As dentists-in-training we mold teeth out of many materials – amalgam, resin, wax, acrylic – it really was only a matter of time before I made a few teeth out of cake, right?? As if my EKG cookies weren’t nerdy enough, I’m taking it to a whole ‘nother level with these molar cupcakes today. I’m sure only those of you involved in the field of dentistry can truly appreciate these, but for the rest of you, the anatomy is pretty accurate, and if anything, they’re pretty cute too. I had SO much fun making them, probably because they are the perfect hybrid of my life right now – baking and dentistry. Now if only I had somehow made them sugar-free, then they’d really be the perfect hybrid!
This was my project last weekend when we were expecting to lose power from Hurricane Irene. I baked the cupcakes while we still had power and prepared the fondant so I’d have the whole day, electricity or not, to work on these beauties. We were lucky and never lost power, but I still got to have a blast putting these together, especially with some TV on in the background. I used homemade marshmallow fondant for these, which is tastier in my opinion than store-bought fondants, but I still didn’t want a mound of fondant, tasty or not, as the cusps. So I made some cake ball mixture (crumbled up baked cake + a little frosting) to mold cusps on top of the cupcakes instead. This technique worked really well, and I can imagine this being used for many other forms besides teeth! (Because let’s face it, I don’t expect any of you to run off and start making teeth cupcakes after seeing this…)
After building up the teeth with the cake-ball mixture, I rolled my white fondant out thinly and cut out circles a bit larger than the cupcake’s diameter. Then I simply draped the fondant circle over the teeth, gently applying pressure with my fingers and an offset spatula to adapt the fondant along the cusps and grooves, and used a sharp knife to trim the edges. There’s a reason I only made the 4 molars – these took a lot of work! But the molars are probably the most interesting looking teeth anyway :) Here’s the breakdown for my personal favorite tooth, the lower 1st molar:
Now that I’m in my third year of dental school, I’m finally treating patients and spending more and more time in clinic and less time in class. It’s been a great transition so far and I’m definitely enjoying the patient interaction and application of the skills we’ve learned in the past 2 years on fake teeth. These cupcakes are kind of a celebration of the start of this next chapter in my education, and hopefully my crowns and fillings for patients will come out as pretty (but definitely less sugary) as these!
For the cupcakes – whatever recipe you want!
For the cake ball mixture – baked cake crumbles + frosting
For the marshmallow fondant – recipe here
The fondant needs to be made 24 hours in advance, so prepare fondant according to recipe’s instructions and place in fridge until you’re ready to make the cupcakes.
Bake cupcakes and allow to cool completely. I baked 8 cupcakes total, decorated 4, and used the other 4 for the cake ball mixture.
For the cake ball mixture for the cusps, crumble up remaining cupcakes and mix with a few tablespoons of frosting, until the consistency is malleable but not too wet.
Apply a thin coat of frosting to the tops of the cupcakes and start forming cusps out of the cake ball mixture using an offset spatula.
Refrigerate cupcakes 30 minutes to an hour to allow cake ball mixture to stabilize
Roll out fondant to 1/4″ thickness, using powdered sugar to prevent sticking.
Cut out circles slightly larger than the diameter of the cupcakes and drape over cusps.
Use a sharp knife to trim the edges and tuck the edges in with your fingers and an offset spatula.