Friday, August 27, 2010

Egyptian Cupcakes

OCCASION: Bridal Shower
FLAVOR: Funfetti Cupcakes with Strawberry Filling/Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Filling

My sister's high school friend Gaby asked me to make these cupcakes for her sister's bridal shower. The theme was Egypt because its one of the several locations Gaby's sister and her future husband will be visiting on their honeymoon. The cupcakes were filled in the middle and topped with vanilla buttercream icing.

Camera Cake

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Brown Sugar Cinnamon Poptart

I made this cake for my good friend Zack's surprise birthday party. The cake consisted of a layer of brown sugar cinnamon poptarts and yellow cake (kind of coffee-cake-like) and a brown sugar icing. The cake is modeled after Zack's camera, the Canon Rebel XS. Zack will be starting at Northeastern University next week!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Carnegie Mellon Cake

OCCASION: Birthday/Going Away Party
FLAVOR: Fudge Marble

I made this cake for one of my oldest friends, Margo, who I met back in '98 when my family first moved to Maryland and I started in the first grade. Margo is the sweetest girl ever, and she's going to Carnegie Mellon this year. She had to leave before her birthday, so she had a big party and her wonderful mom, Judy, hired me to make the cake. Best of luck to Margo!

Testudo (Part 3)

OCCASION: Graduation
FLAVOR: Yellow

This cake is for an old friend, Saral, who will, as you can see, be attending the University of Maryland this fall.

Cupcake Challenge 6: Peach Raspberry Cupcakes

Peach Cupcakes with Raspberry Icing

I made these cupcakes with real peaches and peach yogurt in the batter and raspberries in the icing. The icing was a winner, but the peaches didn't provide a strong enough flavor--looks like artificial flavoring would have worked better. But combined with the icing, it was great!

Flavor suggested by: Marie M.

Seton Hall Cake

OCCASION: Graduation
FLAVOR: Red Velvet

This cake was for an old elementary school/middle school friend named Vania. She will be attending Seton Hall University this fall!

UMiami Cake

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Funfetti

A high school friend, Laura, hired me to make this cake for one of her best friends, Emily, for her 18th birthday. Emily will be attending UMiami this year.

Ohio State Cake

OCCASION: Graduation
FLAVOR: Red Velvet

I made this cake for my friend Ben in honor of his graduation from high school. He will be attending Ohio State University next month!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Bowling Cupcakes

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Chocolate

My brother's friend Reid hired me to make these cupcakes for a friend's daughter. They were having a party at the bowling alley for her 4th birthday and Reid told me to just go for it design-wise. I had a lot of fun with these ones. Hopefully Jen over at Cake Wrecks would approve of this CCC.

Cupcake Challenge 5: Strawberry Banana Cupcakes

Strawberry Cupcakes with Strawberry Banana Cream Cheese Icing

I didn't want to overwhelm with banana flavoring, so I made the cupcakes just strawberry instead. I used strawberry banana yogurt with cream cheese to make the icing. Aside from the fact that it was a more gooey icing, the cupcakes were pretty good, especially when refrigerated.

Flavor suggested by: Joey H.

Cupcake Challenge 4: Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Icing

Bacon Cupcakes with Maple Syrup Cream Cheese Icing

So before you are utterly repulsed, let me explain the background and reaction to these cupcakes. My friend, Julie, heard a segment on NPR about a man and his wife who own a bakery where a hot item is bacon cupcakes. Eager to try this out, I decided I'd rather experiment myself then search for a recipe online--as with all of my "challenge" cupcakes, I don't think there'd be a point if I didn't complete the recipe myself.

So I started with maple flavored bacon. I cooked a few strips in a skillet, patted every last bit of grease and moisture out of them, rolled them in a cinnamon sugar mixture, and folded them into a standard yellow cake. When they came out of the oven, it took me a solid hour to work up the courage to try them. I took a bite. Unsure of whether or not it disgusted me, I finished the cupcake and forced my brother to try it, too. He gave it the okay and I set to work on the maple syrup cream cheese icing, which I definitely think will make a comeback on another cupcake very soon. Once I frosted it with that, Thomas said it was definitely ready to go.

