It’s been so long since I wrote in this blog that I feel like it’s a resurrection.
I have two loves when it comes to interests and hobbies. Three if you count reading. My two great loves are yoga and baking. If you look at my favorite videos on YouTube, you will see videos on no other subjects but yoga…and baking/cake decorating. Lately my love of yoga has tipped the scale in its favor, because it’s the summer and baking at 350 degrees + heat and humidity of summer = NO. But heat + yoga practice = GOOD. Well, to some extent.
Anyway, my sister is getting married this year, and her Jack & Jill shower was a couple of weeks ago. My mom, who wanted to save some money thought of a great idea in which I could bake something for the party (to give it a more personal touch), AND she could save $300 in floral centerpieces for six tables. And this is the result of her brilliant idea:
Cupcake rose “bouquets” (in quotes because bouquets technically aren’t in flower pots). With the wonders of YouTube, anyone can make these things. Really, the hardest part was figuring out how to do the piping technique used to make the frosting look like a rose. And I share the video I used to learn here:
It was so easy, you didn’t even need words to explain. You just watch and do. You need to use a 1M size tip though. That much I will add. Otherwise, you really don’t need to know anything else. Here is how my roses turned out:
Ain’t it pretty? Looks just like a yellow rose.
This one was supposed to be a light lavender/gray, but I made the mistake of adding the purple coloring first before adding the black and so it became a deeeeeep purple instead. Next time, add the black first. But still they came out pretty.
To put the whole thing together, I made two kinds of cupcakes, ordered by my sister, the bride-to-be. She loves funfetti cupcakes, so she asked me to make funfetti and chocolate with cheesecake filling cupcakes. The concept of “funfetti” was originated by Pillsbury, and if you don’t know what it looks like, here is the packaging:
(Image not my own)
At the risk of sounding elitist (but really that’s not my intention!), I refuse to use cake mix. If I can help it, I will not
use cake mix. Ever. I like the work of putting it all together from scratch. And so I looked for a good funfetti recipe from scratch and found one at Cakespy.com
. You can find the recipe here
. It’s pretty much just a vanilla cupcake recipe with two tablespoons of sprinkles folded in. But I would follow the recipe as-is anyway.
[Side Note: I go to flea markets and arts and crafts fairs sometimes, such as the Renegade Craft Fair and the Brooklyn Flea, and Cakespy was at the Renegade Craft Fair umm…I think a month or two ago and I bought this very-appropriate-to-me tote bag:
It is appropriate because I bake (me represented by the cupcake), I’m short (represented by me as a cupcake standing on a ladder), and Diet Coke is my beverage of choice when baking. It’s true. I almost always drink a Diet Coke whenever I bake. If you like this tote and think it’s cute, you can buy it here
and also check out their other stuff. 🙂 ]
The other cupcake variety for the party was chocolate with cheesecake filling. It was from an old Hershey’s cookbook my mom has, and fortunately, the fact that the recipe is available online
saves me the trouble of typing it here! Ah, don’t you love the internet???
I frosted the funfetti cupcakes with the darker purple frosting, and the chocolate cupcakes with the lovely golden yellow frosting. Dark purple frosting + the brown of the chocolate = ehhh…not as aesthetically pleasing as a contrast of colors would be.
I’ve always wished I’d been able to claim that I had an artistic side. A friend of mine recently asked me if I had any drawing skills at all and I said, not really. I think I stopped drawing things after third grade. I can draw, and probably very well if I really applied myself, but…it just never worked out that way for me. Funny because I really liked my art classes in junior high. I even still remember my art teacher’s name. Anyway, though seemingly absent in other media, it seems that my artistic nature really comes alive when it’s applied to cake decorating. Figures because I love food, so if I love my “canvas”, then it stands to reason that my imagination will come alive.
And now I will share how we put the whole thing together:
6 cupcakes, frosted in the manner shown above in the YouTube video.
1 6-inch terracotta flower pot
1 6-inch flower foam ball (available in arts & crafts stores), cut in half
wooden barbecue skewers, cut into about 3 – 3 1/2 inch segments (we used bamboo)
fake leaves (used as fillers for the gaps between cupcakes)
artificial stones (put in the bottom of each pot to weigh it down and make it more stable)
Put one cupcake liner at the bottom of the pot to cover up the hole at the bottom (if there is one for drainage — ours did). Fill the flower pot about 1/3 with artificial stones.
Place a flower foam ball half into the pot, flat side down so the domed part faces up.
Take a cupcake, pierce the bottom with a barbecue skewer and insert the skewer just deep enough into the cupcake that it goes all the way or more than halfway through the cake but doesn’t pierce through the frosting. It should end up looking like a cupcake on a short stick.
Place the first cupcake at the very top of the flower foam dome (haha I rhyme) by gently inserting the “cupcake on a short stick” into the foam (stick end goes in the foam, of course…), pushing just until the bottom of the cupcake makes contact with foam.
Arrange the next 5 cupcakes in the same way, going around the center cupcake.
Fill any gaps by inserting fake leaves into the foam (we cut the stems of the fake leaves so they would fit according to our needs)
A 6-inch terracotta flower pot with a 6-inch flower foam ball will comfortably fit 6 cupcakes. 5 around and one in the middle. At least that’s the configuration we went with. It is also important to frost the cupcakes before inserting into the arrangement. If you frost after inserting, you risk having the leaves damage the frosting and if you frost after the leaves are inserted, you risk frosting the leaves. The trick here is to use a sturdy frosting that stiffens to a degree that a slight touch will not ruin its look. I would suggest going with a cream cheese based frosting. These tend to form a very thin crust that holds up very nicely. I used a recipe from Cupcake Project
, which is really an Oreo cream cheese frosting, but I just omitted the Oreos and colored the white frosting as I needed.
Whew. Writing instructions is very, very tedious. Fortunately, assembling these cupcake flower arrangements shouldn’t be. 🙂