The Cupcake Thread!

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Post by Jas12 » January 2nd, 2009, 2:01 pm
one more....

oh, and i found them Here
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Post by FL Steph » January 2nd, 2009, 3:42 pm
Jas, those are really pretty!

Post by Jas12 » January 3rd, 2009, 10:29 am
Mara--been meaning to ask, where do you get the prints to emboss your cut-outs? Also, do u cut out and emboss fondant or gumpaste? i am new to both but i have a friend''s 30th b-day coming up and she wants cuppies at her party. I would like to put "30" on something so i was thinking of doing little toppers--but i have never made them before. I know u mentioned that you do them ahead of time (that part appeals to me).



Post by FL Steph » January 3rd, 2009, 10:36 am
Date: 1/3/2009 4:29:59 PM
Author: Jas12
Mara--been meaning to ask, where do you get the prints to emboss your cut-outs? Also, do u cut out and emboss fondant or gumpaste? i am new to both but i have a friend''s 30th b-day coming up and she wants cuppies at her party. I would like to put ''30'' on something so i was thinking of doing little toppers--but i have never made them before. I know u mentioned that you do them ahead of time (that part appeals to me).




Jas, not Mara obviously, but I am pretty sure she uses fondant and cutouts. At Michaels they sell premade and already colored fondant in packages for about $6. They also sell all kinds of cutouts including letters and numbers like you were thinking. I have only used candy molds to make my toppers, but want to get into the fondant as well.

Post by ladypirate » January 4th, 2009, 2:25 pm
I broke out my new mini cheesecake pan (woo Christmas present!) and made little lemon mousse cakes last night. They came out so cute! I used lemon chiffon for the base and then did a lemon mousse on top. Yay! I didn''t really do much with decorating these, but I am so excited to experiment more with the pan. Do any of you guys know where to find the little papers that bakeries put around their mini cheesecakes?

Sorry for the poor picture quality--I just used my laptop built in camera.
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Hot chocolate butterflies dance through my heart and tell me you're the one.
Come take a sip of this so I can look into your beautiful eyes and say,
"Ouch! I spilled some on my lap, burning my leg, but I don't mind. I'm with you."

Post by FL Steph » January 4th, 2009, 2:28 pm
Those are so cute, Ladypirate! Where did you get those?

Post by ladypirate » January 4th, 2009, 2:32 pm
I got it from Sur La Table, but here it is on Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Commercial-12-Cup-Cheese/dp/B0006SJZJ8

I've been wanting one forever. It's really fun! I actually baked a lot last night--I made a full size 4 layer lemon chiffon cake with lemon mousse filling, lemon italian buttercream frosting and fresh strawberries and used the leftover chiffon batter (!) to make little cuppies that I iced with the buttercream. I didn't realize I'd have quite so much batter left over. Image

The occasion was that Kris' mom gave us a BUNCH of lemons and I had to figure out some way to use them. We made it through about half of them, so I think the rest will become lemonade. Yum! Image
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Hot chocolate butterflies dance through my heart and tell me you're the one.
Come take a sip of this so I can look into your beautiful eyes and say,
"Ouch! I spilled some on my lap, burning my leg, but I don't mind. I'm with you."

Post by Clairitek » January 4th, 2009, 5:26 pm
Just wanted to pop into this thread to say...

A) FI and I have decided that we want a cupcake tower at our wedding. Neither of us are regular cake people and I think cupcake towers are really fun, especially for a more casual wedding.
Do you think I''m crazy for thinking that we can bake them ourselves? We might have access to an industrial kitchen and baking machines (mixer, oven, etc) to do it. We have friends who own their own bakery.

Any words of advice on making 150 cupcakes at a time? How far ahead can I bake them? What about storage once they''re frosted?

B) You ladies are SO INSPIRING with all of your fantastic cupcakes. The fact that you can make such beautiful food gives me a little confidence that with some practice I might be able to make something presentable for the wedding.

