I love a bit of fun for a premiere party, and season 4 is fast approaching!
I’ve wanted to do something like this for a few years now, and this seemed like the perfect time for it. I missed the window for Battle of the Blackwater cupcakes, although I had some pretty epic ideas for those… ;)
With a few exceptions, cupcakes are pretty much cupcakes, tasty and small. The impact of this, though, is the presentation. Although it looks like a cake, the base of this direwolf is actually made from a bunch of cupcakes, with one flipped upside-down on top of another for the snout. It took a little trimming to get the shape I wanted, but in the end I’m very pleased with the result. It took under an hour to decorate, making it a good candidate for showy party food!
Direwolf Cupcakes Recipe
Cook’s Notes: This is a gingerbread cupcake recipe, but you can use any type you like, or even a mix, if you are pressed for time. For the exact shape I used, you need about 14 cupcakes.
- 2 sticks butter, softened
- 1 cup white sugar
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1/4 cup molasses
- 1 tsp. vanilla
- 2 tsp. cinnamon
- 2 Tbs. ginger
- 1/4 tsp. ground cloves
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 1/2 cup milk
- ~4 cups frosting (2 small tubs of storebought)
- black gel food coloring
- yellow candy for eyes
- candy for teeth (look for the bananas from a package of Runts – I couldn’t find any!)
Cream together the butter and sugar, then add the eggs and molasses. Mix until completely combined, then add the spices, followed by the milk and flour. When the batter is all one smooth consistency, spoon into paper-lined muffin tins, and bake at 350 for around 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into a cupcake comes out clean.
Method for decorating:
When I began to lay out the cupcakes for this project, I quickly realized that all round cupcakes was simply not going to work. I pulled the paper off my cupcakes and set to trimming and arranging. Make sure that you have the cupcakes set up on a large plate or cutting board, since they can’t be easily moved once iced. I ending up with this combo:
To make the fur on my direwolf, I used a star tip on my pastry icing bag, and that worked great. The trick to making the frosting fur look layered is to start on the outside and work your way in. That means beginning with the darkest grey, and gradually adding layers as you go to give the look of overlapping fur. For some of the sections, I even used two or three colors, which gave the fur a great striated feel. I looked at a photograph of a real wolf as I went, mostly to help with the colors. When the frosting is complete, you can add the candy for the eyes.
I had extra frosting left over, which I used to quickly ice the sides of the cake, partly for looks and partly to keep the cake fresher.