Time to get your ducks in a row. These are perfect for a baby shower, a birthday party, or even a crazy Easter bash. Making that ducky shape is as simple as attaching a doughnut hole and a marshmallow to a cupcake. Dip in melted yellow frosting and add a fruit chew beak and M&M eyes, and this little yellow flotilla is ready to quack.
24 vanilla cupcakes baked in yellow paper liners
2 cans (16 ounces each) plus 1 cup vanilla frosting
Yellow food coloring
20 plain doughnut holes
14 orange fruit chews (Tootsie Fruit Rolls, Starburst)
48 brown mini candy-coated chocolates (M and M's Minis)
1. Tint 1 can plus 3/4 cup of the vanilla frosting bright yellow with the yellow food coloring. Spoon the yellow frosting into a microwavable measuring cup; cover with plastic wrap. Spoon 1/4 cup of the vanilla frosting into a Ziploc bag, press out the excess air, seal, and set aside.
2. Cut the marshmallows in half on the diagonal with scissors. Spread some of the vanilla frosting from the remaining can on top of a cupcake. For the head, place a doughnut hole on one side. For the tail, arrange the cut marshmallow, pointed end up, on the edge on the opposite side. Repeat to make 20 heads-up ducks. To make the bottoms-up ducks, place a cut marshmallow in the center of each of the remaining 4 cupcakes, pointed end up. Spread vanilla frosting up the sides of the doughnut holes and marshmallows on the cupcakes to fill in the gaps and smooth. Place the cupcakes in the freezer for 15 minutes, or until slightly frozen.
3. Microwave the yellow frosting, stopping to stir frequently, until it has the texture of lightly whipped cream, about 45 seconds. Remove 1 cupcake at a time from the freezer. Holding the cupcake by its paper bottom, dip it into the yellow frosting just up to the liner. Allow the excess frosting to drip off back into the cup. Turn right side up and let stand. Repeat with the remaining cupcakes. If the frosting becomes too thick, reheat for several seconds, stirring well.
4. For the beaks, cut 10 of the orange fruit chews in half. Shape each piece into a 3/4-by-1 1/2-inch oval. Fold the fruit chew almost in half, then pinch at the fold and shape to look like an open beak. Place the folded edge of the fruit chew on the front of the doughnut hole head, pressing gently to secure. For the feet, cut the remaining 4 fruit chews in half on the diagonal. Flatten each piece into a 1-by-1 1/2-by-1 1/2-inch triangle. Shape the short end to make the webbed feet. Score the top with a small knife. Insert the pointed end of the feet at the base of the tail on the bottoms-up cupcakes. Snip a small (1/8-inch) corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe a white dot on either side of the head for the eyes and add the mini brown candies.