Circus Mouth Cupcakes

July 15th, 2012

Yesterday was the 5th Annual Cupcakes Take the Cake Cupcake Picnic.  I attended the event for the first time 4 years ago (time flies!) and introduced my Cupcake Kebab and it went viral! Although I could never live up to that unexpected response in future years, I’ve still used the event as an opportunity to share new creations like the Sangria Cupcake Stack, Dirt and Flower Cupcake and this year…Circus Mouth!

Circus what?! Allow me to explain…

I knew I wanted to make something colorful this year – and I also wanted to try baking something in a cake.  So, I went to the source and looked for inspiration at Bake It in a Cake!

Frosted Circus Animal Cookie Cupcakes in progress…

I found a recipe for Circus Animal Cupcakes and my creation inspiration had begun! I wanted to incorporate 5 layers to honor 5 years of the picnic and use all “circus food” related flavors (popcorn, licorice, cotton candy, candied apples, etc).  So I needed a filling, frosting, garnish and topper. And have all the flavors actually taste good together!

Red Licorice Filling setting up.

I found the perfect filling thanks to Cupcake Wars and their Red Licorice Filling Recipe  (ALWAYS use Red Vines – NO Twizzlers).


The frosting would come from a recipe I’ve been using for years – Cotton Candy Buttercream Frosting.

Cotton Candy Buttercream Frosting

And then it was time for the garnish…I found inspiration from a Popcorn Cake Recipe but rather than form it into a cake I simple placed it on my cupcake and used Pretzel M&M’s and chopped up Circus Peanuts in place of regular pretzels and M&Ms.

Caramel Apple Mini Cupcakes getting ready for the oven. Note: I learned to use less caramel per mini next time!

My original plan to make a Candied Apple Mini Cupcake as my topper was thwarted by the lack of red hots in the many stores I stopped at to find them.  So it became a Caramel Apple Mini Cupcake instead.  I used the caramel topping (minus nuts) used in this Betty Crocker Recipeand then added a Baked Apple Donut Hole Batter on top.  I learned a critical lesson in this step…USE LESS CARAMEL! As it baked, the caramel began to overflow which in turn caused it to land on my stove floor and set off my smoke alarm. Oops.  Thankfully not all the caramel was lost and the minis didn’t burn!

Center L-R: Cupcake filled w/ Red Licorice Filling, Plus Cotton Candy Frosting, Plus Popcorn Garnish and finally the Caramel Apple Mini on top!

After everything was cooled it was time to assemble! I originally placed vanilla wafer sticks in the center of the Caramel Apple Minis but they proved to be more trouble than they were worth as they began to wilt by the cake’s moisture and also caused some cakes to split. I decided the cakes were okay on their own!

And finally…the finished product. Circus Mouth Cupcakes – Your mouth will be full of circus food flavor w/ every bite! 🙂

Presenting the Circus Mouth Cupcake!

Flashback: Cupcake Kebabs

June 28th, 2011

A past post of mine from the “Bicoastal Bakes” blog (a blog that pre-dates Nibbles by Nora!)


In an effort to be different (and use up some of my cupcake batter that was in the freezer) I formulated a plan to make mini cupcake kebabs for a gathering sponsored by “Cupcakes Take The Cake”.

Based on the batter I had, I chose Neapolitan as my combo of flavors, then I had to figure out spacers. My original thought was Strawberries dipped in white and milk chocolate. But they don’t stay nice for very long so my thought turned to dipping marshmallows. I know I had seen strawberry marshmallows before, but where?!

So my search began for marshmallows. And as I searched I began to pick up alternatives if I couldn’t find them. Little Debbie Strawberry Shortcakes cut up and partially dipped in chocolate was an idea. I picked up sugar wafers and inspected them closely to decide if I thought they’d hold up to a kebab skewer and then my last stop – there they were! Strawberry Marshmallows!!!

By the time I got home on Friday, my original vision for the kebabs had been altered. Now I would combine the use of strawberry marshmallows – dipped in white chocolate & chocolate cookie crumbs (inspired by the Neapolitan ice cream sandwiches) and the sugar wafers. With careful twisting and guidance the skewer went thru the wafers just fine!

Once I got my minis baked and frosted, my marshmallows dipped and my wafers sliced up it was time to assemble!

I found that the key (besides keeping the skewer centered on whatever you are putting on there) is to make sure you wipe off the skewer as you go! No premature mixing of flavors that way! ;)

Once I got them assembled I was a bit stymied as to how to store them w/out the frosting looking flat on one side but then I decided to balance them on the edge of a casserole dish for overnight storage in the fridge and it worked out just fine…until it was time to pack them up.

I decided to use an aluminum casserole dish w/ a wax paper lining for transport and as a whole they traveled okay. How I was going to travel w/ them wasn’t my first thought when I woke up though- it was wondering if the wafers and cookie crumbs were still crisp. They seemed to be but later feedback said the wafers were a bit soggy. Something to work on…

I was a bit anxious to see what the feedback would be and they


went over extremely well! So well in fact that apparently I’ve given people lots of ideas and was blogged about! :)

Since I’ve been in the process of starting my own online baking company, this little niche of a product has been inspiring and I can’t wait to try out new flavor combos- that will hopefully be made available to you all soon! :)


~NY Nora



photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo photo