Cupcake Request

Happy LATE Halloween!

It has been WAY too long since i’ve updated, and I feel terrible! Life has just been so crazy and busy...

I considered not posting these pictures and just saving them for next Halloween....but then I’d feel bad haha...and lazy.




For the second year in a row, my grandma’s community ordered cupcakes from me for their annual Halloween party! I was so excited and couldn’t wait to create these little works of art!

I’m just guna jump right in and start off with the pumpkin cupcakes!





They are pumpkin flavored cupcakes with grass swiss meringue buttercream on top and a little pumpkin topper!

Pumpkin Cupcakes
-makes about 27

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt
1 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1 1/2 cups packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
5 large eggs, lightly beaten
1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.
4. Use grass tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes, then add toppers!


Now on to the Jack Skellington Cupcakes!




I used a simple vanilla cupcake recipe, with a dark chocolate fudge frosting!

Dark Chocolate Fudge Frosting
-makes 5 cups

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon boiling water
2 1/4 cups (4 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 pounds best-quality semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled

1. Combine cocoa and the boiling water, stirring until cocoa has dissolved.
2. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat butter, confectioners' sugar, and salt until pale and fluffy. Reduce speed to low.
Add melted and cooled chocolate, beating until combined and scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in the cocoa mixture.
3. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen up to 1 month, in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again.

You Will Also Need...
- fruit leathers (I got mine from Vons)
- lollipop sticks
- large marshmallows
- black edible food marker
- black nonpareils
- exacto knife
- chocolate melting wafers

1. Draw out a stencil of the bat on Jack’s collar, you can make it as simple or detailed as you want. I looked up a picture of Jack on Google and printed it out as my stencil!
2. Cut out bat collars with exacto knife, carefully!
3. Pour nonpareils into a shallow bowl, then coat the collars with them.
4. Draw Jack faces on marshmallows, then attach them to the lollipop sticks.
5. Using melted chocolate wafers in a piping bag, attach the bat collar to the lollipop sticks.
6. Place the Jack’s into the frosted cupcakes, resting the bat collars on the frosting for extra support.











Next.....Graveyard Scene Cupcakes!




I went simple with these guys as well, using my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe and the same chocolate fudge frosting as above!

You will need...
- Milano cookies
- Oreo cookie crumbs
- orange nonpareils
- chocolate melting wafers
- pumpkin candies
- orange frosting

1. First, lay out your Milano cookies, then using the orange frosting in a piping bag, pipe RIP on each cookie.
2. Crush the Oreo cookies, removing the cream center.
3. Melt the chocolate wafers and transfer to a piping bag. Pipe out trees onto parchment paper, being careful not to make the branches too thin, sprinkle on orange nonpareils while chocolate is still wet. Also, when piping the trees, make sure to make an anchor/large branch on the bottom of the tree stump so it is easy to stick them into the cupcakes.
4. Frost cupckes! Then gently push RIP cookies into the cupcakes, sprinkle on cookie crumb “dirt” for the graves, add pumpkin, then add the trees last. Be careful they are very delicate!


Lastly, Witch’s Cauldron Cupcakes...





Mmm my favorites! Sweet Potato Cupcakes! I just covered mini marshmallows in lime green frosting, used pretzel sticks as mixing spoons and some spooky purple glitter!

Sweet Potato Cupcakes

2 pounds (about 3 medium) sweet potatoes, scrubbed
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp coarse salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup packed dark brown sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Pierce sweet potatoes with a fork and place on a parchment-lined rimmed baking sheet. Bake until completely soft and juices begin to seep from the potatoes and caramelize, about 1 hour. Reduce oven to 325°.
2. When cool enough to handle, slice potatoes in half lengthwise and use a fork to scrape the flesh from the skin into a bowl, discarding skins. Mash potato with fork until smooth. (You should have about 2 cups.)
3. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and nutmeg. With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and both sugars until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in mashed sweet potatoes and vanilla. Reduce speed to low. Add the flour mixture in three batches, beating until completely incorporated after each.
4. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until cupcakes are set and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 28 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes.


