Strawberry Patch Pull-Apart Cupcakes

Dig in: Like a community garden come to life, this patch gains its magic in numbers -- add one or more fondant creatures, fun flowers and fresh strawberries.
  • Yield: One 24 cupcake strawberry patch
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Ingredients

24 chocolate cupcakes

4 cups chocolate American buttercream

1 cup ground chocolate wafer cookies (about 8 ounces)

9 small fresh strawberries, with leaves attached

7 store-bought or homemade fondant candy flowers

8 ounces green fondant

Fondant creatures, for topping 

Directions

Special equipment:
Mini offset spatula; Cardboard egg carton; Toothpicks; Pencils

Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream using a mini offset spatula.

Scatter half the ground wafer cookies on a platter or serving tray large enough to hold the 24 cupcakes. Arrange the cupcakes in four rows of six. Scatter more "dirt" over the cupcakes and around the edges of the tray.

Arrange the strawberries randomly on the cupcakes. Arrange the candy flowers randomly.

Poke holes in a cardboard egg carton. Pinch off pea-size or smaller bits of green fondant and roll them on your work surface to look like blades of grass, leaving one end thick and the other thin and pointy. Press 2 to 5 blades together and stick them on the end of a toothpick. Let dry, upright, in the egg carton. Roll the remaining green fondant between your hands to create 10 thin 2- to 3-inchlong squiggly vines. Wrap them around pencils and set them aside to dry. Place them under the strawberries and randomly in the patch.

Top one cupcake with one of your favorite fondant creatures, such as a butterfly, caterpillar or ladybug.

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