Minnie Mouse Themed Cupcakes

Baking date: September 1, 2018

These cupcakes were made for a 1st birthday party. I also made the smash cake for the birthday girl. I was commissioned to make 25 strawberry cupcakes with vanilla frosting and 25 french vanilla cupcakes, with vanilla frosting, in a Minnie Mouse theme. The liner was pink with white polka dots. Baker’s note: the strawberry cupcakes are dense and do not rise when baking, so unlike other cupcakes, you should fill the batter close to the top.

This is the inspiration cupcake I was sent, that the mom found on Pinterest:

Inspiration Cupcakes

I didn’t have a candy mold for bows, so I went to YouTube and searched on royal icing  Minnie Mouse bows. I found this video and decided to use the concept to create royal icing bows:

I also had watched this video on royal icing transfers and learned about using acetate.

I didn’t have time to order the super thin kind of acetate described in the video, so I went to a local craft store and bought two sheets of a much thicker type. I wanted to try it alongside the recommended parchment paper. The thick acetate did not work (more on that below!). I ended up using wax paper instead of parchment paper.

I printed out the template and taped it under the acetate and wax paper. I began by piping in the bow center knot in royal icing dyed rose. I added white royal icing dots using a #1 tip while the rose royal icing was still wet, so that the dots “sank in” and did not sit on top,

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Once the center was dried (about 2 hours), I piped and filled in the rest of the bows and added additional white dots with the #1 tip. I used a fondant modeling tool to move the wet royal icing around to fill in the shape.

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Here is the full set of 50.  I piped them on cutting boards and the bottom of a number of cookie sheets and pans for a stable surface.

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I made more 50 just in case of breakage when I removed them. Glad I did! When trying to remove the bows from the thick acetate, I had a lot of breakage.

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It is a good idea to make these royal icing transfers in advance and then store them in an airtight container. If you have problems, you’ll have time to make more.

The bows on the wax paper came off much more easily. But you will need lots of patience as you remove them from the wax paper. I used a tapered frosting spatula to remove the bows. In this photo, you can see the “folds” that I piped on after the bows had set. If you do that before the bow sets, you won’t get the 3D effect of the fold.IMG_1905

For the ears, I used black candy melts with a general circle mold I have. I piped a swirl on each cupcake, using a 1M tip. I placed the “ears” in the frosting, tipped forward slightly. Then I added the bow in front, tipped back slightly, toward the “ears”. I added white sparkling sugar sprinkles on the vanilla cupcakes, and pink colored sugar sprinkles on the strawberry cupcakes so people would know which was which.

Here is what the cupcakes looked like, all put together.

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I had decided to make bright pink candy melt squares, and using the vanilla icing, spell out her name, with the ears:

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And also, spell out the name her grandparents call her – “Tootie Tot”:

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Here is everything on display at the birthday girl’s party:

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Happy Birthday, Hannah!

Rosette Smash Cake

Baking date: September 1, 2018

I was asked to make a 1st birthday smash cake. I had made the bridal shower cupcakes for the mom in 2015 and the baby shower cupcakes and cake the Summer of 2017. Now that Hannah was turning 1, her mom reached out to me and requested vanilla cake with raspberry buttercream frosting for a smash cake. She also asked for Minnie Mouse themed cupcakes, that I also made.

She sent me a picture of this inspiration cake from Pinterest:

Inspiration Smash Cake

I immediately went to YouTube to find a video for making a rosette smash cake. This is what I watched (over and over and over!).

The cake was from a box mix and I used two 6″ round pans for thick layers. The recipe for the frosting makes quite a lot, so I did a crumb coat layer, and then piped on the rosettes using a 1M star tip.

Here’s my cake, in the frig after all the rosettes were piped on.IMG_1918

I’m pretty sure it was a hit with Hannah.

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Happy 1st birthday, sweet girl!

State Championship Celebration Cake – Unified Track Team

Baking date: June 17, 2018

For the 2017-2018 school year, our high school swept the state championships for Unified Sports. We participate in Unified Tennis, Unified Bocce and Unified Track. I had made a celebration cake for the Unified Bocce team’s banquet and decided to make one for the Unified Track team as well. Clearly, Unified Tennis needs to win again so I can fete them appropriately!

I made a three tier white cake, using the Wilton square pan set. I used a white frosting for the cake. I piped on the team name in white icing, dyed royal blue and golden yellow.

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I added royal blue and gold Sixlets candies around the edge of each tier, and used them to spelled out 2018 STATE CHAMPSIMG_1576

I decorated the cake with personalized candy sneakers.

I used royal blue and gold rhinestone bling cake pop sticks with a sneaker lollipop candy mold I found. I used bright white candy melts, put a yellow royal icing stripe on the sneaker and added each athletes name in blue icing. Baker’s note: These lollipops are very heavy given how much candy melt is needed. Keep that in mind for the stability of your final product!

