Food + Drink Sweets

Cooking with kids: Rainbow Fish Cupcakes

Do you remember the story of The Rainbow Fish? It’s a children’s book that I have fond memories of reading when my brother was little. Well, The Rainbow Fish was the inspiration behind last week’s Sweet Treats class. We made rainbow fish-inspired cupcakes!

Rainbow fish cupcake

After reading The Rainbow Fish with the kids, it was time to start working. We made cupcakes in advance for the students to decorate, and they got right to it! To start, they selected the color of frosting for the base of their fish cupcake. A drop of food coloring was added to a small dish of frosting for each student, and they carefully stirred it in to incorporate.

Rainbow fish cupcake 4

When the frosting was spread on top of their cupcake, the back tail and side fin was added! I created these with cinnamon gummy hearts, but you could use any sugared gummy candy (like gum drops). I simply added sugar to a piece of wax paper (this will keep it from sticking), placed the gummy candy in the sugar, and used a rolling pin to roll it flat. I used a pastry wheel to achieve the serrated side of the fin, and a sharp knife to cut the straight edges. For each cupcake, you need one large triangle and one small triangle shape.

Rainbow fish cupcake 2

Once the back tail piece was placed on, a small dollop of white frosting (I bought a small decorating tube) was placed on the opposite end of the tail to serve as the white of the fish’s eye. Then, a mini M&M was carefully placed in the center of the white frosting to make the pupil! Cute! Each student was also given two mini M&Ms to place under the eye area as the lips.

Rainbow fish cupcake 5

Then: time for the rainbow fun! We used mini M&Ms as scales, as well as multicolored sprinkles if the students preferred to use them. We ended up with a school of multicolored fish cupcakes!

Rainbow fish cupcake packaging

And we can’t forget about how to safely get those cupcakes home. We shredded up a bit of blue paper to place on the bottom of clear plastic drink cups, wrote each student’s name on the side of the cup with a permanent marker, and then popped each cupcake into the cup. The cup was placed in a clear treat bag and tied shut with a twist tie. As long as they weren’t swung in circles or smashed into backpacks, they hopefully made it home intact (and looking cute)!

Have you decorated cupcakes in a creative way? What’s your favorite technique?




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  • You gotta be kidding ! These look gorgeous !!!!!! Any kid would love them. You can market these. Came to check out #SS post & got totally distracted by these creative cupcakes !! You go girl !!

    • Aw, thanks so much for the nice comment! I was really happy with how great the kids did with putting these little fish together. Super cute!

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