Fe/Male?

I think it’s time for a cupcake post! What’s more fun than revealing a secret using baked goods?! Ok, maybe a few things come to mind, but I was pretty pumped for this project.

Our friends Nancy & Brian were expecting (yes, the little one has arrived at this moment in time), and wanted to throw a gender reveal party after they found out the sex of their baby. The idea was to make male and female cupcakes and have guests choose what they think the baby is. Then the answer would be revealed later.

Nancy, being in the medical industry, decided on the universal symbols for male and female. I used this opportunity to hold a fondant making lesson as well.

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The plan was to make chocolate cupcakes for boys and strawberry shortcake cupcakes for girls.

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Here are the “female” cupcakes- stuffed with chopped fresh strawberries and a dab of swiss meringue buttercream, piped with buttercream and topped with a pink fondant “female.”

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Here are the chocolate cupcakes frosted with a chocolate buttercream (think cocoa powder, butter, powdered sugar, splash of milk), and topped with the blue fondant “male” topper.Β IMG_4270Lots of cupcakes and a mac! πŸ™‚

The secret is out- it’s a BOY!

Congrats, Nancy & Brian!

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Hoo’s turning 1?

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As always, I’m a little behind on my posts. I get really motivated in spurts and then life catches up with me. Anyways- I wanted to post these owl themed cupcakes and smash cake that I baked for my little niece Ceci.

Above are the cupcakes, below is the smash cake. The cupcakes are a either chocolate or lemon with cream cheese frosting.

Her smash cake is lemon with cream cheese frosting. Luckily, her birthday being around Easter (this is a way late post) , I was able to find some brightly colored white chocolate m&ms to round out the decorations.

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Here is the little cutie digging in! Happy first birthday Ceci!!!
 

Off to the beach!

One more cupcake post! Megan’s birthday was within the last two weeks. We were able to celebrate this week with some beach themed cupcakes! Since… well, she loves the beach!

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You’ll see an assortment of beach accessories- flip flops, beach towel, life saver, sun, pails! And of course, Ghiya’s signature dog with frisbee up at the top left corner. To complete the theme, we had funfetti type cake (I threw some sprinkles in the batter) and vanilla buttercream frosting tinted an ocean blue.

Happy Birthday Meg!

Panda-monium…. and Bernard

Here’s a short post. I’m playing catch-up! But Bri’s birthday was at the end of September, and I wanted to give her some fun cupcakes.

My inspiration came from our Costco field trips together. She’s my #1 Costco buddy! And what’s the best part about Costco? The giant teddy bears. Of course!

Anyway- she gave me a giant (48″ tall, I’m not joking when I say giant) teddy bear for my birthday one year. Recently, we went back to Costco and I saw giant Pandas!!! So I joked that perhaps Bernard (my teddy bear’s name) would get a friend soon.

IMG_1850Which one of these does not belong?! For most of their faces, I just used giant chocolate chips- these cupcakes are chocolate with vanilla buttercream frosting.

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Another closeup. πŸ™‚ Happy Bear-day? Bri!

Irish? I-rish!!

Happy St. Patty’s day! I wanted to make a dessert worthy of a corned beef and ‘kraut dinner that my friends hosted, so I went with two kinds of cupcakes: Mint chocolate chip cupcakes and a Irish Whiskey ganache-filled Guiness cupcake with a Bailey’s frosting.

For the mint chip cupcakes: chocolate cupcake batter with handfuls of Andes mint chips!

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Guiness cupcakes next to some Jameson-infused dark chocolate ganache:

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I used my cupcake corer to make little holes for the ganache filling:

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Filled cupcakes!

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Caps back on top! (I ate two of them, so two cupcakes were missing the hats)

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Buttercream frosting with Bailey’s Irish Cream piped on top!

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Back to the mint chocolate chip cupcakes- green tinted vanilla buttercream tops these off:

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I tried piping different designs… don’t these look like seashells? haha… I guess these don’t scream “St. Patty’s Day.”

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I tried to go for a 4 leaf clover arrangement here:

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Anyone catch a leprechaun? πŸ˜‰

Hoo’s arriving in April?

I’m excited to announce that our “special guest” arriving in April is my first niece! My sister is expecting, and I recently went home to visit and to host and attend her baby shower. I was really excited to bake something for her shower. At her request, we went with lemon cupcakes with a raspberry cream cheese filling, topped with lemon buttercream frosting and an owl fondant decoration. Her theme for the baby shower and my niece’s new bedroom will be- you guessed it- owls.