C) Those laser cut cupcake wrappers are awesome! I''ve never seem anything like that!
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C-tek

Post by puffy » January 4th, 2009, 5:59 pm
clairitek i'm not an avid baker, but just wanted to say YAY for cuppies at the wedding and of course CONGRATS!!
and baking them yourselves? WOW!
when i do make them, i usually make them 1 day in advance and store them in an air tight container and when i'm ready to frost them, they are ready to go. but i would do a practice run first to get the look you are going for, the consistency of the frosting, the piping, and extra decorations, etc.
best of luck to you!!
i'm sure the bakers here will all chime in.

ETA: i'm pretty sure that you shouldn't frost too far in advance cause the frosting might stiffen up and if the cupcakes are not in an air tight container and left out, they get kinda hard. again, i am not a professional.

Post by Jas12 » January 5th, 2009, 3:06 am
Steph--thanks! I wish there was a michael''s around here--i''ll have to go and get some stuff when i go out of town next

Post by FL Steph » January 5th, 2009, 3:10 am
Date: 1/4/2009 8:32:34 PM
Author: ladypirate
I got it from Sur La Table, but here it is on Amazon:


http://www.amazon.com/Chicago-Metallic-Commercial-12-Cup-Cheese/dp/B0006SJZJ8


I''ve been wanting one forever. It''s really fun! I actually baked a lot last night--I made a full size 4 layer lemon chiffon cake with lemon mousse filling, lemon italian buttercream frosting and fresh strawberries and used the leftover chiffon batter (!) to make little cuppies that I iced with the buttercream. I didn''t realize I''d have quite so much batter left over. Image


The occasion was that Kris'' mom gave us a BUNCH of lemons and I had to figure out some way to use them. We made it through about half of them, so I think the rest will become lemonade. Yum! Image

Thanks for the link, they are so cute. And yum on the lemon cake...I adore anything lemon!

Post by FL Steph » January 5th, 2009, 3:11 am
Date: 1/5/2009 9:06:10 AM
Author: Jas12
Steph--thanks! I wish there was a michael''s around here--i''ll have to go and get some stuff when i go out of town next

No problem! You could also check about ordering supplies online. This place:www.shopbakersnook.com/ has a big selection, but I didn''t look through it to see if they have fondant, but I would think so.

Post by FL Steph » January 5th, 2009, 3:13 am
Date: 1/4/2009 11:26:18 PM
Author: Clairitek
Just wanted to pop into this thread to say...


A) FI and I have decided that we want a cupcake tower at our wedding. Neither of us are regular cake people and I think cupcake towers are really fun, especially for a more casual wedding.

Do you think I''m crazy for thinking that we can bake them ourselves? We might have access to an industrial kitchen and baking machines (mixer, oven, etc) to do it. We have friends who own their own bakery.


Any words of advice on making 150 cupcakes at a time? How far ahead can I bake them? What about storage once they''re frosted?


B) You ladies are SO INSPIRING with all of your fantastic cupcakes. The fact that you can make such beautiful food gives me a little confidence that with some practice I might be able to make something presentable for the wedding.


C) Those laser cut cupcake wrappers are awesome! I''ve never seem anything like that!

First off, love the idea of cupcakes for a more casual wedding. Second, I agree with puffy about not making them too far in advance. I would probably make them the day before and maybe you could have someone frost them for you the day of? I don''t keep my cupcakes for more than 2-3 days or so, but they always taste best the day I make them or the next day.

Post by Clairitek » January 5th, 2009, 6:00 am
Thanks for the information guys! I think that it would be possible to do the baking the day before provided my friends with the large ovens will be willing to let me take over their space for a little bit. I''d hope that it wouldn''t take more than a three hours if I had help. Hmmm... maybe they''d be willing to pipe them the next day for me since I don''t imagine I''d want to be doing that on the morning of my wedding.

