Basketball Championship Cupcakes

Baking date: March 4, 2017

My younger son plays basketball (is there a sport we don’t play in this house?) and for the second year in a row, his dad was his team coach. My husband took his group of kids all the way to the championship game in their bracket.

After the game — win or lose — the team was going to celebrate with a late lunch at Pizza Hut. Of course, I had to make celebratory cupcakes.

I made an easy homemade chocolate cake recipe I had recently found.  For the frosting, I used a canned white frosting with a 2A tip to pipe on a small swirl. I added yellow sugar sprinkles and Wilton Short Stack Blue Nonpareils Sprinkles on top of the swirl, since the team colors are blue, gold and white.

For additional decorations, I used a round candy mold with orange candy melts. I then piped chocolate icing for the seams. I placed a basketball candy on each cupcake.

Here are the cupcakes:

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A view from the side:

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Congrats to the 13U Silver Bracket Champs Walkersville Lions. Especially that cute #13 and the incredibly handsome coach!

Father Son Win

Chocolate Cupcakes with Chocolate Ganache Frosting

Baking date: February 19, 2017

For my son Alex’s 15th birthday, I made cupcakes for his basketball team to enjoy after their weekend game. When I asked what he wanted, his one-word response was ‘chocolate’.

I have an easy chocolate ganache frosting recipe that I wanted to use, but I also wanted something more than a box mix. I turned to Pinterest, and found a recipe for One Bowl Chocolate Cake. Homemade and easy? I’m in!

The cake was very easy to make.  For the frosting, I used a 1M tip to apply it to the cupcake. I was under a time crunch and didn’t really let the ganache set enough before piping, so my fancy swirls drooped!

I finished off the cupcakes with Wilton Short Stack Blue Nonpareils Sprinkles and Betty Crocker white cupcake gems sprinkled on top, for the team colors.

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In spite of droopy swirls, there were no complaints from the boys in terms of taste. Go figure – I’ve never known a 15 year old boy to turn away chocolate!

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Happy Birthday, Alex!

Valentine Cupcakes

Baking date: February 13, 2017

Our high school boosters organization has monthly meetings, typically an evening gathering on the second Monday of the month. In February, our meeting was moved to a Tuesday, which happened to be Valentine’s Day.

I decided to make some cupcakes for the group to enjoy. Because it was a weeknight, cake mixes and canned frosting are my go-to, so I made triple chocolate fudge cupcakes with a classic white frosting.

To decorate the cupcakes, I had made royal blue and yellow heart-shaped candy melts to place on top, because these are the high school team colors. I then dipped the edges of the cupcakes in Valentine pearls.

Here are the cupcakes:

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And one of the cupcakes up close:

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You can always find a group of people to share the love with!

Firecracker Cupcakes

Baking date: June 30, 2016

I had seen a firecracker cupcake on Pinterest, and immediately saved it.

Inspiration Firecracker cupcakes

Inspiration cupcakes

I knew I’d have an event to make them for and sure enough, the end-of-season baseball gathering was just the event, since we were having it on the Friday kicking off the long July 4th weekend.

I used a yellow box cake mix for the cupcake. I made buttercream frosting for the cupcakes.

Creating the firecrackers was the fun part. I used marshmallows and red candy melts. At first I pushed the toothpick pretty far into the marshmallow, but that made it difficult to pull out after dipping it in the candy melts. The pre-cut strands of licorice went in just fine. Baker’s note: definitely pre-cut these before you begin dipping. Once the candy melt starts to harden, you won’t be able to insert it. Also, try and keep your bag of marshmallows from getting smooshed – the more cylindrical they are, the easier it is to have them stand and dry.

You also have to be patient to let the excess drip off or scrape the bottom with a spoon (which is what I did).

I wasn’t able to find black licorice string anywhere, so I had purchased red/white/blue pull and peel Twizzlers. But then on a final trip to AC Moore, I found a bag of black licorice laces and ended up using those.

Licorice

Here are my “firecrackers”, freshly dipped and waiting to dry on wax paper. As you can see, there is excess candy melt. I used one of my kitchen knives to carve off the extra once they had set.

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I used a special 4th of July-themed cupcake liner. I used a bit of the buttercream frosting to cover the cupcake and then placed the dried “firecracker” in the middle. I used a 1M tip, piping on more buttercream around the “firecracker”. Finally, I topped the buttercream with red/white/blue sprinkles.

Here are the trays of cupcakes:

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And here are some close-ups of individual cupcakes:

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For those that don’t care for the flavor of black licorice, you can remove the “wick” and munch away, or use the patriotic Twizzlers instead.

