The Cupcake Thread!

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Post by Tacori E-ring » September 6th, 2008, 3:08 pm
How fun! I want to take a cake decorating cake class now!!!!
*****************************************
Expectations are nothing but premeditated resentments.

Happiness is an inside job.

Post by peonygirl » September 7th, 2008, 6:06 pm
I did use the shortening-based stuff for decorating, however I do believe that one could use the swiss buttercream for everything but perhaps roses (in which the icing needs to be pretty stiff unless one is quite practiced).  At my next class near the end of Sept, we are going to be learning how to do the Wilton icing roses.

Post by divergrrl » September 8th, 2008, 1:58 pm
Tacori: YOu could totally rock cake decorating! You are so talented w/ your paintings etc....

Divergrrl
***************************
Don't be fooled by the rocks that I got.... :-P

Post by ladypirate » September 8th, 2008, 2:16 pm
Date: 9/8/2008 12:06:52 AM
Author: peonygirl
I did use the shortening-based stuff for decorating, however I do believe that one could use the swiss buttercream for everything but perhaps roses (in which the icing needs to be pretty stiff unless one is quite practiced). At my next class near the end of Sept, we are going to be learning how to do the Wilton icing roses.


Yeah, the roses are a bit tricky even using the decorating icing. I want to start experimenting more with royal icing as well--they didn''t cover that in the class I took.
-
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 Jaders731 » September 9th, 2008, 4:29 am
Hey Freke...

Sorry its been forever... here is the Pastry Cream recipe... it makes 1 Liter, so you can divide it if you want...

Milk....1000g
Sugar...125g
Vanilla....10g or 1 vanilla bean (I prefer the vanilla bean)
--------------------
Egg yolk...240g
Sugar.......125g
Cornstarch..80g

Heat Milk, sugar and vanilla bean, until bubbles form along the outside of the milk (dont bring to a boil)

In a bowl, combine second amount of sugar and cornstarch and whisk out all the lumps.  Add the egg yolks and wisk until smooth.

Temper yolks with a little of the hot milk mixture. Then add the rest of the hot milk to the yolks.  Strain back into pan, and cook over low until the custard comes to a boil (gentle boil).  Cook for 1 minute to cook out the starch.  Remove from heat and add vanilla extract if using instead of vanilla bean.

Keep in a bowl, place plastic wrap right on top of the custard to prevent a skin from forming.

Let me know if you have any questions!

Post by dixie94 » September 12th, 2008, 10:03 am
Hi,
Here are the recent cupcakes I''ve made. The first were lemon with lemon icing. I don''t know if the tip was too small or what the problem was but I couldn''t get the icing to stay higher and each level on top of the other. Maybe the icing is too soft but I already added more powdered sugar.
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Post by dixie94 » September 12th, 2008, 10:05 am
These are strawberry w/strawberry icing. The icing on these wouldn''t stay up at all and I even bought bigger tips. It was definitely a consistency problem. I did add extra sugar but I didn''t want to add too much b/c they would be too sweet. I did add strawberries to the icing so I imagine the juice was the problem. Any ideas on what to do to make the icing stand higher for either recipe or any other recipe? I''m using a fairly simple recipe for icing: butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and whatever else to flavor the icing to match the cupcake.

Thanks!
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Post by Tacori E-ring » September 12th, 2008, 2:08 pm
Date: 9/8/2008 7:58:06 PM
Author: divergrrl
Tacori: YOu could totally rock cake decorating! You are so talented w/ your paintings etc....




You are so sweet. Thank you!
*****************************************
Expectations are nothing but premeditated resentments.

Happiness is an inside job.

Post by Skippy » September 13th, 2008, 12:07 pm
Date: 9/12/2008 4:05:30 PM
Author: dixie94
These are strawberry w/strawberry icing. The icing on these wouldn''t stay up at all and I even bought bigger tips. It was definitely a consistency problem. I did add extra sugar but I didn''t want to add too much b/c they would be too sweet. I did add strawberries to the icing so I imagine the juice was the problem. Any ideas on what to do to make the icing stand higher for either recipe or any other recipe? I''m using a fairly simple recipe for icing: butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and whatever else to flavor the icing to match the cupcake.

Thanks!
Yum, Dixie, those look delicious!
Skippy




http://www.pricescope.com/idealbb/files/1896249wrr738gi7w.gif

"The only things that stand between a person and what they want in life are the will to try it, and the faith to believe it's possible" Rich Devos

Post by elsie » September 13th, 2008, 4:43 pm
Wow, all the cupcake pics look delicious and tempting!

