Here’s a special treat for the dad in your life, or anyone with a flair for elegant neckwear. The tie dots and stripes can be endlessly customized according to your fashion taste, pun intended!
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line 24 muffin cups with paper liners in each cup. Prepare the cake mix according to package directions. Divide the batter evenly between the prepared pans. Bake until cupcakes are lightly golden and a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 21 to 24 minutes. Transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack and cool completely.
- Use a serrated knife to cut the tie pieces from the graham crackers following the templates. Tint 1 cup of the frosting yellow with the food colouring. Spoon 6 tablespoons of the vanilla frosting into a resealable bag; set aside. Spread the tops of the cupcakes with the remaining vanilla frosting and make smooth. Arrange 6 cupcakes in a row on a serving platter or shallow tie box.
- Place the yellow sugar in a shallow bowl. Working on one piece of cut graham cracker at a time, spread the top with a thin layer of yellow frosting. Press the coated cracker into the yellow sugar to coat. Transfer the piece to make the tie shape on top of the cupcakes. There will be 4 ties. Press the crackers into the frosting to secure and make level.
- Press 3 orange slices together and roll them out in the orange sugar, making sure to keep them coated with the sugar to prevent sticking. Cut out the stripe shapes with a pair of scissors, rerolling the scraps if necessary.
- Microwave 3 blue candies at a time in the microwave for no more than 3 seconds to soften. Press them together and roll out to a 1/8 inch thickness. Cut out the shapes for making the blue stripes using the templates. Arrange the orange and blue candy stripes on the tie to look like the photo. Snip a small corner from the bag with the vanilla frosting. Pipe a small dot of frosting on top of the blue stripe and add the orange candies as dots. Repeat with the other cupcakes.