Remember back in school when you learned that March either came in as a lamb or a lion? I don’t know about you, but this year March came in like a lion for us.
With the hopes that it will do what it should and go out like a lamb, I’ve made cupcakes to celebrate one of the most fickle months on the calendar. Something that I like to do when I’m baking is to get all the ingredients out and then put them away as I use them. That way I know where I’m at in a recipe if I lose my place or get distracted.
The decorating process was a little intense and it did take a good few hours to complete. To save time I baked the cupcakes the night before. I used a one bowl chocolate cake recipe from Martha Stewart.
This recipe was super easy and I was really happy with how the cakes turned out. They had a rich chocolate flavour and were very moist.
Since I was going to need toasted coconut for the lion manes, I spread out unsweetened coconut on to a parchment lined baking sheet and popped it into the oven. The cupcakes had just come out so I used the warmth from that to toast the coconut. With the oven off it took about 15 minutes to get the look that I was going for. I checked on it a few times and I even took out the sheet and moved the shredded coconut around to try and get it to brown evenly.
I was really happy with how that turned out. I went to a bulk store to buy my candy supplies and I could have bought toasted coconut there, but I really didn’t like how uniform the toasting looked. I wanted some colour variation.
The next morning it was so sunny and it hadn’t been sunny in so long, I worked in a sun spot in the kitchen. I separated out the brown mini M&M’s for eyes, cut the liquorice lace into tiny strips, trimmed the tips off white and orange gum drops, cut a bunch of mini marshmallows in half and a few on the diagonal for the ears.
It took a while to cut everything up, with how gooey all the candy is, I had to stop many times to clean off the knife. Near the end I took a little break and started on the icing. I used a Cupcake Jemma Buttercream recipe. I made it in the stand mixer and it turned out beautifully.
I wanted to colour the icing for the lions, so I started by icing then assembling all the lambs. I did one lamb at a time so I could stick everything on before the icing set.
Eyes first, then pink icing (just used one of the pre-made ones where you place a piping tip on the container) for the nose, then ears and I filled in all the gaps with marshmallow halves.
With the remaining icing I added a generous dollop of ivory and a touch of brown food colourings and then gave it a mix by hand.
Using the newly created tan shade, I iced the remaining cupcakes and assembled the lions.
The lions started the same as the lambs, with the eyes, nose placed first. Then adding the gum drop snouts, and a roll in the toasted coconut.
The finishing touch is adding the liquorice pieces to each side for whiskers.
They look so cute severed together. Boxed up they would even make a great gift.
Is winter still hanging on where are are? Or are you finally starting to see signs of Spring? Do you think March is going to go out like a lamb or a lion?
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