I brought it to a friend, Shana's house first for her and her mom to try. They liked the icing enough that the cake didn't disgust them. Then I brought a trayful to poker night at my friend Mary's house. I gave the cupcakes a huge disclaimer: "They're hit or miss, you might not like them, I won't be offended, don't try it if you don't want to, tell me what you think honestly, etc etc." Three boys took the challenge first--and loved them. I thought they must be joking, because I definitely didn't harbor that much affection for these cupcakes. But they actually enjoyed them! I thought they must be a "man cupcake", until two girls took the plunge and liked them too. As one friend said, "I don't even like bacon...but I like these."

So they may not be kosher, or even socially acceptable, but these cupcakes were pretty successful in my opinion. If I make the recipe in the future, I might try using a spice cake instead to aid the bacon's flavor.

Flavor suggested by: Julie T. and Sam J.

True Blood Cake

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Red Velvet

I got an email from customer, Tom, a few weeks ago, who wanted a vampire-esque cake for his wife's "29th" birthday. Mary loves vampires (but no Twilight. Please, moms who fawn after underage boys are pretty creepy.) Anyways, so Mary and her daughter LOVE True Blood, and Tom sent me the above photograph to replicate. I'm really happy with how it turned out, and I can only hope it's acceptable for trueTrueBlood fans. I really enjoyed working with Tom and his family!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Cupcake Challenge 3: Ants on a Log Cupcakes

Ants on a Log Cupcakes

These cupcakes, inspired by the children's snack, consisted of a spice cake base with walnuts and raisins, frosted with a peanutbutter icing and topped with chopped celery and raisins.
Flavor suggested by: Shanee S.

Cupcake Challenge 2: "All-American" Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

"All-American" Apple Cinnamon Cupcakes

These cupcakes were made up of yellow cake, with cinnamon-sugar apples and applesauce folded in. I frosted them with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Icing and served them to my friends on the Fourth of July!

Flavor suggested by: Marie M.

Cupcake Challenge 1: Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Icing

Cookie Dough Cupcakes with Brown Sugar Icing

For my very first attempt at new flavor creations, I hid an entire piece of Pillsbury Break-n-Bake Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough at the bottom of each cupcake, allowing it to cook into the batter as the cake baked. I played around with the icing, using some brown sugar in place of a cup of powdered sugar. Success!

Flavor suggested by: Chelsea R.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Toy Story Cupcakes

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Funfetti

I made these ALL BUTTERCREAM (no fondant) cupcakes for my brother's 23rd birthday. Thomas, a big Toy Story fan, has been waiting to see the new movie for days now and was planning to see it yesterday in honor of his golden birthday--23 on the 23rd. Thomas, like the rest of my family, hates fondant--so I used pastry bags to ice the cupcakes instead. I'm really happy with the way they turned out.

In case you're unfamiliar with these characters, I recommend you see the movies. But, here's a list to help remind you:
1st Column: Alien, Weezy (TS2), Mr. Potato Head, Mrs. Potato Head
2nd Column: Hamm, Buzz, Lenny the Binoculars
3rd Column: Woody, Rex, Alien, Bo Peep
4th Column: Slinky, Alien, Bullseye (TS2), Jessie (TS2)

Monday, June 21, 2010

The Cupcake Challenge

To my loyal Mmmeliacakes Internet followers:
I regret to inform you that in a mere TWO MONTHS I'll be heading off to college at the University of Maryland, College Park, where I will be largely unable to bake cakes (although, if a big, awesome project came up, I'm close enough that I could try to make it home for the weekend and do it.) I want to make these last two months count by making as many cakes and cupcakes as possible.

This means that if you 'followed' me on blogspot because you knew one day you'd want to order a cake for some occasion or another, NOW is the time to do it. I'm free all through July and August for cakes (and also, cake decorating lessons for kids and adults ages 10+--email me if you're interested.)

