Everyone who walks into Whisk + Measure Specialty Bakery and spies the succulent cupcakes immediately wants to know, "Are they real?"

Yes, owner Beth Brown says, the cactuses on top of the treats are made from real butter cream.

After oohing and aahing, customers declare they must be horribly difficult to make.

"They are not once you know the tricks," Brown said. "That is the amazing part.''

The key is getting the frosting colors in the bag correctly so that they don't run together and turn brown, Brown says. It's also important to use the correct tips and to know when to add and release pressure.

If that already leaves you feeling overwhelmed, don't worry. Whisk + Measure pastry chef Taylor Beck is there to help. The bakery offers classes in decorating, as well as cake building, cupcake decorating and royal icing cookie decorating. French macaroons may be next. One topic is offered each month with several sessions.

"We show you the right technique and anybody can do it,'' Brown said. "Some people even come up with new variations.''

Brown, a 34-year-old actuary who said baking is her creative outlet, opened the shop 1 1/2 years ago. Her staff wanted to do something different, and succulent cupcakes were a great way to learn how to use different piping and tips.

"People always love when food can take on a different form in a realistic way,'' Brown said. "They are really fun.''

Whisk + Measure plans to do succulents in March. If you'd like to take a class, find Whisk + Measure on Facebook or call 402-502-0004.

Classes are hugely popular with kids age 8 and older. "We get more questions about kids classes than adults,'' Brown said. "There are very few places in town that do that. There's a lot of interest.''

Even the cactus? "The more experienced ones can totally handle it,'' Brown said.

How to make your own succulent creation:

Step 1

Pick your piping tip. Your piping tip will determine the style of your succulent. Tip one makes a rose/teardrop. Tip two a star and tip three a leaf.

Step 2

Fill your piping bag with butter cream frosting. A slight mix of two colors

adds dimension.

Step 3

Begin piping three or four layers of frosting on top of the cupcake.

Step 4

Enjoy your Instagram-worthy cupcake. For different looks, try other piping tips or frosting colors.

Take a class

Visit the Whisk + Measure Facebook page or call 402-502-0004.

***

This article originally appeared in the March 2018 issue of the Momaha Magazine.

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Marjie is a writer for The World-Herald’s special sections and specialty publications, including Inspired Living Omaha, Wedding Essentials and Momaha Magazine. Follow her on Twitter @mduceyOWH. Phone: 402-444-1034.

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