Heat oven to 350?F. Line 16 standard and 16 mini muffin pans with paper liners. Prepare cake mix according to directions, except substitute 1 cup of buttermilk for the water and increase the eggs to 4. Divide batter among muffin cups, and bake mini cupcakes for 15 to 20 minutes and standard cupcakes for 25 to 28 minutes. Recipe makes 8 chicks and 8 lambs.
Tint frosting yellow. Ice 8 standard and 8 mini cupcakes. For wings, dip opposite sides of the larger cupcakes in jimmies. Roll edges of mini cupcakes in jimmies. For the chick faces, place the mini cupcakes on their sides on top of the larger cupcakes. Flatten the red gumdrops, and cut 2 crowns out of each gumdrop. Cut orange gumdrops into beaks. Attach crowns and beaks to mini cupcakes. Pipe eyes using brown icing.
Ice 8 standard and 8 mini cupcakes with vanilla frosting. Cut 16 chocolate taffy pieces in half lengthwise. Shape into 2-inch-long logs. For noses, shape remaining taffies into rounded cone shapes. Cut marshmallows in half, using clean scissors. For ears, dip 16 marshmallow halves into pink sugar; set aside. For each mini cupcake head, place the cone-shaped taffy close to one edge, arrange ear pieces at opposite edge, and fill center with marshmallow pieces. Pipe eyes with brown icing. Place mini cupcakes on their sides on top of larger cupcakes. For legs, add 4 pieces of cut taffy to each lamb. Fill in top of large cupcake with remaining cut marshmallows.
Copyright ? 2006. Reprinted with permission from the April 2006 issue of Parents magazine.