Even if you’re not a huge cinema go-er, I’m sure you will have noticed given all of the advertising on many food products, that Despicable Me 3 has now been launched at the cinema.
I’ve been wanting to make some Minion cupcakes for our
young niece and nephew for quite some time, but for one reason and another it just
hasn’t happened – yet! So in preparation for when we see them next, the release of the new Despicable Me movie seemed to be the perfect opportunity to give them a trial run.
These Minion Cupcakes are surprisingly easy to make, and yet they are very much recognisable as the mischievous yellow minions! There’s no shaping and moulding of tricky shapes, nor do you need to use food dies to colour your fondant – ready coloured fondant is great for this fun bake. The fondant is cut into circles with cutters of varying sizes to create the face, glasses and eye detail of these minion cake topper characters!
And they certainly are characters. There’s the one with the cheeky smile, the one poking his tongue out (tut-tut!), as well as the surprised Minion! Not to mention the bald one, the one with spiky hair and the one sporting a comb over! These homemade minion cake toppers are easy to make and are only limited to your own imagination!
Minion cupcakes are such a fun bake. Not only would they be great for a child’s party or even a charity bake sale, but they’re also great for letting your imagination go wild.
And of course, because fondant is unflavoured it means that you can use your favourite cupcake recipe to support your fondant topper!
Check out my video showing how to make Minion Cupcakes, should you need any further convincing how easy they are to make!
So, here’s how to make Minion Themed Cupcakes
For the Vanilla Cupcakes
- 210 g Butter unsalted & softened
- 210 g Caster Sugar
- small Pinch of Salt
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- 4 Eggs medium
- 210 g SR Flour
- 1-2 tbsp Milk
For the Vanilla Buttercream Frosting
- 180 g Butter unsalted & softened
- 360 g Icing Sugar
- 1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- splash of Milk
For the Fondant Minion Cupcake Toppers
- 250 g Yellow Fondant
- small amounts of Black Grey, White, Brown Fondant
- Start making the Minion cake toppers. Knead the yellow fondant until soft and pliable. Dust the work surface with a little cornflour if necessary and roll out. Use a cookie cutter, or similar, (ours was 68mm diameter) to cut 12 discs. Position each fondant disc on a square of greaseproof paper, this will prevent the fondant from becoming mishapen if you need to move them. Set aside to dry.
- Start to make the Minions’ glasses. Prepare some grey fondant and knead until soft and pliable. Dust the work surface with a little cornflour if necessary. Roll out the grey fondant. With the wide end of a large piping nozzle (or similar) cut out between 12-24 discs. (Remember some minions only have one eye!) With a smaller piping nozzle remove the centre from each grey disc which will therefore leave you with a ring of grey fondant. Repeat with the remaining discs. Ball up and cover the small cut away discs for later.
- Make the Minions’ eyes. Knead some white fondant. Roll out onto a work surface dusted with cornflour. Using the same small piping nozzle as you used for the frame of the glasses cut out some white discs. These will be the Minions’ eye. Roll out some brown fondant and cut out small discs with the narrow end of a plain round piping nozzle.
- Begin to assemble the Minions’ glasses and eyes. Using a small paint brush (reserved for food use only), paint a small amount of water on the reverse of a grey fondant ring. Position the disc on one of the yellow circles, either centrally for a one eyed Minion or slightly off to the side for a two eyed Minion. Gently press the grey ring to stick in position. Continue positioning the grey glasses frame to the Minion’s yellow face. Paint a tiny bit of water to the inside of the grey ring. Position a white disc in the centre – it should fit snugly. Again apply a small amount of pressure with your finger tip to afix it.
- Continue with the Minions’ eyes. Apply a small amount of water to one of the brown discs. Position this on the white of the Minion’s eye (applying a small amount of pressure to afix it), considering the expression you want it to have. Repeat with the remaining brown discs. Create the pupils with a small amount of black fondant rolled into a ball. Paint a tiny amount of water onto the brown fondant. Position the black ‘pupil’ and use the pad of your thumb or index finger to gently flatten the black. Repeat with the remaining eyes.