I didn’t have a single cupcake left and was able to give the bag of leftover black licorice to one of the moms who I know loves that stuff (me? not a fan!).

Hope you had a sweet 4th of July weekend!

Middle School Graduation Cupcakes

Baking date: June 18, 2016

As a special treat for all the 8th graders on my son Alex’s baseball team, I decided to make graduation cupcakes. I had done the same thing last year for a few of the boys on the team who were heading off to high school in the Fall. This year, it was the rest of the team’s turn.

The cupcakes were from a triple chocolate fudge cake mix in a baseball baking cup. To make the graduation toppers, I used square molds with light cocoa (milk chocolate) candy melts. Each mortar board was placed on top of an inverted mini-Reese’s cup and secured with buttercream frosting. I then added a mini-M&M in royal blue (secured with a dab of buttercream) and piped the tassels on with buttercream frosting dyed royal blue, along with each players name.

Here are the cupcakes:

In this picture, you can see a few of the mini-Reese’s poking out under the mortar board:IMG_5476

I made extra cupcakes for the rest of the players and coaches, using the royal blue and golden yellow butter cream. Both were leftovers from high school graduation party cupcakes.

The blue cupcakes had white sugar pearls and the yellow cupcakes had blue sugar pearls on top. Here’s one of the yellow cupcakes up close:

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Congrats to all the graduates — and on to high school baseball next year!

High School Graduation Cupcakes

Baking date: June 16, 2016

Many of my friends have kids that are now graduating from high school. One of them is my good friend Rebecca, whose oldest son Zack was part of the Walkersville High School class of 2016.

There was going to be a graduation party for her son Zack and three of his friends at a community park on a recent Friday. Rebecca asked me if I could make 4 dozen cupcakes for the event and was going to pay me for my efforts.

The schools colors are royal blue, yellow, and white. I decided to make royal blue velvet cupcakes, and top them with buttercream frosting dyed royal blue and golden yellow.

I piped on the blue or yellow frosting around the edge and then used the opposite color to create a peak. I topped all of the cupcakes with white sparkling sugar sprinkles.

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But I wasn’t done there! I created mini lion paws out of candy melts in royal blue and yellow. Some of those went on top of the cupcakes. I also made hearts out of the royal blue and yellow candy melts. They also went on top of some of the cupcakes.

I created square candy melts in royal blue and topped them with a mini M&M in yellow, and piped two loops of the yellow buttercream onto the top and over the edge to make a graduation mortar board and tassel. Those went on top of other cupcakes.

Finally, for the graduates, I created graduation mortar boards out of light cocoa (milk chocolate) candy melts. I topped those with blue mini M&Ms, piping on two blue buttercream tassels. I added each graduates name in yellow buttercream. These were placed on top of an inverted mini Reeses peanut butter cup.

Here are all the candy melts and M&Ms ready for decorating.

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Here are the four graduates’ cupcakes

Here are samples of the Lion paw, heart, mortar board/tassel topped cupcakes:

Finally, here are three of the four dozen cupcakes trays (not sure why I only took pictures of three of the four):

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Congratulations, Zach, Ethan, Jack, and Aaron!

My pricing philosophy:

How I price my work

 

 

Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Frosting

Baking date: June 11, 2016

As is the case with many parents in multi-kid families who are involved in sports, you split your time between games because different team schedules often overlap. That was the case for one of our travel baseball team coaches — one son was playing a doubleheader in Martinsburg, West Virginia for the team he helps to coach, and an older son was playing a tournament in Richmond, Virginia on a Sunday, which also happened to be his birthday this year.

His wife would be making the trek to Richmond, so she had asked a me and another mom to make her husband something special for the day — his favorite chocolate chip cookies. Not an imposition at all, since I make goodies for every weekend game for my son’s baseball team.

The other mom made chocolate chip cookies and I decided to make chocolate cupcakes with chocolate chip cookie dough frosting. This was a recipe I found on Pinterest and saved to my Recipes – Frosting board.

The chocolate cupcakes were from a Triple Chocolate Fudge cake mix.  I spread the frosting on the cupcakes generously. Here are the two trays of cupcakes:

And here’s one of the cupcakes up close:

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The cupcakes were a big hit.

There was so much frosting left over, that I brought the leftovers with me to a game we had during the week so that the mom could taste it. She brought plastic spoons and paper bowls so all the moms could have a bit of a taste test.

This recipe is definitely a keeper. I look forward to making it again and perhaps using it to frost a cake at some point.

Happy Birthday, Coach Clegg! Included below are a few pictures with his son James.

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