alligator cupcakes

The Dear Son requested a special birthday treat- cupcakes in the form of an alligator. Hello, Cupcake! is a veritable treasure trove of AMAZING creations, and it had Old Swampy in its lineup. After hunting down all the decorative candies and treats, we were set.

The Daughter had dibs on piping duty, and I think she did a swell job. Look at her go!

The eyes were created by frosting two marshmallows and adding Junior Mints.

The scales were Newman's Own Chocolate Alphabet Cookies, claws were banana Runts, nostrils were jelly beans and the teeth were marshmallows, cut into triangles.

I hope The Son's Classmates get a kick out of Old Swampy. He was a blast to make.

Old Swampy, Alligator in Cupcake form
from Hello, Cupcake! by Karen Tack and Alan Richardson

24 vanilla cupcakes, baked in white paper liners
2 cans (16 ounces each) vanilla frosting
green, yellow and red food coloring
1 bag Newman's Own square chocolate alphabet cookies
4 marshmallows
2 Junior Mints
12 banana-shaped Runts
2 green jelly beans

Place 1 tablespoon of the vanilla frosting in a small ziplock bag, press out the excess air, seal and set aside. Tint the remaining vanilla frosting a murky green using the green, yellow, and red food coloring and divide the frosting between 2 ziplock bags. Press out the excess air and seal the bags.

Using a serrated knife, cut the cookies in half on the diagonal to make triangles and set aside.

Arrange the cupcakes on a serving platter in the shape of an alligator: 2 cupcakes end to end for the snout; 6 rows of 2 cupcakes side by side for the head and body; 6 cupcakes end to end for the tail; and 1 cupcake on each side of the second and fifth rows of double cupcakes for the feet. (See above picture.)

Snip a ¼-inch corner from each bag of green frosting. Then, starting at the bottom edge of one of the cupcakes and working from one side to the other, pipe a row of small folds of frosting. Place the tip of the bag on the cupcake, squeeze, and pull about ¼ inch of frosting toward you, then lift the tip slightly and squeeze and fold the ribbon of frosting back onto itself, ending where you started. Pipe 8 or 9 rows, each row moving in the same direction and slightly overlapping the previous row, to cover the top of the cupcake completely. Repeat with the remaining 23 cupcakes.

Press 2 of the marshmallows, end to end, into the frosting on the first double set of cupcakes to make the eyes. Pipe green frosting on top of the marshmallows, leaving the outside ends unfrosted, and spread to cover the rounded sides of both marshmallows completely. Using the squeeze-and-fold technique you used on the cupcakes, pipe a decorative line of green frosting around the edge of the unfrosted ends. Snip an 1/8-inch corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe a spot of vanilla frosting on the flat side of each Junior Mint and attach to the center of the unfrosted marshmallow ends to make the eyes. Pipe a small white highlight on each eye.

Arrange the cookie triangles, cut side down, along the cupcakes for the bony plates, keeping them parallel to one another along the back. Add 3 banana candies on each cupcake foot for the clasws.

Cut each of the remaining 2 marshmallows into 6 triangles to make the teeth. Press 3 teeth into each side of the first 2 cupcakes, pointed ends down. Add the green jelly beans for the nostrils.


  1. How cute is that? Kudos to The Daughter on an amazing job! It looks great!

  2. Old Swampy looks incredible! My students would love to have someone bring in birthday cupcakes like that. Hope they all enjoyed it!

  3. Going to use for Graduation Open House - Grandson plays baseball for his high school and his nickname is Gator. Thanks for the wonderful idea.

  4. wow that really looks amazing. My partner and I just started a baking business in january and I have been asked to put an alligator on cupcakes for a 18 year old graduation his school is the perry hall alligators so this is perfect thank you so much for sharing your idea it really does help people like me. Thank you


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