Well, summer is in full swing at the w/ household.
Next week I will be enjoying the sun, swimming, and wakeboarding while on a houseboat trip in Northern California.
I made these fun cupcakes a few weeks ago for a barbeque I hosted. There were some little ones running around and I wanted something festive, but not too time consuming to make. I found this idea in 101 Cupcake, Cookie, and Brownie Recipes, a cookbook from Gooseberry Patch. This book has tons of fun recipes and decorating ideas. They are all pretty simple but the taste is anything but.
I decided to make chocolate cupcakes because
a) its always a crowd pleaser and b) I had a box of mix on hand.
I made a simple buttercream (2 sticks softened butter, about 4 cups powdered sugar, and 1 t vanilla) and separated it into two bowls. Using Wilton icing colors, I created an ocean blue and yellow (sand). If you have yellow sanding sugar you could sprinkle it on top to get a true sand effect.
I used a ruffle decorating tip (#406 from Wilton) to create the wave effect with the blue frosting. I tried a couple different techniques. On some of them I rotated the cupcake so the frosting went around in a circle, like standard frosting but with the ruffle tip. On others I started at one end (the front) and layered the frosting in a back and forth technique until it reached the back. The latter seemed to work best.
I added peach ring candies to serve as water floaties and cut strips of sour belt candies as beach towels.
I saw the same idea on a few other websites, such as Bakerella, where the bears were dressed with icing bikinis and board shorts. I guess my bears were at a swimsuit optional beach.
Overall, a simple way to dress up cupcakes for any summer event.