Takes the Cake: Erin makes "Olivia the Pig" themed cupcakes for a birthday party

Takes the Cake: Erin makes "Olivia the Pig" themed cupcakes for a birthday party

Here's a guest post from my baking coworker and guest blogger, Erin Lippitz, about the goodies she made for her niece's birthday party. Tomorrow, I will feature her adorable "Olivia" party favors.

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When I was envisioning my niece's birthday cake for her upcoming third birthday, I longingly imagined a two-tiered cake drenched in pink frosting, adorned in pink and white sugar roses and topped with an adorable, oversized pink cupcake with a pink chocolate number 3 to complete the design. Plus sparkles. And maybe butterflies. My niece, however, wanted an "Olivia the Pig" cake.

Blog PhotoNot having children, I had to do some pretty hardcore Olivia research to find out just what this beloved porcine looks like. She's pretty cute, by the way.

My sister and I decided cupcakes would probably be the easiest way to feed the crazy number of people invited to the party and that I would make a small cake just for the nuclear family to enjoy on niece's actual birthday a few days later.

Google came in super-handy in trying to figure out exactly how to make a cupcake look like a pig. But not just any pig, Olivia the Pig. I found the cutest design on the Nick Jr. website, complete with a pattern for the ears and piggy nose.

I printed the pattern out, placed it under a sheet of wax paper and piped melted, pink chocolate over the pattern, creating two ears and a nose. Remove pattern and start again. I made about 18 sets of ears and noses.

You can pop them in your fridge to set up quickly (if you have room, which I didn't) or you can leave them out to set up overnight. And since my husband keeps our house at a refrigerator temperature at night, this worked out well for the chocolate. You can even leave them on the wax paper and, once they're set, stack them on top of each other in a container until you're ready for them.

I whipped up an enormous amount of cupcakes plus a few small cake layers using my favorite white cake recipe. I made a large batch of white buttercream frosting using my cake instructor's recipe, which you can find here. I colored a bowlful of frosting a nice piggy flesh color, a smaller bowl a brighter flesh color (with a bit of pink), and a very small amount blue.

I frosted the cupcakes with the flesh color, stuck the chocolate ears into the cupcake near the top right at the paper line and plopped the nose on top. Using the blue frosting and a very small round decorator's tip, I piped two lines on each side of the nose for eyes. With the pink color, I used a slightly larger round tip to pipe two slits for nostrils onto the chocolate nose and a wavy, smiley mouth underneath.

The finished Olivia cupcake is adorable and really quite easy to make and assemble. And it really didn't take much time at all. The kids at the party gobbled these cupcakes up immediately and I think the parents appreciated that everything on it was edible.

Of course 18 cupcakes wouldn't be enough to feed everyone at the party, so I also made around 30 miniature cupcakes with tiny red flowers on top, and around 30 large cupcakes decorated with handmade sugar roses, daisies and posies. But that's another blog post for another day.

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