May Cayzer’s Maple Cupcakes

There are two things in the world that I’m very allergic to: kiwis and dogs. Ironically, I happen to have a dog named Kiwi. She’s my absolute best friend. Throughout high school, I battled lots of mental health challenges, barely leaving my bed for most of my senior year. Kiwi was the one that saved me. No matter how overwhelmed I was feeling, she was always there: jumping around excited to see me. She motivated me to keep going, no matter how tough things got. I feel like I owe her the world for it. Now that I’ve moved out for college, it’s very hard for me to be away from her. Therefore, I chose to honor her through these cupcakes.

Most of the cupcakes look like her, but then one has a kiwi fruit on it to represent the importance (and irony) of her name in my life, and another one has her paw prints on it because of what they represent to me: any time she sees me, she starts jumping over a foot in the air. Her excitement never fails to put a smile on her face. Her two little paws jumping around waiting for me to come in and play with her are symbolic of the emotional support she provides, and so I had to reference them here.

I used many different techniques for these cupcakes. The first frosting batch was done using a Wilton 1M tip to make the frosting look like hair while still having a definite shape so that the fondant features would be noticeable on top of it. I then transferred the leftover frosting into a new piping bag with a Wilton 233 tip, to add more hair-like details around the nose. Before frosting them, I brought my model to the kitchen so I could frost the cupcakes in a way that would look as similar to her as possible.

Even though it was very hard to make her sit still, I wanted her to be part of the cupcake-making process, as after all, she is the whole theme of my cupcakes. I thought that getting her to not move would be the most difficult part—turns out I was very wrong. After (finally) finishing all the fondant features, I turned around to put something away, not noticing Kiwi getting ready to jump onto the table from her chair. Before I knew it, Kiwi got ahold of all the eyes, ears, noses, and tongues I spent almost an hour working on. She stepped all over them, tried to eat them, and ended up combining them all into a huge mess. While this wasn’t ideal, it was definitely the highlight of my cupcake making experience. She just wanted to help out with decorating the cupcakes! I laughed it off and remade the decorations, knowing the cupcakes were now Kiwi-approved.

—By May Cayzer