Owls, unicorns, elephants — they've have had their moments. The most trend-forward animal these days? The flamingo, of course! Top your cupcakes with these beautiful birds for a super of-the-moment dessert.
DIY flamingo cupcakes
What you'll need:
- Pink, black and white gum paste
- Fondant icing smoother (optional)
- Blade and veining tools
- Edible glue
- Food-safe paint brush
- Pink buttercream
- Disposable piping bag
- Closed star piping tip (we used an Ateco 845 tip)
- Medium rose petal cutter
- Flower forming pad
- Fondant rolling pin
- Edible glue
Step 1: Make the flamingo's head and neck
Roll a bit of pink gum paste into a rope. We recommend rolling it out with a fondant smoother (the result is sooo sharp), but you can definitely use your hands if needed. Just make sure your hands and the gum paste are nice and cold.
Curve the pink gum paste rope into a half heart shape. The neck should curve outwards before the head section dips in. Flatten the head slightly to give it a wider shape.
Step 2: Add the flamingo's beak
Use a sharp knife or the edge of a piping tip to cut away a little of the head, making space for the black gum paste beak. We shaped this part into a slight V shape by using a veining tool to make a small indent in the middle.
Roll a bit of black gum paste into a chubby teardrop shape and attach with some edible glue. You can then shape it a little into a curved beak.
Step 3: Add a few more details
Use the tip of your veining tool to add a little nostril in each side. Then add a thin line of white gum paste above the flamingo's beak. A bit of edible glue will keep it in place.
Next up, the eyes: You can always pipe them with royal icing or paint them on. We opted to use teeny ropes of black gum paste that we tapered to look like an eyelash.
Step 4: Wing it!
For the wings, roll out more pink gum paste, and use a rose petal cutter to cut out two wings per cupcake.
If you want to make the wings a bit more realistic and textured, make indentations on each one, first with the bigger end of a veining tool and then again with the thinner end.
Leave the wings to dry in flower-forming cups (empty cardboard egg cartons work in a pinch) so that they set with a bit of a curve.
Step 5: Let's get piping
Fit a disposable piping bag fitted with a closed star tip and and fill it with pink buttercream. We wanted to create a feathered look, so we piped a series of sideways dollops at a 45-degree angle, beginning in the center of the cupcake.
Step 6: Let your flamingo fly!
Finally, arrange the flamingo pieces. Nestle the head and neck into the buttercream at one end, then gently push the gum paste wings into the sides of the buttercream.
The great thing about these cupcakes is that if you swap the pink for white and add orange beaks you can make pretty swans!