Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Elmo's Weird

Oh kids just don't know what they're missing by not knowing how awesome Sesame Street used to be. It's just not the same anymore. Anyone else have "The Word is No" or "I Know a New Way to Walk" running through their head right now? I hope so.  Even though it's just not the same, I'm glad it is still around. I love how you can get Cookie Monster anything right now. I have a Cookie Monster clutch purse, adult sized footie pajamas with cookie monster head baubles on the feet, and a cookie monster beanie hat. No, I don't think I'll ever fully grow up. I love how Sesame Street characters are all over Pinterest. Okay...I love how Sesames Street characters are everywhere. Cookie Monster has been big for a while now. People have made Cookie Monster cookies, cakes, cupcakes, cake balls, etc. We all saw this picture floating around the Internet before many of us even knew what Pinterest was:

source: all over the internet...this picture is everywhere

You've even seen a Cookie Monster Pinstrosity here on the blog before at http://pinstrosity.blogspot.com/2012/08/arum-num-num-num.html:

Well today we'd like to add another Sesame Street character to the Pinstrosity family...Elmo. My brother used to love Elmo's World. He went around the house singing "La la la la! La la la la! Elmo's Weird!" (he couldn't say the "rl"). He didn't really watch Sesame Street...just Elmo's "Weird". Cristina, today's submitter, has a daughter who is also into Elmo, even though she's never seen Sesame Street. Cristina's daughter's birthday is coming up and she's been trying to figure out just the right thing for her birthday party. With the love of Elmo strong in the house she decided to give this a try:

The Original Pin
While these are cupcakes, Cristina figured it wouldn't be too hard to turn into a full size cake. Here's her "Elmo" creation:

The Pinstrosity

Cristina explained what happened. "Now, a few things went wrong here. The first being that I couldn't get the buttercream frosting Elmo red. It didn't matter how much red food coloring I put in, Elmo would have been pink. So I did the logical thing and added some drops of blue food coloring. Instead of making it a darker red, it turned into a poop color. The actual frosting was so runny because of the food coloring that Elmo's "fur" actually looks like what would happen to someone's digestive system if they had food poisoning." 

"I actually didn't have marshmallows for the eyes, so I tried using buttercream for that. The problem was that I was laughing so hard that the eyes look awful (either that, or I completely lack any type of frosting skills....which is probably the actual case). I also didn't want to waste an Oreo cookie on his mouth, so that's that!!"

"All in all, the cake was still yummy. If "Sesame Street" had a character that dealt with teaching kids how to poop in the toilet, this is what he would look like."

I've actually run into this same issue with coloring frosting. Regular food coloring just doesn't quite cut it for things like this. You can get frosting dye now in many grocery stores. Our Walmart even has it (in the cake decorating aisle next to scrapbooking and painting supplies...which seems weird to me. I'd put it over next to the baking aisle, but Walmart doesn't ask me my opinion on these matters). These dyes are made specifically for frosting. It takes less dye to get a vibrant color and helps preserve the texture of the frosting. 

The other thing that would help this project is placement of the various facial features. If the eyes were a little higher on the head so that there isn't cake visible at the top it would give more of the illusion that the eyeballs are sitting on top of the head. The other thing I would change is the size of the mouth. Muppets' mouths take up nearly half of their face/head. With those two small tweaks, the Muppet will look more Muppetish. 

Luckily with cake decorating you can make a cake exquisitely beautiful, plain and boring, funny, or super ugly, but it usually doesn't ruin the taste. As long as it tastes good, I'm not going to complain and luckily I think most kids have the same view on life, cake, and dirt.


  1. Hi,
    I've tried making these cupcakes before and one thing that I would suggest is to use shredded coconut instead of food coloring. I did this two years ago, but from what I remember, I mix shredded coconut in a bag with red or blue food coloring (depending on which character) and put that into a bowl. I then lightly frosted the top of the cupcakes and then dipped the cupcakes into bowl of shredded coconut. The shredded coconut gave it more of a fur look and people loved them! We also used mini vanilla reeses cups for the eyes, which were adorable.

  2. This is going to sound strange but for red icing start with pink and then add the red, personally, I think Americolor's red works better than Wilton red red but Wilton is easier to find bc Anericolor only seems to be carried at cake decorating stores.

    Do you know you have double word verification on? It really does keep people from leaving comments. Let me know if you want to take it off- I have really easy instructions.

    1. NanaDiana, We are aware that we have word verification on the blog for comments. We have taken it off a few times and have been inundated with spammers. We know it can be a nuisance, but we feel it helps to keep things clean and "unspammed".

  4. I like the coconut idea! Personally, I like Americolor's Tulip Red gel because it doesn't leave a bitter taste. Red and black are two colors that need to "develop" overnight when used with frosting. It'll look pink that first day, but the next day it'll be a darker shade of red. Good luck!

  5. I buy my Americolor gels from The Prepared Pantry (www.preparedpantry.com). It also helps that they are $1.49/bottle. They have tons of colors and you use very little to achieve a true black or red.

  6. Just a hint for using standard food colouring for red - if you look at the diagram on the box that tells you how to make alternate colours (ie. purple, orange, etc), it has a mix of red and yellow drops to make red. Seems odd but it's true; if you just use straight red it will come out pink!

  7. We made the Elmo cupcakes recently for my daughter's 2nd birthday. What we did was buy pre-colored icing from Publix (local grocery store). That way we didn't have to mix it ourselves and the color was perfect. Check out a pic of the final product here: http://flic.kr/p/dHYcoS
    Once you view it, you can scroll for more images of the outcome.

  8. I have done both of these cupcakes and mine turned out great! Just use the same ingredients that they use in the pictures(marshmallows for eyes... Oreo for mouth etc..) and you won't have a problem!

  9. Try the frosting in the tube? I haven't tried the red but the orange is bright. I had to comment and say this post was so funny I cried!! Thank you so much for sharing!

  10. "it has a mix of red and yellow drops to make red. Seems odd but it's true; if you just use straight red it will come out pink" I was just coming here to suggest using yellow instead of blue next time. I am surprised it came out brown instead of purple, though. O_o

  11. i'm not sure whether you let your cookie monster cupcakes cool before you tried to ice them. if they're still hot the icing will get all runny and look like the pintrosity posted above.


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