Martha is joined by Sophie LaMontagne and Katherine Kallinis, co-owners of Georgetown Cupcake, to bake chocolate election cupcakes decorated with elephant and donkey fondant. Part 1.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a standard muffin tin with 12 cupcake liners; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a small bowl, add milk and vanilla extract; stir to combine and set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. With the mixer on low, add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add flour mixture in three parts, alternating with milk mixture; beat until just combined. Add cocoa powder and beat until just combined.
Fill each muffin cup two-thirds full with batter. Transfer to oven and bake until a cake tester inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cool in pans for two minutes before transferring to a wire rack to cool completely.
Transfer frosting to a pastry bag fitted with a large 5/8-inch round tip (such as Ateco No. 808). Pipe frosting onto cooled cupcakes and set aside.
Meanwhile, press your thumb into the center of the fondant to make a well. Place a small amount of food coloring (red for Republican, blue for Democrat) in the well and knead fondant until color is well blended. Continue to add more food coloring to fondant until desired color is achieved. Roll out into a 1/16-inch-thick sheet.
To make Republican elephants, cut out 12 elephant shapes using 2-inch elephant cutters. Sprinkle with edible glitter. To make Democrat donkeys, cut out 12 bear shapes using a 2-inch bear cutter. Using a 2-inch daisy cutter, cut out enough daisy shapes so that you have 36 petals; sprinkle bear shaped and daisy petal fondant with edible glitter. Top each cupcake with a fondant elephant or bear, using two daisy petals to make donkey ears on each bear and one petal to make the tail. Sprinkle cupcakes with nonpareils and serve.