Red Dragon O' Cupcakes
by Katie LaSalle-Lowery
My adaptation of Ole Swampy the Alligator from the book, 'Hello, Cupcake' for my son's ninth birthday. It was a big hit at school!
The spikes & claws are candy corn (per my son's suggestion -- good idea, kiddo!). The wings and horns are black licorice. The fiery whiskers are strands of red vine. The eye ridge is made of two large marshmellows. The eyeballs are Junior Mints (stuck to the marshmellows with a bit of frosting). The nostrils are brown Jellie Bellies. The teeth are large marshmellows cut in half diagonally. Red sprinkles enhanced the redness and yellow sprinkles added some contrast & texture.
I am about as kitchen-handicapped and un-crafty as they come, so if you are looking for something even a cake-dummy can pull off, this might be for you.
I was very hard pressed for time that week. I bought un-frosted cupcakes (24 for this size, but you can add by making the dragon longer and wider) from a local grocery store bakery, white frosting to which I added red dye. Buy way more red dye than you think you'll need. It takes a lot to achieve red instead of pink -- we had to run out for more. Coloring the frosting was actually the most time consuming part of the process. If I were doing this again, pressed for time again, I'd buy red frosting if available. My son had fun helping with the candy decorations. The red and yellow sprinkles really did add depth, color, contrast and texture -- more than the photo shows. Don't skip the sprinkles!