Two weeks ago The Boss and I were hanging out and shooting the breeze at our neighborhood “Rally in the Alley”, this is a Friday gathering of folks in our neighborhood alleyway where we BYOB and depending on the current sporting season someone brings a TV. In our time there one of the guys who lives next door was telling me the latest news story about his baby girl and the goofy things that babies do. He was super stoked because they were currently planning her 1st birthday party, and wanted us to come. Of course we would be there… but I’m not one to show up empty handed. So casually I prodded him about his daughters favorite colors or if there was a theme to the party. Of course there was a theme….
This little girl LOVES LOVES LOVES her rubbery ducky! Apparently her first word was “Dad-da” and shortly behind came “Guck-ey” Yes… Ducky. Granted I’ve never made ducky cupcakes before or even attempted a three dimensional animal cake before, but hey, there is no time like the present. Since my favorite animal cupcake creation was by far my Bride and Grooms I thought I should take the cue from those small birds and go for an army of Rubber Ducks. Then I got the fever to go bigger… so I did.
I started by baking two big circle cakes along with a half dozen cupcakes. While those puppies were cooling off I started in with the key element to a super cute duck… it’s beak! (and maybe some feet).
The give away in the picture is the orange starburst wrapper in the backdrop. The beaks and webbed feet are “tempered starburst”. Ha ha okay okay, that really just means that I microwaved the starburst and then tortured my poor fingers by molding the really hot sugars! Then why the doughnut holes? Well they are going to be the ducky’s head, and I needed to make sure the beaks were in proportion to the heads.
So I frost the cupcake, stick on the head (beak not included) and then the questionable tail…
Doesn’t look much like a duck yet huh?
So I ended up with a bunch of duck options, and my only registered voter in the house at the time was the Boss, so he got to decide what “style” duck to go with.
Our choices here are:
1) Duck with sprinkles
2) Plain frosting duck
3) Duck with tail
4) Duck without tail
Mix these choices together and there is a pretty good combination to choose from. Ultimately we decided that the Duck with tail actually looked too much like a real bird, like Jay or Chickadee. If you could picture the bird in red it could actually be a Cardinal. And the sprinkles really made the cupcake more finished…
So here we have the first picture of the crew. Now granted we know that in any mix of people there will always be “one strange duck” and here there is no exception…
Doesn’t feel good to get laughed at does it Mr. Duck? As my Mom always used to tell me, “Don’t worry Bert, their day will come”.
So from here I moved on to the bigger task of the day… One Giant Duck. (Not to be confused with one giant sneaker!)
I’d like to answer YES to some questions that I heard the crowd mumble upon their downward scroll…
YES, that is my laptop AND rubber duck in the back round as my reference guide.
YES I did use straws instead of cake doweling, one it is more cost effective, and to be honest people are a lot less freaked out by everyday straws being used than finding wooden poles in their cakes!
Then came the tempered starburst torture again…
You can see that the beak actually carried some weight, so when the cake started to crack (see pic above) around the mouth I had to bring in the reinforcements! (that would be the green and orange straws going trough the chest to the lower jaw of the Duck!!
… once you got him all dressed up, there was no evidence of the neck brace!
Finally I finished up the entire duck with frosting to spare! Then put all the little ducklings on board and we had a finished birthday cake surprise!
Last couple touch ups and….
A Quack-tastic finish!