcakes a little too sweet for my taste. The only time I would make these again would be for a kids party, I'm sure they would love all of the sugar!