Friday, March 19, 2010

Hibiscus Cupcakes

I was surfing the net the other day for cake and cupcake ideas ( like I am always doing) and I always tend to look at tropical designed goodies. I LOVE Hawaii and anything to do with Hawaii so I am always looking for neat things to make that look, well, Hawaiian. I have been playing more with fondant lately and my plumerias I have been making are, well shall we say, need work? So I will continue to practice with those until I get good enough so they are cupcake topper worthy. I was looking at hibiscus cakes the other day and came across this gorgeous Hibiscus Cake on Flickr and fell in LOVE with it. The flat hibiscus fondant (or gum paste) decos are so cool and something I had never seen before. I saved it to my faves and started looking at more cakes similar. Another place that I found that makes cakes with the same design style ( and also where the cake on Flickr got their inspiration from is CakeLava. I am convinced they have THE BEST job on the planet. Making insanely amazing cakes in Hawaii. They have some cakes that I would love to have so I told my husband we need to get married a few more times in Hawaii just to have wedding cakes from them! I wanted to know HOW they made the flat designs. A friend of mine a few weeks back showed me this amazing machine called the Cricut that is used mostly in paper crafts like scrapbooking ( something I am not into) but they came out with a Cricut Cake machine. So totally cool. But I am not a professional baker, don't own a bakery or really have any reason to own the machine ( not to mention its not exactly cheap and the cartridges that hold all the images aren't cheap either) its still totally cool. So I decided to try it by hand and see how it would turn out.

 First off I had 3 leftover vanilla cupcakes from the St. Patrick's day cupcakes I had made. I saved 3 and didn't dye them because I WAS going to do a tutorial with filling and frosting ( which I will do at a later date) but after I saw the hibiscus cake on Flickr I wanted to attempt it with cupcakes.

First I frosted with leftover vanilla buttercream. I made two layers to make for a nice dome on top. I found a tutorial online over at one of my favorite blogs Cake Journal, that shows how to cover a cupcake in fondant.

They are shiny because I had just smoothed with a hot dry spatula as best as I could and then chilled in the fridge until I was ready to cover in fondant

Here is my circle of fondant. My cutter wasn't the exact same size as the one stated in the tutorial. I had one that was too small, and one that was a little too big, I need one that is goldilock's style - juuussstt right. ha ha. I cut out the bigger one because I would rather trim off the extra than try to stretch and risk ripping the fondant. I wasn't totally sure if I had the correct thickness of fondant but I went with it.

 It didn't come out as SMOOTH as I would have hoped but better than I thought it would be. 

Here is my hibiscus stencil I made over my piece of rolled out white fondant. I use my silicone baking mat for rolling out fondant. I don't like using cornstarch or powdered sugar straight on my counter top. These mats work perfectly for smaller fondant or gum paste work. 

Also I was cutting the fondant out with my xacto knife since that seemed to give me the cleanest edges and I was trying to be super careful not to cut my mat.

All cut out. I did the stamen freehand because the stencil was too small.

Ready for the cupcake. I used vodka as my "glue" I like using it better than water because it dries a lot faster and doesn't leave any stickiness or residue.

It was super delicate so I had to move kinda slowly so it wouldn't tear.

You can see a little bit of a shiny spot on the red fondant from the vodka. I had places the two leaf section on and had to move it a little to make it where it was supposed to be

 Almost done!


The red one I made


Yellow. I wanted them to be the colors of a Hawaiian sunset!

This is the fabric I used to copy one of the hibiscus flowers for my stencil. I have an apron I made myself out of this fabric. 

I think these would be perfect for a luau or any tropical themed party, even a Hawaiian themed wedding! Well maybe not as bright of colors for that! I also think the hand cutting method is a little time consuming. But I am pleased with how they came out. The Cricut machine would make things easier but like a friend of mine and I were talking about earlier anyone can use a machine, not many can make things by hand. She and I would both rather create by hand. Takes longer but makes me appreciate the fact that I can do this!


  1. you did awesome! I have the regular cricut and LOVE it, but it's SO expensive, can't justify the cake one, but I think it's going to change the cake industry!

    Kim @

  2. Kim - Thanks!
    I think the cricut cake is totally cool BUT I think that it will take away some of the individuality and creativity of things made by hand. I know most people use molds, forms, templates and stencils as it is but the cricut uses what they have on their cartridges and so many designs will be repeated over and over. Maybe better for mass production and getting cakes decorated faster. I think they would be cool for lettering etc. but the hand made work is what will really set the best ones apart from anyone that can use the machine. I also read you can get the parts for the cricut cake for the regular cricut so you can turn your machine into the cake making one for less expense. Can you make your own designs though?


  3. Very yr work and the colours. Never seen anything like these before. Im sure it takes up a lot of time.

  4. Very nice I love these cupcakes! :) I have the cricut cake machine and just love it but i work in a bakery so it makes my job alot faster when i have so many orders in one weekend! ;) Your design is great and would take alot of patience ;) lol!!!