with Oreo cookie
(+5 skill points => 305 / 400)
Usually cupcakes don't add to my skill points, but these were special. A big shout out and "thank you"s to:
- KHalstead from cakecentral.com (Tina) for sharing her method for creating cupcake bouquets.
- The book Hello, Cupcake, which I don't own, but all the photos of the sunflower cupcakes on cakecentral say they got the design from.
- Martha Stewart for posting her own sunflower cuppie design.
- Duncan Hines Dark Chocolate Fudge cake mix
- IMBC from Cake Love (chocolate and vanilla flavored)
- I used Wilton's Meringue Powder instead of raw egg whites since I'd be giving these cuppies to kids.
- Oreo cookie
Lonnie and I have been trying hard to make a chocolate icing that tastes better than store-bought tub icing. Consider this another failed attempt. I first made a 2:1 ganache with Baker's semi-sweet chocolate and heavy whipping cream. This was added to my IMBC. It tasted ok ... but it's not great. I'm not used to semi-sweet chocolate except in chocolate chip cookies. Perhaps I should have tried milk chocolate. I was expecting a darker color too, but that didn't happen. Oh well. It was easy to work with, and I have plenty left over.
I piped a generous base on to the cuppie before smooshing down the cookie on top.
The vanilla IMBC got a hefty dose of Wilton's different yellow coloring gels. "Golden Yellow" was too orange, but after I added a bunch of "Lemon Yellow", I got a nice, bright color that was perfect for my sunflowers.
Martha Stewart's design called for 3 rows of "petals" using a leaf tip. I used Wilton #68 and made 2 rows, alternating the petal placement so they could be offset.
For the second row, I started the tip inside the Oreo so the IMBC could really fill in the space and look attached.
I've never had any training for using the leaf tip ... my petals kept breaking off. I tried twisting, I tried yanking, I tried coasting ... I couldn't figure it out.
Afterward I researched cakecentral.com's forums for using leaf tips. There were several suggestions specifically for tips like #68 to pry them open slightly. Tips that look like "baby birds' mouths" are more likely to yield pointed leaf ends. Mine was the "fish mouth" kind that tend to be too narrow to get much success unless you modify it. Oh well. Next time I'll try a different tip.
I wanted to try making an individual cupcake "bouquet". There are many cupcake bouquet tutorials available online, but I wanted to try to highlight just one serving. I bought several 4" flower pots from Walmart at $0.75 each. KHalstead from cakecentral.com shared that some of her bouquets have the cuppies sitting in a 5 oz. plastic cup. My 5 oz. cups were a little too short for the flower pot, so I used some extra 1 oz. cups to give them a boost. Use your favorite glue to keep things steady.
Ages ago my roommate thought it bright to serve Jello shots at one of our parties. Once we all moved out, I inherited the plethora of 1 oz. cups that we had over-zealously bought. Nowadays I jump at any excuse to use them. They are great holders for paint, glue, confectioner's glaze, you name it. Here I attached one upside down to the bottom of the 5 oz. cup.
The rim of the 1 oz. cup is covered in adhesive and placed in to the pot.
The cuppie sits comfortably in the 5 oz. cup like so:
Once everything is in, add some grass to hide the cups and provide more stability.
Afterward I decorated the pot with cardstock and curled ribbon, personalizing it for my nephew as a fun Easter present.
Cute, huh? I think these would be fantastic Mother's Day presents or maybe for a house warming. I took several of these over to a couple different neighbors with kids, and they seemed really impressed. Give 'em a shot! They'll brighten someone's day!