Finally, the post so many have been waiting for…how to decorate Sesame Street cupcakes like the ones we served at Andrew’s birthday party this year.  Let me start out by saying there are tons of different ways you could make something similar.  This is just how I made mine based on the supplies I had on hand.

Sesame Street Cupcakes
Supplies needed:
Cupcakes, any flavor
Vanilla buttercream
Fondant (homemade or store bought)
Red, yellow, green, blue, brown, and black icing colors
Orange candies such as M&Ms
Red fruit leather
Pastry tips (small star tip, V tip, grass/fur tip, and plain round tip such as #2)
Pastry bags
Mini chocolate chip cookies, halved

Before you start decorating, you will of course need cupcakes.  I recommend baking the cupcakes in greaseproof liners in the colors of the characters you are making for a nice appearance with continuity from wrapper to frosting.  (See the FAQ page for resources including where I purchase cupcake liners.)

Before you frost any of the cupcakes, get all your pieces together by making some sets of eyes and mouths out of fondant.  If you have never worked with fondant before, don’t be scared!  It’s really just like playing with Play-Doh.  I did a tutorial on it a while back that you can see here.  You can use store bought or homemade fondant (Now that I’ve tried a few versions, I plan to post my new go-to recipe for fondant in the near future).  I used a variety of pastry tips and round cookie cutters to make these shapes.  There is no right or wrong size, just play around with what you have and see what works best for you.  Keep in mind that you won’t need fondant mouths for the Big Bird or Cookie Monster cupcakes.

Let’s start out with the easiest 0f the four characters – Elmo.  Fill a pastry bag fitted with a small star tip with red frosting.  (There are many, many tips that will work for this look.  Just use whatever you prefer.)  Cover the surface of the cupcakes in an even layer of red piped frosting.

Top each cupcake with a pair of eyes, a mouth, and an orange nose.  Depending on the size of eyeballs you use, a variety of orange candies could work.  I ended up using a plain orange M&M but an orange Runt or an orange pretzel M&M could also work well.  Check it out!  You just made Elmo.

Alright, moving on to Big Bird…the first thing you’ll want to do is cut marshmallows into beak shapes with a pair of scissors.  I used a technique similar to that used in the werewolf cupcakes, except I also cut the sides on the diagonal so that the beak would be pointy.

Line each of the beaks with red fruit leather and trim the excess.

Place a beak on each cupcake, using a small dollop of frosting to glue it on.

Cover the marshmallow in stripes of yellow frosting.  It doesn’t need to be neat yet, just enough to cover them.

Use a small offset spatula or a knife to smooth the frosting over the beak.

Fill a pastry bag fitted with a “V” tip with yellow frosting.  Make a ring of yellow feathers around the perimeter of the cupcake.

Repeat this process, working from the outside in, until the surface of the cupcake has been completely covered by “feathers”.

Add a set of eyeballs just above the beak.  Pipe a thin line of aqua and light pink frosting over the eyeballs.  Look!  It’s Big Bird!

(At this point I took a break to work on other birthday prep and the sun went down.  I apologize for the poor lighting.)

To make Oscar the Grouch cupcakes, fill a pastry bag fitted with a grass/fur piping tip with green frosting.  Cover the surface of the cupcake with fur.

Top each cupcake with a pair of eyeballs and a fondant mouth.  To make the tongues, I cut out small circles of red fondant with the base end of a pastry tip.  I cut each circle in half and then removed a small “V” in the middle with a paring knife to make the tongue shape.

Use a small star tip (many varieties will work) to pipe a brown set of eyebrows over the eyeballs.  Don’t worry about making these neat…I don’t think Oscar is really into eyebrow maintenance.  Hey!  It’s Oscar the Grouch!

By the time I got around to decorating Cookie Monster, it was pretty late and I wasn’t focused on taking pictures any more.  But don’t worry, it’s the same idea as with Oscar.  For Cookie Monster cupcakes, cover each cupcake in an even layer of blue frosting fur.  Add a pair of eyeballs on the cupcakes, orienting them so that they are looking in different directions. Place half of mini chocolate chip cookie in the location of his mouth.  Ya ya ya ya ya….Coooookie!

That’s pretty much it.  If at any time your buttercream starts melting from the heat of your hands, or a husband who leaves the thermostat too high (ahem), just pop the pastry bag into the fridge for 10-15 minutes and then proceed.  For instructions on how to make your own cupcake tower, see this post.  See you next time on The Street!