Can anyone find a way to clone me by May 2010?? I''m totally one of the antsy control freak people who think that if things are going to be done the right way I''ll be the only one doing them. I should probably get over that before the wedding. Image

My follow-up question for this wedding cupcake tower business is...
What are some of your easier recipes for cupcakes? I think having something different than the standard chocolate and vanilla would be great but I don''t want to get too complicated. Or do you think its just best to keep it simple in the cake department and use interesting decorations?
***-**-*-**-***
C-tek

Post by FL Steph » January 5th, 2009, 6:55 am
How about red velvet with cream cheese icing? Paula Deen has a good one that is not too complicated.

Post by Clairitek » January 5th, 2009, 8:55 am
I was thinking about that! I think that sounds like a great idea. I''ve never made red velvet before but I feel like people generally like them a lot. I do love cream cheese icing! Thanks for the suggestion.
***-**-*-**-***
C-tek

Post by FL Steph » January 5th, 2009, 11:05 am
Date: 1/5/2009 2:55:14 PM
Author: Clairitek
I was thinking about that! I think that sounds like a great idea. I''ve never made red velvet before but I feel like people generally like them a lot. I do love cream cheese icing! Thanks for the suggestion.

No problem! I don''t have her recipe in front of me at the moment, but if you go onto food network''s website and do a search, it will come up!

Post by tabithamarie4 » January 6th, 2009, 7:06 am
I have a question - forgive me if it is a dumb question :)  I made mini cupcakes the other day and about half of them didn''t stick to the cupcake wrappers very well - there were tons of gaps between the cupcake and the liner. What did I do wrong?

Post by Jas12 » January 6th, 2009, 8:58 am
I made some cuppies the other night with some leftover bananas--i wanted to try something new for the frosting so i did a Dulce de Leche and vanilla flavor. It was yummy!
pics are not great quality, but u get the idea
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Post by Jas12 » January 6th, 2009, 8:59 am
another angle
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Post by Jas12 » January 6th, 2009, 9:04 am
i also recently tried to make some toppers in Tiff blue colored chocolate ("30''s" for my friend''s upcoming birthday)--they didn''t work. The chocolate was too soft and after using up all the nice looking "30" toppers (they broke) i finally got one very quick picture (hence why it is crooked--i was trying to catch the collapsing topper lol)
I think i''ll be using fondant for my next round!!!

These were vanilla cake with chai icing
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Post by FL Steph » January 6th, 2009, 9:08 am
Date: 1/6/2009 3:04:07 PM
Author: Jas12
i also recently tried to make some toppers in Tiff blue colored chocolate ('30's' for my friend's upcoming birthday)--they didn't work. The chocolate was too soft and after using up all the nice looking '30' toppers (they broke) i finally got one very quick picture (hence why it is crooked--i was trying to catch the collapsing topper lol)

I think i'll be using fondant for my next round!!!


These were vanilla cake with chai icing

Well they looked cute! I am with you...I'm going to start using fondant for my next ones. The flavors sound yummy!

Post by Jas12 » January 6th, 2009, 9:26 am
Steph-- let me know how your first attempts with fondant go. and of course post some picsImage chocolate is just not worth the effort and i am not good at free-handing. A mold would be way better. I made a bunch of really nice 30''s and they were all ruined in seconds--such a waste of time. I should have made them much smaller, but i know my friend wants a display so i wanted to do a few of the cuppies with more of an impact and the rest would be more plain decoration. i am a bit of a perfectionist and these would *never* pass Image so back to the drawing board!
Have u bought any cut-outs yet?

Post by dixie94 » January 6th, 2009, 9:57 am
Hi everyone,
I made some cupcakes for New Years that I''m hoping to post soon. Coconut and Chocolate Mint.. yum!

MissJaxon, your cupcakes look great! I will have to experiment a bit with the consistency of my frosting b/c I love how yours look.

