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“Dirt” Cupcakes With Cute Marzipan Veggie Toppers

It is almost Earth Day and I have the perfect dessert to celebrate!

I don’t always remember Earth Day and some years it flies right past me before I know it! But this year, I am so ready for it! I really want to start working on my own mini garden, full of herbs! So this year, I am ready to embrace Earth Day with my arms wide open! Maybe that’ll help my green thumb kick in…

I like to celebrate these little holidays because I feel like they don’t get enough appreciation, right?! Like everyone just skips on by them, but there are ways to make them special too! It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture, but maybe a special meal or a special dessert is enough to make any small holiday feel like Christmas!

These “Dirt” cupcakes are my mini pride and joy! Is that dramatic for a cupcake? Maybe, until you set eyes on these cuties! A chocolate cupcake wrapped in marshmallow and then coated in crushed-up sandwich cookies?!?! Sign me up!

If you’ve never worked with marzipan, this is a great chance! I haven’t worked with it too often, but it is my new favorite thing to use for decorating!

Marzipan is an almond paste, of sorts, that resembles a soft clay. So it’s really easy to shape and form into different objects. It also sticks to itself pretty well, so you don’t have to worry about attaching pieces together! Using marzipan to shape the vegetables was so much fun! I felt like I was in kindergarten playing with play-doh instead of standing in my kitchen making cupcakes!

To color the marzipan, I suggest taking a chunk of marzipan and flattening it out, then put one drop of food coloring in the middle. Fold the marzipan on top of itself and then place it in a sandwich baggie. Massage the color throughout the marzipan while it’s in the bag so it won’t stain your fingers! You could also just wear some gloves and massage the coloring in that way.

You could definitely use fondant instead, but I like working with marzipan better because it’s easier to work with (in my opinion) and easier to find in your location grocery store or to just make it at home! Marzipan has an almond-y flavor which I think tastes better than fondant!


1 cup of flour

1 cup of sugar

6 tablespoons of cocoa powder

1 teaspoon of baking soda

1/2 teaspoon of baking powder

1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon of salt

1 egg

1/2 cup of buttermilk

1/4 cup of oil

1/2 cup of boiling water

Marshmallow topping:

3/4 cup of water

Two packets of gelatin

2/3 cup of sugar, plus 2 tablespoons

1/2 cup of light corn syrup

1 teaspoon of vanilla

A pinch of salt

Marzipan vegetable toppers:

1 block of marzipan (store-bought or homemade)

Food coloring of choice

Chocolate sandwich cookies, crushed up

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and cinnamon in a bowl. Whisk together to fully combine the ingredients and break up any lumps.

Add in eggs, oil, and buttermilk. Stir until almost combined. There should still be some clumps of flour throughout.

Then stir in the cup of boiling water. Gently, stir in the water. Be careful! Some water may splash out on you while stirring!

Line a cupcake dish with liners and fill about 2/3’s of the way full.

Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.

While the cupcakes are cooling, it’s time to start on the marshmallow!

To the bottom of a stand mixer, add 1/2 cup water, plus the vanilla extract. Sprinkle the packets of gelatin over the water, and whisk together.

In a small saucepan, add in the sugar, corn syrup, and a 1/4 cup of water finished with a sprinkle of salt. Attach a candy thermometer to the side of the pan, making sure that the tip isn’t touching the bottom of the pan.

Gently whisk occasionally, and bring the sugar mixture to a light simmer. You want the sugar to heat up to 240 degrees!

Once the sugar hits 240 degrees, remove from heat and begin to slowly pour the sugar mixture into the gelatine mixture.

As you pour the mixture, turn the stand mixer to medium-high speed. I like to pour the sugar so it slides down the inside of the bowl to cool it slightly.

After all of the sugar mixture is in the bowl, turn the speed to high and allow it to mix for about ten minutes!

After ten minutes, it should be light, sticky and super sweet!

As the marshmallows are mixing, gather your ingredients to start assembling these bunny tails! I put all of the crushed cookies on a plate beside my workstation so I would be ready to assemble!

Once the marshmallow is done, fill into a piping bag!

Take one cupcake, remove the cupcake wrapper and flip it over. Squeeze a large dollop of marshmallow on the top. Using an offset spatula, smooth the marshmallow down the side of the cupcake.

Take the crushed cookie and sprinkle all on the top of the cupcake. I like to use my fingers and gently press the cookies onto the side of the cupcake, making sure that every little bit of marshmallow is covered in cookie crumbs!

You want to work slightly quickly to make sure the marshmallow doesn’t firm up in the bag!

To make the marzipan vegetables, grab a chunk of marzipan and place it in a plastic sandwich baggie with a drop of food coloring. Massage the food coloring throughout the marzipan.

I made three different colors out of the marzipan, half being green, 1/4 of it orange and the remaining 1/4 red.

To make the carrot, take a small piece out and roll into a carrot shape. I made a little log first and then gently pinched the bottom to get a cone shape. I took a few pieces of green and rolled them into little thin rolls and placed them on top of the carrot for the stem!

To make the tomato, I just rolled a piece of red into a ball. Then, using a toothpick, I gently indented the top and added two thin stripes of green to make an ‘x’ on the top of the tomato.

For the lettuce, I rolled a small piece of the green into a ball. Then I flattened out a few balls of green into flat circular shapes. I took the flat pieces and just wrapped them around the ball, almost like make a rose!

Place the marzipan vegetables onto the dirt cupcakes and you are ready to go!

These have to be one of my favorite desserts of all time! I love chocolate and marshmallow together, but who could resist a chocolate cupcake covered in marshmallow that’s covered in crushed up cookies?!?! It’s just goodness on top of goodness on top of goodness! Plus, the marzipan vegetables are so stinkin’ cute that even the most determined veggie-hater would be tempted to take a bite!

-Holly Michelle

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