Cupcake Decorating: Flamingo Cupcakes

Flamingo CupcakesPink is for flamingo. According to Google Search when I typed in ‘pink animals’ in my search for something to match my pink cupcake wrappers. It was either that or weird looking sea life and insects. So flamingo cupcakes it is!

I wanted to name them but could not think of any names that rhymed with Flamingo (my preferred method of naming objects. For example, I’m currently typing this post on Claire the MacBook Air). Ideas, anyone?

I’ve decided to try to take a photo of my photography set up from now on. As long as I can remember to photograph it because I am terrible at reminding myself to do things. A few people have requested that I show my set up and I figured… why not. As long as nobody tells me how messy my apartment is!

Alright – onto the recipe and tutorial!

Flamingo Cupcakes

Flamingo Tutorial


Equipment and Materials

Floral wire
Wire cutters
Pink food colouring
Yellow food colouring
Black edible ink pen
Small brush
Knife or fondant tool

  1. Tint some fondant pink and roll into the general shape of a flamingo’s body. As a guide, I had Google images open with a variety of flamingo photographs to hold my lump of fondant up against to get the right general shape and size. Leave to dry for a few hours.
  2. Dampen the tip of some floral wire with a brush and some water and insert into the base of the flamingo’s body.
  3. Roll a small ball of fondant into a teardrop shape and using a fondant tool or knife, gently mark some lines to mimic feathers.
  4. Brush some water onto the flamingo’s body and attach the wing.
  5. Paint some yellow food colouring on the flamingo’s face to depict the beak.
  6. Using a black edible pen, mark lines for added detail.
  7. Attached a tiny amount of white fondant for the eyes. Using the pen again, draw in the pupils and eyebrows into desired expressions.
  8. Paint the floral wire pink.


Ingredients (makes 9 cupcakes)

100g butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
2 eggs
100g self raising flour


  1. Preheat oven to 160° Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light in colour and fluffy (about 5 minutes).
  3. Add zest and eggs and mix until combined. Mixture may look slightly curdled but nothing to worry about.
  4. Add flour and mix until well incorporated. Pour batter into a piping bag.
  5. Pipe mixture into cupcake liners in a cupcake pan (fill 2/3rds of the way up).
  6. Bake in oven for 18-20 minutes or until cupcake springs back when pressed gently.



Juice from half a lemon
100g icing mixture
Blue food colouring


  1. Mix all ingredients together to form a smooth glaze.
  2. Add more icing sugar or lemon juice depending on the consistency desired.

Note: Glaze will form a dry surface but will not be completely set underneath.


  1. Pour glaze onto cupcakes carefully, using a skewer to move the glaze into the corners of the liner. Dip a skewer into some blue food colouring and swirl glaze around to create a textured blue surface. Leave to set.
  2. Stick flamingo into the cupcake in desired spot, making sure that it is fully embedded and right down to the base of the cupcake for maximum support.


Flamingo Setup

I set my cupcakes on my piano stool. I know, I know! White leather is highly impractical. But, I’m a grown adult – I can look after things! Famous last words before I spill red wine all over the seat, no doubt.

I then propped up a wooden serving tray as the background (from Wheel & Barrow) and a olive green ribbon for the styling. The white piece of cardboard on the left is there to help reduce the shadows. What you don’t see is my hand holding it up. Main light source from the right (sunlight).

Photographed with the following lens and settings:

Canon 60mm 2.8f
ISO 100
f 2.8
1/50 seconds
Focus point: Front flamingo’s head

What Would Have Been Spritzer Cookies

I received a cookie press as a Christmas present a year and a half ago but had never bothered to use it. I didn’t think much of plain butter cookies – seemed a tad boring to be honest. But I’ll be visiting an elderly friend in a few days and she loves plain butter cookies. So I decided to break out my brand new cookie press and get pressing!

Except it didn’t work as it should.

The cap holding the template kept unscrewing itself every time I pressed down – leading to leaking dough everywhere. It was not a pretty sight. At all.

I thought it was me – I didn’t know how to screw the lid on. But after 10 tries of various possibilities and YouTube-ing and googling and swearing I had to conclude it wasn’t me – it was the press.

And that’s how I got stuck with a batch of spritzer cookie dough with no idea what to do with it. Ended up just rolling it into balls and pressing nuts into them. Still reasonably pretty and tasty – but not like what spritzer cookies were meant to be.

Almonds in front, walnuts in the middle and the few flower shaped spritzer cookies that I managed to wrestle out of the cookie press before giving up.

The dough was lovely and light and buttery though – here’s the recipe. And I wish you all the best with your cookie presses.

225g butter, room temperature
100g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 egg
295g plain flour

  1. Preheat oven to 160 Celcius (fan forced).
  2. Cream butter and sugar together until light and creamy.
  3. Add egg and vanilla essence – beat until fully incorporated
  4. Add flour. Roll into a narrow log and insert into cookie press and press onto unlined cookie pans.
  5. Bake for about 10 minutes or until slightly golden around the edges.

If your cookie press fails – feel free to try out my option.