Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Wedding Cupcakes

An old friend from high school contacted me months ago asking me if I would do her wedding cake. Of course I said yes! This was my first wedding cake on my own. I had done some wedding cakes at my previous job, but none where I got to choose exactly what I wanted to do.

I visited my friend a little over a month ago with a few different options of cake and icing. I took white, red velvet, and devil's food cakes. And I took two different kinds of icing, buttercream and
French buttercream. Since the bride wanted cupcakes, I told her that she could choose any number of combinations that they liked. They chose white with French buttercream and red velvet with regular buttercream. My red velvet cupcakes are not very sweet, so the sweet buttercream is a better pairing with this cake instead of the French buttercream. On the other hand, the sweetness of my white cake is a perfect pairing with my less sweet French buttercream. The couple also wanted a small eight inch square cake for the top of their cupcake tower so that they could do a traditional cake cutting.

I went back and forth with decorations for the cupcakes. I tried a few things that did not end up
working out for me, so at the last minute I had to rethink my previous designs. I decided to do drop flowers with royal icing. The colors of the wedding were black and white damask and fuchsia. I decided to just stick with black and white in my designs. I made 300 black drop flowers with a white sugar pearl in the middle. Each cupcake got one flower in the center along with
some black and white sugar pearls scattered around it. I think they turned out beautifully. As for the cake, I just did a small 8 inch white cake with French buttercream icing. I covered the top with the flowers that I had made and did a simple bead border around the bottom. I put a small black sugar pearl in between each bead.

Royal icing is fairly easy to work with and is a great tool to allow you to get some decorations done in advance. Royal icing is simply meringue powder, powdered sugar and water. If you fill your pastry bag and have some remaining in the bowl, you must keep it covered with a damp paper towel. Otherwise, it will harden in the bowl leaving it unusable. When making lots of drop flowers, I like to cut small one inch squares of parchment paper. I put just a dab of icing on my flower nail, then stick the paper square to it. I make my flower on the paper and can then just lift up the paper and set it aside to dry. These flowers will last for quite a long time. They are a nice addition to the top of a brownie square for a more formal occasion. You can add these drop flowers to any decorated cake or cupcake. They are fun to make and come in very handy. If you are interested in learning how to decorate, this is a good place to start!

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