Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Flower Cupcakes for Mother's Day

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If you're still looking for the perfect gift for mom this Sunday, consider making something sweet... like a bouquet of flower cupcakes!

Don't panic!  Although these cupcakes appear intricate, they are actually quite easy (although admittedly time consuming) to make.  The idea comes from Hello, Cupcake! and basically involves miniature marshmallow and different colored decorating sugars.

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How to make marshmallow flowers:
  1. Frost cupcakes with a thin layer of frosting.
  2. Fill shallow bowls with different colors of decorating sugars.
  3. Using food-safe scissors, cut mini marshmallows in half along the diagonal part of the marshmallow.
  4. Press sticky part of each of the cut halves of the marshmallows into colored sugar - these will become the petals of the flower.
  5. Starting on the outside of the cupcake, arrange marshmallow petals along the outside of the cupcake in a ring.  Continue adding rings of petals until you fill the surface area of the cupcake
  6. Place jimmy sprinkles or another type of candy in the center for a stamen.

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These cupcakes would look great in a wicker basket or simply on a plate.   Even though you might never want to see another marshmallow after making these cuppies, it will all be worth it when the special recipient of these treats responds with ooh's and aah's!

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Friday, April 27, 2012

Ladybug cupcakes, revisited


Alright, I've done ladybug cupcakes before.  In fact, it was one of my very first blog posts!  That time, I used swiss meringue buttercream frosting and a special icing tip to make the grass.  Still want cute ladybug cupcakes without painstakingly creating grass?  Use green sugar!

First, ice your cupcake (if you want it to be very green, tint your frosting green as well).  Next, roll the the cupcake into a bowl with green sanding sugar like this:


Then, take some red m&m's and use either an edible pen or black writing gel that you can find at the grocery store and paint the candy to look like ladybugs. Yep, that's it! 



I brought these cuppies in for my last day in the intensive care unit.  It had been so long since I've done any baking for work!  It was a nice (and tasty) way to end a difficult month. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Mini Bunny Cakes


I have always wanted to make petit fours.  You know, those mini cakes with endless layers covered in a smooth, shiny frosting layer, usually topped with some smal adorable flower or royal icing design.  When I discovered an adorable mini bunny silicone mold at Target, I knew that I had to try it!


First, I used a pound cake recipe to make the bunnies. Be sure to use enough baking spray or Wilton cake release so that your cute cakes don't stick into the mold.  Then, I covered the cakes in an apricot glaze to keep them nice and moist.


Next, I used Wilton's quick-pour fondant recipe (found here).  Place a cooling rack over a pan because you want to have the fondant pour completely over all sides of the cake.




After allowing the cakes to harden, I had some girlfriends over to help decorate them with some melted chocolate.


And then ta da! You have mini bunnies.



Honestly, they were far too sweet for me (which is most desserts), but that didn't stop Jeff from enjoying them.


Next up.... petit fours?  Probably not for a while - so many steps all for one bite of cake!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Green Velvet Cupcakes for St. Patrick's Day



Sometimes it can be nice to have a holiday coming up in order to help pick out what kind of cupcakes to bake.  Tomorrow is St. Patrick's Day.  I have done beer cupcakes twice before (here and here), both times using beer as my base flavor.  This time, I decided to focus on the color GREEN.  I'm not too much of a red velvet fan, but I thought it would translate pretty easily into (you guessed it) GREEN VELVET!



Simply use your favorite red velvet recipe and substitute green coloring for the red coloring.  I used Martha Stewart's red velvet cupcake recipe and Wilton Leaf Green coloring gel.  I find that you need less food coloring when you use the gel and it has less of a chemical taste.




I topped these cuppies off with a little cream cheese frosting.  I was tempted to add some beer instead of vanilla, but decided to play it safe because I'll be bringing them to a party very soon.  Top them off with some green sprinkles or sparkle gel and viola! Edible St. Patrick's Day fun.




I don't know about you, but I think cupcakes beat corned beef and cabbage any day!



PS - Congratulations to everyone who matched today!  I cannot believe that my intern year is nearly finished!

Monday, February 20, 2012

Rose Cupcakes




This post is a little late, but I wanted to share with you some cupcakes that made for Valentine's Day last week.  Instead of crafting roses from buttercream, I opted to use fruit slice candy using an idea from the book "What's New, Cupcake?"  The flowers came out beautifully, but I would not say that it took less time for me to do than making them from frosting.  I only had the energy to decorate 14 of the 2 dozen cupcakes I baked and the decorating part alone took approximately 2 hours (granted, I was multitasking by watching a movie, but still!). 

The method?  It involves rolling out individual fruit slices (the small Wilton fondant rolling pin is perfect for this), cutting them in half length-wise, and then rolling multiple strips together to fashion rose petals.  I used green fruit slices for the petals.  A tip is to use extra sugar on your rolling surface to ensure that the candies don't get too sticky. 

Here's Dave enjoying a cupcake after working all night in the NICU and newborn nursery:


Perhaps one of my favorite things about these cupcakes is how sparkly the petals look with all of that sugar on them.  They also look lovely all together like a bouquet, don't they?






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