You will need....
- mini marshmallows
- green frosting
- pretzel sticks
- purple edible glitter

1. In a mixing bowl, stir together mini marshmallows and green frosting, making sure marshmallows are completely covered.
2. Divide up mixture onto the tops of the cupcakes, place one pretzel stick onto each, then sprinkle with purple glitter!








The cupcakes on a custom Halloween cupcake tower made by the boyfren! =]





Me and the grandma, so happy!





Happy LATE Halloween!





<3hollicakes
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Birthday Cupcakes and Some Sweet Progress.




Friday was a very special day.

I had a simple and fun cupcake order. AND my business cards FINALLY came in the mail! My first ever business cards. So freakin’ excited. =]

My amazing and talented boyfriend designed the cards and I absolutely LOVE them!

What do you think? Cute, huh?

Anyways! Back to the cupcakes. Simply Vanilla.



I rolled out some pink fondant and used a mini flower cookie cutter! Then I brushed them with some luster dust. I actually used the end of the paintbrush to get the little indentations in the middles of the flowers.



Hm so it seems like every time I bake I end up forgetting to take pictures at a certain point. And this time it is the Swiss Meringue Buttercream. But I’ve made vanilla cupcakes and buttercream and documented it before! You guys should be fine...right?

I hope so. Well here’s the finished product...Not sure how I feel about this green background though, hmmm.



If anyone in the Orange County Area would like to order cupcakes, CALL ME! =]




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A Night in the City: Sweet 16



These cupcakes were so much fun to make. Especially the fondant purses and shoes...So freakin cute.

So this order was for a good friend’s sister, none other than her sweet 16! The theme being “night in the city” with cheetah and zebra print in hot pink and teal!

Here is how it all went down...



In the oven!



I spent a good amount of time cutting out circles, so worth it though =]
And this is the only pic I got of the stencils I used for the shoes and purses..



60 cupcakes total, plus extra for the fam to munch on.



Birthday toppers finished! J for Jenna and M for Maddie!



Opposite colors!



My new johnny cupcakes shirt matches the frosting! Love it.




The cupcake flavors were Chocolate and Vanilla, with Swiss Meringue Buttercream! This is probably my favorite chocolate cupcake recipe because it is SO good and super easy.

Chocolate Cupcakes
-makes about 24

3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (I used half regular cocoa, half dark chocolate cocoa)
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup warm water
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with liners; set aside. In a large mixing bowl, sift together cocoa, flour, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2.Add the eggs, warm water, buttermilk, oil, and vanilla; mix batter until smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides and bottom of bowl to assure batter is well mixed.
3.Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about one-third full. Bake until tops spring back when touched, about 20 minutes, rotating pan once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.


My vanilla cupcake recipe is featured a few posts back for the Surfboard Cupcakes, and the Swiss Meringue Buttercream recipe as well!

So I totally failed at taking pictures of the making of the fondant purses and shoes...I’m sorry!

But basically all I did was color the fondant, roll it out, printed a stencil (see a few pictures up). Then I cut out a shoe and a purse from each, and used an exacto knife to cut each one out of the fondant! I used an edible black marker to make the zebra stripes! I wish I would have taken pictures, I even had the brother of the birthday girl cutting out purses =] haha.




I also used hot pink and teal edible glitter on these cupcakes, but it is hard to see in photos!




Happy Sweet 16 Jenna!

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Surfboard Cupcakes!



So this past Labor Day weekend was a busy weekend for me!

A good friend I used to work with ordered 24 surf-themed cupcakes for her cousin’s 16th birthday. There were a couple of different themes I could have picked from, but I went with beach/surfing since summer is almost over!

I heard the birthday girl was a fan of the color “Tiffany Box Blue” so I couldn’t resist these cute liners.



All my ingredients, including the Macbook and the vanilla extract I bought when I was on vacation in Cabo San Lucas!



Dry ingredients combined.



And wet ingredients combined.



Ready for the oven!




