Clown Fish Cupcakes

12 clown fish cupcakes
  • 12 yogurt-covered malt balls, halved (for the eyes)
  • 24 mini chocolate chips (for the pupils)
  • 2 cups vanilla buttercream
  • 12 small orange gumdrops (for the mouths)
  • 12 orange gumdrop fruit slices (for the tails and fins)
  • Black licorice spirals, such as Haribo (for the stripes)
  • 12 vanilla cupcakes
  • 12 cup orange nonpareils (for the skin)
  • Go fish: Whether you've got a Finding Nemo fan or fish tank enthusiast on your hands, this swimmingly sweet treat will be hard to keep from eating.

  • For the eyes: Place the malt balls cut side down on the work surface. Add a mini chocolate chip as a pupil to each ball by gluing with a little buttercream. Set aside.

  • For the mouths: Place the small orange gumdrops on the work surface standing upright. Snip each gumdrop with scissors straight down three-quarters of the way through the candy to make the open mouth.

  • For the tails and fins: Cut each orange gumdrop fruit slice in half horizontally to make 2 thinner slices. Cut 12 of these pieces in half crosswise to make fins. Make tails from the remaining 12 slices by cutting and removing a wide "V" into the concave side of the candy. Set aside.

  • For the stripes: Unroll the licorice and cut twelve 2 1/2-inch strips and twelve 3-inch strips. Separate the two sides of each strip.

  • To assemble: Frost each cupcake with about 2 tablespoons buttercream. Arrange a long and a short piece of licorice across one end of each cupcake, placing the longer piece toward the middle and the shorter piece toward the edge, about 1/4 inch apart to make a stripe. Repeat with another set of licorice pieces across the other end of the cupcake. Trim the licorice pieces so that they are even with the edges of the cupcake.

  • Attach the eyes, mouth, fins and tails by pressing gently into the frosting. Carefully sprinkle with orange nonpareils, leaving the 2 white stripes between the licorice pieces free of orange. Repeat steps for all cupcakes.

Use a fine, serrated blade to make a clean edge when slicing through the malted-milk-ball fish eyes.

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