Saturday, August 27, 2011

Bad girls, bad girls, whatcha gonna do...

Whatcha gonna do when they come for you?

My baby sister will be celebrating her 20th birthday tomorrow. We got together tonight for a family dinner to celebrate, and of course I brought cupcakes. It not only was a celebration for her birthday, but she was recently accepted into the police academy. :)

To commemorate both special occasions I made her some cop cupcakes:

Red velvet and cream cheese is her favorite. To "cop" them up I topped them with handmade chocolate stars and marshmallow cubes to mimick the light bar on the top of a police car. Handcuffs weren't too easy to make and if I tried to make a small gun out of chocolate it might have looked like a stick. LOL

After the waiters/waitresses made her stand on a chair so they could loudly sing her their rendition of happy birthday she enjoyed a cupcake with her ice cream. She offered her boyfriend one and he curled his lip - he isn't a fan of red velvet. I encouraged him to give my version a try. I told him if he didn't like it I would not be offended if he didn't eat it all. He peeled the liner, took a bite, and left me sitting there anxiously awaiting his verdict.

He replied, "Not to bad." He then ate almost all of it. :) My cupcakes have the power to convert haters to lovers. Ha!

Happy birthday Anna!

Happy Baking,

Ooh baby, baby

Today I have a cupcake delivery for a baby shower. A group of girlfriends are getting together to celebrate the adoption of a little baby girl. When Natalie contacted me about the order she made me smile. She said something to the effect of, "I signed up to bring the cake/cupcakes and I knew I would call you." Have I ever told you that I love my clients? Well, um, I do! :)

I sent her a few concepts and we finally agreed on vanilla and chocolate cupcakes with three different designs. Here is how they turned out:

Here is the design run down (L to R):
  • Lavender tinted buttercream in a flower swirl with pearl sixlets
  • Lavender tinted buttercream with a white hand cut fondant flower on top
  • Lavender tinted and white buttercream swirled with sugar sprinkles on top
I hope you and your friends have a wonderful time celebrating the new baby girl's arrival! Enjoy your cupcakes.

Happy Baking,

Celebrate good times, come on!

Last weekend was filled with a lot of celebrations! I knew of at least 5, and I am sure there were others. First, my family and I were set to travel to Austin for a close friend's wedding that also landed on my husband's birthday.

Then there were a series of children's birthday parties that I worked on cupcakes for. The entire weekend turned out great, and the cupcakes were a lot of fun to make. Here are some of my creations from last weekend:

Tinkerbell Fairy Party
Our amazing photographer Jenny Miller, of Jenny Miller Photography, was hosting her daughter's Tinkerbell themed 3rd birthday. She picked up the cupcakes on Friday and she told me that her daughter, who she calls Miss Priss :), continued to ask her for one up until the party.

The vanilla cupcakes were decorated to match the 4 colors used in the invitation, and topped with all sorts of things to give it that fairy touch. I used Tinkerbell rings, hand cut fondant flowers of various sizes, and finally the most important touch - pixie dust!

Here is how they turned out:

Dora and Diego Party
In addition to the Tinkerbell cupcakes I crafted up some cute Dora and Diego cupcakes for a pair of siblings celebrating their birthday's together at Chuck-e-Cheese. Their mom Renee asked me to make up a couple of dozen cupcakes for the guests and two jumbo cupcakes for the birthday boy and girl!

The vanilla cupcakes were decorated with yellow and blue tinted buttercream, coordinating confetti sprinkles, and topped with character rings. The jumbo cupcakes (picture in next section) were topped with the same frosting, sprinkles, and the liner was wrapped with ribbon.

Here is how they turned out:

Jumbo Cupcakes
Finally, I worked on 4 jumbo cupcakes for various birthday boys and girls. Two of them were for the Dora and Diego sibling celebration. Another one was for my friend's son who was turning one, and the last one was for my husband. He saw me baking all of these cupcakes, and he knew they were for clients. I didn't want him to think I forgot him so I snuck in on especially for him. :)

After we arrived in Austin I took the boxed cupcake out of its hiding spot in the luggage and put it in the refrigerator in our room. Later that night I snuck it out, light the candles, and we had an impromptu celebration for him! I asked him he if knew about it and he said no. Success!!