Vanilla Cupcakes
-makes 30

1 3/4 cups cake flour, not self-rising
1 1/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes
4 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract


1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine flours, sugar, baking powder, and salt; mix on low speed until combined. Add butter, mixing until just coated with flour.
2. In a large glass measuring cup, whisk together eggs, milk, and vanilla. With mixer on medium speed, add wet ingredients in 3 parts, scraping down sides of bowl before each addition; beat until ingredients are incorporated but do not overbeat.
3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling about 2/3 full. Bake, rotating pan halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 17 to 20 minutes. (Mine ended up baking for 30 minutes.)


Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. Combine egg whites, and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
3. At low speed, add butter to egg whites, and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.


I added some Wilton gel food coloring in Teal to my frosting.



What would I do without my boyfriend? Not have sweet decorating shots, duh.



Last one!



Where did I get these adorable surfboards you ask? At ShopBakersNook.com, you can find the surfboards HERE.



I LOVE my new cake stand, thank you Crate and Barrel =]



It is hard to see in photos, but I actually sprinkled each one of these cupcakes with hot pink edible glitter!



Boxed up and ready to go!





More yummy treats coming soon.

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Día de los Muertos Cupcakes



aka, Day of the Dead Cupcakes.

In July? I know what you’re thinking. You see, a few days after I made wedding cupcakes for Janine Jarman, she called me back and asked if I could make some Day of the Dead themed cupcakes for a girlfriend’s bridal shower. I had never done anything using sugar skulls, but I was too excited for the challenge to say no =]

So I had about 2 weeks to come up with an idea for these cupcakes, the specifications were; 20 red velvet, 20 marble, sugar skulls on top, red purple and pink as main colors.

I did some research online and found that most sugar skulls are made from molds. I found a Day of the Dead themed mold that featured 5 different skull faces that were the perfect size to put on top of a cupcake. Ordered and in the mail.

Next I couldn’t decide what I wanted to decorate these sugar skulls with. Royal icing? Edible food markers? A combination of both? Of course I chose both! But I didn’t have any edible food markers on hand so....ordered those as well. Figured I’d need them eventually anyways!

My deadline was Sunday July 11, and by that Tuesday all my supplies came in the mail. I may or may not be obsessed with ordering new baking supplies online =]

I knew that these cupcakes we going to take longer than your average cupcake order, so Dylan and I started on Thursday. We actually ditched our Economics class that night to stay home and make sugar skulls, hahah. My baking teacher would be proud, my econ teacher....not so much. So that night we managed to create exactly 40 sugar skulls, it took about 4 hours. Let them dry/harden overnight.

Sugar Skull Recipe

2 1/2 cups sugar
1 egg white from an extra large egg, or 2 from small eggs
1 teaspoons light corn syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla
Cornstarch, about a half cup, for powdering surface

Mix all ingredients together until a sandy dough is formed. In order to get 40 sugar skulls, I had to make this recipe 5 times. And before putting the dough mixture into the molds, make sure to dip them in cornstarch and sprinkle a good coat of cornstarch on the mold as well. They can be VERY sticky.

Oh Friday. Luckily I worked a day shift at my other job so I had all night to work on decorating the sugar skulls. Dylan my wonderful assistant came over and we worked for 4 more hours hand decorating these skulls with royal icing and edible markers.

The beginning.



The sugar skulls actually stuck to these platters a little bit once they dried, but no need to panic, mini offset spatula to the rescue! You can see the remenents of the stuck skulls in the picture below.



Workin hard with the boy, my mom insisted on a picture while making dinner.



Finally finished!



So I made the Red Velvet cupcakes before work that Saturday, and I totally forgot to take any pictures of them! What can I say, I love to sleep in. But the Marble cupcakes were made after work when I was much more awake, hence the photo edidence of them...



My favorite swirl.




Marble Cupcakes
-Makes 16 cupcakes

1 3/4 cups cake flour (not self-rising), sifted
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup milk, room temperature
1/3 cup heavy cream, room temperature
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1/4 cup boiling water

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Stir together cake flour, baking powder, and salt. Combine milk and cream.

With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and granulated sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in vanilla. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of milk mixture, and beating until combined.

