Category Archives: Cupcakes

Primary Color Pinwheel Cake (and Cupcakes!)

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Back in June, our friend’s little boy, Harry, turned two.  I made Harry’s first birthday cake, which doesn’t seem like it was a full year ago!  This year, there was no specific theme.  I was given the below picture of the shirt from Target that he would wear and the order for a cake and cupcakes.

Birthday Boy

I decided to make a cake using the primary colors.  Since there was no theme, I needed a design to put the colors in.  I decided a pinwheel design would be simple, clean, and cute. As for the cupcakes, I went with simple white on white with a cupcake topper.  For the cupcake toppers, I used the “Ka-pow” bubble design as the background and filled them with “2’s”, “H’s”, and “Harry’s”.  Since I already had the royal icing out and colored, I made some royal icing letters and attached them to sticks to put his name on the top of the cake.  I love how the cake turned out.  Sometimes a simple and clean design is the most appealing.  I didn’t take any pictures along the way, but here are some of the final product!

Such a cute cake for a cute little boy.

-Clara

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Graduation Cupcakes

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Its August, but I am still posting back from JUNE!  I am not sure why I am obsessed with being timely about some things and procrastinate on others, but here we go.  Like every year, it has been a very busy summer, so that is my current excuse!

Back to JUNE…..a friend and former co-worker of mine wanted me to whip up some cupcakes for her son’s graduation party.  This is one of those times when you realize time is whizzing by and reminds you of how old you are getting.  Her son is forever stuck in my head as an elementary school boy, obsessed with Harry Potter, and doesn’t want to talk to “girls”.  Obviously, now, he is more than a foot taller than me and off to college, but in my head, he is still 8 years old.

She wanted chocolate cupcakes with buttercream and a cupcake topper in his high school’s logo/colors.  With graduation parties being open house style, she was going to need a lot of cupcakes.  That means a LOT of cupcake toppers.  I make each of these by hand with the help of a template, so they can be very time consuming.

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Royal Icing toppers in the making

I started by making the school shields.  These reminded me of making my Paw Patrol cookies!  I let the shields dry over night so that the red and blue could fully set before adding the white.  This reduces the chance of messing up the sharp lines and helps with color bleeding that usually happens with red.

That same evening I started the shields, I made the R logo that would go on top of the shield.  There was no way I was going to be able to freehand the R on 70 shields and have them look the same.  I printed a template of the R on a separate paper and let them dry over night as well.

The next day, I was able to fill in the white part of the shield and then peel off an R and attach it to the red part of the shield with a little white royal icing.  The shields were now complete.

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High School Logo Cupcake Toppers

The day before delivery, I baked my cupcakes to endure they were cool.  The morning of delivery, I whipped up a batch of buttercream and topped each cupcake with icing and a cupcake topper.  I was able to make some matching sprinkles with the left over icing and tossed in a few extra cupcakes that just had sprinkles on them in case 70 cupcakes was not enough!

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Graduation Cupcakes

I was happy with the turnout and I hear they were a hit.

Until next time,

Clara

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All the Wild things….

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Did I mention that April has been crazy?  I think I did.  Work has been nuts, kids have had so many activities, and we have had a lot of other family stuff to get done this month.  Now that it is May 1st, I can get caught up more on my April baking adventures… 200 cookies, 30 cupcakes and 6 cakes later.

A couple weeks ago, I had two parties with one common theme…..WILD!  One was a “Where the Wild Things Are” party, and the other was “Young, Wild, and Three.”   While they were both WILD, they could not have been more different.  One was fit for a prince with gold crowns and black and white arrows while the other was girly-girl with pink and teal feathers and arrows.  Both were very cute.

Where the Wild Things Are

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Where the Wild Things Are Cookies

Where the Wild Things Are was a cookie order with a small smash cake for a one year old boy.  The request was for crowns and arrows in a gold, black and white theme.  I have started using Americolors because of their production in a peanut free facility, so I had some playing around to do with the gold color since I had used Wilton colors before. I bought this starter Americolor set from Amazon, and so far, I have been able to make every color I have needed.  It seems expensive, but the colors come in 4.5oz bottles that will last awhile.  The gold that I was looking for was more of a yellow gold since it comes from a story book as opposed to a true gold.  I ended up using 10 drops of yellow and 2 drops orange with a touch of red.  It was the exact color I was looking for for the crowns.