Jas, those are really pretty! I''ve never seen anything similar at our local cake supply stores but the selection is pretty limited there.

Ladypirate, those look good! I''ve never heard of a mini-cheesecake pan but it sounds like something worth buying.

Clairitek, I think trying to bake the cupcakes yourself will be a lot of work but would be fun. We had our wedding and reception on different days and I made the favors (cookies) for the reception. Just doing that was a lot of work and I had help with the assembly. Cupcakes require even more b/c of the decorating. I''d think about what all you have to do the day or two before the wedding. If you''ll have family and friends coming in, they could help but also, it will take up a lot of time that you might want to spend with them or doing any other last minute errands. Are you doing any other projects yourself? If you''re going to do it, definitely practice the recipe and decorating before. When I bake 2-3 dozen, it takes me a few hours but I''m only using one pan and one oven so it''s a little different. Keep in mind, they all have to cool before you can frost them. Also, how will you store them and how will you transport them to the wedding? Also, I find that the consistency of the cake changes when you refrigerate it so you may want to test that out too. Just things to consider. I definitely think it''s doable, just a lot of work and time.

Post by dixie94 » January 6th, 2009, 10:06 am
Ok, I just realized that I missed the last entire page of posts. I clicked on an old link for page 41 and didn''t even realize the new page. Woops!

Clairitek, as for the simpler recipes, there''s a standard yellow, chocolate, vanilla. I just did a chocolate mint which was so good. The best part was the cake, it was like a brownie instead of the standard cupcake. So good! But you could do something like that where you add a flavor. I think those are probably the easiest since you''re not adding other ingredients. I''d think about what flavors you like though and then decide from there.

Jas, your cupcakes look good! Banana is on my list to try. I have a banana caramel recipe that sounds good! Too bad the topping didn''t work, they look nice! You gals are making me want to try some toppers!!

Post by puffy » January 6th, 2009, 5:53 pm
jas those cuppies look YUMMY!!

Post by FrekeChild » January 6th, 2009, 9:18 pm
There are different kinds of chocolate. Certain ones are too soft (they are made with shortening or vegetable oil and not cocoa butter which makes hard very good quality chocolate) and certainly physics are part of the reason the 30s did not work. Using chocolate for decorations takes a lot of practice and you have to know what you're doing. Environment temperature and humidity can affect the chocolate wildly.

PSA: fondant does not dry completely. Most recipes have shortening in them. If you are wanting something that is structurally stable, use well dried gum paste or well dried royal icing.

Clairitek, I'd do brown sugar cupcakes. I've never had a complaint about any of my brown sugar cakes. You can do them yourself, but you're going to need help. And I'd do them two days in advance if it's just you and another person(getting married on Saturday, make them Thursday, frost on Friday) Or if you have more people (make them friday, frost friday) I would NOT let anyone else frost them, unless you've seen their decorating skills. If you have any questions, you know how to find me.

_______________________________

"In all matters of opinion, our adversaries are insane." Mark Twain

Post by Jas12 » January 7th, 2009, 2:58 am
Freke--thanks!! I didn''t even think about the humidity (it was probably snowing at the time) i''ve made choco toppers before and they were fine (i just use merkin wafers) so that''s why i was so surprised they just wilted and broke in my hands. Thanks for the tip on the gumpaste. I''ll have to play around with that stuff. I just do my cuppies for fun so i can make many mistakes and report back to you guys for corrections Image

Post by Mara » January 7th, 2009, 4:51 am
I love using fondant...I haven't used gumpaste but I do like my fondant. I use Satin Ice which is a good fondant for cutouts...I mix conf sugar into it to get it to dry out a little bit as well so it does dry faster...but it typically takes about 24 hours to get them to dry entirely. I have a TON of cutouts and you can 'create' things using cutouts for something else...I love coloring the fondant though it does take some finesse and a lot of food coloring depending on the shade. aka a dark RED is so hard to get ,you almost have to start with a dark pink fondant then color it red.