To make chocolate batter, measure out 1 cup batter, and transfer to another bowl. Combine cocoa and the boiling water in a bowl. Stir into reserved 1 cup batter.

Fill prepared cups with alternating spoonfuls of vanilla and chocolate batter, filling each three-quarters full. Run the tip of a paring knife or wooden skewer through batter in a figure-eight motion to make swirls. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until tops are golden and a cake tester (i.e. toothpick) inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.


For this recipe I used a 1½ batch in order to get 24 cupcakes.



Red Velvet Cupcakes
-makes 24 cupcakes

2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color (I added a little extra to get a darker red color)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.




*Note on the Red Velvet Cupcakes. I’ve been using this recipe for a while now, and have been experimenting with it in order to create the perfect red velvet cupcake! My dilemma is that I want my red velvet cupcakes to be a deep red with a hint of brown, BUT this recipe has been giving me quite the opposite, icky brown colored cupcakes with a hint of red. I originally didn’t want to resort to adding more red food coloring, because it is known to make food taste bitter if too much is used. However, I think I finally found my perfect recipe for red velvet which does include a little extra red food coloring! So keep an eye out for my new recipe coming up in the next few weeks!





Fluffy Vanilla Frosting
-makes 4 cups

1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Directions
With an electric mixer, beat butter on medium-high speed until pale and creamy, about 2 minutes.

Reduce speed to medium. Add the confectioners' sugar, 1/2 cup at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl as needed; after every two additions, raise speed to high and beat 10 seconds to aerate frosting, then return to medium-high. This process should take about 5 minutes. Frosting will be very pale and fluffy.

Add vanilla, and beat until frosting is smooth. If not using immediately, frosting can be refrigerated up to 10 days in an airtight container. Before using, bring to room temperature, and beat on low speed until smooth again, about 5 minutes.




Love the mustache.















Boxed up and ready to go!










Although these cupcakes took a very long time to complete, it was definitely worth it. I just might have to recreate these when October rolls around...


<3hollicakes
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My First Wedding Cupcakes!




Last weekend I was lucky enough to be able to make cupcakes for a wedding! A friend from high school ordered them for her sister Janine Jarman’s wedding, who you may have seen on the TV show Shear Genius a few years back. A dozen red velvet and a dozen lemon cupcakes. The wedding colors/theme I had to work with were mint green, peach, and pastel blue with a vintage-like feel.

Simple enough right? I decided to stick with my favorite frosting, a swiss meringue buttercream for both. Tinted light peach for the red velvet and an elegant white for the lemon cupcakes. I found some pearlized sugar sprinkles in ivory and mint green that matched perfect with the theme! BUT, there was still something missing. Back to the cake supply store I go...... And it was there I found what I was looking for; light yellow mini frosting roses to top off the cupcakes!

Being the procrastinator that I am, I left myself with only half a day to bake, decorate, photograph and box up these cupcakes. So thank you to my boyfriend/assistant for remembering to take these pictures =]




Red velvet cake batter in the mixer!



I don’t know why but I LOVE this picture. Maybe because it’s my lil’ KitchenAid, or maybe because I can see my favorite color blue reflecting in the metal, or because red velvet cupcakes are being made. Who knows, I just know I love it.



These came out PERFECTLY rounded, I was so stoked.




Red Velvet Cupcakes
2 1/2 cups cake flour (not self- rising), sifted
2 tablespoons unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 teaspoon red gel-paste food color (I added a little extra to get a darker red color)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons distilled white vinegar

Directions
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cake flour, cocoa, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, whisk together sugar and oil until combined. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Mix in food color and vanilla.

Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk, and whisking well after each. Stir together the baking soda and vinegar in a small bowl (it will foam); add mixture to the batter, and mix on medium speed 10 seconds.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

Hello beautiful cupcakes!






Lemon Cupcakes

3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
2 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
Finely grated zest of 3 lemons (about 3 tablespoons), plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup buttermilk

Directions
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt.
With an electric mixer on medium-high speed, cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is until incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Beat in zest and vanilla.

