Sunday, April 6, 2014

Monogrammed Fondant/Gumpaste Hearts Tutorial

Here is a super simple cupcake topper decoration that I made for some wedding cupcakes. All you need is a heart cutter, something to add a little texture, letter stamps, and a toothpick.
Step 1: roll out your fondant or gumpaste and cut out some hearts.
Step 2: add some texture if you'd like. Be creative, you can even use another stamp. If you are using something that you don't only use for edible creations, just wrap it in some saran wrap first. No worries and practically no clean up too.
Step 3: Stamp your letter in the center. I used a stone letter stamp in the pictures, but any letter stamp would do.
Step 4: Use a toothpick or a thin point modeling stick to add some more decor around the edges.

It's that easy, and also a great excuse to add to your stamp collection. The possibilities are endless!

Bukarau Wedding Cupcakes and a Peptalk

 Back in February I felt so honored to be asked to bake these cupcakes for a lovely couple's wedding. It was going to be another big order and I would be able to practice my fondant skills once again. Their colors were red and black and the bride requested hearts and roses. There were 4 dozen red velvet, 4 dozen carrot cake, 4 dozen chocolate, and 4 dozen vanilla. As you can see there was also a topper for every single one of them.
 Everyone loved them especially the groom! His mom has had my cupcakes before and had suggested that they should ask me to make them for their wedding. Having never had my cupcakes he was pretty excited about them when he saw them, but was even more excited after tasting them! Yay, always happy to have a new fan. Ha ha!
 I overheard a wedding cake decorator, who was nearby my cupcakes once say, "Decorating a cake is stressful, people make such a big deal about cupcakes. But cupcakes are so easy, all you have to do is be decent at piping!"
After all the work I did for these bad boys I have to disagree.  I would not be good at decorating a wedding cake if it was to be covered in icing or butter cream only. I'm not the best piper and I wouldn't want to do it, purely based on the fact that I don't like the overly sweet taste of icing or butter cream. In fact a lot of people don't. It's the reason I started making my own frostings in the first place and it's the reason so many people love the things I bake.
That being said, since I don't use icing or butter cream I've had to be creative about my decorating. My frostings won't hold as a piped decoration. My solution: experimenting with other edible individual toppers. 
I love making the toppers and cupcakes, but I'm not going to lie, it's a lot of work. In fact in my opinion it's a lot more work than making toppers for a cake.
Here's some reality to those out there that  may not appriciate the work that goes into decorating a cupcake like mine (opinionated wedding cake maker, I'm talking to you ). 
1) edible fondant toppers are about 1/4 the size of a cake topper. This means it's much more difficult to do the detail work. I may not have to deal with molding rice cereal or debating about putting sticks and wires into my toppers but it's just as much work I promise you.
2)Since most people don't make individual toppers for their cupcakes, there aren't too many molds available to work with. I find a lot of cutters and molds that would work for a cake topper but are too big to work with when making a topper for a cupcake. I've had to be creative to figure it out most of the time.
3) Quantity is a big difference. Where a single tiered cake may take 3 really awesome gum paste or fondant flowers, each cupcake would get their own flower or decoration. And in relation to reason #2, lack of molds or cutters means hand cutting a custom design or shape with an exacto knife for 12-200 cupcakes would just be insane. 
I can appreciate the work that goes into decorating a cake, so please don't downplay the work that goes into decorating my cupcakes.
...(stepping off soap box)...
 Where was I, super cute cupcakes for a wedding. My favorite topper was actually the simplest ones to make. The monogrammed hearts. It's so simple anyone could do it. In fact check out my tutorial and try it out for yourself!
I hope I've inspired some of you cake and cupcake decorators out there. I'm no professional, and really you don't have to be to try. Don't listen to those who may say it's too much work, or it's not perfect enough, or that it's just going to be eaten anyways. It's all worth it when you see those who do appreciate it! And the fact that you can take a picture of your art before it's eaten and keep it forever and inspire even just one person to bake or create something themselves helps too.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My sister's getting married!

