This is such an easy, quick, yet super cute cupcake display for a “Very Hungry Caterpillar” themed party. I baked some vanilla cupcakes and swirled some frosting on top. I made a bright lime green buttercream and a bright yellow buttercream. I placed both colors into a piping bag fitted with a plain tip and piped simple swirls. This is my favorite and signature frosting application. For the face, I rolled out red fondant and cut it into an oval. I cut out yellow, green, and black fondant pieces to decorate the face. I allowed the face to dry for a few days so it would hold up once placed on the cupcake. The topper was much bigger than the cupcake it was placed upon, but it was a perfect, and simple. It was a lot easier than baking a small cake and covering it in fondant. I wish I had made these to go with my son’s Very Hungry Caterpillar cake, it would have been perfect!
For some reason I really like baking cookies. Alot. Most of the recipes I share are for cookies-they look good, are easy to bake and serve and they freeze well. For the holiday season my most popular recipe is for simple honey cookies. I also shared a recipe for honey sugar cookies and honey whoopie pies which are like an elevated snack cookie/cake hybrid. So naturally when I found an old recipe for apple honey cookies I knew it would be a perfect recipe for the Jewish New Year. After baking the first batch, the cookies were just too soft and tender to hold up as a cookie, and they were coming out all wonky instead of perfectly cute and even. I thought they would be better suited as a muffin. They needed a bit of excitement though, the batter itself was a little one note for me. So I added a simple crumb topping. Then the crumb topping really just needed a bit of icing, but that’s totally optional. My family really doesn’t like traditional honey cake so I’m always looking for recipes that work in apples and honey and this one is perfect! The muffins are sweet, spiced and tender with bits of fresh apples throughout. The crumbs give the muffins a bit of a crunch and the icing adds a touch of sweetness. There is quite a bit of honey in the recipe and these muffins go perfectly with a cup of tea or coffee, but they definitely don’t taste like that old school dry honey cake.
- ½ cup shortening
- ¾ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup honey
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup dairy-free sour cream
- 2 cups flour
- 1½ tsp. baking soda
- ¾ tsp. salt
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 1½ cups peeled and chopped apples (1-2 apples)
- ½ cup sugar
- ½ cup flour
- 1 tsp. cinnamon
- pinch of salt
- ¼ cup oil
- ⅓ cup powdered sugar
- ½-1 Tbs. water
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line muffin or cupcake pans with 18 liners and set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment beat the shortening, brown sugar, and honey until smooth.
- Mix in the eggs and sour cream and beat until smooth.
- Slowly add in the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, and vanilla.
- Peel and core the apples and then dice them into small pieces. Stir them into the batter.
- Divide the batter between the cupcake pans, filling each about ¾ of the way full.
- In a small bowl, mix the xugar, flour, salt, and cinnamon. Pour in the oil and mix until large crumbs form.
- Sprinkle about 1 Tbs. of topping on each muffin.
- Bake for about 15 minutes until the muffins are golden brown and spring back to the touch.
- Allow to cool before adding the icing.
- In a small bowl, pour in the powdered sugar. Slowly sir in a bit of water at a time until the icing is a nice thick consistency. Use a spoon to drizzle a bit of icing on each muffin. I prefer to fill a disposable pastry bag with the icing and drizzle it that way. You can also use a Ziploc bag and snip the tiniest hole in the corner.
Some tips: I like baking with granny smith apples since they don’t break down in the oven, they really hold their shape.
Store in an airtight container, but I wouldn’t keep them at room temperature for too long, since the apples can start to go bad. Refrigerate for short term, but the fridge can cause baked goods to dry out. The best storage solution is to freeze them until ready to serve. The muffins defrost really quickly.
I thought of this idea for a gumball machine cupcake a while ago. I have seen similar ideas around, but nothing exactly like this. Let me explain with lots of pictures how I made these cute edible favors.
I started by baking vanilla cupcakes in these cute individual paper liners. I love these cupcake cups by Paper Eskimo. These paper cups can be baked right on a baking sheet, no need for a special cupcake pan.
Once the cupcakes were cooled I covered the tops in royal icing and turned them directly onto these silver cardboard disks. They are like tiny little cake boards. I found them at my local craft store. I allowed the icing to dry for a few hours to make sure the cupcakes were good and stuck.
I used a craft knife to slice holes into the bottom of the cupcake cups. Then I poked a dowel through the slits to make the holes a little larger. The final step is to fill a Christmas ornament with gumballs and fit it upside down into the hole of the cupcake. I ordered my ornaments from Oriental Trading and didn’t realize they were very small. The opening in the ornament was super tiny, and I couldn’t find gumballs small enough so I used candy coated chocolate Sixlets.
They looked super cute all wrapped up! Wilton sells these treat bags with the silver board and a ribbon (I used silver twist ties instead) in a great little pack. Everyone loved these cute little party favors and I can’t wait to make them again. They can be made with any color cupcake cup and filled with any colors of candy to match every party color scheme!