Add flour mixture in three batches, alternating with two additions of buttermilk and lemon juice, and beating until just combined after each.

Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three-quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until golden brown and a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool completely before removing cupcakes. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.





Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. Combine egg whites, and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
3. At low speed, add butter to egg whites, and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.





Mmm lemon!



















Thank you so much to my friend Corie for thinking of me when ordering cupcakes! And congratulations to Matt and Janine! Check out
A Shear Genius Wedding in People Magazine!

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Father's Day Extravaganza.

So Father’s Day was a few weeks ago, I know I’m slacking. Anyways, my grandma ordered 75 cupcakes from me for a brunch that her community was having, so exciting! Well she didn’t mention anything specific, so I was free to design the cupcakes however I wanted. I starting thinking sports and BBQs....typical dad-like things.

So since I needed 75 for the order, and some extra for my dad and family friends AND one day to bake and decorate ALL of them, I decided to use boxed cake mixes. Not my favorite, but it works when you need a ton in a short amount of time.

Let’s look at the process, a very fun 7ish hour day of baking and decorating!



Caramel cream steaks, haha.



Candy shishka-bobs.



Ever seen cupcakes look like a BBQ grill?



Hmm what sport could these be? I’m thinkin some red laces...



Baseball!



The assembly line. Couldn’t do it without my assistant and my Cactus Cooler.



Oh balls.



Day at the golf course anyone?





What You Need:

- 75 cupcakes, any flavor
(25 for golf, 25 for basketball&baseball, and 25 for BBQs)

Golf Course
- 25 cupcakes
- about 3/4 cup green sugar
- 1 package of white Tic-Tacs
- 13 toothpicks
- about 15” ribbon 1/2” to 1” wide
- double-sided tape
- 1/2 cup fine graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/4 cups white buttercream frosting

1. Place green sugar in a shallow bowl. Frost cupcakes with a thin, smooth coat of buttercream, then dip in green sugar making sure to coat evenly.
2. Making the Flags; Cut the ribbon into 1” pieces, use double-sided tape on inside to wrap around toothpick. Cut into triangles.
3. Place flags on top of 13 of the cupcakes, as well as a Tic-Tac, pushing it halfway into the cupcake so it looks round like a golf ball.
4. Use about 1/2 teaspoon of graham cracker crumbs on each of the remaining 12 cupcakes, shaping the sand-traps with your thumb. Add a Tic-Tac as a golf ball where ever you want, or leave them without!


Sports Cupcakes
- 25 cupcakes
- about 1 cup orange non-pareils
- about 1 cup white non-pareils
- 1/4 cup black frosting
- 1/4 cup red frosting
- 1 1/4 cups white frosting

1. Frost cupcakes with a thin, smooth coat of buttercream. Place orange and white non-pareils in separate shallow bowls.
2. Dip half the cupcakes in orange, and the other half in the white, making sure to coat them evenly.
3. Place the black frosting in a piping bag with a small round tip, pipe the laces on the basketballs. Do the same with the red frosting on the white cupcakes for the baseballs.


Let’s BBQ
- 25 cupcakes
- multi-colored gummy candies (enough for 18 shishkabobs)
- 32 Hot Tamales
- 16 caramel creams shaped into steaks
- 1/4 cup gray frosting
- 18 toothpicks
- 2 tablespoons orange sugar

1. Place gray frosting in piping bag with small round tip. Pipe 5 lines on each cupcake to make the grill, sprinkle with a pinch of orange sugar for the hot coals.
2. Cut the gummy candies into small squares or triangles, then add them to the toothpicks, 5 each in alternating colors. Place 2 shishka-bobs on 9 of the cupcakes.
3. Add 2 steaks to 8 of the cupcakes, adding little “grill marks” with the leftover gray frosting.
4. Add 4 hot dogs (Hot Tamales) to the remaining 8 cupcakes, also giving them grill marks with the gray frosting.

Enjoy! =]



It’s time for your close-ups, little cupcakes!








I ended up taking these photos the next day, and my red laces bled into the white of the baseball =( Oh well though!