For anyone without a KitchenAid (like moi), I just wanted to recommend a recipe I made tonight that works well with just a hand mixer.

Chocolate Zucchini Cupcakes

These were soooo yummy and moist!

Post by FrekeChild » September 14th, 2008, 6:27 pm
Dixie, if you wouldn''t mind posting the recipe you used, I''d be happy to help. You''re right it''s most certainly a consistency problem. Changing the tips won''t do much if it just oozes out of them anyway.Image
_______________________________

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

Post by pennquaker09 » September 14th, 2008, 9:14 pm
Date: 9/12/2008 4:03:08 PM
Author: dixie94
Hi,

Here are the recent cupcakes I''ve made. The first were lemon with lemon icing. I don''t know if the tip was too small or what the problem was but I couldn''t get the icing to stay higher and each level on top of the other. Maybe the icing is too soft but I already added more powdered sugar.



How much liquid did you use?
Sephora is the mothership! - diamondfan


Post by dixie94 » September 15th, 2008, 4:49 am
Date: 9/15/2008 12:27:34 AM
Author: FrekeChild
Dixie, if you wouldn''t mind posting the recipe you used, I''d be happy to help. You''re right it''s most certainly a consistency problem. Changing the tips won''t do much if it just oozes out of them anyway.Image


No, I don''t mind posting it. It came from a book anyway so it''s not my original creation. I will post when I get home later today.

Thank you!

Post by dixie94 » September 15th, 2008, 4:50 am
Date: 9/15/2008 3:14:16 AM
Author: pennquaker09
Date: 9/12/2008 4:03:08 PM

Author: dixie94

Hi,


Here are the recent cupcakes I''ve made. The first were lemon with lemon icing. I don''t know if the tip was too small or what the problem was but I couldn''t get the icing to stay higher and each level on top of the other. Maybe the icing is too soft but I already added more powdered sugar.




How much liquid did you use?


Pennquaker,
Thanks for responding! I will post the recipe later today.

Post by dixie94 » September 15th, 2008, 4:51 am
Date: 9/13/2008 6:07:34 PM
Author: Skippy123
Date: 9/12/2008 4:05:30 PM

Author: dixie94

These are strawberry w/strawberry icing. The icing on these wouldn''t stay up at all and I even bought bigger tips. It was definitely a consistency problem. I did add extra sugar but I didn''t want to add too much b/c they would be too sweet. I did add strawberries to the icing so I imagine the juice was the problem. Any ideas on what to do to make the icing stand higher for either recipe or any other recipe? I''m using a fairly simple recipe for icing: butter, cream cheese, powdered sugar and whatever else to flavor the icing to match the cupcake.


Thanks!
Yum, Dixie, those look delicious!


Thanks Skippy! They were fun to decorate.

Post by Mara » September 24th, 2008, 1:40 pm
dixie they look yummy!!! as for your consistency question, def too much liquid. whenever i use real berries or jam it always loosens up my frosting too much. you have to add a ton of powdered sugar to get the right consistency for amazing piping...unfort. i don't like super sweet frosting but funny, a LOT of people do...i have never had anyone complain amazingly! buttercream is easier for me to get to stiff consistency than cream cheese but i like taste of cc frosting better!

here's a recent picture of some red velvets i did for an anniversary!
Attachments
red velvet fondant hearts.jpg
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________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by Mara » September 24th, 2008, 1:42 pm
and some mini's with pink hearts, i think these were for Greg's 40th bday party...can't recall! it's been a while since i have posted, sorry, just so busy with stuff going on..work, travel, cupcakes!!

i made some dulce de leche coconut cupcakes for a friend's party this wkd....i am not a dulce fan but man these were good with the coconut. quite a lot of work though!!! i made some chai spice cupcakes last nite i will frost today for a dinner i am going to tonite. experimental!

hope everyone is still baking if not posting, like me!
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red velvet pink heart.jpg
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________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by FL Steph » September 24th, 2008, 2:33 pm
Mara, those look amazing. I have a couple of questions....first, what is your method for piping your cupcakes? Do you start on the inside or outside...they look perfect! Also, did you purchase the hearts or do you cut them out of fondant? Hope you are doing well!

