Mangia Mondays:: Little Fishy Cupcakes

Welcome to the 23rd week of Mangia Mondays!  I host this weekly blog-hop with my fabulous friend and chef extraordinaire, Kristin of Delightfully Dowling and we’d love for you to join the fun!

One of the things I have realized over many years of cooking and baking is that the end result does not have to be perfect to be fabulous.  The smallest effort can give even the simplest dish a little pizzazz, whether it be laying out your cheese and crackers decoratively on a platter, skewering tomatoes and mozzarella, or adding a little fun to cupcakes.  While I greatly admire fine cake decorating and food presentation, for real life I am happy to let go of perfect and focus on making food that is delicious and aesthetically pleasing too.

I especially love baking with the kiddos who find joy in simple pleasures like sprinkles and food coloring!  Without further ado, I present to you……

We made these easy cupcakes for a cookout we went to this weekend.  That little extra effort took all of ten minutes, and was inspired by whatever we could find in the pantry.

Bake a batch of cupcakes.  (While I love to make cakes & frosting from scratch, I always keep cake mixes and frostings in my pantry for last minute baking.  I use Pillsbury cake mix because it doesn’t have trace amounts of nuts like Dunkin Hines.  Might was well make baked goods completely nut-free in case there is a nut allergy in the crowd.)

Tint white frosting with blue food coloring.

When frosting the cupcakes make scallops in the same direction for the waves of the ocean.
Dip the bottom of each little ocean into graham cracker crumbs.

Add a few treasures on the sea floor with sprinkles.
Use a Goldfish cracker or better yet, a Swedish Fish for your little fishy.
Add bubbles with excess blue (or white) frosting piped out of a sandwich baggy or with writing gel.

If you want to expand upon this theme you can make a whole ocean (or aquarium) cake!  Once upon a time I made this one for my son’s birthday, along with Little Fishy Cupcakes for his class at school.

The on the “sea floor” are rock candy and jelly beans, and the sea plants are made out of crystal rock candy and sliced and twisted fruit roll-ups.  I found all the candy including the gummy sharks and octopus at a local candy store.


This seven year old birthday boy for whom I made the ocean cake (with his little brother and his teddy bear!) is about to become a TEENAGER in a few short weeks!!!!!!

You are welcome to join in the Mangia Mondays fun and link up a food related post (or share in the comments section) kitchen tips, tricks, recipes – even restaurant suggestions!