Posted by Eileen
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The desserts were my favorite part of our Sesame Street party. Based on the rave reviews, I think they were my guests' favorite part too. I just loved how the cake turned out... so much that I was actually sad cutting into it.
It was a 12" two-layer, gluten-free vanilla cake with chocolate icing. Red sprinkles covered the sides of the cake, along with two Elmo face cut-outs - made from cut-out cookies and chocolate melts.
The cupcakes were regular vanilla cake with chocolate icing and decorated with sprinkles, icing tubes, and chocolate chip cookie halves to resemble Elmo and Cookie Monster.
Cupcake Materials - Elmo and Cookie Monster
After making the cupcake batter, I filled the muffin liners 3/4 of the way full. I wanted to have a nice dome at the top of the cupcake. If the cupcake was too flat, the monster faces would be harder to make and wouldn't look as nice.
Here are the materials needed:
Pictured below is my messy Cookie Monster cupcake set-up :)
Cookie Monster Cupcake Decorating Instructions
1. First, after the cupcakes cooled, I iced them. I was running a little low on icing, so I put just enough on so that the sprinkles would have something to stick too.
2. I filled a small bowl with blue sprinkles, and then I flipped the iced cupcake upside down and dipped it into the sprinkles. I twisted it around a little to give the sprinkles a good stick.
3. Then, I used a white tube of icing to make Cookie's eyes. I first made a circle outline and then carefully filled it in.
4. I used the black tube of icing to make the pupils. I made sure to make one higher than the other, as that is Cookie's signature look.
5. After the eyes were done, I took a chocolate chip cookie half and ran a strip of icing across the edge of the cookie (the part that would to stick to the cupcake), and then stuck it on.
I used a pizza pan to put the cupcakes on, so the sprinkles didn't run everywhere. A cookie sheet would be fine too, but I was using all of those for my butterscotch batches that were baking.
Here is a picture of the finished Cookie Monster cupcakes.
They turned out so cute and were much easier to make with sprinkles, rather than the blue icing that is all over Pinterest. :) The only decorating that was needed was the eyes.
Elmo Cupcake Decorating Instructions
For the Elmo cupcakes, I took almost the exact same steps as the Cookie Monster cupcakes listed above: I baked the cupcakes large so they would have a dome, iced the top, and then dunked them into a bowl of red sprinkles.
I then used the icing tubes to draw on the face. A little more skill was required for Elmo's eyes, nose, and mouth (compared to just Cookie's eyes), and I was tired from baking all day - but they still turned out pretty nice.
If your toddler can recognize Elmo, then you know it looks pretty good :)
The Elmo Cake
The Elmo cake consisted of three main parts - the Elmo face cut-outs used on the sides of the cake, the icing, and the actual cake. All of them were pretty simple to make. I made the face cut-outs the night before I did the cake, so two nights before the party. Then I made the cake and icing the day before. I also did the decorating the day before.
Elmo Cake and Decorating Materials
Decorating the Elmo Cake
So my plan was to make red icing from beets to give Elmo his color.. I know that sounds crazy, but I didn't feel like dumping a whole bunch of red dye into the icing that I knew my son would be eating by the spoonful. I read that beets can be used for red icing, so why not try and make an MSG-free alternative?!
Well, in short, tampering with the beets was a waste of time the day before having a huge party at your house. The beets turned the icing hot pink. Like really hot pink. Too bad I wasn't making an Abby Cadabby cake.
The teacher in me thought that I could still use the hot pink beet icing to ice the cake, and then put the red sprinkles over the side to make Elmo. Well, that idea sunk when the cake started looking like Valentine's Day with the hot pink and the bright red. I laugh now, but oh was I frustrated!
So, how did we get Elmo red?!
We sent Ash out to the store for more powdered sugar, and my sister, who is the icing master, made another huge batch of icing in chocolate. Our altered plan was to ice the cake with chocolate frosting and then use the red sprinkles for the sides.
It worked out well, and we absolutely loved the way it turned out! The most time-consuming part, beets aside, was getting the sprinkles to stick to the sides of the cake.
My quick google search showed me there was no good strategy, other than tilting, and I was not tilting a two-layer 12" cake, so I grabbed a handful of sprinkles and pressed them up to the icing to make it stick. It took a while, but it was worth it in the end.
Making Elmo's Face Cut-Outs
This was actually the easiest part of making the cake. I made a half batch of my mom's cut-out cookies. You can make these a day early and leave the dough refrigerated overnight.
I used circle cookie cutters to get Elmo's eyes right, overlapping the circles a little. I made two different sizes - a smaller and a larger, so that I could pick the better of the two after they baked. I made about a half dozen of each version.
For Elmo's nose, I used a large oval cookie cutter to go with the larger eyes, and since I didn't have a smaller oval cookie cutter, I set the large one down in the dough as a guide and used a knife to cut a smaller oval. I made about two or three of each size nose.
To guide me, I had an Elmo party hat in front of me, with the character cut-outs that I used on the party decorations. This was helpful to look at as I worked.
After the cookies had baked and cooled, I picked from the two sizes I had made. I actually chose the smaller size, and then I got started on the decorating.
I used candy melts in white and black (see materials above). For the whites of the eyes, I melted the candy melts and half dipped/half iced it onto the cookie. Then, I simply took two chocolate morsels from the black candy melt bag and stuck them on for the pupils. The size was perfect!
For the orange, I thought I bought orange candy melts, but I hadn't. Ugh! I wasn't making another trip to the store, so I had to improvise. I used a little of the orange icing tube that was for nose on the Elmo cupcakes.
I just spread it over the nose cookie until it was smooth. It would have turned out better with the melted candy, as the icing was a little streaky. But hey, it saved me a trip back out :)
If you haven't used candy melts before, the trick with these (or melting any kind of chocolate in the microwave) is to microwave the morsels for 30 seconds at a time. After 30 seconds, stir the chocolate up really well. Continue this pattern until the chocolate is all melted.
When you are heating it up in 30 second increments and giving it a good stir in between, you don't run the risk of burning the chocolate.
For Abby's Magical Wands, I simply bought pretzel sticks and dipped them in hot pink candy melts. After dipping, I placed them on a cookie sheet lined with wax paper. This contains the drips and sprinkles. I also used some of the white candy melts to drizzle on them too, after the pink had set.
I was so pleased with how the desserts turned out. It was definitely my best cake ever. Last year, I tried to draw on a bear that looked more like a blob.... This year, I used cookies, sprinkles, and chocolate melts to mask my poor decorating skills :)
Looking back, it seems like a lot of work, but when you enjoy baking and creating something totally awesome, it was absolutely worth it. And, it was all in a day's work!
Thinking about making these Sesame desserts? Leave me a comment, and let me know how they turn out! :)
Looking for more Sesame posts? Check these out.
Hi! We're Ash and Eileen, and we are sharing our home project stories with you. From crafty projects to home maintenance to more ambitious DIY endeavors, we hope our stories inspire you to check a few things off your project list! :)