Beat the winter blues with this sweet beehive cupcake tutorial!
I’m not going to lie, I’ve already had enough with this November wind chill crap. Besides the fact I hate my winter boots and I refuse to put them on (they don’t MATCH anything!) it also feels like the days are infinitely shorter and our schedules are crazy full and it’s just SO COLD! So today’s post is maybe a little indulgent nod towards a far, far away spring in the form of ADORABLE beehive cupcakes.
I can’t explain why I decided it was necessary to make bee-themed cupcakes, but let me tell you they were the sweetest thing and I’m so happy we can share this (surprisingly easy) tutorial with you.
First, what you need. Aside from the obvious (as in, cupcakes and frosting) you need some icing dye in yellow, black, and ivory. You’ll also need gum paste, which looks like edible play dough and can be found anywhere you buy your baking supplies. Before you freak out and say this sounds too hard for you, full disclosure: this was our FIRST TIME EVER playing with gum paste and we actually did a pretty decent, if not incredibly messy, job. So don’t be disheartened, you’ve got this.
First, you want to dye your gum paste. Fernanda would likely tell you that you should wear gloves, because her hands were pretty messed up afterwards. If you want to renegade it like we (she) did, we used a toothpick to apply the dye and then kneaded it until the whole sphere was the right colour. You just roll it around a lot and fold it like you were kneading bread. You want to have one large yellow ball (the body) one small yellow ball (the head) a small black ball, which you’ll roll out and slice into strips for the bee’s “stripes” and a small white ball you’ll make into wings.
Roll out the black ball (on a cutting board, save your counters!) so it is flat and then slice into strips. Roll one strip under your palm so it becomes rounded, and then mold it to your bee body.
Pro (Haha) Tip: If at any time the gum paste starts getting too soft and sticky, use shortening to grease it up, I don’t know the science behind this but trust me it works.
To assemble your bees, break a toothpick in half and stick one end in the head. For extra stability (although we didn’t need it) you can stick the other in the body so you have two “prongs” holding it together. Press the two halves together.
To make the wings, roll out your white ball until flat and shape it with your fingers into a loose “8” shape. Remember these are wings, so you want enough space in between to attach to the body, while having a nice rounded wing on either side.
To make your beehive, use either a big hole in your piping bag to get that perfect tubular look, or use an icing gun without a tip, like we did. It was a little awkward figuring this part out, but the trick seemed to be a) leverage, getting it high enough up to get a weird angle on it and b) keeping the pressure consistent so that it flowed evenly as you slowly wind it on top of each layer.
Stick a piece of wire (you can get decorative wire for cakes at Michaels) in one end of your bee and let the gum paste settle and harden a bit, generally enough time to ice all your cupcakes. We made our wires a bit twisty because I liked the shape, but you don’t have to do that! We also made the bottom part of the wire long enough to stick down into the cupcake itself, because the bees were very top heavy and the wire would have just slipped right through the icing.
But that’s it! Way easier than you thought, right? Now that we have some gum paste experience under our belts I feel like we’ve opened a whole new door to super cute toppers I can dream up. Fernanda and her perma-dyed hands don’t know what’s coming.