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Where the Wild Things Are Crown Cookies

The arrows were requested to be black and white.  After starting on them, they started to not tie into the theme and looked a little skeleton like.  So I added touches of gold to some of them to help tie everything together.  I got the cookie cutters for both of these off of Amazon here and here.

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Where the Wild Things Are Arrow Cookies

After the cookies were complete, I worked on the little smash cake.  The customer just wanted a little simple smash cake for the birthday boy.  I used some of my extra icing to make a little crown topper.  I iced the cake in my standard buttercream and used some chocolate ganache to make a drip to tie in the black color.  It turned out so cute!

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Where the Wild Things Are Smash Cake

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Where the Wild Things Are Party

Young, Wild, and Three

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Young, Wild, and Three Party

The second party was the Young, Wild, and Three party for high-school friends of mine.   They wanted cupcakes and a cake for the birthday girl.  They sent me the invitation and some of the decor with the colors and a few ideas, but told me to just run with it.  I find that for kids birthdays, simple white cupcakes and buttercream works best from a mess perspective.  With that kind of blank canvas, it allows me to make cute little cupcake toppers that will stand out!  I started my royal icing cupcake topper a couple days ahead of time.  I made some templates that I could put under wax paper and taped them to cookie sheets to that I can easily move them around my kitchen.  Even with my expanded island, I feel like I am always looking for more space.

The night before the party, I baked up all the cupcakes and topped them.  The cake I decided to make pink so that the birthday girl could have something a little more colorful to blow her candles out.  Like the Where the Wild Things Are party, I used my extra royal icing to make a little tent as a topper for the cake.  Everything turned out really cute and this may be one of my favorite color combos to date.   I dropped everything off the night before the party and forgot to take pictures (GRRR), but they sent me some when the party was all set up the next day (YAY).

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More fun cookies and cakes are coming, so keep a look out!

Clara

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Avengers Cupcakes

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Hello!  So today my oldest is turning five…..FIVE!  I can’t believe it.  This past weekend we had his birthday parties (yes, plural).  We have had a pretty hectic couple weeks leading up to this weekend and making anything has been a challenge.  The day before my son’s birthday, my kitchen was getting new granite, sink, faucet, and stove top.  While I had high hopes for at least my sink to be hooked back up, it didn’t happen.  Luckily I had prepared for that and got started earlier in the week on my cupcakes.  They turned out wonderful and no one complained about being at a party in a mid-renovation kitchen!

Since I had to plan for a kid party and the family party (and keeping in mind the kitchen), I went the with all cupcakes.  It was less stress and easier to plan out so that they remained fresh.  Earlier in the week, I printed off the templates that I had been saving and got to work making icing.  Royal icing only takes a second to whip up, but getting the colors and consistency right takes FOREVER.  So my goal on night one was just making the colors and having my templates ready.  The next day, I was ready to get started.  I wasn’t exactly sure how I wanted to tackle each design, and as it turns out, I changed the way I did each one after the first one.  I started with Iron Man and the Hulk fist.

For Iron Man, I started with the eyes.  This is not how the eyes ended up, but it was more to make sure I had the right placement and spacing.  While the eyes dried, I outlined and filled in the red icing.  After letting the red icing sit for a bit, I filled in the yellow mask. For the Hulk fists, I did pieces of the hand that didn’t touch first. Once they dry a little bit, maybe 20 minutes, I did other parts of the hand.  The drying time allows for the lines in the hand to hold and show the details of the hand and gives it some dimension.  I let these ones be for the night before adding anymore.

For the Captain America shield, I started with the red rings.  After some drying time, I then added the white ring.  While those dried, I started prepping for the center.  Since I didn’t want to freehand the white star on the blue, I used another template to just do the stars.  I let everything dry overnight to make sure it was nice and firm.

 

The next day, I was able to finish everything off.  For the Captain America shields, I carefully pealed off the stars from the template.  I added the blue icing to the center of the shields and then immediately dropped a white star in the center. They were done and left to dry.

