Monday, February 22, 2010

Toto, I Don’t Think We’re in Kansas Anymore!

Everyone needs a loyal best friend. For Dorothy, it was none other than her rascally companion, Toto, who trotted all the way to the Emerald City at her side. For my good friend, Ms. Strawberry Shortcake, her Toto is another Cairn Terrier – Maggie.

(This photo of Maggie is from Strawberry Shortcake's wedding in Cambria. Photo courtesy of Russell Gearhart Photography)

So, what did I make Strawberry Shortcake for her birthday last week? A playful puppy portrait of her loyal and best friend Maggie -in cake of course!

The design for these delectable doggies comes from the book “Hello, Cupcake!” by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack. I modified a few of the ingredients, but these happy hounds were quite simple to make. Follow the directions below to make your own cake-y canines (or buy the book).

Hello, Cupcake! Links:
Hello, Cupcake! Official Website
Hello, Cupcake! Book Info

To Decorate Your Own Dogs:

You Will Need:
1 Batch of Normal Size Cupcakes
1 Batch Mini Cupcakes (same number cupcakes as larger ones)
1 Recipe Butter Cream Icing (don’t use store bought icing, it is too soft and gooey)
Brown Gel Food Coloring
Pink Conversation Hearts (four per dog)
Chocolate Covered Sunflower Seeds, or Large Sugar Pearl Sprinkles
Tooth Picks
1 Disposable Decorating Bag
#16 Decorating Tip and Coupler
1 Bowl and Spoon for mixing

Prep the Frosting:
1) Add brown food coloring to butter cream icing with a toothpick. Mix till desired shade is achieved.
2) Attach #16 tip to a disposable piping bag using coupler.
3) Put five toothpicks full of brown food coloring on the interior sides of the piping bag. This will create a slight striping effect giving the hair the illusion of texture.
4) Fill piping bag with frosting.

To Make the Head:
1) Using the mini cupcakes to make the head, start by creating the muzzle. To do this, pipe a dollop of frosting just below the cupcake center. Press one conversation heart (upside down) into the frosting. Put a dollop on top of that heart and attach a second conversation heart on top. In the Hello, Cupcake! book, they used small marshmallows instead of conversation hearts.

2) Attach the ears by piping a line of frosting on the top rim of the cupcake (where an ear would go) and press an upside down pink conversation heart into the frosting. Make sure the text (Hug me, Be Mine, etc.) is not facing forward. Do this for both ears.

3) Cover the sides and back of the ears with piping. Start at the base and slowly move each line of frosting upward.

4) Let’s make some fur! Pipe 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch chunks of fur, starting with the outside rim, like you are putting petals on a flower. Slowly work your way inwards. The second layer of fur should slightly overlap the previous layer, and so on as you work your way to the center.

5) When you get to the muzzle, start at the top and pipe long lines from the center down.

6) Add eyes and nose by pressing chocolate covered sunflower seeds in the appropriate space. Or using a craft brush paint the large sugar pearl sprinkles with brown food coloring. Push sprinkles into eye and nose areas, and touch up with food coloring. (I used the sprinkles).

To Make the Body:
1) Start on the outside and work your way inwards (like you did with the head). Pipe chunks of hair, spiraling your way into the center.

2) When you get to the center make a large dollop of icing with which to attach the head.

3) Turn the dog head (decorated mini cupcake) on its side so he head is upright, and press it into the center dollop of frosting. VOILA! You’ve made a cairn terrier cupcake! You’re so talented!

4) Repeat for as many doggies as you desire!


  1. Wow! These are truly amazing. I DO love dogs, and cupcakes - just not baking. Do you send these mail order?

  2. Thank you thank you thank you! My daughter is on a wolf obsession and this will be perfect! Thanks so much for giving instructions. I found your link on Pinterest and so many links lead to nothing. Thanks again!!!!