Planning a LEGO birthday party? These LEGO cupcakes are adorable and delicious! And they are very EASY to make!
For those of you who have followed this blog for a long time, you may remember that I once made the ugliest LEGO cake ever. So when I wanted some cute LEGO cupcakes, I asked my good friend Niki for help. She suggested this idea for easy LEGO cupcakes and even made them for me. But I did help, and I can guarantee that even someone like me can make these cupcakes look GOOD!
These cupcakes rely on M&M’s to create the little LEGO dots. Super easy!
When it’s birthday party time, display the cupcakes with a few real LEGO bricks – looks so cute!
Ingredients and Supplies Needed:
- Square cupcake pan, also called a brownie pan – I used this Wilton Brownie Bar Pan
- Boxed cake mix, plus what the box says to add (oil, eggs)
- Tub of white store bought frosting
- Cupcake wrappers – normal round cupcake wrappers work just fine
- Gel food coloring – these Wilton ones are good, but you can use any gel food coloring from the grocery store
- A small bowl for each color of icing you plan to make
Prepare the Batter and Bake Your Cupcakes
Once you have your ingredients assembled, start by placing one wrapper paper in each baking square of the pan. You do not need to push it down and fit it to the square; when you pour the batter in, that will form it to the square shape. But if you still doubt that those round papers are going to work in square holes (I did!), then use your fingers to gently push the wrapper into the hole and stare in awe at how simple it is!
Prepare your cake batter, following the recipe or instructions. Though not necessary, I find it incredibly helpful to fill my cupcake pan by using a gallon-size resealable bag. Here’s what to do: fold down the top few inches of the bag. Rest it on a countertop, and carefully pour the cake batter into the bag. Fold the top few inches of the bag back up to normal, and seal the bag. Snip a corner off of the bag and use this controlled device to measure batter into each cupcake square. This method gives you a lot more control and usually results with much less mess!
Fill your cupcake wrappers as you would do for ‘normal’ cupcakes. Filling about 3/4 full is recommended. You want your cupcakes to rise above the paper wrapper but not be too huge. The end goal is to have cupcakes that are as close to flat on top as you can obtain.
Bake as directed for the cupcake recipe you are using. Let cool completely.
TIP: the flatter the top surface of your cupcakes, the more Lego-like they will look. But it can be tricky to have cupcakes rise evenly when baking. Plan to bake twice as many cupcakes as you will need. Then you can choose the best looking , best formed of the bunch for your Legos. The rest can be frozen (un-frosted) for another time or another use.
How to Frost and Decorate LEGO Cupcakes
Now comes the fun part! The frosting! Assemble at your work area the M&Ms, the microwave-safe bowls, the toothpicks, and your frosting.
For each color of frosting, measure out about 1 Cup of frosting into each microwave-safe bowl. Add a small amount of the food coloring gel of your choice to each bowl. Start with a small amount of color, and continue adding until you reach the color you want. LEGO colors are very vibrant and hard to obtain! Gel coloring is your best bet to getting the vibrant color you’ll want, but you will still have to work for awhile to get the right color. I found that when I had added quite a bit of coloring and still wasn’t satisfied, that letting it sit for 5-10 minutes helped. The color seemed to get more vivid as it sat.
Now it’s time to frost your cupcakes by dipping!
This is a surprisingly easy technique that yields a shiny surface on the top of your frosted cupcake. And even better- no trying to evenly spread or pipe frosting!
Choose one color that you want to start with. Microwave the bowl of frosting for 10 seconds. Check the consistency using a spoon. The goal is to have a thick liquid, similar to white school glue. If the frosting isn’t the right consistency yet, try another 10 seconds in the microwave.
When the consistency is right, move the bowl next to your cupcakes, choose one, and, holding it upside down, carefully dip the top of the cupcake down into the liquid frosting. Try to avoid dipping the wrapper into the frosting, if possible. Hold for one second, then slowly pull it straight up while still upside-down, letting the frosting run off of it and back into the bowl. Then quickly swoop the cupcake back to upright, and let the frosting settle. If your frosting doesn’t spread to the corners of your cupcakes, gently use a toothpick to spread the frosting to the corners while it is still wet.
Add four M&Ms to the top of the cupcake while the frosting is still wet. Place each candy and hold it in place for one or two seconds to keep it from sliding while the frosting sets.
Repeat with your other frosting colors; mixing the color, microwaving, and dipping.
Another bonus tip for you: when I’m trying a new technique, I choose my ugliest cupcakes of the batch and work with them first! This gives me the chance to practice and get used to the feel of it. And they make a great reward when I’ve finished and I can eat them, destroying the evidence of my first awkward attempts!
I know the blue looks different in the different photos. The darker looking blue was under a fluorescent kitchen light, while the photo below is natural light. In real life, they were the same!
Display your cupcakes on a tiered cake stand, or simply set them all out on a large platter.
Have fun making LEGO cupcakes!