Tuesday, June 22, 2010

DIY wedding cupcakes

only 4 of 6 lbs used
The thing that led me to start this blog was preparing to make wedding cupcakes, and now I'm done!  In fact, I was done a week and a half ago.  I'm not sure what my next baking goal will be, but let me tell you a little about the wedding cupcake tower...

So the day before the wedding, my friend Kristine and I decorated all of the cupcakes we'd made the week before and frozen.  We ended up using about 6 lbs of powdered sugar and 1.5 lbs of butter to frost the 90+ cupcakes we made.  About half got simple vanilla buttercream (from the Domino sugar box) and half got chocolate butter frosting.

I piped the frosting onto each one, an then Kristine immediately (to make sure they'd stick on) dusted them with chunky white sugar sprinkles.  The vanilla-frosted ones also got little edible pearls, which she pressed in one by one (you have no idea how patient she is with things like that).

Let me tell you, frosting dozens of cupcakes is time consuming!  I thought it was absurd when I called bakeries in February to ask how much wedding cupcakes cost (the answers I got:  starting at $3.50-$4.00 per cupcake; stand and setup additional!).  But with two of us working on them, this took a good 6 hours, and the cupcakes were already baked!  I guess somebody more experienced would be faster than we were, but really, it's a lot of work.  If you are planning to make your own wedding cupcakes, make sure you have the time!

Despite my prior failure are cake-decorating, I decided to have a small cake on the top tiered of the stand.

I made two 6-inch chocolate cakes (okay I really made 3, but the first one totally fell apart when I tried to get it out of the pan, reminding me what am amateur I really am).

And then I coated it with a thin layer of frosting to seal in the crumbs.  (I wish I had known to do this intuitively or something, but really I just happened to watch a YouTube video a couple of months ago showing how to frost a cake.)

Then I covered the whole messy, frosted thing with fondant (which, admittedly, I bought and did not make.  I figured Wilton knew what to do better than I did) because I didn't think I could get frosting to look very smooth.  And, finally, I make a border around the top and bottom with some Ateco tips (I'd love to tell you which ones, but as I am in the midst of a cross-country move, they are packed away on the roof of the car and I don't have the desire or ability to dig them out.  Some day, if you keep reading, you will know which tips I used.  That day is not today).  And then the florist made a pretty cake topper. And there you have it:  a [sort of] professional[ish]-looking wedding cake!

Besides oodles of cupcakes. we also had Italian cookies and a frightening amount of candy for people to eat.

And after all that planning and practicing, it's over!  I'm not sure what I should work on next.  Continue with cupcakes?  Practice cake-decorating some more?  Branch out and try a different baked good?  I have time to decide though, because right now I'm on the move and have no kitchen.  I do, however, hope to find a couple of good cupcakes along the way.  

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