Sunday, February 13, 2011

Nothing Says 'I Love You' like a Cupcake!

Happy Valentine's Eve! Time to shower your counter tops in candy hearts and sprinkles! You may be sitting in your kitchen pondering the meaning of pink icing, chocolate covered strawberries, and all things savory... what to bake? What to bake?...

Well, I have some ideas to make your Valentine's Day sweeter - whether it's for a loved one, a co-worker, a community-in-need, or just your own hungry tummy!

Check out my favorite online picks:

A little icing goes a long way!

It's a candy heart garden! Quick and easy.

I LOVE this idea! But I'm thinking
pink and purple hearts... in chocolate cake!

How about an ooey gooey center!

Happy baking for a holiday that just invites sharing love through sugary goodness!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Cupcakin' It Up for a Good Cause

Nothing brings people together like red velvet, funfetti, candy hearts, and sprinkles! Cupcakin' It Up and friends at Hall & Partners visited a PATH shelter to decorate cupcakes with kids and families.

We came armed with 200+ cupcakes (baked by many volunteers from the Hall & Partners office). Flavors included funfetti, vanilla, chocolate, red velvet, and strawberry. Good thing our helpers were so artistically equipped to help!

Check out some of the creations below! They even taught this cupcaketeer a thing or two -

First up, is the collection of our finest creations! The pink plates really made them pop.

Toppings included M&M's, cinnamon red hots, candy hearts, marshmallow hearts, and sprinkles of every color.

My personal favorite is the one on the right - unorthodox in its green, my helper added only green candy hearts and sprinkled circles throughout to add some pink and purple as well.

I also love the way she made a cupcake flower out of M&M's!

Next is an explosion of sprinkles, M&M's, and gummy heart candies on top of pink and chocolate icing. I love the way this executes - it's so festive!

Check out this icing innovation to the right!

I never realized that this texture could be accomplished so easily. My helper told me to spread the icing thinly and then take the knife and gently tease out little tufts on top.

If you unearth some cake in the process? My helper says, "no problem! Just smooth it back and start again."

Sprinkle some colored sugar or sprinkles on top for added color and texture!

This fun evening activity is easy to replicate with local in-need children in your community. I suggest having your group of volunteers each back 1-2 batches of cupcakes. Then check CVS for best candy prices (I bought my gummies, cinnamon candies, marshmallows, and heart candies there). Icing can be purchased for a dollar at Ralphs around this holiday. Even my Red Velvet cake mix was a dollar! It's a minimal price for making someone's day - and spreading the cupcake love!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Sweet and Juicy Cupcakespiration!

For Superbowl Sunday, my friend Shawna got her bake on with the best kind of sports food - Cupcake Burgers! She found her inspiration from a step-by-step tutorial on Bakerella. And can we say... SCORE!

Using a yellow cake mix, a box of double chocolate Ghirardelli brownies, some food coloring, and sesame seeds, Shawna made a treat that is the perfect addition to any sporting event, bbq, or birthday party!

Let's see how she did it!

First she made the brownies in a 13" pan. Don't have one? Either fill your 8" pan with half of the batter or use a cake pan. If they turn out thick, it's ok - the best burgers are thick and juicy anyway!

Then, she took a circular cookie cutter and cut the brownies into "patties." Don't have an official cookie cutter? Use a cup!

The next official step (not depicted here) was the baking of the yellow cake. Shawna filled the muffin cupcake liners about half way so that the top was only slightly dome-like.

Then she added the dyed frosting! You can either apply it using an icing bag or just a Ziploc with the corner cut. It can be uneven or overflow because it is supposed to be lettuce, ketchup, and mustard after all!

And now... the brownies and the cake come together, with a sprinkling of sesames on top to make sizzlin sweet burgers!

Cupcakes off to you, Shawna!