Let’s have a BBQ.






Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there! And if you were one of my neighbors or friends you may have gotten one of these...




I know its after Father’s Day, but these cupcakes are also great for birthdays, summer BBQs, and sports parties!

Another update coming soon......my first wedding cupcakes!

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Ants at a Picnic!



Hey there my cupcake lovers. I have a really fun post for you today! =]

So for Memorial Day my family was invited to a BBQ that was free as long as you brought some sort of dessert, and OF COURSE, any excuse to bake and I’m there. I had a few suggestions for patriotic or American flag cupcakes, but I wanted to do something different and save the red, white&blue for 4th of July!

You see, a few months ago I bought the newest addition from the author’s of Hello, Cupcake called What’s New, Cupcake.



And this is the very first time I’ve used it. I chose Ants at a Picnic, the perfect dessert for any backyard BBQ!

And I’m going to be honest with you guys, I used a boxed cake mix, Funfetti to be exact. Although homemade cupcakes are better, boxed cake mixes produce moist and sturdy cupcakes that are perfect for when you’re going to be spending extra time on the decorating.

You Will Need:
1 box Funfetti Cake Mix
1 can Vanilla Frosting
Brown Peanut M&M’s or round/oval chocolate candies
1/4 cup chocolate frosting
2 cups finely chopped coconut
green food coloring
5-8 watermelon candy slices
your favorite cupcake liners

But I have another confession to make...
My assistant, aka very helpful boyfriend, did 95% of the baking portion of these cupcakes. Although it was a boxed cake mix, maybe he shouldn’t get too much credit =] Anyways, this mix made 20 cupcakes. So that means 40 brown M&M’s. 20 brown Sixlets (or any other type of round chocolate candy), and 120 little frosting legs.



With that said, the decorating on the other hand was all me! I used a regular vanilla frosting and dyed it green. Next frost the cupcakes with a smooth coat, making sure to get the sides almost all the way to the liner. Then take about 2 cups of finely chopped coconut in a ziplock bag, add a few drops of green food coloring, and SHAKE! Pour the coconut onto a plate, then roll the edges of the cupcakes, making sure to get an even width of coconut all the way around.



Next, arrange the M&M’s in rows of 3 on each cupcake. Put the chocolate frosting in a piping bag with a small round tip and pipe 6 bent legs on each ant, 3 on each side. Give the little guys some antennas. For the watermelon candies, pipe small teardrops to make the “seeds”.



On to the hardest part, getting the watermelons to stand up on the poor little ants. So the book made it look and sound easier than it really is. The only way I got them to stay is if I used some chocolate frosting to attach them, immediately put them in the fridge to solidify the frosting “glue”. It only takes about 15-20 minutes, but getting them from the counter to the fridge is the tricky part! I actually put a plate into the fridge, put down the cupcake, and attached the candies right there to avoid having to carry them and risk having the cute watermelons fall over!

Arrange cupcakes in a line and serve!







Until next time...
<3hollicakes
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Wizard of Oz Cupcakes!



“A heart is not judged by how much you love; but by how much you are loved by others.” -The Wizard of Oz


A friend of mine at work was having her graduation from college this past week, and requested some Wizard of Oz Cupcakes! They were technically supposed to be for her birthday in March, but I was ridiculously busy at the time and unfortunately had to postpone =[ BUT, my schedule has finally slowed down so I decided it was definitely time. So back in March I ended up ordering these adorable handmade Wizard of Oz cupcake toppers from Etsy. The seller’s store is called Cupcakes and Dragonflies, you can find it HERE!

The requested cupcake flavor was chocolate, so I used a Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcake recipe!

Devil’s Food Chocolate Cupcakes
makes about 30

3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
3/4 cup hot water
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/4 teaspoons coarse salt
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter
2 1/4 cups sugar
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line standard muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together cocoa and hot water until smooth. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
2. Melt butter with sugar in a saucepan over medium-low heat, stirring to combine. Remove from heat, and pour into a mixing bowl. With an electric mixer on medium-low speed, beat until mixture is cooled, 4 to 5 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until each is incorporated, scraping down sides of bowl as needed. Add vanilla, then cocoa mixture, and beat until combined. Reduce speed to low. Add flour mixture in two batches, alternating with the sour cream, and beating until just combined after each.
3. Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each three- quarters full. Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 15 minutes; turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely. Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to 2 months, in airtight containers.