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Here is the final cake – my husband helped with the 360 degree view. But an important note —  the sneaker candies were so heavy, they actually fell through the cake while being transported to the school. I was terribly bummed about this and learned my lesson — add the heavy embellishments after the cake has arrived at its destination! Then take the picture/video.

I posted the video on the Facebook group page for our school’s Unified teams, so that those that follow could see the cake. Here are the comments:

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In addition, I made a cake to thank the coach, who retired after this season. It was all the same ingredients and embellishments, with the exception of a large Lion paw candy melt mold in royal blue and yellow:

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It’s always a pleasure to make treats for the amazing kids in our community.

State Championship Celebration Cake – Bocce Team

Baking date: February 27, 2018

This past winter sports season, our high school Unified Bocce team won the state championship — for the second time in a row! This comes on the heels of our Unified Tennis team winning the state championship in the Fall of 2017. And later in 2018, our Unified Track team would also win the state championship. It was a sweep for our Unified team athletes in the 2017 – 2018 school year!

To celebrate, I made a cake for the Bocce team’s end of season banquet. It was a yellow cake box mix. I always add a tablespoon of vanilla to make box mixes taste more homemade.  The cake pans are from the I used the performance square pan set – the 12″ and 16″ sizes. The cake was frosted using white canned frosting.

I created “Bocce balls” using candy mold circles in dark blue (no longer available) and yellow candy melts. I piped on the names of all the athletes in the white frosting with a #1 tip. These were placed all around the cake.BocceNames

I spelled out 2018 STATE CHAMPS WHS UNIFIED BOCCE in dark blue alphabet candy molds. (I no longer remember exactly who the maker of the alphabet candy molds is). BocceCakeTop

On the side of the top tier, I made candy molds that spelled out “#BACK2BACK”:

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In each corner of the top tier, I made Lion paw candy melt pop molds in dark blue and yellow. I added royal blue and gold Sixlet candies between the top and bottom tier.

The 360 degree view is courtesy of my son Nick (with moral support from our dog Jake).

The cake was a big hit. I was honored to make the kids, coaches and their families a special treat to celebrate a great season!

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Irish Creme Cupcakes with Bailey’s Buttercream Frosting

Baking date: June 16, 2018

We were invited to a college graduation party for our friend’s daughter Lana. Lana has finished undergrad education and will start Physician Assistant school in about a year, after some time spent building her healthcare experiences.

Of course, I can never show up at a party without a treat. I asked the graduate what kind of cocktail-inspired cupcake she wanted. Bailey’s Irish Creme was her response.

I’ve made that cupcake before for St. Patrick’s Day, but was happy to whip them up again for Lana.  I piped on the frosting with a 1M tip. I then added generic chocolate jimmies and gold pearlized sugar sprinkles.

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The batter makes more than 24 cupcakes, so I made some mini loaves and covered them with the frosting also.

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Congrats Lana and best of luck on the next part of your professional journey!

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The beautiful graduate Lana and her mom, my good friend Lou, at the party.

Chocolate Cake with Brownie Batter Frosting

Baking date: May 13, 2018

My youngest turned 15 in May. I asked him what kind of cake he wanted and he immediately replied chocolate-chocolate.

I have a chocolate cake recipe I like. On the page for the cake recipe, I saw a recipe for brownie batter frosting.  I used a milk chocolate brownie box mix, because my son loves milk chocolate.

The frosting is not super smooth, but it definitely tasted like brownies. I added some rainbow nonparelis on top.

My son’s smile says it all:

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Happy Birthday, Nicholas!

Bridal Shower Cupcakes: Chocolate with Mocha Buttercream; White with Strawberry Buttercream

Baking date: March 2, 2018

I was commissioned to make cupcakes for a bridal shower. I was asked for chocolate with a chocolate frosting, and a white cupcake with strawberry frosting.

I ordered purple foil liners, since that was the color for the wedding. For the chocolate cupcakes, I used one of my favorite chocolate cake recipes – one bowl chocolate cake with a chocolate mocha buttercream. I piped on the frosting with a 1M tip. I hand piped chocolate heart shapes and added a gold sugar pearl and purple sugar sprinkles on each heart.

Chocolate Cupcakes

Here’s the cupcake up close:

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The base for the other cupcakes was a white cake recipe. The strawberry icing recipe received rave reviews, but I found it difficult to pipe on in a fancy swirl. It wasn’t firm enough to keep it’s shape, like in the inspiration photo:

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I may have added too many strawberries, so it was not as firm as it needed to be. I topped the strawberry frosting with white sparkling sugar sprinkles.

Here’s a photo:

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In the future when using this strawberry frosting recipe, I’ll stick with the recommended amount of strawberries. And if I still find it won’t pipe on and hold it’s shape, I’ll probably add fresh strawberry garnish to improve the aesthetic appeal of the cupcakes.