 My sister is getting married in a couple of weeks! So I apoligize for my absence. I've been busy taking their engagement pictures, helping prep for the reception, planning and hosting surprise bridal showers, making hundreds of coffee filter flowers, building a really fun photo backdrop, and all the fun that goes into being a supportive older sister.
But cupcake making has also been keeping me very busy.  So far this year I've baked 396 cupcakes and decorated 450. By the end of the month I'll have baked and decorated a grooms cake, and about 300 more cupcake, 4 dozen french macaroons, and 4 dozen cookies.
Here's a sneak peek at some of  the cupcakes I've been busy baking and decorating. I promise I'll be back with more in April...because did I mention, my sister's getting married!

Black, red, and silver themed wedding

Spring themed bridal shower

A little princess baby shower
I'll be back soon with more tales of my baking adventures. In the meantime, happy baking everyone!

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Book of Mormon Temple Cupcakes and Display

A month ago I was asked if I would be able to make some kind of cupcakes that would go on a temple centerpiece for a CES midyear training convention. I of course said sure! It took a little while to decide what I would do but after seeing the picture below on pinterest I knew this would be the time to finally attempt to decorate using fondant. Go to Bird's Party Blog for the full tutorial.

 I have always loved playing with clay or Play-dough, so I thought it wouldn't be too different or difficult. In fact I was confident enough in my skills with clay and Play-dough that I decided that I would make 150 fondant dolls in just a little more than 2 weeks! Call me crazy but because I would be doing this for service and for a church function I knew I'd get some extra help and that my understanding would be quickened. And boy was it quickened, because a few days into the first week of starting  my husband and I realized we needed to go on a business trip to Vegas the next week. That meant I has 1 week to make the dolls instead of 2!

Of course that meant I went straight to work as soon as I could and in any free time had. The full inspiration behind the display was actually quite amazing with how everything came together. Because in seminary this year the teachers are teaching from The Book of Mormon and the cupcakes would be around a temple I thought 3 Nephi would be the perfect place to draw my inspiration. This is when Christ is visiting the America's at the temple after his resurrection. I originally decided I would make both Nephite and Lamenite dolls that would surround the temple and a Christ doll.
My inspiration from the gospel art book
 However after sharing my game plan I was told that in addition to the temple and the Book of Mormon as inspiration, the theme of the convention would revolve around the phrase, "They are with us still" and Pres. Eyring's talk, "We Must Raise Our Sights". The temple centerpiece would also be a modern temple. Because of this I decided to make half of the dolls modern and the other half from the Book of Mormon times. I was super excited.

My first few dolls were not so cute. I mean these guys look like they could be on a Pepto-Bismal commercial.

But with practice I got much better!  I got a little lazy and almost wanted to just leave them bald. But the perfectionist in me beat the laziness and everyone got hair.
I love the pockets and the fact that they are each holding a set of scriptures! If we added a little name badge they could be perfect missionaries too.
 For some reason the Savior came out great from the very beginning.
 My modern ladies.

 And my Book of Mormon people.
The end result was beautiful! Of course no one wanted to eat the people though. It was funny to see some people wrap up their little doll in a napkin to take home after eating their cupcake! There were 15 centerpieces total and no two were the same.

P.S. I was able to make all the dolls in 4 days! 

A few tips I learned along the way:
-Use water and a small paintbrush to glue fondant pieces together.
-Wait for the fondant to dry a bit before using your edible marker to draw on the faces, if not the color will bleed like in my Pepto-Bismal dolls.
-When making pants it is easier to wrap a skirt first and then cut them into pants after they are attached to the stick.
-Having a gum paste/fondant tool set helps with the details.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Pixar's Up Inspired Cupcake Display Tutorial

 I have discovered a brand new skill of mine. It's called forgetting my camera whenever I make the most elaborate of cupcake displays! No joke, it keeps happening lately. However with modern technology, I can at least snap a picture with my handy phone camera. 
My latest display was for an Up themed Young Women's New Beginnings program. Isn't it cute!? I thought about color coordinating the frosting with the liners but then I would have needed to make more frosting and have too much left over. In case you don't see it, the cupcakes are supposed to be like the balloons holding up the house. Maybe because I didn't color the frosting they also act as clouds. It would have looked really awesome if it were in front of a blue backdrop with clouds.

