Disney Princess-Inspired Cupcakes

Calling all princess fans: these cute-as-can-be cupcakes are modeled after your favorite leading ladies. Start with your preferred cupcake recipe, then get to decorating with neat swirled frosting (we show you how) and fancy toppings galore. If you can't find any of the decorations at your local craft or baking stores, we recommend checking out Etsy online.
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  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 1 hr 15 min
  • Active: 1 hr 15 min
  • Yield: 12 cupcakes
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Ingredients

Cupcakes and Frosting:

4 sticks (2 cups) unsalted butter, at room temperature

8 cups confectioners' sugar 

1/4 cup milk 

1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt  

Pink, blue, red, yellow, green and turquoise gel food coloring, for the frosting 

12 cupcakes (unfrosted) 

Aurora Cupcakes:

Gold sanding sugar, for garnish

2 large pink edible sugar flowers 

2 small white edible sugar flowers 

Elsa Cupcakes:

Blue and white snowflake sprinkles, for garnish

White rock candy, for garnish 

Ariel Cupcakes:

4 edible purple sugar shells

Edible green sugar pearls, for garnish 

Belle Cupcakes:

2 large red edible sugar roses

Edible white sugar pearls, for garnish 

Tiana Cupcakes:

2 gold crown sprinkles

4 edible sugar eyeballs  

Jasmine Cupcakes:

4 edible gold triangles

2 edible blue sugar jewels  

Directions

Special equipment:
13 disposable piping bags; 1 large round piping tip
  1. For the cupcakes and frosting: Add the butter to a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment and beat on medium speed for 2 minutes. Add half of the confectioners' sugar and beat on low until incorporated. Beat in the remaining confectioners' sugar until incorporated. Increase the speed to medium high and add the milk, vanilla and salt; beat until light and fluffy, about 4 minutes.
  2. Transfer half of the frosting to a medium bowl. Divide the remaining frosting among 6 small bowls. Add 3 drops of the pink food coloring to one small bowl of frosting and mix until combined. Repeat with each of the remaining 5 colors--blue, red, yellow, green and turquoise--and small bowls of frosting. 
  3. Transfer each color of frosting (including the plain frosting) to its own disposable piping bag and snip off the tip. Have ready 6 additional empty disposable piping bags.  
  4. To make a two-toned swirl, fit one of the empty piping bags with a large round tip. You'll be neatly filling half of the bag with vanilla frosting and half of it with one of the colored frostings. First, pipe a thick stripe of vanilla frosting directly onto the inside wall of the empty piping bag, starting the stripe inside the tip and pulling it up several inches. Second, pipe a thick stripe of colored frosting starting inside the tip and pulling it up several inches on the opposite wall of the piping bag. Twist the top of the two-toned bag until the colors just join, then pipe it onto 2 of the cupcakes using a spiral motion. Remove the large round tip, wash and dry it thoroughly and fit it into the next empty piping bag. Repeat with the remaining vanilla frosting and colored frosting, washing and drying the piping tip thoroughly between colors and piping each two-toned color frosting onto 2 cupcakes. 
  5. For the Aurora cupcakes: Top the pink and white frosted cupcakes with gold sanding sugar. Arrange 1 pink and 1 white flowers on top of each.  
  6. For the Elsa cupcakes: Evenly top the blue and white frosted cupcakes with the snowflake sprinkles and rock candy.  
  7. For the Ariel cupcakes: Arrange 2 purple shells on the center of each red and white frosted cupcake to create Ariel's bikini top. Arrange a handful of green pearls along the bottom of each cupcake to hint at the top of her tail.  
  8. For the Belle cupcakes: Place a rose in the center of each yellow and white frosted cupcake and arrange the white pearls around it.  
  9. For the Tiana cupcakes: Top each green and white frosted cupcake with a gold crown sprinkle and 2 eyeballs below it.  
  10. For the Jasmine cupcakes: On the center of each turquoise and white frosted cupcake, arrange a gold triangle, blue jewel and second gold triangle in a line.