Pretzel Sticks Make It A Breeze To Decorate Cactus Cupcakes

Growing plants and baking cakes have several things in common. Both require patience and attention and, in the end, you're rewarded with something beautiful. That said, it's no wonder pastry cooks have begun merging the two worlds together to create confectionery nature scenes. (If we aim to make a worthy copycat of Mother Nature, the effort it takes to turn chocolate cake into a tree stump masterpiece or build a tiny desert landscape on top of a cupcake seems only fitting.) While TikTok's viral cactus cupcakes are certainly a labor of love, don't fret trying to figure out how to get your cacti to stand inches above the rest of the frosting-fashioned landscape. Just use pretzel sticks!

You can easily frost cupcakes to look like succulents with just a piping bag and a few piping bag tips. However, making a desert landscape — complete with edible sand and a towering cactus — requires some additional engineering. Luckily, pretzel sticks are perfect for providing structure. Simply stick one end of the pretzel stick into the cupcake to anchor it, place the piping tip around the pretzel stick down to the base, and gently squeeze, moving up quickly towards the top of the pretzel stick. In a TikTok post, @Cakedbyrach recommends using an 8B piping tip and combining two shades of green frosting for life-like dimension. Remember to cut the piping bag to the size of the tip you're using for a hack that makes frosting cupcakes a breeze

Frost those pretzels or candy-coat them

Because cacti live in sand — not frosting — you're going to need to address that issue before planting your pretzels. After laying down a base layer of frosting, roll the cupcake in shortbread cookie crumbs or graham cracker crumbs to create the illusion of sand. Only now can your pretzel-cored cacti be erected. The addition of flowers and leaves — made with different piping bag tips and different colors of buttercream — brings the whole scene to life. 


Cactus cupcakes🌵🧁 I used crushed shortbread biscuits for the sand and added pretzel sticks for the centres. I used two shades of green buttercream in the piping bag to give the two tone effect. I used piping tips 8B for the cactus 🌵 352 for the leaves 🍃 and 18 for the flowers 🌷 The "spikes" are regular white sprinkles, I think I preferred it without them? 🤔 What do you think? #cupcake #cactus #cakedecorating #cakedbyrach #succulents #buttercream #cutefood #caketok

♬ I Can Do It With a Broken Heart – Taylor Swift

Alternatively, the pretzels can be candy-coated rather than frosted to create a similar effect. If you're less confident with a piping bag (or prefer chocolate-covered pretzels to frosting-covered pretzels), try using white chocolate with a bit of green food dye or green candy melts. Although they are meant to make things easier, candy melts can be a little finicky. If they get too thick, thin out the candy melts with a teaspoon of oil. Simply dunk the pretzels in the chocolate or paint softened candy melts on using a brush and pop them in the fridge to harden. The final product can be stuck directly into the cupcake and decorated with frosting flowers and white sprinkle spikes.