These little hula bear cupcakes were fun to make. They were made for a hula birthday party. The birthday girl asked for a few cupcake suggstions when she placed her order. I told her we could make cupcakes with chocolate shells on top, cupcakes topped with fondant Hawaiian flowers, or hula bear beach cupcakes. Without hesitation, she wanted the hula bears. I love a girl that knows exactly what she wants. I had seen many cake and cupcake ideas that use bikini clad Teddy Grahams, so I knew they wouldn’t be too difficult to transform into hula bears with grass skirts.
To pipe onto the bears, you need a thick batch of royal icing. To make sure it’s the right consistency, pull the spoon out of the mixing bowl and make sure that the icing holds its shape without sinking back into the icing mixture. The best way to pipe the details on these very small little bears is with a small piping tip (Wilton #1). The hula outfits were made using Americolor Electric Pink (I love their neon color line), and Wilton’s Leaf Green. To pipe the skirt, I made a layer of small thin lines and let it dry. I then piped another layer on top to make the skirt appear fuller.The bikini tops were made by simply making two small triangles, filling them in with a toothpick, and then making little lines for the tie around the neck.
Once the cupcakes were baked and cooled, I made a batch of buttercream frosting, divided it into two bowls, and tinted it two different colors ~ Americolor sky blue and Wilton’s copper gel color. I just used a tiny bit of each to achieve the colors that I wanted. (By the way, Wilton’s copper gel is the perfect skin color, but you don’t need much.) I frosted the copper color first on all cupcakes first for the sand, varying the amount on different cupcakes to allow for different cupcake scenes. Once the sand was frosted, I filled a small bowl with crushed teddy grahams (crushing in a Ziploc by rolling over with a rolling pin). I then flipped the cupcakes over into the bowl to coat the frosting with the crushed teddy grahams. I brushed any access that had gotten on the part of the cupcake without frosting.
To make the ocean waves, I used the 1M Wilton tip. This is the magic tip that makes the cupcake swirl you see on a lot of cupcakes (see tutorial here), but it’s also a great tip for other purposes. You can make easy cupcake roses using this tip, which I’ll share later this week.
Once the bears are dressed and the water and sand have been piped, the real fun began, using different candies to decorate the cupcake scenes. Rafts,beach towels, and beach chairs can be made using Airhead candies, gum sticks, or fruit roll ups and cutting them to the size you need. The little candy fish came from Powell’s, an old-fashioned candy store nearby that I frequent. Gummi lifesavers served as floating rings, and gumballs were used for beach balls. I had Wilton flower sprinkles that looked Hawaiian-ish that I sprinkled on a few of them. Lastly, a few cocktail umbrellas finished off the scene.
But of course, before they were delivered to the birthday girl, the hula bears were kind enough to pose for me in a little photo shoot. When the birthday girl saw them, she immediately picked out her favorite and instructed her mom to reserve it for her. I’m telling you, the girl knows what she wants ~ I love it! Happy Hula Birthday Kirsten!!