Line various shades of yellow jelly beans on a vanilla frosted cupcake, then sprinkle with sugar to mimic salt.
These unique creations by Karen Tack, a coauthor of Hello, Cupcake!: Irresistibly Playful Creations Anyone Can Make (Houghton Mifflin Co., $16, amazon.com), turn basic cupcakes into works of art.
2 of 5 Alan Richardson
Spaghetti and Meatballs
For the noodles, add a little cocoa powder to vanilla icing and pipe it through the corner of a plastic bag. Top with some strawberry jam (for the sauce) and Ferrero Rocher chocolates (the meatballs).
3 of 5 Alan Richardson
Start with a chocolate iced cupcake. Use 2 Oreo halves (cream-side up) and 2 Junior Mints for the eyes. Add a Runts banana for the beak.
4 of 5 Alan Richardson
Carefully dip vanilla iced cupcakes in different colored sugars. Place a Necco wafer in the middle of each, then use black gel icing to paint a number (1 to 8) on the wafer. Serve “racked” in a triangle.
5 of 5 Alan Richardson
Extra Credit: Terrier
Pipe brown or gray icing through the tip of a plastic bag in a swirly pattern to make a furry face. Use a marshmallow for the pup’s snout, a dark jelly bean for the nose, and M&Ms for the eyes. To make ears, cut marshmallows on the diagonal and dip the sticky side in pink sugar. Cut a sliver of pink Starburst for the tongue.