Friday, December 9, 2011

Christmas Pirates

Lately I've had the chance to work on a few Frilly Milly projects (not nearly as many as I would like - but hey, I'm happy to get to "play" at least a little bit!) and thought I would just post a few photos and tips on how to recreate them if you so desire.  The one I'm most excited about is not quite finished yet, but hopefully will be up sometime the beginning of next week if not sooner.

The first project is not really Christmas-y, but I received an order for pirate cupcakes for a birthday party and the leftovers turned into something a little bit festive :).  First...the pirates.

The  cupcakes are chocolate cake with buttercream icing.  I know fondant looks better, but I don't like the way it tastes so I stick mainly with buttercream and just work to make it look as smooth as possible.  I just made 3 different colors of buttercream - the skintone (using copper gel coloring), red ("no taste" red gel) and black (I used a combination of the black gel along with a little cocoa powder to get a rich black).  I apologize for not having step-by-step photos (which would make this so much easier to follow), but I'll try to at least explain each step of the process.

I frosted each cupcake with a #1A tip making a swirl starting along the outside edge and working my way into the center (not building up...just filling in).  From there I took my small palette knife and smoothed out the swirl.  I let the icing crust for about 10 minutes before going back over them with a small square I cut out of a VIVA paper towel (solid white - no print - using the softer side on the cupcake) to get a fondant-like smoothness.

Next, I used a #104 petal tip for the red and starting not quite at the center of the cupcake (with the "head" of the pirate pointed toward me and fat side of the petal tip facing toward the "chin" of the pirate) and made slightly curved stripes from left-to-right layering on top of each other slightly and tapering at the right-hand corner where the "knot" of the bandana would go.  I created a little knot using the same tip.

From there I moved to the black icing with a #3 tip.  I made a long diagonal line over top of the bandana to the base of the chin from left to right.  Small black eye dot on the left, large black eye dot on top of the black line on the right and then facial hair, smiles, etc.  Place a junior mint on the large black dot of the right eye and viola! Your pirate cupcake is complete!

Since I had several cupcakes left over and quite a bit of icing as well, I turned the rest of the cupcakes into Santa Claus!  The only addition was a bag of white icing using a #12 tip.  I used the same method for the hat as I did for the pirate's bandana - except just going straight across rather than curving.  I even had an extra pirate leftover and turned him into a Santa as well (I just have a small picture taken from a phone of that cupcake - but it's worth seeing because it just makes me laugh!).  

So whether it's a Pirates or Christmas party - or better yet, a "Pirates of Christmas" party :), now you have a fun and festive dessert to share!


  1. Those are THE CUTEST cupcakes! Both the Santa AND the Pirates!!

  2. What do you do with the paper towel to get the smoothness? I love this idea because I, too, hate the taste of fondant & prefer not to use it!

  3. Thanks for the great idea. I just sent a batch of little pirates to kindy for my sons 4th birthday. They weren't as neat as yours but im sure the kids will love them!

  4. So cute! This is the best pirate cupcake idea I have seen without using fondant! Thanks!