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Break Away from the Herd with Lamb Cupcakes!

Break Away from the Herd with Lamb Cupcakes!

March 19, 2012
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sheep, cupcakes, marshmallows 

Need to shake up your cupcake routine this spring? I always seem to bring the same cupcakes & desserts to everything we go to. I wanted to break away from the herd and do something different that would stand out on the table! I know...ego-maniac right?

Who doesn’t like delicious cupcakes that are uber cute?? When I showed the picture of these Lamb Cupcakes to my "flock," I practically had a stampede headed to the kitchen to make them.

I will say these took a little bit of time to put together, but are completely worth the effort! Wait until you see how cute these lambs turned out! Let me tell you how we made them.

Start by preheating the oven to 350°F and line 24 muffin cups with paper liners. If you haven’t set out the butter to soften, now is a great time to do it. You will need 2 cups of butter (4 sticks) for the cupcakes and frosting.

Grab a large mixing bowl and get your mixer ready! You will need 1 box of white cake mix. The pre-made mix makes this one step easier! I am all about convenience. What a great idea!

cake mix, bowl, mixer

Pour in 1 cup milk...

milk, cake mix, bowl

...then put in 3 eggs.

eggs, cake mix, bowl

The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of freshly squeezed orange juice. I suppose, I could have been on my game and just squeezed the orange that I had for the zest. But, I have to admit - I just used refrigerated OJ.

cake mix, orange juice, bowl

Then zest 2 teaspoons of orange zest. If you don’t have a zester, just use a fine cheese grater. The whole kitchen smelled amazing when I zested the orange and added it to the batter.

orange zest, bowl, cupcakes

Finally don’t forget to add in the 1/2 cup of softened butter!

butter, cake mix, bowl

Beat the batter on Medium speed until smooth. Again, the orange zest is just so different than what I usually do, I felt like I was on a cupcake baking challenge show! I know, I need to get a life and stop watching so many cooking shows. Check out how the batter gets light and creamy!

mixed, cake mix, bowl

After mixing the batter, hand stir in a small bottle of flower-shaped cake sprinkles. What a great idea this is! It’s fun, festive and feels like spring!

sprinkles, flowers, cake mix

Pour the batter into paper liners to about 1/3 to 1/2 full and bake for 18-22 minutes.

cupcakes, liners, batter

While the cupcakes are baking, It’s time to make the frosting!

In another bowl, place 1 1/2 cups of softened butter.

butter, bowl, frosting

Add in 2 cups of powdered sugar and 2 teaspoons of vanilla.

butter, powdered sugar, frosting

With a small spatula, scoop out the marshmallow creme from the two 7 oz jars (you need 14 ounces total) of marshmallow creme and place in the mixing bowl.

This is where it gets fun and sticky!! Well, for my herd of little helpers, everything is sticky... but that’s life these days!

butter, frosting, marshmallow creme

Start to beat on Low speed so the powdered sugar doesn’t go everywhere. As my youngest shrieked with laughter and exclaimed..."look at this!" (nothing good ever comes with my children saying that phrase). I thought I would add that in as my helpers tend to be a little cleaner when we start mixing on a lower mixer speed! Then increase the speed to Medium until the frosting is well mixed. The frosting is stickier than typical frosting. It needs to be that way to hold the marshmallow decorations.

frosting, marshmallow, cupcakes

Once the frosting is ready, it’s time to make the lamb’s faces. Take 24 black gumdrops and flatten each with your thumb so they are about 1/4 of an inch thick. My crew thought it would be more fun to roll them with their rolling pins (Ok, they attempted to beat the gumdrops flat). But using my thumb actually worked the best to flatten the gumdrop.

gumdrops, cupcakes, lamb face

I purchased the eyes in the cake decorating section of one of my local stores. Using the frosting, stick two eyes onto the top part of one side of the gumdrop. Then poke two holes in the bottom on the same side of the gumdrop to make the nostrils.

gumdrops, face, black

Poke 2 holes in the top of the gumdrop to insert a cut piece of licorice nibs to make the ears.

lamb, face, licorice

Frost the cupcakes by making a small mound of icing in the middle of the cupcake.

frosting, mound, cupcake

Attach the lamb face onto the front 1/3 part of the frosting on the cupcake. Arrange the mini marshmallows on top of the frosting and gently press the marshmallows into the frosting.

mini, marshmallow, cupcake

The last step is to insert a licorice piece at the back part of the cupcake to make a tail.

lamb, tail, cupcake

They look like this!

lamb, cupcake, boy

Here’s how we brought them to a family get-together this weekend - they were a huge hit with our family (everyone asked for the recipe!) and they tasted incredible. A few of our nephews have allergies, so I was able to take a cupcake recipe that they could eat and just decorate it like the other cupcakes. For variety as you can see I added in a black sheep to the family! (a chocolate cupcake!) Well, that’s a story for another time....

lamb, cupcake, herd

Just like that, you’re breaking away from the herd to make something completely different and totally cute! I hope you decide to give these Lamb Cupcakes a try and don’t forget to tell me about your cupcake making.

Check back in a few days when Amanda will share a delicious dinner idea.