These are the lemon cupcakes. I love the pink and green wrappers. I procured a cool little tool for myself as well- a cupcake corer! It’s a simple little gadget, really. It’s no more than a Β long circular cookie cutter with a fun flower design at the top for the “gripper,” but it works surprisingly well. I got this size and a larger one (1 inch diameter) as a set at Wal-mart for 1.84.

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See? In less than 5 minutes, I had cored 24 cupcakes. I ate the bowl of cupcake holes, but I guess you can replace them after you fill the cupcakes… if you are feeling generous and not hungry like me!
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The cupcakes are filled with the raspberry cream cheese filling. I just piped it in with a good ol’ ziplock baggie:

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I covered cupcakes with lemon buttercream frosting:

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Here’s where it got a little tricky AND labor intensive. I made homemade fondant with lemon meringue flavored marshmallows that I found at Wal-mart. (They are freakin’ delicious)…. and then colored the fondant with gel food coloring. The bonus was lemon flavored fondant!! Yum. The owls are a product of “creative” cookie cutter manipulation, led by my two faithful baking helpers, my parents. (Shout out and props to them for staying up until 2 AM making cupcakes with me, now THAT’s love). πŸ˜‰

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Ah! The final product: a hoard of owls. Is it a hoard? … I just looked it up. I think it’s a “stare” of owls. I don’t know, that’s what the Audubon and BirdNote partnership say.

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I’m not sure if you can see the filling, but it’s in there:

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Here are a couple of “bonus” pictures from the shower.

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The favors were baking related! It’s cookie mix. (I tried out the mix from an extra jar they had made. The cookies were delicious!)

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And… just because I thought it was cute… Make a bib for the baby! haha.

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Congrats Mel (& Pezz)! Thanks for making me an Aunt-to-be!

Elmo!

Who is fuzzy, red, and has a high voice? As you could probably infer from the post title, this baking project was Elmo themed. Our lovable friend was the theme of Mr. Grant’s second birthday bash. Elmo cupcakes for all!

We have Oreo halves for Elmo’s big smile:

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Orange jelly beans for his nose:

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Red Swiss buttercream frosting for his face:

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Mentos for his eyes; the pupils were drawn on with edible food coloring markers:

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Elmo#1! (not Elmo IS #1, but this is the first guy… of many)

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We are just a regular Elmo cupcake making factory here:

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Aren’t they jolly? Total there were 2 dozen Elmo’s… 12 chocolate and 12 vanilla.

Happy Birthday, Grant!!

Rainbow Sock Monkey… Yeaahhhhhh!

Ok, the post title is misleading- there is nothing rainbow about these sock monkey cupcakes. But every time I think about sock monkeys, I get the Pier 1 Sock monkey commercial in my head, and that’s what he sings.

Anyway, my buddy Trevor’s twin boys turned 1 this month and I made them sock monkey carrot cupcakes frosted with cream cheese frosting.

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Here is a sock monkey face made out of fondant. His hat pompom is a red m&m and his eyes are chocolate chips.

photo (11)Here are the sock monkeys and a 1! cupcake.

photo (10)Happy Birthday, Boys!

Happy Thanksgiving!

I love Thanksgiving. It’s up there as one of my top 3 favorite holidays- not only do we get a 4 day weekend, but lots of food and relaxation. This year I spent it at a potluck and was responsible for… you guessed it… dessert!

Just in case people don’t like pumpkin, I made some standby chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting, with a Thanksgiving theme.

I liked the idea of replicating Indian corn with Jelly Belly beans. So here we are:

Add a few dried corn husks for a realistic effect:

 

I also liked the idea of mini-pie with M&M “berry filling.”

PipeΒ  a lattice with frosting, and add a decorative crust.

Many mini pies!

Hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving. πŸ™‚

Lions and Tigers and a random Pink Panther

September is a time for birthday explosion! We start off the month with assorted wildcat cupcakes for Ghiya’s birthday. She’s obsessed with tigers, so we did regular orange tigers and white ones. Then we tossed in a lion.


Then we included a random pink panther.

The plain ones, without stripes, are “baby tigers”… who haven’t gotten their stripes yet…

Or… we ran out of black gel πŸ™‚ Either way, Happy birthday Ghiya!