Sunday, September 19, 2010

Cupcakes, Cupcakes, Cupcakes

Hello blog world! It's been a while since I've been online, sorry...just incubating a baby here! :) I've been thoroughly enjoying my summer with a husband who is a teacher and a home body like me!! So, I haven't been making too many things...although, my new favorite thing to make has been cupcakes!!!! For my family, my life and the time I have to put into anything sweet, cupcakes are really perfect for me! I'm not too sure how many cakes I'll be making in the next year, but I can tell you...cupcakes are fun, less time consuming, and deliciously evil!

So, here's to cupcakes and a few projects I've been working on lately...

My sweet friend Sarah is having her third baby, but first baby girl! Yeah for girls! :) Our friends threw her a very sweet shower with a vintage french country theme. It was beautiful and the girls who put it on did a fabulous job on the food and decor!! My part was a small cake and about 16 cupcakes for the event. She loves lemon, so, the cupcakes were a lightly flavored vanilla-lemon cake with a lemon curd filling and vanilla Italian meringue buttercream frosting. I thoroughly enjoyed that part!! - the making and the eating of those beautiful little sweets!
The cake was a bit different! :) It was chocolate cake with sliced strawberries and vanilla IMBC (Italian meringue buttercream) filling. For some reason, I had SUCH issues with the MMF (marshmallow fondant)! It was sticky, sticky, sticky and I just had a hard time working with it. I think the humidity around here played a part...and the fact that I haven't done a cake for a while - I was a little rusty!
I used a thick layer of buttercream under my fondant and with it going in and out of the fridge, the air bubbles became an issue this time. It made me realize just how much I love ganache! - I think I'll stick to that being my crumb coat if I do another cake again! :) But, it was fine...of course, I love buttercream, so the more the better! :) This wasn't my original design...but I can't stand up for too long now and after I got started, I realized I wasn't going to be able to pull it off! So, I simplified the design half way through and just went with it! It turned out great and tasted delicious, and really...that's all that matters! :)

The next event I was able to help with was another baby shower for my sweet friend Kelly!! Kelly is having identical twin boys - total miracle babies!! These babies TRULY are a gift from God and are little testimonies to the Lord hearing our cries!! So, this shower for her was HUGE!!! She is so loved by so many and the ladies in our church are SO talented that we threw her the best shower I've ever seen! From the food to the decor to the gifts to the kind words to the sharing time, it was amazing! I felt like I walked into a pottery barn magazine showcase for a baby shower...but with the warmest and most overwhelming feeling of love and hope!! I know we blessed Kelly's heart too - which was the whole point!!
I made 100 cupcakes for the event - the most "servings" I've ever done!! I had to have something to put them on, so I made this cupcake stand...my first ever! I created it using foam core and red wrapping paper. It was fun and I loved how it turned out!! You can do it too...whatever size you need! All you have to get is sheets of 3/16" thick foam core, a ruler, exacto knife and some hot glue! Simple, simple simple! Allow 3" for each cupcake and build the boxes to whatever size you need based on how many cupcakes you want to serve/showcase! Mine were all 4" high. The top box was 9x9, the middle 15x15 and the bottom 21x21. You can arrange them in a step pattern (like the pic above) or centered to look like a wedding cake. Super easy and fun! Then, pick out some paper to cover the sides where you have your seams and whalllllah - a cupcake stand!

Now, back to the fun stuff...the cupcakes! :) I created three different flavors...Kelly's favorites!
The first was coconut cake with white chocolate/coconut custard filling and vanilla buttercream
The second was chocolate chip cake with chocolate custard filling and marshmallow/vanilla buttercream
And lastly a red velvet cake with cream cheese frosting
The toppers were made by an amazing gal at our church named Susan Damery. These pics above were taken by my amazingly talented friend Mindy Strauss (I totally forgot my camera to snap my own pics - what a dunce I am sometimes! - I guess I can thank my sweet baby girl for sucking what's left of my brain out of me! hehe) :) The lighting was really harsh so I was glad Mindy had her camera as my pics wouldn't have turned out so good! :)

Everything turned out fabulous! It was the easiest process for how many people they served! I guess this is my reason for really only wanting to do cupcakes now!! It just fits my lifestyle better - and no more big fondant covered cakes for me for a while! :) :) hehe - I do want to learn how to frost a perfectly smooth cake so it looks like fondant...that would be my next "need to learn" thing!! Perhaps after baby!

Thanks for looking!! Not sure if I'll be back online before baby comes. I don't have any projects planned except birthing this beautiful girl within me! :) When I get around to it, I'll post a picture of God's little creation when she decides to greet the world! Until then, may the Lord bless you and keep you, may His face shine upon you and give you peace!