“Rubber Ducky” Cupcakes

Tray of vanilla cupcakes decorated as rubber ducks

Ever since I first attempted them last Easter, I’ve wanted to give the duck cupcakes another shot. I almost never have canned frosting around and so I didn’t even bother trying to melt frosting to dip the cupcakes into to achieve the “rubbery” look. In fact, I bought a package of yellow baking cups and have had them set aside just for this very project. Of course, I ended up not using them because I didn’t realize I’d be making the leftover cupcakes from the owls I made for Alice into said ducks. But my mother has been wanting to decorate cupcakes together for awhile and we were both free today and that’s the design she picked.

Follow the jump (or scroll down, if applicable) for a quick how-to.1

Lightly frosted cupcakes topped with marshmallow halves and donut holesTo start off, frost a very light layer on top of the cupcake. Then place a donut hole on one side and half of a marshmallow, cut diagonally, on the opposite side. Push the frosting up the sides of both to help keep them in place. (If you want to make the little upside down duckies as well, place only a marshmallow half on top of the cupcake.) Once you’re finished, place the cupcakes in the freezer for about 10-15 minutes; this will allow the frosting to harden up and keep the body of the duck together.

Tinted frosting coating the back of a spoonWhile your cupcakes are hanging out in the freezer, tint some frosting yellow. You’ll need less than a can, but you may have to make more to fill a container deep enough to dunk the cupcakes in. The only thing I had on hand was a one-quart measuring cup and I ended up using two cans of frosting in it to fill high enough. Melt the frosting in the microwave, stirring at least every 15 seconds. It should take no more than a minute to get the frosting melted properly; it should coat the back of a spoon and run off, roughly the consistency of lightly whipped cream. (See left.)

From there, take your cupcakes and dunk them into the frosting up to the liner. The frosting should be thick enough still to hold the submerged cupcake without sinking so you should be able to release your fingers to turn the cupcake a few times and coat it thoroughly. Lift it out and let the excess drip off and, if needed, use a spoon to ladle frosting on any bits that were missed. Let the cupcakes stand for a few minutes to allow the frosting to set.

Cupcakes dipped in melted frostingFor the face, I piped a small dot of frosting and used a mini chocolate chip for the pupil. The bill is made from half a Starburst; shape it into an oval shape with your fingers and fold the candy. The feet are also Starbursts which are cut in half on the diagonal; again shape them with your fingers and use a paring knife to score in the webbing. Gently press the fruit chews into the frosting to stick them in place.2

Believe it or not, I still have cupcakes to be decorated. I haven’t yet decided what to do with them just yet, but I do have a literal ton of melted yellow frosting and Oreo crumbs left over!

  1. Decorating instructions from What’s New, Cupcake?
  2. By the way, if you’re wondering about some of the slightly deformed ducks in the last row, they suffered the inevitable topple from my hands that far too many of my baked goods — and ingredients — seem to suffer from of late.


  1. Hmm yellow frosting and Oreo crumbles… you could make bumblebee cupcakes. :-)

    • Would be a bit difficult to put the crumbs on in lines, I think. And I don’t believe the melted frosting is spreadable any more. I did find some cute designs for bee cupcakes online, though. So, perhaps in the future.

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