I have also done chocolate transfers, and they are hard to get right BUT when done right they are really cool. you have to practice and practice with the free form. one thing that one of my fave bloggers does is print out huge letters from her computer in the shape she wants, aka cursive or blocks, and then she free forms over the paper on a piece of parchment or waxed sheet and then it's not quite 'freeform' and it looks really good. She also makes them a lot thicker than you would typically think so that they DO stand up better to movement and handling, I typically make like an extra 50% of what I need since breakage is prevalent, but making them is so fast that making 50% more is not that big of a deal once you are actually going.

For wedding cupcakes, there is a good book I picked up called Pretty Party Cakes that is good on decor and also has recipes for what it calls basic white and chocolate wedding cupcakes, almond cupcakes too I think, and typically you make a cake and then 'baste' it with a jam or jelly mixed with water and sugar (like a sugar water with flavor) to help keep them moist and then frost. Anyway, picking up a book might be helpful with some good recipes. Martha also has some wedding recipes I think on her site for cakes or cupckaes, you can turn almost any cake into a cupcake, you just have to test it first and potentially make some mods to add some moisture as cupcakes dry out faster than a layer cake for sure.

here are some cupcakes I made in Dec for a birthday... I think they were chocolate mint, but can't remember. BTW those are fondant cutouts.
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________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-Albert Einstein

Post by Mara » January 7th, 2009, 5:00 am
Date: 1/4/2009 11:26:18 PM
Author: Clairitek
Just wanted to pop into this thread to say...

A) FI and I have decided that we want a cupcake tower at our wedding. Neither of us are regular cake people and I think cupcake towers are really fun, especially for a more casual wedding.
Do you think I'm crazy for thinking that we can bake them ourselves? We might have access to an industrial kitchen and baking machines (mixer, oven, etc) to do it. We have friends who own their own bakery.

Any words of advice on making 150 cupcakes at a time? How far ahead can I bake them? What about storage once they're frosted?


I will give you my honest thoughts. Making cupcakes is not as easy as it might seem. If you are not a baker, you will have to experiment a lot until you find them the quality you probably desire. Plan to make 5-6 or more test batches of them leading up to the wedding, to perfect your recipe and your technique. And even that might not be 'enough' it just depends.  Homemade cupcakes from recipes are NOT foolproof like mix cupcakes are. It might take you 3-4 batches just to get the rise and look to where you want it.

Secondly, 150 cupcakes, regular size, will take you at least about 6-8 hours to MAKE the cupcakes, from start to finish, using 2-3 pans in a regular sized oven at a time (if you can fit 3...mine can really only fit 2.5)...and that is assuming you don't have a lot of rejects, so you might need to make that 8-10 hours instead of 6-8.

Then you will need to store them. Cupcakes dry out fast, so plan to put them in a SEALED container and they will last about 24-48 hours unfrosted that way, you will have to baste them with a sugar water before you frost anyway, but make sure you can seal and store 150 cupcakes (it's a lot...)

If it's buttercream you can frost about a day ahead of time but if it's a cream cheese based frosting, you should really do it the day of OR do it the day before AND you will need fridge space to store them (or a really cold day..not sure where you live!)...again 150 cupcakes IS A lot.

I had a request for a wedding for 150 people and I am flat out not sure I want to do it. It is a lot for a regular baker without a professional space, and if you are not well-versed at cupcakes to start with and how much work it is to just make say 72 regular size, you might be overwhelmed by 150. You mentioned having friends pipe them. Do they know how to pipe? Otherwise you might end up with 150 cupcakes with what looks like chocolate poop on top. It took me a while to learn piping skills.

The best thing I can suggest is to start practicing and even see if it's something you want to pursue when you do a few batches. Then as you get better, make 50, make 100. You might say...NEVERMIND we'll pay someone hahaa. But good luck!!
________________________________

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

-Albert Einstein


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