Whether or not you enjoy the smoke and heat of a roaring fire, you’ll still enjoy our campfire (or bonfire) cupcakes. We’ll show you how we make them in today’s post.
We start with a cupcake base. Dark batters work better, so we use chocolate. To ensure you have ample room for frosting and toppings without a rounded top, fill the cupcake liners only halfway full before baking. The finished product should have a smooth top, and even baking throughout.
After baking, allow your cupcakes to cool completely before frosting. You can use your frosting of choice – we used a chocolate frosting to look like dirt on the ground. Some ground Oreo cookie crumbs also lend a nice effect, if you have them available.
While your cupcakes are cooling, we’ll make the sugar art flames that decorate the cupcakes. Using the hard candy recipe of your choice, boil the sugar mix until it reaches the Soft Crack stage. At this point, remove it from the heat and add flavoring (we used cherry extract) and coloring. Due to the extreme heat of the sugar mix, the extract will boil upon contact – keep your distance in the event some sprays out of the cooking pot.
A base of solid yellow coloring mixed throughout ensures all your flames will be colored. You can streak through the liquid sugar mix with red coloring before pouring the sugar mix to cool, allowing for a marbling effect that really makes the flames unique.
The hard candy cools and dries in a crystal clear finish that reflects light beautifully. After it has cooled completely, take a meat tenderizer or other heavy tool and break the sugar sheet into small jagged pieces.
After your cupcakes are completely cool, assemble your tools.
Begin by frosting a simple circle on the top of each cupcake, using a flat rose technique. The ridges in the frosting make it easier to keep the pretzel logs in place later. Working quickly, add a couple of jagged hard candy flames by pressing them into the frosting. Depending on your frosting consistency, you probably won’t need to push them into the cupcake itself.
After adding the flames, add four pretzel sticks around the cupcake to mimic logs on the fire. Again, propping them up in the frosting alone will probably be enough to hold them in place. Adding the hard candy and pretzel sticks is a great job for the kids.
And you’re finished!