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Sunday, April 10, 2011

How: Pinwheel Cupcakes

Spring? Is that you? We really missed you and your cousin Summer. To welcome you, I made some pinwheel cupcakes for the wind you bring.

I think pinwheel cupcake toppers are adorable. I've seen places that sell them, but really wanted to make edible ones.

Fondant Pinwheels

Rolled fondant
Gel paste colours
Clean toothpicks
A rolling pin
A knife
A square cookie cutter
  1. If you are lucky enough to have coloured fondant, then you can skip these steps! Unless you want white-coloured pinwheels, you will have to dye your white fondant. Get the gel paste in the colours you want and use a clean toothpick to dab into the gel.
  2. Transfer the gel from the toothpick onto the fondant. Knead and roll until the fondant is completely coloured. Please do not double-dip the toothpick, use a new one if you need more gel for a darker shade.
  3. I use a practice mat, or you can use a clean surface to roll your fondant out. If you don't have a square (or square-ish) cookie cutter, use your knife to cut one out.
  4. Then, make four cuts from the centre to the corners. Make sure you leave some room in the centre, do not cut all the way through.
  5. Carefully peel one of the corners and fold it down. The tip should go towards the centre. If needed, dab a tiny bit of water in the centre to make the fondant stick.
  6. Going counter-clockwise, I folded down the next corner.
  7. Repeat.
  8. Repeat until all four are folded towards the centre.
  9. Next, create a little fondant ball and use it to "pin" all the folds down. Again, use a tiny dab of water if the ball does not stick. Gently move the pinwheel to parchment paper sprinkled with icing sugar. Let the fondant dry on top of the sugar (prevents the fondant from sticking to the parchment paper).
  10. Keep the pinwheels away from sunlight, water, dust, and out of reach from children or pets. The should be firm enough in 2-3 hours for decorating. You can also make these ahead of time and use them within the month.
  11. If you would like to, buy lollipop sticks for the fondant pinwheels. You can attach them on the back using royal icing.

Now make your cupcakes! I tried out the Lemon Fairy Cakes from Two Dishes, but used my own lime buttercream for the frosting. The cupcakes turned out too dry for my liking, I'm wondering if I over mixed the batter. I followed the recipe to the dot, which required more work than other cupcake recipes, so I am a bit disappointed that they didn't turn out as I hoped.

The pinwheels are easy to make and are a great alternative from fondant flowers. They will be pretty for Easter or tea parties!

I also want to add this: I took these 18 cupcakes to work and normally would leave them out in the kitchen for my colleagues. This time, I held a little bake sale and we donated $82 to the Japanese Red Cross Society. So, I want to thank my generous co-workers at Tundra Books, McClelland & Stewart, and the Random House of Canada Design and Typesetting team.


  1. Great idea! And simple too- that's what I like!

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  3. these look so elaborate but easy to make!

    i’m wondering about cakes… specifically in canada. when do people buy them? i have a pal who moved to canada and i want to send her a cake but not on her birthday…. on a holiday or sometime when real canadians eat cake!!! let me know if you have any suggestions.

  4. These are adorable!! They are just the perfect shade of Spring! Taste dry, I hate it when that happens, although, you are probably the only one who noticed. People are so happy when you present them with yummies!

  5. These are so pretty and I simply adore the colors. Thanks for sharing!: )

  6. What a great idea, they´re so cute.

  7. Just Cake Girl; Yael; and kathleen - Thank you!

    lotsofdishes - There are lots of places where people can buy cakes in Canada. Which town/city did your friend move to?

    nothingchocolate - Thank you! That's probably true, most of my colleagues were just happy to see baked goods in the office kitchen. =)

    Pauline Bakes the Cake! and PiaMarianne - Thanks! =)

  8. So creative of you to make the pinwheels out of fondant. Very very cute! Great idea!! I'll have to try do make these for my grandson. :)

    Thanks for sharing your creations. I love how you take really great pictures of what you're doing. It really helps to visualize how I might be able to do it too. Thanks!!

  9. Thanks Wendy! I hope your grandson loves them! =)

  10. Amazing !!I'm a new fan anche I really love this tutorial and your blog, thanks a lot Wendy!! :D If you want, check out my blog ;)

  11. Love this idea! I'm having a pinwheel themed party for my son's first birthday and these will be perfect. I don't like the taste of fondant though and am wondering if I could substitute marzipan instead? Thoughts?

  12. Anonymous, I haven't worked with marzipan before, but I think it should work just find if it has the same texture and work-ability as fondant.

  13. Love it! These are the only good instructions i found