Recently we tasked ourselves with a way to say thank you with food — a handmade way to show appreciation to those in our tireless network of equine supporters. Baking can be tedious so we don’t do it often, but when we do, we like to test our creativity. We happened upon these character-filled cupcakes on more than one food blog, and decided to try them ourselves, if not for the sheer amusement of it all. They are so easy that we swiftly got into the groove at dawn, even experimenting with the decorative embellishments, and were finished in time to sample one with our coffee in front of CBS Sunday Morning. If you prefer a bit more of a (nutritional) kitchen challenge, there’s always the gluten-free, low sugar, low(er)-calorie approach.

For Unicorn Cupcakes:
Substitute regular chocolate or vanilla frosting for Rainbow Chip or Funfetti frosting.
Add sprinkles
Substitute brown writing gel for a pink or purple gel
Add an edible unicorn horn (secure to the forelock with frosting).
For Horse Cupcakes:
One 12-cup cupcake or muffin pan
Any color cupcake liner of your choice
One box of your favorite cake mix
One 16oz jar of your favorite frosting (chocolate for bays, vanilla for grays)
One family size package of Nutter Butter cookies
Halved cashews
Edible mini candy eyeballs (try also Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, and Target).
Edible brown writing gel
Bake cupcakes according to cake mix box.
Allow cupcakes to cool completely.
Add enough frosting to just cover the cupcake tops.
Place a Nutter Butter vertically on top of the icing, leaving a little room at the top for the cashew ears.
Add a dab of frosting behind the edible eyeballs, to secure them in place.
Use writing gel to draw the forelock, nose, and mouth.
Secure one half of a cashew on either side of the forelock for ears.