Post by FrekeChild » September 24th, 2008, 2:48 pm
She pipes from the outside in.
_______________________________

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

Post by asscher_girl » September 24th, 2008, 5:39 pm
MARA!!!!! And other SOUTH BAY PSERS...................  Did you know that Sprinkles (www.sprinklescupcakes.com) is now open at Stanford?  I had a meeting in that area yesterday so I drove by in the morning to pick up a few for the office, and the line was at least 50 deep!  I''ll try again in a few days Image

BTW Mara, hubby and I are moving back down to SJ in 2 months! YAY!  How are you two doing?

Post by peonygirl » September 24th, 2008, 7:51 pm
Hi gals! I just wanted to show you the last cake I made for my Wilton 1 decorating course.  I''m pretty happy with how it turned out, except the writing is a little crooked.  It was marble cake w/ dark chocolate frosting and raspberry jam filling.  Now that I''ve taken a cake decorating class, I''d like to turn my attention to cupcakes since it''s easier to make a smallish batch, plus they don''t seem quite as labor-intensive as a multi-layer cake.

Hope everyone is doing well!
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Post by dragonfly411 » September 25th, 2008, 4:33 am
OMG MARA THOSE LOOK SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO GOOD
I don't know anyone that can live without a place of enchantment to turn to - Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings

Post by jas » September 25th, 2008, 2:05 pm
Date: 9/25/2008 1:51:13 AM
Author: peonygirl
Hi gals! I just wanted to show you the last cake I made for my Wilton 1 decorating course. I''m pretty happy with how it turned out, except the writing is a little crooked. It was marble cake w/ dark chocolate frosting and raspberry jam filling. Now that I''ve taken a cake decorating class, I''d like to turn my attention to cupcakes since it''s easier to make a smallish batch, plus they don''t seem quite as labor-intensive as a multi-layer cake.

Hope everyone is doing well!

Wow!  Save me a piece, please (unless Jason would mind Image).  Looks yummy!

Post by dixie94 » September 26th, 2008, 4:15 am
Date: 9/24/2008 7:40:36 PM
Author: Mara
dixie they look yummy!!! as for your consistency question, def too much liquid. whenever i use real berries or jam it always loosens up my frosting too much. you have to add a ton of powdered sugar to get the right consistency for amazing piping...unfort. i don''t like super sweet frosting but funny, a LOT of people do...i have never had anyone complain amazingly! buttercream is easier for me to get to stiff consistency than cream cheese but i like taste of cc frosting better!


here''s a recent picture of some red velvets i did for an anniversary!


Peonygirl, your cake looks great! I would like to take a class but there are none in my area.
Thanks Mara! Your cupcakes look great! Is the buttercream frosting easy to make? Does anyone have a simple recipe? I''m sure there''s one on the thread but I am too lazy to search for it at the moment.
Here''s the recipe I used:

Lemon:
Mix 3T butter and 3 oz cream cheese (I used low fat) in mixing bowl on low speed for 30 sec.
Add 1 1/2 c confec. sugar, 1 t lemon zest and 1 t lemon juice.
Blend on low until sugar is incorporated, 1 minute.
Increase speed to medium and beat until light and fluffy, 1 minute longer.
Add up to 1/2 c more sugar if necessary for consistency.

Strawberry:
Mix 4T butter and 8 oz low fat cream cheese in mixing bowl on low speed for 30 sec.
Add 3 c confec. sugar and 1/2 c mashed, drained fresh strawberries.
Blend on low until sugar is incorporated, 1 minute.
Increase speed to medium and beat until fluffy, 30-45 sec. longer.
Add up to 1/2 c more sugar if necessary for consistency.

For both, I tried letting the icing sit in the fridge for a bit, hoping to harden it. I think it helped w/the lemon a little but not w/the strawberry. I did add extra sugar for both but as you can see w/the pics, it didn''t help much.

I''d love advice on what I did wrong or what else I can try! Thanks!

Post by FrekeChild » September 26th, 2008, 10:50 am
Just from a glance, I''d say that using low fat cream cheese could be a problem. Most fats solidify in cool temperatures, and the fat that''s taken out of the cream cheese is probably replaced with more liquid. Which is probably why they didn''t change when it went into the fridge. Another issue is that sugar actually absorbs liquid and can make icings looser instead of stiffer up to a point.

