How to make bee-inspired cupcakes

Posted under Kids in the Kitchen

We’ve had lots of buzzing bee fun this past week- we’ve sung buzzy bee songs and danced in a buzzy bee circle.  We’ve eaten honey flower toast and made crafty bees too. And for a special treat, we ate buzzy bee cupcakes.  These were inspired by Donna Hay .  Oh, I love her work.  So stylish.
And just that little bit unattainable for an ordinary cook like me   :)
(Have you ever tried to recreate the ‘look’ of a photographed dessert?  Mine NEVER look quite the same. )  I do believe in the thought that a little bit of their magic might just wing its way over to me if I’m game enough to try.

The only thing that bugs me is how many food stylist’s often use lollies and sweets in their decorations and creations…
I’m probably like you in that I don’t want my little guy having lollies everyday.
Parties, fine. Special events, no worries.
But sometimes I want to have a little fun with cooking and presentation, and lollies just won’t do.
Hail the banana chip!
It is so easy to be creative with food presentation.  There is so much on offer.
Dried apple and fruits of all sorts, almonds, pine nuts, walnuts, frozen and fresh berries, kiwi fruit and pawpaw slices and strawberries and dehydrated banana, pretzels and popcorn and licorice too.
I bet you can think of a heap more too!
These bees are pretty simple and just too cute.
You’ll need:
*macadamia halfs  (cashews could work too)
*banana chips
*licorice- I cut mine into tiny strips using kitchen scissors
*28 cupcakes, cooled  (your choice of recipe)
I made carrot cakes.
Here is the scrumptious recipe. (Makes 28 muffins)   (Halve the recipe if needed)

Mix 3 cups of wholemeal flour, 4 cups of grated carrot, 1/2 cup sunflower seeds, 1/2 cup sultanas, 1 cup sesame seeds and 1 cup coconut in a big bowl. Add 1 cup of honey, 1/2 cup olive oil and 3 cups of your milk of choice. (I used soy this time).   Stir it all together.  The mixture should be runny, not stiff.  If it is stiff, add a little more milk or water.   Give it a good whirl with a wooden spoon to get a bit of air in it.
Scoop the mixture into muffin tins.  Bake in a moderate oven (180 degrees C) for 30-40 minutes or until cooked through.  These muffins do not rise, however they turn a lovely golden colour.  Test by poking a skewer stick in the centre of a muffin.  If it comes out clean, they are done.
When the muffins cool, smother them in icing.
I used 2 cups of icing sugar, a few drops of pink cochineal colour as I couldn’t find a healthy version for a green icing (if you have an idea or a tip, it would be much appreciated) and a teaspoon of hot water, but you can make any kind of icing you like.  The icing is needed to stick it all together and make it hold.
To make the bees:
Be sure to position your banana chip as close to one edge of the icing as you can so you don’t run out of space on your icing ‘glue’.  The macadamia goes on next, as the head, then gently push the pretzels into the icing on either side of the banana.  Lay strips of licorice for bee stripes and antennas.  Be sure to work quickly, before the icing hardens too much.
Happy eating!

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