Alex is paid to write for the Land O’Lakes Recipe Buzz® Blog.

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I think these are a great way to start the spring season and Easter off with!!! Will let you know how mine turned out later this month. Thank you!!

Posted March 07, 2014 by Ellen Scott
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Cindy
Thanks so much! I am interested to know how your lamb cupcakes turned out.
Posted March 28, 2014

Thank you Cindy for the black gum drop suggestions but I did check several candy stores and they don't have them. Hence, not being able to find them anywhere. Also, all of the regular gum drop bags I have found do not have black gum drops in them. If they did, I wouldn't buy a bunch of bags just to get 24 black gum drops. It would end up costing $15 a cupcake...In the end, I got the Crows black licorice drops to use. Good thing I figured to use those otherwise I would have wasted money buying all of the other ingredients before realizing I couldn't get the gum drops.

Posted April 06, 2012 by Becky

How many marshmallows to a cupcake. How many in a bag, means how many bags we need? Would help.

Posted April 04, 2012 by Bev
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Cindy
Each lamb is individual and could be covered with more marshmallows or fewer depending on how you decorate the lamb. You would need approximately 1 cup of mini marshmallows to cover each lamb. Each 10.5-ounce bag of mini marshmallows = 5 1/2 cups. So you would need 4 to 5 bags of mini marshmallows. Hope you have fun making these lambs.
Posted April 13, 2012

this is so cute, I am going to make these!

Posted April 02, 2012 by johanna

Very adorable! I'm going to try it to bring to my work friends at the Detention Facility to brighten up the atmosphere a bit! I was thinking a similar presentation except by placing mini chocolate eggs w/o the wrappers in some green easter grass for an "Oh Crap!... An IED minefield" response. (Identified Explosive Device) Jail staff have a warped sense of humor! Thanks for the recipe.

Posted March 31, 2012 by Betty

Can't wait to try it. Thanks Alex

Posted March 30, 2012 by Joe

Amazing! These are so adorable. I can't wait to try them out myself.

Posted March 30, 2012 by Amy

Too bad no one in my family is a fan of licorice. I will have to put on my thinking cap to come up with a good, "dark candy" for the face. Will keep them in mind for our Easter get together.

Posted March 29, 2012 by Maria

These are so cute. I have all the ingredients except for the black gumdrops. Can't find them anywhere, not even online. Where can I get black gumdrops?

Posted March 27, 2012 by Becky
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Cindy
Here are a couple of suggestions: try a candy store and see if they have black gumdrops. Otherwise, I purchased several packages of gumdrops and sorted through to find enough black gumdrops. Most discount or grocery stores have packages of gumdrops.
Posted April 02, 2012

Love, love the cupcakes. But please, I don't mean to be rude, but the way these directions were written, it was if they were for a 4 year old to make them by themself! Most of us Moms know how to use rudimentary items in a kitchen, so please don't "dummy down" the recipes for us! The pictures were great though!

Posted March 22, 2012 by Gayle

What local store can you by the eyes at?

Posted March 21, 2012 by Abby
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Cindy
The "eyes" for the lambs were purchased at a national discount store in the candy and and cake decorating section of the grocery area. Another idea is to look in a craft store or a specialty candy or cake decorating store.
Posted March 25, 2012

i cant wait to make this with my family.

Posted March 21, 2012 by nicole

Really cute! Sounds a bit time-consuming but doable.

Posted March 21, 2012 by Diane

This looks very cute, but, where is the printed recipe so I can print it?

Posted March 21, 2012 by Denise
Test Kitchen Comment
From: Cindy
Please click on the underlined name of the recipe in the blog copy. You will then be linked to the recipe document itself with the ingredient amounts and method. Hope you try this recipe!
Posted March 25, 2012

This are sooo CUTE!! Love the picture in the newspaper. :)

Posted March 21, 2012 by Marcela

They are so cute. It is on my to-do list for the next girls-party, next week. Not just for kids......... Thank you for sharing .

Posted March 21, 2012 by Carola

this cupcakes look so awesome

Posted March 20, 2012 by ashley

This has got to be the absolutely best decorated cupcake I have ever seen! It probably doesn't hurt that Lambs are my favorite animal. We will be making these in my son's class for the Spring center.

Posted March 20, 2012 by Marie

incredibly adorable. who knew there was such good use for black licorice and gum drops. looking forward to trying these. they seem so easy.

Posted March 20, 2012 by avonannemarie

Can't wait to try this. The lambs are do cute!!

Posted March 19, 2012 by Eadoine

these are perfect I will be making with my granddaughter

Posted March 19, 2012 by bea prince

cant wait to try this wilth the grandchildren looks great

Posted March 19, 2012 by kathy

I made these the other day,, and since i used them for a baby shower I bought the mini pastel colored marshmellows and used the fruit colored licorice and regular frit colored gumdrops,,, very pertty in the light colors,,,

Posted March 19, 2012 by debbi

That looks sooooo cute were going to make one for our grandparents parents aniversery!!! Were also going to make an edible plate out of fondant, and use green coconut shaving for the grass.. later well try some origonal ideas!!!

Posted March 19, 2012 by Ashlie Di Natale