Thursday, October 18, 2012

Fondant Awareness Ribbons + Packaging Cupcakes

I receive lots of questions about awareness cupcakes. Often people are wanting ideas or asking me to make cupcakes for events or fundraiser to support many different causes. There are lots of different ways to top a cupcake for an awareness event using printable toppers, candy molds, pre-bought ribbons, chocolate ribbons,  cupcake picks, real ribbons...and so on. However, I believe one of the easiest, cutest, and most cost efficient ways to spruce up an awareness cupcakes is to make fondant ribbons. So today I'm sharing just how simple they are to make, even if you've never even touched fondant you can do it, promise

If you were attending a bake sale and you had the choice of plain cupcakes or cupcakes dressed in pink ribbons and covered in pretty pink sprinkles, what are you going to pick? The cute one of course, unless you have something against cuteness...and well if you don't like cute little pink cupcakes with sprinkles....your probably reading the wrong blog. Just kidding...kind of. ;)

Not only are these cute and easy they are cost efficient. You can pick up a small thing of store bought fondant for around $6.00 at most stores (even cheaper if you take a coupon into Michael's or Joannes). With even the smallest pack of fondant you could make dozen if not hundreds of little ribbons. If you'd rather make your own marshmallow fondant it may be even cheaper, however, when it comes to making toppers that must harden I prefer using store bought fondant...the one time I would recommend not making it. 

Here's what you will need:

Gel coloring
Smooth rolling pin (one with rings helps)
pizza cutter
Parchment paper
Square cookie cutter
Food safe paintbrush (optional)

Note: Fondant amount will vary depending on how much you are making. When making these I tore a about an 8th of a small pack of Wilton fondant off and had enough for about 2 dozen ribbons.

Step 1: Color your fondant with gel coloring. If you are making pink remember to add slowly! It only takes a very small amount of coloring to get a pretty pink.

Step 2: Roll out your fondant on a piece of parchment paper about 1/8in thick. It really helps here if you use a rolling pin with rings. Mine is a small Wilton fondant rolling pin bought in the cake aisle. If you don't have one live this two small doll rods or pain sticks placed on each side of the dough work great to help roll out the fondant nice and evenly.

Step 3: Cut your fondant into a rectangle 4 inches tall, length will vary by amount you used. I use my ruler and cutter to mark four inches on each side and then cut across to each line. Remember to wrap the excess fondant up airtight so it won't dry out.

Step 4: Now cut into 1/4in strips. If you have any that are way too thin or too wide just pull them up and stick them back into the fondant ball to roll again.

Step 5: Using a small cutter with a corner cut the little tails of the ribbon.

Step 6: Turn your strips into a ribbon. I like to take a little bit of warm water and apply it between the fondant where the ribbon meets. This will help "glue it together". A food safe paint brush works great for this but you can also do it with the tip of a clean finder.

Step 7: Now let you ribbons set for several hours, or overnight it you can. They will harden up a bit so they can be moved around easily. But they never get too hard, they will still be chewy.

Of course these can be made in any color to match any awareness ribbon! They can also be spruced up if your'd like. Maybe some edible glitter? A bit of sprinkles? Stitch imprints? Lots of options.

Now that you have some adorable toppers...let's talk about packaging up those cupcakes! 
If you are planning on handing out cupcakes as favors, thank you gifts, or selling individually...simply drop your cupcake down into a clear solo cup and wrap in a clear favor bag! Tie shut with ribbon or bakers twine...and even add a cute tag if you'd like. I have been using this trick for a long time. I was asked to bake cupcakes as a thank you gift one time and had no idea how to package them up without spending a fortune...eventually this idea came to me! Now I see it all over the net :) If your wondering if the cupcakes come out well they generally pretty much slide out. However, if your concerned about this or the cupcake is a really messy one...I like to tie on a coordinating plastic spoon. For these I would tie on a pink plastic spoon or course.

I found these adorable tags from Frog Prince Paperie's last year breast cancer awareness printable. This dessert table was probably one of my favorite ones I have ever seen...and you can print all the labels for  free here

Happy baking!