January 6, 2013 by another1bitesthecrust
Always eager to make a themed dessert, I was super excited to ace the tennis ball cupcakes I offered to make for my mom’s tennis party.
To ensure that I got them right, I grabbed a tennis ball from the garage and studied it thoroughly.
The hardest part of these cupcakes was deciding whether tennis balls are yellow or green. I took a poll of my entire family and was tempted to stand on the street corner with a big sign, “honk once for yellow, twice for green”…but then the light bulb went on and I decided to mix yellow and green color together! Ding ding ding!
When I make sports ball cupcakes, I fill the cupcake liners with just a bit more batter than usual to get a nice domed cupcake.
While the cupcakes were cooling, I grabbed the Wilton lemon yellow and leaf green icing colors for the tennis ball fuzz, and the black icing for the rubbery seams. At a glance the seams look white but they’re actually a really light gray so you only need the tiniest bit of black to give it a tinge of color. I added more icing color for the fuzz than I thought I would need and found myself adding more green icing than yellow.
The other thing I was debating over was how to give the yellow/green fuzz its texture. I didn’t want to just smear the icing over the cupcake smoothly nor did I want as much texture as Cookie Monster cupcakes or when you make grass, so I settled on the icing tip #13 – the smallest open star tip.
The first thing I did after the cupcakes were cool enough to ice was draw the seams with the number 2 tip – a tiny round tip. In retrospect, I should have used the #3, the seams could have been a big bigger. Just like when making the seams and stitches for baseball cupcakes, there are two ways to draw the tennis ball seams. One is to curved lines, curving into each other, from the top to bottom of both the right side and the left side. Alternatively, you can draw the fancy “U” shape where the top of each side of the U curve out to the sides. This one is hard to get symmetrical than the two curved lines!
Next came piping the tiny open stars to create the fuzz. You want a stiff enough icing to make sure that the stars don’t start to melt, you want them to stay defined. To pipe them, hold the tip perpendicular to the cupcake and squeeze the bag, keeping the tip still and not lifting it up yet. Once you have squeezed it out enough to expand past the tip, stop squeezing and lift up. Do the next star very close to the first one to avoid any gaps between the stars. After I created some, I noticed a few teeeeny gaps here and there and you could see the cupcake between them, so it may be a better idea to smear a tiny bit of the colored frosting on the cupcakes before you start piping the stars so that if there are any gaps, you won’t be able to tell. I piped stars all around the seams and covered all the bare areas of the cupcakes, even over the edges of the sides.
The final product looked great and especially from a distance, the texture really look realistic. (Up close, they almost looked a bit spiny but not bad).
Super fun to make and always, (sorry in advance…), a “grand slam”. Couldn’t help myself…