Fondant Fun: Modern Art Cupcakes

Some of my lady friends and I decided to have a Crafternoon this past weekend – well, to be truthful, it actually wasn’t originally all-female: our hostess’s husband was going to make cocktails as his “craft,” but he got scared off by the stitching & bitching.

Anyway, I went nuts all week trying to figure out which half-abandoned sewing/knitting project to resurrect for this occasion (I have a drawerful). Then it hit me: why not play to my strong suit and stick with cake? I had a birthday to go to bake for evening, and I needed an occasion to practice working with fondant, so…Modern Art Cupcakes! Can you guess the artists? Answers after the jump…

Still looking for answers? Here you go…
Top row (left to right): Magritte, Mondrian, Warhol; Bottom row (left to right): Rothko, Banksy, Dali

I’m a little obsessed with the blog Feasting on Art; unlike its creator Megan, however, I took a totally literal approach to art and food. This got a little geeky: my parents are both art historians and I was pretty much raised in museums, so I had as much fun picking artists as I did making cake. If I had more time I’d probably have gone full on Bernini. Sadly, though, this was only an afternoon project, and I’m still getting the hang of the fondant business, so I stayed kind of two-dimensional. You can see my best use of materials – the dripping Dali clock – better in this photo:

I really just had so much fun with this project. It’s been a long time, but I used to do a lot of clay-based crafting projects and it felt so good getting back to clay tools and doing seriously detail-oriented work.  It was also pretty awesome getting my hands dirty.  Brought me back to college: I once applied for an arts grant to make a collection of architectural cakes.  Sadly, I got shot down: the grant fund was not supposed to cover “food for parties.”  Apparently if food-based art was at a student show opening it violated these rules.  I found this regulation very lame and spent way too much time trying to get around it; I probably should have known then that I’d wind up as a lawyer…

Next time, I hope the drug store isn’t out of gloves: my hands are still multi-colored. Red-and-blue cuticles were very much worth it, though. I forgot how calming it is to loose oneself in this kind of project; cooking is amazing, but it requires a very different form of concentration.

That said, I did still really enjoy making the base materials – cupcakes and fondant – for this project. I used a Food Network recipe for the fondant because I was too lazy to pull The Cake Bible off my shelf. For the cakes, I went with Recipe Girl‘s absolutely awesome Margarita Cupcake recipe. I cannot praise this recipe enough: it’s box-mix-based, but has so much booze and lime in it that you’d never know. It’s fast and tasty, and the cupcakes’ flavor was fresh and citrusy enough to cut the over-sweetness of the fondant topping. A great go-to!

And finally, once again, Happy Birthday S!