I''ll think about it some more, but I have to go mix some cake batter for cuppies to take to a party tonight for the moment.....
_______________________________

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

Post by Mara » September 27th, 2008, 12:26 pm
i agree that the lf cream cheese might be making things more loose. but i really try to watch the liquid i use in my frostings, just a little too much can make you have to add a ton more sugar (thats how you stiffen it up) and i hate super sweet frostings. sometimes i use extracts or flavorings like espresso instead of the milk or whatever it calls for...just remember any liquid you add has to be soaked up by sugar basically. for a lemon frosting, using a curd might be better than juice because it''s not as liquidy. for strawberry frosting i use jam not strawberries, they are too watery.

on my piping method, the top ones were outside in but the 2nd ones were inside out...honestly it''s hard to describe piping method, you just have to practice practice practice. even moving your wrist a tiny one way or another or moving hand vs wrist will give you a totally diff look.

i made an amazing banana caramel spice cupcake last nite as an experiment....i am going to make them again for a coworker who loves banana''s bday this week!

oh and asscher, yep sprinkles is open but i''m not in a rush, i have not really heard positive things about their cupcakes. they were on eye on the bay and put their sberry cupcake on the tv and i think mine is better hahaha. i did make a special trip to PA to go to the newly opened Kara''s this week though...i love a few of their cupcakes big time...but some are just meh. check out yelp, there are a ton of reviews already for sprinkles and Kara''s!
________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by Mara » September 27th, 2008, 12:27 pm
oh and peony the cake looks great..!!! those roses look amazing, mine were NOWHERE near roses during my class. they looked more like primroses or something hahaa.
________________________________

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

-Albert Einstein

Post by FrekeChild » September 27th, 2008, 5:51 pm
I don''t even think I want to get into the strawberry recipe. I''d probably buy frozen strawberries, defrost, blend them to liquid, strain, and then put them in a pot to reduce on low until there is a lot less liquid involved. But that takes some practice and know-how to get it to the consistency you''d want. So, onto the lemon recipe.

Question:

Is the 1 *t* lemon zest/juice a teaspoon or tablespoon?

I ask because I''ve always abbreviated tablespoon with *T* or *tbl*, and teaspoon with *t* or *tsp*.

I did some research on low fat cream cheese, and I found out that yes, it''s got less fat and that is replaced with liquid, so that certainly isn''t helping the icing''s texture.

I don''t agree with Mara on using lemon curd instead of lemon juice. One of the main ingredients of lemon curd should be egg yolks, and I''m always cautious about using egg products that I haven''t personally cooked in icings. Plus, I don''t trust lemon curd from a jar because it''s horribly perishable when fresh-made, and I don''t want to know what they do to it to keep in a jar. Also, it''s not going to give you the tartness that pure juice will because it''s been "watered" down with sugar, egg yolks and butter (possibly gelatin and other ingredients, depending on what company makes it).

So if it''s a teaspoon of juice and teaspoon of zest, I''d increase the zest and decrease the juice to be 1/2 tsp of juice or lemon juice concentrate. If it''s tablespoons we''re talking about, then this could potentially be your problem. The zest is what is going to give you the lemon flavor, but it doesn''t give you tartness.

Really, I''d totally scrap that recipe and make up my own. Here is a different one that has to go by weight:

2 parts cream cheese (ex: 8oz)
1 part butter (4oz)
1 part powdered sugar (4oz)
flavorings to taste

Blend cream cheese until smooth, add room temp butter in stages, and blend well. Add sugar until fully incorporated and beat it until it''s light and fluffy. Add flavorings and blend in.

One thing you can do if you want to use low fat cream cheese is to get some cheesecloth at a local culinary supply store (it''s expensive, but reusable if you rinse it out well and let it dry) wrap the LF cheese in it with two layers of the cloth around it--like a bag, and suspend it over a bowl in the fridge overnight. There should be some liquid in the bowl in the morning, and you can squeeze the cheese while it''s in the bag, to get even more excess liquid out of it.

Let me know if you have any questions.

Here are the cuppies I made yesterday: brown sugar cake with caramel Italian buttercream and hard caramel crystals on top.
Image
_______________________________

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

Post by Jelly » September 27th, 2008, 5:59 pm
Yum, this cupcake thread is so inspiring!  I made some box cupcakes with caramel icing- also straight from the store-bought carton....they were good but I''d much rather find a good homemade caramel frosting recipe.

Mara, I went to Kara''s cupcakes last year.  Oh man, that was the best cupcake I''ve had in my life!  How do they get the frosting so light and creamy?

Post by puffy » September 28th, 2008, 6:15 pm
just wanted to say that i made a trip to stanford to go to sprinkles, and of course since it is newly opened and a sunday, the line was CRAZY, so i decided not to wait in line and instead go to Kara''s. i LOVE LOVE LOVE Kara''s!! so, i''m kinda glad that the line for sprinkles was too long.


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