Tuesday night tutorial
My friend Danielle was working on her son Carter's first birthday. He was the proud owner of the #1 jumbo cupcake above. His favorite movie is Despicable Me, and he loves the minions. Who doesn't? Those little guys are so cute. I want one for my house - seriously.

She asked me if I had any ideas of what she could do.  I found a concept online and shared it with her. Then we hosted a "minion making tutorial" at my house on Tuesday night. It consisted of chocolate, eyeballs, Twinkies, and lollipop sticks - sounds like a party to me. I checked in with her on Saturday to see how her minion making went. She said they turned out great. YAY! *high five D*

Here is how Danielle's minion cupcakes turned CUTE!

See I told you it was a party packed weekend last week! August is a celebratory month. Are you tired from just reading this post?

No matter how many parties, making cupcakes is so much fun. Whether I am making them myself, or teaching someone else how to, cupcakes never get boring!

Happy Baking,

Saturday, August 6, 2011

DIY Cupcake Stand

My daughter's superhero themed birthday party is drawing near, and I have been trying to spread out tasks over a few weekends. This weekend I tackled the cupcake stand. I am making 4dz cupcakes so I wanted to make sure I had a stand that would hold most of them. This stand will hold about 32 cupcakes, and I plan on putting the rest on the table around the bottom tier.

To help explain the process I tried to take photos along the way, but I have to admit that I get a little clumsy when the glue gun heats up. I was often too worried about burning my hands or hot gluing something to the table. I am happy to report though that I successfully completed the stand, and I didn't need any bandaids! Oh and my table is fine. :)

Before I share the instructions, here is the final product:

Here is what you will need:
  • pencil
  • ruler
  • hot glue gun
  • 6", 8", 10", and 12" cardboard cake rounds - 2 of each size
  • 3 cans with labels removed (make sure they are the same size)
  • 2 styrofoam rounds for the "feet"
  • card stock to cover the cake rounds and "feet"
  • 5/8" ribbon to cover the cans
  • 1.5" ribbon to border the cake rounds
  • additional accents that match theme (letters, stars etc)

Here is how you do it:
  1. Trace one of each size cake round onto separate pieces of cardstock. Cut out.
  2. Glue coordinating cake rounds together. Make sure to glue the brown sides together vs the white sides.
  3. Glue cardstock to one side of the double layer cake rounds.
  4. Cut a strip of cardstock to wrap around each of the "feet". Center them on the bottom of the 12" cake round and glue.
  5. Cut 6 strips of  the 5/8" ribbon to wrap around each can. When applying start at the glue line on the can to ensure all of your seams are in the same place.
  6. Determine the center of each cake round and outline the location for the can. You should measure on the top and bottom to ensure they are stacked appropriately.
  7. Once assembled let glue sit for 5-10min. You want to ensure it is all set.
  8. Starting with the top cake round outline the edge of the round with glue and start adhering the 1.5" ribbon. Always ensure you start your seam at the back (where the can seams are). This way you can ensure none of your seams are showing when you setup the display.
  9. Create additional accents for the topper as desired.

To further accent the stand I painted a wooden letter A and fixed it to lollipop sticks. Then I attached foam glitter stars to thin wire. On the day of the party I will put these into the cupcakes on the top tier.

 Since we are doing a superhero theme we will be filling the stand with chocolate and vanilla cupcakes decorated with Spiderman, Batman, and Superman decor. I incorporated the stars and polka dots to "girl" it up a little bit! I think the style would also work for a boy's birthday.

My daugther was really excited when it was done. She kept coming in and checking on me throughout the process. Maybe she knows I am a klutz with a glue gun...

Happy Baking,

Stand adapted from the Annie's Eats blog

Friday, August 5, 2011

Beat the heat with this cupcake treat!

Tonight I decided to whip up a nontraditional cupcake for dessert, and I didn't even have to heat the oven. Before I explain let me show you:

Yes, these are little bowls of ice cream formed in a jumbo cupcake pan. Therefore, they are properly named Ice Cream Cupcakes! The crust is made up of finely crushed waffle cones, and they are filled with blended vanilla ice cream. Here are the flavors:
  • Confetti sprinkles
  • Mini Reese's cups
  • Mini Oreo cookies
  • Chocolate syrup
  • Maraschino cherries
To top them off I whipped up some homemade whip cream, and added some coordinating garnishes. It was a delicious post-dinner treat.

Happy Baking Freezing,

Recipe adapted from Everyday with Rachel Ray