Monday, January 23, 2012

Chinese New Year and Dragon Cupcakes!

It's the year of the Dragon!

I'm hoping that this new year will bring good tidings to you all [and a change of luck to those of us who need it!].  It doesn't hurt to follow the usual Chinese traditions to start the new year off on the right foot.  Hey, I need all the help I can get!

Here's my checklist:
  • Get together with family [check]
  • Have a new year's feast [check]
  • Clean the house apartment [check]
  • Clean myself! [check]
  • Wear red [eh... I'm hoping pink counts! Red just didn't match today's suit]
  • Wish friends and family a happy new year! [check and check]
As my family gathered over the weekend to celebrate the new year, we ate lots of traditional food like fish (to wish for a plentiful new year), noodles (longevity), meat balls with strings of seaweed (prosperity), and oysters (good tidings).

Chinese New Year feast cooked by my Dad!
My contribution to the feast was dessert - hoping to put my skills from cake decorating class to good use! I wanted to do cupcakes this time and wound up honoring the new year of the dragon.  I got the idea from Hoosier Homemade's blog and was so impressed/inspired by her dragon cupcakes!  Here is how I put my own spin on it...

What you'll need:

Un-frosted cupcakes
Yellow icing (used Wilton icing coloring)
Red icing (used Wilton icing coloring)
Candy eyes
Wilton black icing coloring
Edible gold glitter and sprinkles
Icing decorating bags (with couplers)
Icing tips: Round #12, Open star #14, Leaf #352
Small paint brush

How to create a dragon:

Spread a layer of yellow icing on your cupcakes. 

Fill a decorating bag with red icing and use the round tip #12.  Make the head by piping two large circles, and then pipe smaller circles to create the base of the body. 

Unsure what to do from here, I added candy eyes and nostrils (with a toothpick dipped in Wilton black icing coloring) to make it look a bit more dragon-ish.
Anorexic looking dragon. Needs some work!
Switch the tip on your red icing bag to the leaf tip #352.  Pipe spikes around the body (along the sides and on top).  Switch the tip to the open star tip #14 to make two small ears on the head.

Fill an icing bag with yellow icing and use the leaf tip #352 to pipe some yellow spikes on top of the last cupcake to create some distinction for the tail.

Dip a toothpick in red coloring and "paint" a flame coming from the dragon's mouth.

It's getting there...
Moisten a small paint brush and very gently paint on gold edible glitter on the dragon's spikes and head.  Sprinkle some edible gold stars and you're done!

Chinese Dragon Cupcakes!
Here is a close up of the head, body and tail.

Close up of the dragon's head
... and the body
...and the tail!
This design could easily work for next year too - it'll be the year of the snake!

On a side note - GO GIANTS

Wishing you a Happy New Year!

Gong Xi Fa Cai! [Mandarin]
Gong Hey Fat Choy! [Cantonese]

Piggy KL


  1. Those turned out fabulous! I'm so excited you gave them a try!

  2. They are too beautiful to eat. Lamenting that Dad ate the dragon's tail (the last cupcake).

  3. Happy New Year cuz! Those dragon cupcakes look pretty darn awesome. How long it take you? I wonder what the world would give to have that recipe HmMmm :)

  4. Thank you everyone! @RayMo, they took a little over an hour to decorate once I figured out what I was doing!

    Happy New Year!
    Piggy KL

  5. That dragon is super-cute! The little details are great - especially the tongue! : )

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