I have really come to love LOVE trying fun cupcake ideas this last year. Mostly because I can actually bake a cupcake without completely butchering them... ha
But working with fondant and frosting is really fun! and you hardly need any sort of cooking skill to do it!
a couple of the cupcakes I've done this last year are the Peacock Feathers, and the Bunny Bum cupcakes.

I made the Bunny Bum Cupcakes for Easter 2012, and the Peacock ones for my sisters bridal shower. She LOVES peacocks. 
Both of them were super easy. I always ALWAYS us a few things when doing cakes and cupcakes. 

The first is Pillsbury Moist Supreme cake mix. Unless I'm doing a cake mix by scratch, this is the BEST mix available. It has pudding mix in it, so it is super moist and super easy to use. As long as you don't over bake it, you are set to enjoy some delicious cupcakes! The toothpick test never fails in this case!

The second is either homemade butter cream recipe that my mom SWEARS by. You can see that HERE.
But if you don't have enough time you can never go wrong with Duncan Hines Home Style Frosting. you can really use any store bought frosting and have a great outcome just MAKE SURE YOU DON'T GET THE WHIPPED FROSTING! (it is too airy and its horrible to add color to)  The secret to great frosting is whipping it yourself, I always just dump the tub into my kitchen aid and whip it up for a couple minutes. It makes it easy to work with and super smooth. Which really helps if you are piping it on to your cupcakes. 

To add color to your frosting (which is easy to do if you already have it in a mixer to whip! ) I always use Wilton Food Color Paste, regular food coloring is too watery and doesn't give you as concentrated of a color. (You use red and end up with a big bowl of pink. yuck) The food coloring paste always gives you a deep beautiful color without changing the texture of your frosting. 

One thing I always get asked is how I frost my cupcakes. And it is SUPER SUPER easy. I started by looking on Youtube for piping techniques. This chart helps you know which tip to buy to get whatever look you are going for. Really practice makes perfect in this case. 

Lastly I always make my own fondant. There are plenty of places you can buy fondant already made, but making your own is cheap and honestly I think its easier to work with. I use a mini marshmallow recipe for my fondant (its not professional grade fondant, but holy cow it tastes 100 times better!)
Here is the tutorial I use to make my fondant. (It is from a blog called Clockwork Lemon, so she gets all the credit for it!) Beware, It is messy.... but as long as you are careful it is easy to do. Plus making your own means you can really make it an ANY color!

Anyway, I LOVE making cupcakes! I hope this helps anyone who wants to create some fun treats at home!

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