A Backyard Birthday - Barbecue Grill Cupcakes

What are the things that a backyard barbecue birthday make? Let's make a list: burgers, balloons, cupcakes, cookies, ice cream, Rice Krispie treats, sparklers, and Cokes. Check, check and check - but perhaps kicked up a notch. Cokes are always better when they come in glass bottles and you drink them with old-fashioned paper straws. And Rice Krispy treats and ice-cream cones are only as good as the chocolate, sprinkles, coconut, pecans and candy bars you dip them in. And while at first you worry that the sparklers are going to catch the dry July grass on fire (yikes), you realize that said fires can quickly be put out when you dump the water out of the baby pool onto the yard. Perhaps the sweat-inducing Southern humidity would also help - you know - if we had all taken a moment to wring out our shirts over the yard that night. Sheesh.

But the piece de resistance? Barbecue-grill cupcakes, of course: devil's food cake dotted with miniature chocolate chips; white butter cream frosting simply slathered on with a butter knife; and all decorated with homespun, chocolate grills and candy kebabs, chicken breasts and hot dogs. Yes. Those are definitely the things that a backyard barbecue birthday make. And by the looks of that bright smile above there is a certain new 2-year-old who would agree!

Backyard Barbecue Cupcakes

Materials for Barbecue-Grill Cupcakes:

* Chocolate cupcakes with white frosting, in paper liners from Bake It Pretty.
* The grills were made of chocolate candy melts, which I melted in the microwave and poured into a plastic squeeze bottle then piped onto wax paper. I let the grills harden, and they easily pulled off the sheets.
* The hot dogs are made from Mike and Ike's Hot Tamales.
* The kebabs are made of Swedish Fish, cut into small pieces with kitchen shears. I slid them onto toothpicks, then broke off the ends so they matched.
* The chicken breasts are made from Caramel Creams, which I pinched with my fingers to make a chicken breast/steak shape.
* The grill marks are made from a mixture of blue and orange gel food color. I painted them on by hand using a toothpick.
* And my inspiration? These cupcakes from Disney's Family Fun Magazine.