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Sincere Acts of Sweetness

September 22, 2008

Too Cute to "Bee" Eaten Cupcakes

For the past several weeks, with the help of my fabulous team mates at work, I have been slowly creating a baby-shower gift basket for Alex and his new wife Steph. Making friends and colleagues gift baskets like this is something I've been doing for years and this one was the biggest. Normally I use a medium sized wicker laundry basket to hold the loot but this time I had so many donations, I ended up using a bassinet to hold everything!

I like to create gift baskets for new parents because it includes all the basic baby supplies they need, but wouldn't necessarily know to buy or register for. This includes the obvious stuff like receiving blankets, toys, soaps, and finger nail clippers, but also had things like little mittens to put on the baby's hands so they don't scratch their faces, nursing pads, a big bottle of Pedialyte, and a little rear view mirror so you can see the baby's face when you're driving. I was really blown away at the shear volume of donations. It seemed like every day I'd have something new to bring home. Everyone was so eager to pitch it and donate whatever I said we were lacking.

When we presented Alex with the gift basket, he was so shocked - partly for the fact that we made the basket of goodies but mostly out of the sheer massiveness of it. I actually heard him say, "Are we really going to need all this stuff?" I wanted to say, "Yes and that's only for the first few months!" Congrats Alex and Steph! We're so happy for you!

I decided that along with the basket, I'd prepare a baby-themed dessert made out carrot cake, which is Steph's favorite. I wanted to decorate the cake with little bees which I felt had just the right amount of baby without being too feminine. To make sure Steph wasn't left out of the fun, I made her a larger 4" cake and several cupcakes for everyone else to enjoy.

Although the bees were time consuming to make (a lot of time spent just waiting for parts to dry), they were a lot of fun. Here's how I made them:

Honey Bee Cupcakes

1 pouch of Wilton Sugar Paste
1 black felt tip EDIBLE-ink marker
yellow food coloring
black food coloring
small leaf shaped cutter
sugar glue (I used CMC powder mixed with warm water)
Exacto knife
paint brush or several Q-tips
small fondant/sugar paste roller
tiny circle stencil
lots of tooth picks
clear laytex gloves
digital scale

 Dye several ounces of the sugar paste yellow (I recommend wearing gloves while you do this so that you don't dye your hands and fingernails yellow). Knead paste together well and when it is uniformly yellow, weight 7oz balls of paste for each bee you wish to make. Roll the paste into a ball and gently form into slightly rounded rectangle that's flat on the bottom, long in the center, and rounded on the tops and each end. Let sit overnight to dry.

When the bees are almost dry but not 100% solid, dye a slightly smaller amount of sugar paste black, roll out into very thin and flat. Using a ruler and an Exacto knife, cut 1/4 inch strips.

Using a TINY big water and a paintbrush, wet the black strips ever so slightly just to make them a little tacky. Note: Be careful with the amount of moisture you use because the black coloring will come off and start to dye the yellow. Keep the moisture to the bear minimum or you'll have blobs of black gumpaste goo oozng off the bands. Start by carefully placing the black strip at the center to the bee body

Wrap to the underside of the bee, being sure to reapply moisture when needed and wiping away any excess with the corner of a piece of paper towel. Continue to process with the other two strips so you have three in all. Use the Exacto knife to trim the excess

After the bees have dried to the point that you can hold one in between your fingers without fear of denting them, draw a face.

Use a small circle stencil to draw little half circles for their face. If you don't have a stencil, you can do this free hand if you choose. Then use the tip of the pen to draw the eyes.
Create the wings by rolling out the sugar paste as thinly as you can. Use a small leaf or tear shaped cutter to cut out two wings for each bee. When they are fully dry, which only takes about an hour, use a toothpick and sugar glue to blue the wings to the tops of the bee's body.

Insert a toothpick into the bottom of the bee and store in a piece of styrofoam to set. Let sit over night (or several) hours until totally dry.

These were a big hit and I have to admit that I think the bees came out really well. Although it did take about 6 hours of work to make them, it was worth every second. They were just too darn cute! I can't but smile when I look at one of the smiling faces.


  1. These are adorable!!! I can just hear the ooh's and aah's from the shower. :)

  2. Hi,
    Aaa, those bees are soooo adorable. I agree you they are too cute to be eaten! Your co-workers are lucky to have such a thoughtful, kind, giving friend, YOU!

    BTW, I really liked the pink border w/the hearts.

  3. I love the Bees. They really brought in sunshine and happiness.

  4. Thumbs up on the new boarder!
    Also...seriously....those are the cutest bee's I've ever seen. no...really. Wow...those are so great. I wish I had seen these earlier in the summer...

  5. I didn't think you could beat the cuteness of the Groundhog's Day cupcakes, but these take the cake, baby!

  6. OH MY GOSH! these are adorable! you really need to do this for a living, you're so talented! you have some lucky friends :)

  7. i'd be buzzing around to get me one ;-) just simply adorable!!

  8. good lord, those are just about the cutest things I have ever seen.

  9. WOW. You are a maniac. Those are amazing! Forget us - I think YOU should win your contest. :) Talk about selfless acts of total and complete kindness. Goodness.

  10. Hi Everyone and thank you for the great compliments! I love how several of you tried to work in a bee reference into your comments. After a long day at work, it is such a pleasure to come home and read everyone's comments. Thank you!!

  11. those are so cute! Thanks for the instructions! You rock!

  12. you're so right! the bees are too adorable and i couldn't help but smile when i saw them. how charming.

  13. How nice of you to make a gift basket for new parents. That cake and cupcakes are too cute to be eaten.what a good friend you are.

  14. So very cute! I wouldn't eat mine.
    And the little cake is so cute thoughtful. What a basket of goodies. I would be thrilled to recieve such a gift and such a party. Nice work!!!

  15. Those are super cute. I recently bought a book called "Hello, Cupcake!" that is filled with wonderfully decorated cupcakes. I have good intentions ...

  16. I don't like them, I LOVE THEM.
    They are soooo adorable.
    :D :D :D

  17. Just found your site through the post you made on The Martha Blog contest entry - I've entered too. Your idea for the bees is adorable and I absolutely must try the recipe for pumpkin whoopie pies. You're going on my list as a fave because I've got to see what you come up with next! I'm having a Halloween contest/giveaway at my blog right now - you could win a bead knitting purse or a Halloween banner - your choice. I'd love for you to enter.


  18. Just a reminder - you have to put the link for The Martha Blog contest entry on your site if you want your blog to be considered - don't forget! And Good Luck!


  19. Really cute ;-P! Really adorable...



  20. What, what a sweet gift idea. Your friends must have been overwhelmed by all this!

  21. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


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