After watching the new show Cupcake Wars, I was inspired to create new and innovative cupcake flavors as a challenge to myself. If you can leave a comment and suggest some unusual/fun ingredients for me to try to incorporate into cupcakes, that'd be great. If I go with your suggestion, and it turns out well, and you live in my area, I'll deliver YOU the cupcakes as a thank you!

Some examples would be: fruits that aren't usually used in cake (ex. canteloupe, watermelon, etc), vegetables, cereals, sodas, unique dairy products--anything FRESH would be preferred to frozen items. Please, give real suggestions--nothing disgusting. Of course, ALL cupcakes (good and bad) will be displayed on this blog for you to follow along.

Thanks for your help. I look forward to hearing from you :)

Case Western Cake

OCCASION: Graduation
FLAVOR: Marble

I made this cake for my friend John, whom I've gone to school with since elementary school. He's going to Case Western University this fall, where the mascot is the Spartans. I first covered the cake with fondant, then piped the design overtop.

Sweet 16 Cake

OCCASION: Sweet 16 Birthday
FLAVOR: Vanilla Cake with Vanilla Buttercream Icing

I made these cakes (and cupcakes) for my boyfriend Alan's little sister Stacy and her friend Emma. The color scheme was pink and purple, so I swirled pink and purple in with the white icing for a cool effect. I curled shape into the flowers and draped them across the cakes.

Grumble Meter Cake

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Mint Chocolate

My friends Dillon, Julie, and I have a running joke about people being 'grumbly'.

grumbly [gruhm' blee] adj: bitterness, grumpiness, or snappy behavior typically associated with sleep deprivation and/or hunger.

Dillon often used this word to describe my best friend Julie, who is very pleasant and sweet, but often would get a tad irritated at lunch time (which coincided with her waking up from her 1st-3rd period nap). Julie isn't the only grumbly person out there though; everyone has his/her grumbly moments, some people just don't get called out about them. Dillon has grumbly moments, our teachers have grumbly moments, strangers have them...I don't have them, of course, because sweet cupcake bakers don't ever get grumbly. :) Anyways, so I made this cake for Dillon's 18th birthday to follow up on our inside joke--it's a meter to measure a person's grumblyness. Try to stay in the green zone, please.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

2010 Cupcakes

OCCASION: Senior Class Night
FLAVOR: Chocolate and Vanilla

Actually, there's only 140 of them. I made these cupcakes for my Senior Class Night at school this past week. I officially graduate tonight, but the class night is a tradition for the day before the last day of school. I carefully planned out this design so that the flavors alternate--in theory a good idea, but actually it makes it semi-impossible to look at them closely. We let the cupcakes sit untouched for about 10 minutes before allowing the class to devour them. Each cupcake is topped with a colored M'n'M (you can buy them in single colors at craft stores) and sugar pearls in that same color. GO SEN10RS!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Make-Up Cake

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Chocolate

This cake was a week-long project. I used gumpaste to make the make-up models during the past week and finished by baking the cake and constructing it. The cake was for a friend, Ahna, who exhibits funky and fabulous with her style and personality. The compact used skin-colored powdered sugar to make foundation, the mascara was piped on with a thin stream of icing, and the lip gloss writing was made using a gel writing stick from the craft store. The silver was made using shimmer powder and the fondant covering the cake was designed in zebra print.

Monkey Cake

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Banana

This cake was for a 1st birthday party for a young girl in Virginia. Her parents hired me to make the cake--she's a banana lover and the theme of the party was monkeys! I experimented with a banana flavored cake (similar to banana bread but less dense). According to her parents, she ate 1/4 of the cake before they were able to stop her.

Geometric Cake

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Chocolate and Yellow

I made this cake for a fun, free-spirited friend, Rachel, in honor of her 19th birthday. It started as a weird vision in my head that turned into a reality. The cake was supposed to be whimsical and Alice-in-Wonderland-esque!

Terp Cake (pt 2)

OCCASION: Birthday
FLAVOR: Chocolate

This is a redo of a popular cake of mine--the third try. I made this for a Terps fan (and a party full of College Park graduates) in Fairfax, VA.