As a parent, I am a firm believer in putting a little effort into birthdays. Effort doesn’t always mean expensive either!! It simply means doing something that YOU will always remember, even though your child maybe won’t. Hannah probably won’t remember this birthday party, but I will!! This year my wife wanted a themed party. Being my typical self, I rolled my eyes and said, Elmo or Dora? Thankfully we did Elmo (I’m not sure I could handle a Dora party just yet!!). Hannah LOVES Elmo, he’s animated, fun and colorful, everything a 2 year old loves! We have rented numerous videos from our local library and every time we visit, she knows exactly where the Elmo videos are! To precious. These cupcakes are super simple to make, the hardest part is the icing!
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What you need:
- Store Bought Cake Mix (we did this because it was cheaper, we got the mixes with coupons)
- Oreo cookies for the mouth
- Marshmallows for the eyes
- Tube of Orange icing
- Tube of Black icing
- The red icing we made ourselves using real butter, powder sugar, vanilla and half and half cream
The directions to make the red icing:
The issue with Elmo is the red icing. Elmo has a very red color, and just using red food coloring doesn’t work. Elmo looked pink when we tried, so we went a different route. We made our own butter cream icing (it was amazing I might add). We have a stand mixer so we added 2 sticks of butter and three cups of powder sugar together. (You can use a simple hand mixer, it will work fine) We mixed them until they were smooth and then added a teaspoon of vanilla and a tablespoon of half and half cream. The last step to this process is the red food coloring. We purchased the dye at Michaels (using a coupon), and it was RED food coloring (no flavor) from the Wilton brand. It costs around $2-$4 depending on the size. The trick is to add the food coloring to the icing until you reach the red color of Elmo. Add slowly until you get the right color.
Once you have the icing, follow the instructions on the box and bake your cupcakes.
The last piece of equipment you will need is a pipping tip for the icing to give Elmo the furry look.We use zip-lock bags and cut the ends out and place the pipping tip in them (it’s a much cheaper option than buying pipping bags). Slowly pipe the red icing on to the cupcake.
Once the cupcake is covered, add the marshmallows for eyes.
Then use the orange icing and create a nose. The orange icing is store bought, simply because you don’t use alot
To create Elmo’s mouth, cut an Oreo in half. You can either place the Oreo on the cupcake, or take off the back of the Oreo. If you remove the back, the cookie doesn’t stick up as much and gives a more authentic look.
We then add the pupil to the eyes using the black icing. Again b/c of the small amount of icing used, we simply purchased store icing. A tip for the black and orange icing, go to your local grocery store’s bakery and ask them for a small amount of each color, and see if they will see you some to save some money.
The final product! Some weren’t perfect and that’s okay!! The kids LOVED them!! Hannah had a ball!!
Here is the entire look on the party table. We also made an Elmo cake, which was super simple to do as well. Everyone loved it!! I hope you enjoy this post!!
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Note: As you can see from the final picture we also made some regular (non-red40) icing for me!! The elmo red icing will most likely contains RED #40, and some children and adults (including ME we found out later) have a mild reaction to it. I was the only one at the party that had a bad reaction, and my reaction was some ‘digestive cramping’ LOL, for a day or two. Nothing terrible. Some have suggested you try to go all natural with the red icing, and that’s not a bad idea, I’m just not sure what products would give that color without tasting bad!