55 cupcakes and counting…

I started this post in July… when I had baked 55 cupcakes in one night for a few events the next day (two job anniversaries at work, a birthday, a going-away)… but realized that I bake cupcakes pretty often and never blog about them because they aren’t cool enough or cute enough. So this has turned into my tribute to all those prosaic cupcakes that are lost to the depths of the stomachs of the people around me.

Another commemorative event is that I used up 250 cupcake wrappers as of last Friday. May not seem like a lot to those who watch “Cupcake Wars” on the Food Network, where they have to make 1000 in 2 hours, but for me? That’s a ton.

Let’s begin!

These are part of the 55 made for my dept at work. “30” for a 30 year anniversary at the company. “See you down the hall” for someone who was transitioning to another job, but right down the hall. . . Green and white, just because. They were all chocolate cupcakes and vanilla buttercream frosting.

Same goes for this photo below. 2 year anniversary and a “good luck!” for “see ya buddy, you’ll be missed,” job promotion. Thanks to Lala for helping with her impeccable piping skillz!

Next up? Decadent chocolate cupcakes with a rich chocolate ganache, dusted with a little cocoa powder and finished with a side of fresh strawberries. This was for a girl’s night, complete with puzzles and movies.

Below are some lemon cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting. I tried to jazz up such a simple cake/frosting combo by piping different designs on them. I really like the flowery look, very wedding-esque. These were for a potluck though.

To continue with the lemon theme, I helped Bri bake her friend some Lemon cupcakes with strawberry puree filling and cream cheese frosting. See below for 1. the full cupcake and 2. the innards.

The cupcakes below are chocolate cupcakes, filled with a chocolate-raspberry ganache, and topped with vanilla buttercream and berries. Although I liked the fudginess of these chocolate cupcakes, I still prefer the ones above, as they are moist and lighter.

Ah, these little green guys are from way way way way back in the day. I just never posted them. They are green tea cupcakes, made for a “desert dessert” party. I basically took a white cake recipe and added tons of green tea powder (matcha) into the batter and the vanilla frosting. I like the color, though I’d have to say the flavor was a bit underwhelming. Texture too. Meh, maybe better luck next time.

Oh dears, I am expiring. Enough cupcakery for tonight.

Great Green Globe-Trotting

Happy Birthday Lala! This was a special endeavor… Nick’s brilliance in cake creations really shone through with this one.  Since one of Lauren’s passions is traveling, we decided to go with the “globe trotter” theme, and no, not basketball.  Since Bri gave me the sphere cake pan for my birthday, we  did a full earth. Also, a plane that she would be “flying.” Anyway, here is the photo parade:

The plane was made out of a twinke and some oreo wafers… check out the wing design, very aerodynamic.

 Lauren’s face was molded out of yellow fondant, a red sprinkle (mouth), a yellow sprinkle (nose), a brown sprinkle (eyes, I think), and twinkie crumbs (hair). All in all, a good effort for Mk and Nick. 🙂

 The plane was green (L’s fav color), coated with frosting! Like the oreo propellor?

 Okay, Meg and I were working on the globe: Chocolate sphere covered in buttercream and blue fondant. This is Africa and Europe, can you tell?

The finished product! The white “x’s” are all the places L has been. She’s a travel bug. The white dots on the board are stars, and she’s flying through the sky.

Another angle:




The funny thing is, I freeze cakes for transport, especially since it’s so stankin’ hot here in the desert. Can’t go two feet without something meltin’ on ya (my dirty south roots comin’ out thur)… so I told Nick to put it in the freezer for a little while. Well I forgot to tell him to take it out the day of so it’d be defrosted when we ate it… And yeah, frozen cake 🙂 YUM, but difficult for poor L to cut up, especially a frozen sphere.

3 states, 3 pals, 33 hours

This, I believe, should be the last of the marathon cake trips for the summer at least…. This might be a longer post than usual- I tried to do a better job at documenting…

I had originally meant to just go to DC for this cake, but it turns out that my brother happened to be graduating on the same weekend… so it turned into a marathon trip! The itinerary? AZ–red.eye–> DC 12 hrs –night.road.trip–> AL done and done… where somewhere within the 12 hours in DC, a 3 tiered wedding cake was to be created and delivered.

Ah, much planning had to go into this trip… but it turned out ok :). Here goes! This is a wedding cake for Joanne, a three tier, chocolate/vanilla, yellow and blue polka dot cake. Let the photo tour begin!

11:00 AM Friday morning— Getting acquainted with a new kitchen and new surroundings. My sister Mel and Pezz (her fiancee) were gracious enough to let me use their kitchen. Check out the Hello Kitty toaster. And this sweet Sunbeam mixer. At first I was worried because I only ever use my Kitchenaid, but this turned out to be way better!

Right below the oven were some cute oven mitts. Catching onto the theme yet?

The spread of ingredients: Mel dutifully shopped for me so everything would be ready when I arrived.

Check this out. Harris Teeter sells 2.5 dozen eggs in one carton… I used… almost all of them.

I am pretty obsessed with taking photos of butter. So here is my contribution to this project:

Note the cup of joe in the background. I was running on maybe 4 hours of sleep on two different planes. It was necessary.

I started prepping the pans with parchment, when I notices that this is quite possibly the most perfect parchment circle I’ve ever cut. I took the time to take a photo of this accomplishment. It’s the little victories!

1:00 PM–The first cakes come out of the oven. Chocolate layer!

Joanne uniquely requested that each slice have both chocolate and vanilla in it. So each tier was chocolate and vanilla layers separated by buttercream:

6:00 PM: Covered in a generous layer of buttercream to prep for the fondant:

7:30-10:00 PM covering the cakes in yellow fondant, and creating many polka dots of two different shades of blue.

I also added some blue ribbon to match the darker shade of polka dot, per the bride’s request.

Here’s a photo with flash… it sort of changes the colors but I thought it would be an interesting juxtaposition.

It was a rather unconventional wedding cake, but Joanne loved it! She said it matched her colors perfectly and was exactly what she was looking for.

10:15 PM So Pezz drove me and Mel very carefully to Herndon in a freezing car. We pumped up the A/C so that the cake would be in a good traveling environment. The plan was to drop off the cake and then start on the 14 hour drive to Sweet Home AL.

11:15 PM The cake was dropped off and we headed out!

12:00 AM- 5:00 AM… ZZZZZzzzzzzzz….

Sometime around 7:00ish AM:

I took a photo of this because we had to stop for a bathroom break. Welcome HoooMMMeeee!!!!

7:40 AM: Hello Discount Food Mart and Mr. John Deere.

Oh lastly but certainly not least, is my special helper Mr. Miyagi, affectionately known as “Mimi” and “miyags”… He’s the resident furball at Mel and Pezz’s, and a lover of fondant dots. 😉