Ants at a Picnic!

Hey there my cupcake lovers. I have a really fun post for you today! =]

So for Memorial Day my family was invited to a BBQ that was free as long as you brought some sort of dessert, and OF COURSE, any excuse to bake and I’m there. I had a few suggestions for patriotic or American flag cupcakes, but I wanted to do something different and save the red, white&blue for 4th of July!

You see, a few months ago I bought the newest addition from the author’s of Hello, Cupcake called What’s New, Cupcake.

And this is the very first time I’ve used it. I chose Ants at a Picnic, the perfect dessert for any backyard BBQ!

And I’m going to be honest with you guys, I used a boxed cake mix, Funfetti to be exact. Although homemade cupcakes are better, boxed cake mixes produce moist and sturdy cupcakes that are perfect for when you’re going to be spending extra time on the decorating.

You Will Need:
1 box Funfetti Cake Mix
1 can Vanilla Frosting
Brown Peanut M&M’s or round/oval chocolate candies
1/4 cup chocolate frosting
2 cups finely chopped coconut
green food coloring
5-8 watermelon candy slices
your favorite cupcake liners

But I have another confession to make...
My assistant, aka very helpful boyfriend, did 95% of the baking portion of these cupcakes. Although it was a boxed cake mix, maybe he shouldn’t get too much credit =] Anyways, this mix made 20 cupcakes. So that means 40 brown M&M’s. 20 brown Sixlets (or any other type of round chocolate candy), and 120 little frosting legs.

With that said, the decorating on the other hand was all me! I used a regular vanilla frosting and dyed it green. Next frost the cupcakes with a smooth coat, making sure to get the sides almost all the way to the liner. Then take about 2 cups of finely chopped coconut in a ziplock bag, add a few drops of green food coloring, and SHAKE! Pour the coconut onto a plate, then roll the edges of the cupcakes, making sure to get an even width of coconut all the way around.

Next, arrange the M&M’s in rows of 3 on each cupcake. Put the chocolate frosting in a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe 6 bent legs on each ant, 3 on each side. Give the little guys some antennas. For the watermelon candies, pipe small teardrops to make the “seeds”.

On to the hardest part, getting the watermelons to stand up on the poor little ants. So the book made it look and sound easier than it really is. The only way I got them to stay is if I used some chocolate frosting to attach them, immediately put them in the fridge to solidify the frosting “glue”. It only takes about 15-20 minutes, but getting them from the counter to the fridge is the tricky part! I actually put a plate into the fridge, put down the cupcake, and attached the candies right there to avoid having to carry them and risk having the cute watermelons fall over!

Arrange cupcakes in a line and serve!

Until next time...