Here’s a treat that’s guaranteed to make a splash — a colorful school of cupcakes inspired by everyone’s favorite little lost-and-found clownfish.
prep time20 min
cook time30 min
total time50 min
** If you don’t have the exact sizes of cookie/fondant cutters, you can improvise by using other cylindrical household objects, such as jar lids, small bottle caps, or pastry bag tips. You can even pick up a package of plastic leg tips (which come in a variety of sizes) at the hardware store.
From the fondant, slice a 3 1/2- by 2-inch block, a 2 1/2- by 2-inch block, and a 1 1/2- by 1-inch block. Leave the largest block white, and wrap it in plastic for now to keep it soft. Knead orange food coloring into the next largest block and black into the smallest.
Working on powdered sugar-dusted sheets of wax paper, roll out each of the three fondant colors to about a 1/8 inch thickness.
From the white fondant, cut out one large 2 3/8-inch circle and two 3/4-inch eye circles for each cupcake.
Use the 3/8-inch cutter to cut a circular opening in each of the eye circles, positioning them right of center, as shown.
Use the same cutter to cut eye pupils from the black fondant, and gently press them into the openings in the white fondant.
Next, cut out a 2-inch circle from the orange fondant for each cupcake.
Using the 3/4-inch cutter, make eye holes in each orange circle, positioning the hole to your right slightly higher than the other.
Fit the fondant eyes into the holes. Then use the tip of a toothpick to make a tiny hole near the edge of the black fondant where each eye glint will go. Gently press a white sugar pearl into each.
To finish assembling the fish faces, moisten the top of each large white fondant circle with a small drop of water, and place one of the orange circles on top.
Use the toothpick to gently etch curved eyebrow and mouth lines in the fondant. Then use the smallest cutter to cut very thin curves from the remaining black fondant, and set them atop the etched lines. Lightly press down on them with the toothpick until they stick in place.
Slice the domed top off each cupcake to create a flat surface. Then frost the cupcakes. Set a fondant fish face on top of each one, pressing down gently with your palm to stick it in place.