Captain America Cupcake Toppers

Captain America Shield Royal Icing Toppers

For the Iron Man and Hulk toppers, I piped black icing to complete the design using a tip-less bag cut with a small hole.  After that dried, I was able to go back and add the white eyes to Iron Man.

Avenger Cupcake Toppers

Avenger Royal Icing Toppers

I baked the cupcakes the night before my kitchen was to be ripped apart.  I waited to make the buttercream the morning of the parties since I like fresh buttercream and I would only be dirtying my kitchen-aid mixer.  I put together the cupcakes right before each party, the kid party in the morning and the adult party in the afternoon.  The royal icing soaks up the moisture from the buttercream and I like them to be as sturdy as possible.

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Avengers Cupcakes

They really turned out adorable and my son was thanking me before they were even finished.  This was our second year having an Avengers party, so I was happy we got to try something a little different than last year.

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Avengers Cupcakes

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Clara

 

Elephant First Birthday

Today (look at that timeliness!), I delivered an order for a first birthday that will be happening tomorrow.  The theme is blue and grey elephants.  Such a classic and sweet theme for a first birthday or a baby shower.  This is one of my first orders for someone that I do not know at all.  I have taken orders from friends, acquaintances, co-workers, and friends’ family members, but this was a co-worker of my friend who had the Lumberjack Party. She texted to see if I was interested.  After confirming that her co-worker knew that I do this on the side in-between taxes and kids and was not a professional, I agreed.  Like all orders that involve royal icing, this project spanned a couple days.

I baked the cookies on Valentine’s Day after our annual V-Day dinner outing to Taco Bell. Romantic, right?  The next day, my momma came over and wanted to help.  So I put her to work flooding cookies.  We had a nice assembly line going.  I would do the outline, and she would flood the icing.  It made that process go quickly which was a good thing since I wanted them to dry a bit before adding some details.

I was able to add the eyes, tail, and little white feet on later in the night when the icing had hardened a touch.  I waited until the next morning to add the ears since I was free-handing them and, wanted to be able to adjust the icing with my scribe while not messing up the base layer of icing. The ears were dry by the time I got home and the cookies were able to be packaged.  I packaged the cookies in little treat bags and sealed them with my food saver.  The topper touch was my mom.  She brought paper when she came to help me flood the cookies and had everything cut and ready to go for me.

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Wrapped Elephant Sugar Cookies

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Elephant Sugar Cookies Wrapped with Toppers

For the cupcake toppers, I printed a template for the shape of elephant I wanted and the size of heart I wanted for the ear.  I am not sure why I decided to template these ears and not the ones on the cookies, I just did.  Maybe because the cupcakes are going to be viewed as a group and having them look uniform appeals to me.  I put wax paper over my templates and made the toppers out of royal icing.  Once the heart and elephant were dry, I glued the hearts onto the elephants with a little royal icing.  The eyes I had made with leftover royal icing from another project when I made sprinkles.

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Royal Icing Elephant Toppers

Since royal icing needs drying time, I did all things that required royal icing first.  Then it was on to cupcakes. These were simple white cupcakes with vanilla buttercream using my favorite buttercream recipe. While I made the icing and cupcakes last night, I waited until this morning to pipe it on and add the toppers.  The royal icing will absorb some moisture from the buttercream and become a little more fragile and soft.  This is great for biting into one but not for transport. I already had the icing and tips ready to go, so the process only took a couple minutes.

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Elephant Cupcakes

The last thing I worked on last night was the smash cake.  The smash cake was a small, two layer, 4″ round with vanilla buttercream.  I kept the design simple and added an extra cupcake topper to a stick to be the center piece. It was a nice way to tie everything together.

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Elephant Smash Cake

Everything turned out great and coordinated really well.  I hope this little boy has a wonderful birthday tomorrow.  He has lots of goodies to celebrate!

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Grey and Blue Elephant First Birthday 

Clara

 

Shopkins Cupcakes

Shopkins.  I had no idea what a Shopkin was until my 3 year old went to a Shopkin birthday party late last year. A couple months later, and you can’t escape them!   They are everywhere and they seam to appeal to a wide age range of young girls.  So by the time a close friend of mine asked if I could help with her daughters Shopkin birthday treat, I at least knew what they were!

