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.