I didn't really take pictures while making this, but if you were interested in making something similar here are some of the details.
What you need:
  • 2 cardboard boxes
  • 3 box tops shaped like the one in the picture below (a good excuse to buy and eat the contents)You only need the half above the black line from 3 and one of the bottom halves.

  • glue gun and lots of glue sticks
  • clear plastic cups, at least 1 per cupcake (the exact size of the cup doesn't matter as long as a cupcake can fit into the bottom of it)
  • various colored card stock paper to decorate the house ( I cut one inch strips from 12x12 paper for the paneling and using an 2 inch circle cutter cut a bunch of circles for the roof and yellow paneling, but cut the circles in half before attaching).
Not needed but super helpful:
  • paper cutter
  • 2 inch circle cutter
  • some good music, a movie, or even better an awesome audio book to entertain you while your hands are busy. ( I recommend Divergent by Veronica Roth, I prefer listening to an audio book because unlike with a movie you don't have to look away from the project at hand at all!) 
 Building the house: 
  • The main base of the house is just a box. 
  • Cut out one of the  longer flaps to be used as the big roof
  • Take your 3 box tops and glue to the edge of the top of the box like so,
    where the purple circles are.
  • Glue the flap to the box tops. Now your house has a roof!
  • From one of the almond roca box bottoms cut the following shapes out. glue piece a to section b. Add a roof (for more detailed instructions on how to make a roof read further below)
  • Decorate and glue this to your house roof (the flap).
  • Decorate as desired and then set aside
  • cut second cardboard box to something that looks like the above shape to be folded on the dotted lines. Be sure that the spot where the rectangle starts to turn into a triangle (I hope that makes some kind of sense) is a few inches taller than the height of box 1
  • measure the total length of the roof from the piece you just cut (length 1+length 2= total length of roof). Cut a piece of cardboard that long, fold in half, and attach with glue for your roof. *use these same instructions to make the roof for your almond roca window
  • decorate as desired and then attach to front of decorated box 1
Semi vague instructions on adding cupcake holders that I hope you can understand:
  •  cut the bases of the cups off (see image 1). I like to call the cup bases "cupcake holders" because they will hold your cupcakes. Cut an equal amount of the bases to cupcakes you will be adding.
image 1
cut 2 strips using the middle of the cup and  roll and tape into two tubes (see image 2). You won't need to do this step for each cup, only as many as you will be using to create "perches" for the cupcake holders.
image 2
Here's where my instructions get a little vague because I'm not sure exactly how to explain it.
  • glue cupcake holders at various heights to your roof. Just be sure that the cupcake holders are level. That's what the tube perches are for. Also be sure that cupcakes and cupcake holders won't run into each other once the cupcakes are put into the cupcake holders.
  • If I could do it again, I'd use small boxes wrapped in cloud paper to add various heights behind the houses roof flap instead of other cups, it would just give it a cleaner look.
There you have it! I hope at least some of that made sense, it'd probably be way easier to explain in a video, but I'm camera shy. Feel free to ask questions and I'll answer them as best as I can.

    Saturday, June 22, 2013

    A Little Monster Themed Baby Shower

    I only took the pictures and made the cupcakes. But there were so many cute details that I thought I'd share!
     Little Monster Cupcakes
     Decorated box and painted rocks. The rocks were both decor and great for keeping things from flying away!

     Chocolate and sprinkles covered Oreo cookies for favors
     Mason jar + tissue pom poms + colored shredded paper= simple decor with huge impact
     Monster bunting
     Shower Game Prizes
     Even the gifts acted as decor! Can you guess which bag is mine? (Hint: it looks like a monster! Buy a simple bag and just add a monster face using colored card stock paper)

     More monster rocks!
     No shower would be complete without games!

     I love the eye balls on the pen cups!

     Monster photo props
     My gift for the beautiful mommy to be! Plain white onesies that I sewed some ties and a vest on to.

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