She asked me to do the treats the week of the party, so cupcakes were the obvious answer on a few days notice.  So I started that same night on the cupcake toppers since I knew they would need a night of drying time to complete them. The thing with royal icing toppers, or cookies for that matter, they don’t take a up a lot of actual man hours, but you have to plan on the drying time.  If there are multiple layers of icing, they may take multiple nights to complete, but that time only adds up to about an hour or two for a couple dozen.  Once I had my template ready, I put it under some wax paper and did the first layer.  This is what night one looked like.

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Shopkins Cupcake Topper in Progress

I started with the eyeballs putting down the white, then pink, then black, and finishing with the white dot all in succession.  You want to do them all at once, one eyeball set at a time, so that the top colors meld into the bottom ones to look like one surface.  While the eyes were drying, I then did the outline of the blue icing top and filled in two layers that were not touching.  I let everything sit for about a half hour and then went back and did the yellow body.  Once that sat for a half hour, I finished with the other two blue icing layers and the little arms.  I decided that was enough for the night and would finish the rest the next day.

On the following night, I added the feet, crown, bow, sprinkles, and face. With everything very dry from the night below, I didn’t have to worry about messing up the base layer or pushing through the icing crust that was forming as I added the details.

Once the toppers where completely dry, I peeled them off the wax paper and put them in an air tight container until the day of the party.  Since the party was at 3pm, I baked the cupcakes that morning.  After letting them cool, I whipped up some buttercream in the coordinating pink color and topped them with the Shopkins toppers.

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Shopkins Cupcakes

They turned out great and were super cute.  I love doing the little cupcake toppers as they add something special to an otherwise simple cupcake.  I have some more coming up and can’t wait to get started!

Clara

 

Descendants Cupcakes (and Cake)

Back in December, my one and only niece turned six!  I adore my niece and would give her the world just like my own littles.  She is my dose of girl in a world of boys.  She is the one I get to buy the cute girl clothes and she lets me braid her hair.  So when my sister-in-law asked if I would make her cake…the answer is always yes.  She was having a Disney Descendants party.  As aforementioned, I have a house full of boys, so I had no idea what she was talking about. After a little bit of education on the internet, I was quickly up to speed and on task.

My SIL wanted cupcakes for the kid party, and a cake for the family party that followed. The reason cake is an afterthought in this post is because I DIDN’T TAKE A PICTURE!  But I will get to that in a bit.  As for cupcakes…lots of pictures, so lets start there.

Without going into the full Descendants background, here is where the theme derived. The main characters are the children of the classic Disney villains that are trying to adjust to life outside of their normal island of exile while attending prep school in the kingdom.  My nieces favorite Descendants characters are the girls, Mal and Evie.  Mal is the daughter of Maleficent and Evie is the daughter of the Evil Queen.  Their “colors” are purple and teal. Since it is a live action show, there are no cutesy characters to put on a cake or cupcakes. So I ran with those colors and the shows logo.

The cupcakes were chocolate with a buttercream that had been colored with teal and purple and topped with a Descendants logo cupcake topper.  To start, I made the cupcake toppers well ahead of time out of royal icing.  Royal icing will basically keep forever and it allows for pretty good detail.  I started with printing a template and placing wax paper over the paper on a cookie sheet.  I made the toppers over two days doing the red apple the first day and the yellow vine the next.  Once completely dry, I stored them in an air tight container until I was ready to make the cupcakes.

When it was time to make the cupcakes, I topped each with a swirl of teal and purple buttercream icing.  This is done by putting a piping bag of each color into a larger piping bag and swirling like usual.  While easy, it has a fun effect.

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Purple and Teal Cupcakes

Once the icing was on, I topped each with one of the Descendant logo toppers I had made the night before.  I love how they turned out.

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Disney Descendants Cupcakes

Now for the cake that I did not take a picture.  It was a two tier cake.  The bottom was purple and the top teal.  Both tiers were covered in rosettes.  I put an extra cupcake topper on top to tie the cake to the theme specifically.  The reason I didn’t take a picture was because I had transported the tiers separately and built it up at my niece’s house as the party was getting started.  So once I was finished, I went right into being at the party and never thought of it.  I guess, for once, not being connected to my phone and just enjoying my nieces day was not such a bad thing.  😉   Happy Birthday Samantha.

Clara