Thursday, March 17, 2011

St. Patrick's Day cupcakes

Once again, as is my yearly tradition, I made chocolate-Guinness cupcakes with Bailey's buttercream. This recipe is such a crowd-pleaser, I can't NOT make it every year :)

I just love the way these smell while baking, the slight beer aroma is so tempting! There was one small change to this recipe, as I couldn't find a mini bottle of plain Bailey's. A huge liquor store didn't have mini bottles, only regular sized ones, and I'm not buying a huge bottle when I only need 3-4 tbsp. So instead I got caramel Bailey's. I figured the slight caramel flavor would go well with the chocolate in the cupcake.

I also got to use my new green glitter! It's edible glitter, just for cake decorating. So fun!

I had some leftover batter after making 2 dozen cupcakes, so I used my new Babycakes mini cupcake maker to make some minis! I got this awesome creation for Christmas and finally got around to using it. It's an electric appliance, just for making mini cupcakes! It was super easy to use, and the cupcakes baked in about 6-7 minutes. It's great for using a little bit of batter, instead of the mini cupcake tins that I have that make 24 at once. This makes only 8 at a time, but sometimes that's all you need!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Birthday Cupcakes

After donating the cake pops, I got a few clients for cupcakes! Both ordered 2 dozen for birthdays last weekend. I had so much fun making these.

First up was a little girl's birthday. She wanted all pink and purple cupcakes. Her mom was planning an art-themed party, so I made various hues of pink and purple, and topped each with glitter.
At the party, when I delivered the cupcakes, I arranged them on a wooden artist's palette for the centerpiece. They looked so cute!

The second order was the winner of the auction at the ball. She wanted cupcakes for her daughter's birthday, but this girl was all grown up. See, grown ups love cupcakes too! I did one dozen red velvet and one dozen chocolate, both with cream cheese frosting and sprinkles. Yum!

I enjoyed making these orders, and am looking forward to doing more!

Thursday, March 10, 2011

800 Cake Pops!

Recently, I was asked to donate a certificate for cupcakes to a charity auction. The event was for the Bal Swan school here, where my friend's son attends. It's a yearly event, and they raise tons of money. So of course, I was happy to donate my services for a good cause!

I also inquired about desserts for the event, and offered to make cake pops and balls to have out in dishes for everyone to munch on throughout the evening. Since they expected about 500 people to attend, they asked for 800 pops and balls, a mixture of both. So I got dipping!

It was a fun project, although time consuming and exhausting. I did everything in stages, first baking the cakes, then forming the balls, then dipping and decorating, all while bopping to the music of the 80s.
They turned out great! I did half pops, half balls, both chocolate and vanilla with lots of fun sprinkles. And everyone said how wonderful they were at the ball. It was a great experience for me, and great exposure to a new community. Although I'd rather not see a cake pop for a while :)

PS- speaking of cake pops, I hear Starbucks has them now, 3 different flavors. Must try them out!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Mardi Gras

Last week my friend John challenged me to make King Cake cupcakes, for Mardi Gras. Last year I made a version of this, but it was a cinnamon vanilla cupcake topped with a glaze and colored sugars. This time, I wanted to make something closer to the traditional King Cake, which is more of a bread than a cake.

So I found a good recipe, from a real New Orleans chef, and tried to adapt it for cupcakes. It was a cinnamon and lemon- laced bread-like dough.

They looked cute, not much like cupcakes, more like little balls of dough. I had enough to make a King Cake as well, which turned out great. I love the braid, and working with dough is so fun and almost therapeutic.
I think maybe either the yeast wasn't fresh enough, or I was too impatient and didn't let it rise properly, because both the cake and cupcakes seemed kind of heavy and more like bread than it should have been. So some adjustment is needed in order to perfect this recipe.

The traditional topping for a King Cake is a sweet glaze, with purple, green and gold sprinkles. So that's what I did on both.

All in all, it turned out delicious, but this needs more work. There's always next year!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cakes and Pops

I recently did a birthday cake and pops for a real live paying client! I think it turned out great.

I've been doing more and more cake pops lately, everyone seems to love them! They're cute, bite sized, and a great way to use leftover cake and frosting. I made a big batch for Valentine's Day too. Any excuse to use more sprinkles :)

I'm currently working on a website, although I need a name for my cupcake company first. It's been the hardest thing to do, since everytime I think of a great name, I google it and find it's already been taken. I don't want to do anything that anyone else has already done, so it's been difficult with all the bakeries out there now!

More cupcakes and pops to come!