Let's just say that we totally would touch these cupcakes with a 39-and-a-half-foot pole. We can't make any promises, but we bet they're cute enough to cheer up even the grouchiest Grinch on your list.
What you need:
- Parchment paper
- Palette knife
- Small rolling pin
- Two circle cutters (one the same diameter as the top of your cupcake and one slighter larger)
- Edible glue
- Food safe paint brush
- Sprinkles (we used a rainbow mix with snowflakes)
- White fondant
- Red fondant
- Green gum paste
- Black edible sugar pearls
- Small ball tool
- Veining tool
- Blade tool
1. Place the parchment
Cut out a small circle from your piece of parchment paper. This should be approximately half the size of the top of your baked cupcake. Using your palette knife, lightly spread buttercream across the top of your cupcake and lay your parchment circle on top.
2. Cover with white fondant
Roll out white fondant and cut using the smaller circle cutter. Lay the fondant cut-out on your cupcake, on top of the parchment paper. Don’t stress out about the paper in your cupcake — you’ll cut and remove it later. (It’s the secret to the cool burst effect!)
Gently smooth down the fondant circle to the edges of your cupcake and add some edible glue on top.
3. Top with red fondant
Roll out some red fondant and cut using the larger of your circle cutters. Lay this on top of your white fondant and smooth the edges down. You can use an icing smoother or the lower palm of your hand to do this — whatever is easiest for you!
4. Cut away and remove the paper
Now the moment we've all been waiting for: that 3-D burst . Don't worry — it's surprisingly easy.
Take your blade tool and carefully cut an X into the two layers of fondant on top of your cupcake. Aim to cut the X the same size as the parchment circle you left on top of your cupcake (you should feel the parchment paper lightly as you cut). Don’t cut too deep or hard, or you’ll slice the paper.
Use your blade tool to peel back each part of the X. This should reveal the paper underneath. Gently use your blade tool to remove the paper, and make sure you check all the paper has been removed. You don't want anyone to bite into an unwelcome surprise!
5. Mold the Grinch head
Now onto the Grinch. To make him, take your green gum paste and roll into a ball approximately the size of a Brussels sprout. Then mold the ball into a teardrop shape with an elongated, thin tapered end.
Use your blade tool to cut into the tapered end to make separated sections of fur. Shape the ends a little more by lightly pinching them.
6. Give him a face
For the eyes, use your small ball tool to indent two sockets. Take a tiny amount of white fondant and roll into two separate balls. Use edible glue to attach these into the sockets. Then, attach your black edible sugar pearls with a tiny dab of edible glue.
Roll a teeny bit of green gum paste into a small oval and attach right underneath the eyes to make the Grinch’s nose. Then use your blade tool to lightly score a line from the base of the nose down to where the mouth should be. Because the Grinch is a grump, use your veining tool to indent a frown into his face.
7. The final (grumpy) touches
The fuzzy eyebrows might be the best part! Roll out two tiny slug-shaped pieces of green gum paste and use your veining tool to give them a furry look. Remember to indent each brow in the opposite direction — they’ll make more sense once you stick them in place. Once again, use a little edible glue to attach them.
8. Make the burst pop
Add a blob of buttercream to the center of your cupcake inside the burst fondant effect, and nestle the Grinch’s head in place. Surround with lots of festive sprinkles.
To enhance the effect of the Grinch bursting from your Christmas present cupcake, add some ribbon ends: roll out white fondant and use your blade tool to cut two short to mid-length thin rectangles, shaping the ends into angles. Using a bit of edible glue, arrange these on top of the cupcake, hiding the non-tapered ends under the burst effect.
If you're feeling extra cheerful, you can give your Grinch a smile instead of a frown, or add a touch of edible glitter for some sparkle. Or just leave him grumpy — he likes it that way.