Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Chocolate Salted Caramel & Pink Lemonade Cupcakes

Tuesday I delivered a dozen German Chocolate Cupcakes to a dear friend for his birthday, today he spent an extra hour on the treadmill burning them off. To me, that is a job well done!

Today I made 6 dozen cupcakes... 2 dozen Chocolate Salted Caramel for a surprise party, and 4 dozen Pink Lemonade for an 11-year old girls birthday at school. Of course the family needed some cupcakes as well, so I made enough for the class - and some drop-ins - plus enough for the family that evening. Out of all of those... 4 remained, one for each of my family.

Pumpkin with both cream cheese and cinnamon buttercream on the schedule for tomorrow... plus an additional dozen chocolate salted caramel... those seem to be the most popular! For now, enjoy the pictures from today's labor.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

2 Birthdays, 1 Potluck, and 1 Just Because

Last week I had 2 birthdays and a potluck to make cupcakes for. This week? Two more birthdays, another potluck, but in came my favorite reason for cupcakes... JUST BECAUSE!

Last weeks birthday cakes turned out great. I forgot to take pictures of the Motocross cake, but I know the boys had fun playing with the motorcycle and rider! Here are pictures of the completed Lemon Poppy Seed cupcakes and flowers.

Chocolate seems to be the theme this week, is that always the case? Maybe it is just because these customers didn't get a chance to sample the Chocolate Salted Caramel cupcakes I made a couple weeks ago! Today I'm making German Chocolate Cupcakes for a good friend for his birthday, he has only been asking for them for the entire 2 years we've known them!

I'm starting to think it is time I order boxes wholesale, it would save me the trip to the craft store, and the expense and I can even get cupcake inserts! Now time to figure out where to store the boxes in the garage!

Off to my kitchen!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Butter, butter, and more BUTTER!

So my task for yesterday was to make frosting, lots of frosting. Four double batches of frosting to be exact. Now there are several recipes out there that call for shortening in their buttercream, but to me, that just doesn't add up. How can you call it buttercream if there is NO BUTTER? I've decided I will only use those decorator icings when I really need to make flowers or a pretty design, but to me, the frosting is half of the goodness in a cupcake, so I refuse to use anything but real butter buttercream.

Now, there are 4 different types of buttercream out there (probably lots more, but these are the basic differences). You can make the C&H Powdered Sugar recipe - it is a great substitute for the shortening buttercream recipe and tastes a heck of a lot better. The 3 remaining buttercreams are all similar, just varying parts of an egg is used, egg yolk, egg white, or whole egg. I have tried the egg yolk and whole egg varieties, and the taste is unbelievable, for me, there is no going back to any other type. I stick with the whole egg variety of buttercream that way I don't have to store the other half of the egg, or be tempted to bake more sweets that will just require more hours at the gym. The process is simple, make a sugar syrup, pour that into the eggs while the mixer is running, continue mixing until cool, then add the butter... and lots of butter. The flavoring is added at the end, once the buttercream has come together, and it is only limited by your imagination.

Yesterday's flavors were: Mint Buttercream, Almond Buttercream, Powdered Sugar Vanilla Buttercream (used to decorate the motocross cake, so it needs to hold up a little better), and Cream Cheese frosting.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Button Flowers

I was asked to make birthday cupcakes for a sweet 7 year old girl. She specifically requested Lemon Poppy Seed, Yummy! I decided to give her a little bit of something special to go on top of the cupcakes, and made these super cute button flowers in green and blue. I can't wait to get them on top of the cupcakes!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yes, I know, I've been missing again. I've been reading friends' blogs, and am amazed with their ability to blog nearly every day, how do they do that? I know I'm not nearly as busy as they are, yet I have a very difficult time blogging regularly. I'm working on it. For now, my goal is to at least give you all an idea of what I'm making each week, whether it be for customers, or just for myself.

We are going to start a couple weeks ago, just so you have an idea how crazy September has been already. The month started off with a softball tourney for my husband and a bunch of friends. Saturday evening I'm sitting on the couch watching tv, and realize, "hmmm I don't have any sweets to bring, I'm sure everyone will expect something... time to start baking!" So that evening I whipped up some chocolate cupcakes, with a peanut butter cream filling and cream cheese frosting... they were DEVOURED, and I've since started receiving requests for more.

I took a break from baking for a couple weeks, one planned, one unplanned. Last week my youngest son was admitted to the hospital for Croup. It was a frightening experience, but I'm happy to say he is healthy and home now. Needless to say, after just one night in the hospital, I spent the entire next day baking... it is my way to relieve stress! And, we were headed camping with our church and I needed to make sweets for potluck. So... I spent all of Thursday baking 2 doz chocolate salted caramel cupcakes with coffee buttercream, and 100 cinnamon rolls. Half of the cinnamon rolls went with my husband to work for his quarterly planning meeting, the other half were a sweet treat enjoyed after camping in the rain for 2 days.

That brings me to this week. Let me start this by saying I'm not complaining... I'm thrilled, just a little overwhelmed right now. This week I have 3 orders for cupcakes due, plus cupcakes for another potluck this weekend. If you are doing the math, that adds up to 8 dozen cupcakes... and if you were curious if they are healthy... those 8 dozen cupcakes (plus frosting and filling) will use 5lbs of butter!

Here are this weeks flavors:

  • Lemon Poppy Seed Cupcake, filled with Lemon Curd and topped with an Almond Buttercream frosting and button flowers

  • Chocolate cupcake, filled with Peanut Butter Cream and topped with Cream Cheese frosting and a sprinkle of peanuts

  • Chocolate cupcake, filled with Chocolate Mint and topped with Mint Buttercream and chocolate curls

  • Chocolate Cupcake, filled with chocolate cream, topped with vanilla buttercream, decorated like a Dirt Bike track

So what have I accomplished so far... I've made 14 of 24 button flowers... umm, yeah, that is about it. So tonight? Finishing the button flowers, and shopping for ingredients. I made myself a schedule this morning, had to map everything out, making sure I could finish all orders in time.

Did I mention I have class Thursday night? Yep, need to make 2 batches of royal icing and learn some new flowers.

I've included pictures of some of the things I've made since I was last on here, I need to get better about taking pictures, but at least there are some!

Just Ducky 1st Birthday Cake

Banana Cake with whipped cream and fresh banan filling covered in cream cheese frosting

Daisies for a baby shower