- Finish the glasses. Roll out the remaining grey fondant on a work surface lightly dusted with cornflour. Use a non-serrated knife to cut strips of the grey to be used as the ‘arms’ of the glasses. Afix the arms to the Minion’s face with a small amount of water.
- Apply hair to the Minion. Decide if your Minion will be bald or have hair – and its style. Using black fondant roll very thin short ‘sausages’. Afix to the yellow disc with a small amount of water in the style you want.
- Give your Minions expressions. Consider if your Minion is to smile, frown, yawn etc. Use a fondant tool or tooth pick to create a line for the Minion’s mouth (and eye brows as appropriate). Try to avoid dragging the yellow fondant. Using a small amount of black fondant roll it into a sausage shape. Apply a small amount of water to the shape of the mouth. Carefully allow the black fondant to lay into the shape of the mouth. Apply gently pressure with a flat tool to afix. If creating a round mouth for a yawn or a shocked expression shape a small amount of the black fondant into a disc and afix with water.
- Finish the Minions’ eyes. Shape a tiny piece of white fondant into a ball. Apply a little water to the black pupil and afix the white. This helps to bring a bit more ‘life’ to your Minion. Set the faces aside to dry overnight.
- Preheat the oven to 190℃ / Fan 170℃ / 375℉ / Gas 5. Place the muffin sized cases into the muffin tray.
- Make the sponge. Place the soft butter and sugar into a good sized bowl and beat together with a wooden spoon or electric beaters until very pale and fluffy. Add the salt and vanilla extract and beat again to combine. Gradually add the beaten egg a little at a time, beating well after each addition, (see note b below). Beat in the milk. Sieve the flour into the mixture. Use a spatula, large metal spoon or your hand with your fingers splayed to fold this in gently.
- Fill the muffin cases & bake. Using a spoon, fill the cases with the batter mixture. You’re aiming for them to be half to two-thirds full. You may decide to weigh each muffin to ensure equal sizes. Each will weigh about 60 – 63g. Place the muffin tray in the centre of the oven and bake for 20 – 23 minutes. You may need to rotate the tray after 15 minutes of baking. Once baked, remove from the oven and muffin tray and place onto a cooling rack.
- Make the buttercream frosting. Place the softened butter into a good sized bowl. Beat to ensure it is soft and creamy. Sieve half of the icing sugar into the butter. Use a wooden spoon to combine the two ingredients. Sieve the remaining icing sugar into the bowl and beat to combine. Beat well to create a creamy frosting. Add the vanilla extract mix until well combined. Add a drizzle of milk as necessary until it is the softness you like. Spoon the mixture into a piping bag fitted with a large star nozzle.
- Begin to decorate the cupcakes. Once the cupcakes have completely cooled pipe a flat swirl of frosting on top of each cake.
- Finish with the Minion fondant disc. Carefully remove the fondant disc from the greaseproof paper and position it on top of the buttercream. Enjoy!
- When making the cupcake batter, consider weighing the cracked eggs first to ensure the batter has equal weight of butter, sugar, flour and eggs. Simply weigh the butter, sugar and flour to the same weight as the eggs. Of course the value may be slightly different to the 210g listed in the ingredients above.
- Consider warming your lightly beaten eggs over a bain marie especially if they feel particularly cold. Warm them until they feel lukewarm. This should help prevent the batter from curdling and produce a better cupcake sponge.
- Why not hollow out the cupcakes a little to provide a secret filling of jam or even chocolate ganache before decorating with buttercream and the fondant disc.
- If you don’t have a large cookie cutter or fondant tools, improvise. Consider using a glass tumbler in place of the cookie cutter. A small tooth pick can be useful too when working with fondant.
- Rather than buying grey fondant, consider kneading together white fondant with a small amount of black. Likewise, for the brown fondant add a small amount of yellow and black to a larger piece of red. Knead together well until no longer streaky.
- Aim to keep your hands and utensils as clean as possible when working with different colours of fondant. Black, especially, can soon discolour other fondants.