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

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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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Sweet 16 Princess Cupcakes

Baking date: May 26, 2016

A dear friend commissioned me to make cupcakes for her daughter’s Sweet 16 birthday party and her son’s 8th grade graduation. For her daughter’s party, it was going to be princess themed and she said the words pink (which I could totally do) and tiara (which I thought I could do).

I searched YouTube and found a video on how to make tiaras out of candy melt. I began saving paper towel rolls and even tried a prototype on a toilet paper roll. I added a sugar pearl and silver sugar sprinkles and thought it turned out pretty well:

Prototype

I began production on the tiaras the weekend before I needed them. Here they are setting up in the frig:

Tiaras on Tubes

I made thirty five of them. Good thing, because when it came time to decorate the cupcakes…let’s just say it was a challenge!

The birthday girl had requested chocolate cupcakes, so I looked for a recipe on Pinterest that wasn’t called the ‘best’, ‘perfect’, or some other superlative. I went with super decadent chocolate cupcakes. So, a little superlative-y.

In keeping with the pink theme, I used pink leopard cupcake liners. I made a double batch of wedding cupcake buttercream frosting and dyed it with rose icing color.

Using a 1M tip, I piped a swirl on each cupcake. I then added pink colored sugar sprinkles on the swirl.

Then it was time for the candy melt tiaras…

Let’s just say patience is not my finest virtue. And neither is working with candy melt tiaras, evidently. Nearly all of them broke:

Busted Tiaras

ARGH!!

There was a lot of cussing trying to put little pieces back together. And because so many broke into tiny parts, some of the cupcakes ended up without tiaras. Here’s what the finished products looked like — I was so disappointed in all the broken pieces:

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Of course, there were some tiaras that came out ok:

Good among the not good

And I never miss an opportunity to make fun of myself. I posted this to Instagram:

Comparison

Here’s an up-close look at one of the “good” cupcakes:

Good Tiara

Look closely – you can see this is one that broke on the right, but I managed to line it up so it looked ok

I had some extra batter left over after making 36 cupcakes (they had requested 30), so I made a single layer 9″ round cake and decorated it with buttercream frosting and the rest of the pink buttercream around the lower edge. I added silver sugar pearls to make the outline of a 16 and then added the pink colored sugar sprinkles inside the outline.

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In the end, the birthday girl loved the cupcakes and was delighted with the cake because now there was a place for a candle for her to blow out.

Happy Sweet 16, Sarah Grace!

Sarah Grace

I received this lovely decoration from her mom that I am placing over my oven:

Bakery

My pricing philosophy:Sarah Grace pricing

Chocolate/Chocolate and Vanilla/Vanilla Cupcakes

Baking date: February 20, 2016

My son and his best friend Ty share a birthday. And this year, they had a basketball game on their birthday. The two of them requested vanilla on vanilla and chocolate on chocolate cupcakes for the team.

For the vanilla on vanilla, I used a french vanilla box mix. For all treats I make using a box mix, I add a tablespoon of vanilla. For the frosting, I made a buttercream frosting and doubled the recipe because I was doing a fancy swirl. I find that the fancy swirls require more than a typical frosting recipe calls for.

I used a 2A round tip to swirl on the frosting. Here’s what the vanilla on vanilla cupcakes looked like:

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For the chocolate on chocolate, I used a triple chocolate fudge box mix. For the chocolate frosting, I used a “quick” ganache recipe I found on Pinterest. This recipe makes a TON – more than enough for a fancy swirl design on 24 cupcakes. Make sure when you transfer the heated mixture, you use a really big bowl. The stirring portion of the recipe probably took longer than necessary because the mixture was almost at the top of the bowl I was using and I had to be careful not to spill it. And I probably had enough left over to frost an entire two layer cake.

I let the frosting set so it would not be runny and would pipe on well. I used a 1M tip to create a swirl on top of the chocolate cupcakes in the ganache. Here is the finished cupcake:

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I’m anxious to try this ganache recipe using milk chocolate (I prefer milk chocolate over semi-sweet), white, cinnamon — maybe even butterscotch chips! The cupcake wrappers were in royal blue and white (team colors). Here are 12 of each version (I had 24 of each version):

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Happy Birthday, Alex and Ty!

 

Chocolate Cupcakes with Salted Caramel Buttercream Frosting

Baking date: February 3, 2016

On February 4, my staff, other colleagues and I were participating in an online fair for Premed students, where we would be answering questions from 12 – 8pm  ET. It was going to be a long day, so I decided to make goodies to provide an energy boost for those who would need a pick-me-up during the eight hours.

I had pinned for dark chocolate mini-cupcakes with salted caramel frosting. I had trouble finding the dark chocolate powder at my local grocery, so that’s why I went with a box cake mix. That, and it was a weeknight baking adventure. Weeknight baking requires some shortcuts! I hope to make the dark chocolate cupcakes in the future.

I decided to use the triple chocolate fudge cake mix, which has become a favorite go-to for chocolate cake box mixes. As with all box mixes I use, I added a tablespoon of vanilla to give it more of a “home made” flavor.

But I did make the salted caramel buttercream frosting and sprinkled sea salt on top once the cupcakes were frosted. The frosting recipe makes enough for 24 cupcakes, but only if you frost them using an icing spatula and not with fancy designs using tips. There was some of the frosting left over, but it wouldn’t have been enough to pipe on fancy swirls with a 1A or 1D tip.

The treat gave folks a nice little boost late in the afternoon as we pushed into the evening hours answering lots of questions from the Premed students. And even though the cupcake part was from a box, it still received rave reviews.

It’s great to have a very willing staff to test your recipes with!