So I was super into baking and decorating that I didn’t end up taking very many pictures of the process!



Somewhere Over the Rainbow.



Adorable toppers!




For the frosting I tinted a batch of Swiss Meringue Buttercream yellow and green! Here is the recipe.

Swiss Meringue Buttercream

5 large egg whites
1 1/4 cups sugar
2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt


1. Combine egg whites, and sugar in the heatproof bowl of an electric mixer. Set bowl over a pan of simmering water. Whisk constantly until sugar has dissolved and whites are hot to the touch, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Transfer bowl to the electric mixer. Using the whisk attachment, mix on low speed, gradually increasing to high speed, until stiff, glossy peaks form, about 10 minutes.
3. At low speed, add butter to egg whites, and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and salt, and continue mixing until incorporated.


So after your cupcakes are baked and frosting whipped up, the fun part starts! For the yellow brick roads I started by applying a really smooth coat of the yellow buttercream to one half of the cupcakes with a mini offset spatula. Then I took a toothpick and outlined what I wanted the “road” to look like. You can probably skip that step, but I’m much better at piping straight lines when I have some sort of a template. Next, I dyed some frosting gray, filled up my piping bag fitted with a very small round tip and filled in the road. Stick the cupcake toppers in and you’re done!

The rainbows where a little bit more involved, I started by coating the cupcakes with frosting tinted green. Then I measured out the size I wanted the sour belt rainbows to be, and cut out the total number needed. Next I cut a bunch of mini marshmallows in half, aka the clouds. And the next step is just combining the rainbow and the clouds together on top of the cupcake! You can make the rainbow as tall or short as you want, but wider is better because they stand up better. Then you attach the marshmallows, sticky side down, on either side of the rainbow to secure it! Add some red sprinkles for a poppy field and you are done!


Happy baking my loves.
<3hollicakes



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Carrot Cupcakes&Cream Cheese Frosting!



So the father of one of my best friend’s ordered 30 carrot cupcakes this past week for a birthday party, and even though it’s nearly finals week at school, I could not turn it down! I was so excited to actually get paid for all my hard work! The requested theme was bold colors and glitter. I made a double batch so there would be leftovers for my family&friends to try! A little over 2 pounds of freshly grated carrots went into these cupcakes, mmm!

Carrot Cupcakes
(makes about 24)

1 pound carrots, finely grated (I used a food processor)
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups vegetable oil
1/3 cup buttermilk
1 vanilla bean, halved lengthwise, seeds scraped and reserved (I used 1 teaspoon vanilla extract instead)
1/2 cup golden raisins
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground ginger
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line muffin tins with paper liners. Whisk together carrots, eggs, sugar, oil, buttermilk, vanilla-bean seeds(or extract), and raisins. In another bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and spices. Stir flour mixture into carrot mixture until well combined.
2. Divide batter among liners, filling 3/4 full. Bake until a cake tester inserted in centers comes out clean, 23 to 28 minutes, rotating tins halfway through. Transfer tins to racks to cool for 10 minutes. Remove from tins; let cool completely.

The flour mixture.



The wet ingredient mixture, minus the carrots.



2lbs of carrots!



ready for the oven...



done! just looking at this picture makes me hungry.



the decorating process.



finished product =]








And for the frosting I used a classic cream cheese recipe, I also made a double batch.

Cream Cheese Frosting

8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 pound (4 cups) confectioners' sugar, sifted
3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Beat cream cheese and butter on medium speed until combined. Continue to beat while adding confectioner’s sugar 1/2 cup at a time. Add vanilla, and beat until fluffy, about 5 minutes.


I hope you guys enjoyed my new style of cupcake photography, more to come soon I promise!




<3hollicakes

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