Heavenly Yet Beautiful Cupcakes

Starting my own cupcake company was a thrill and I learn so much. But I yearned for the calm of taking my time to create perfect little decorations and unique flavor combinations. After selling my business, I decided to focus on teaching my craft. I hope this site will inspire you to create and indulge in one of the best and most satisfying desserts...the cupcake.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I am so excited about this. Eeeeek!
I will be adding a new page on my website for cupcake items. We will be selling those darling laser cut cups, handmade cake stands, sugar decorations, candles, cards and other fabulous items. And, my little blog is going to become more instructional. I hope to inspire everyone to live outside the box. It's a fabulous place to be.

If you have any items that you would love to see on our site, let me know.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Bourbon is my new bestfriend

My Grandfather was a big fan of Bourbon. I remember cuddling up to him as he read the newspaper and sipped his Bourbon. I took a sip once while he left the room for a second and thought I was going to throw up. Actually it was more of a burning-I'm-going-to-choke sensation. And then it went to a get-this-car-battery-acid out of my stomach feeling. Overall, it wasn't pleasant. From that day on I stayed as far away from Bourbon as I could. Until just recently.

I wanted to create a fun flavor for the Holidays. Something unexpected. My mother (and business partner) and I found a recipe for a pudding that used eggnog. And the idea of an eggnog cupcake seemed fabulous.
We started by creating the eggnog pudding and the recipe called for Bourbon. I instantly cringed but stuck to the recipe. We then had to figure out what kind of cake to create. We mixed a base vanilla batter and then added several spices like nutmeg that made the raw batter taste more holiday-like. Once the cupcakes cooled, we piped in the Bourbon eggnog pudding into each cupcake. The aroma of the spices with the Bourbon eggnog was to die for. I was shocked on how yummy they smelled. Then came the frosting. We experimented with our buttercream which is our signature. It's what people love the most about our cupcakes. But instead of adding an eggnog mix to it, we went a step further and added more Bourbon along with a syrup. The end product was a knock-out.

I have now graduated to liking Bourbon in baked goods. It's a small step. But I'm proud.
Now we just have to work on the presentation.

Brett's Big Day

Some time ago Couture Cupcakes and the Children's Inn put together a contest for the kids to create their ultimate cupcake. A young boy named Brett won with his chocolate peanut butter cupcake. An we now sell those cupcakes! He is a boy with the dream to one day be a chef. So as his prize I called in a couple of favors and Brett got a killer prize. A car service picked Brett and his family up at the Children's Inn and took them downtown to the one and only Equinox restaurant. Todd Gray, the owner and Executive Chef, met Brett and took him under his wing for the afternoon.
Add Image

Here are a couple of pictures of young Brett doing what he loves the most, cooking. I also added an image of what he created. Doesn't that look delicious? Yum!!!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

The Holiday Orders Are Coming In!

Here is the first of many. I had fun making these. Using my new toy to make snowflakes, I created the little Christmas trees using several sizes of snowflakes. The snowmen were made with gum paste and toothpicks.

I'm now experimenting with wreaths. I'm trying to make them out of buttercream. I'm getting there.

I love this time of year. Sky is the limit in the baking world.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It's beginning to smell a lot like Christmas!

I am now starting to create my holiday cupcakes. This was my first shot at it. I have my first holiday order this week. I'm thinking of using the snowflakes this year as they can be used to create so many other things...like a Christmas tree.

Monday, November 24, 2008

It's a Girl!....Wait, it's 2 Girls!

I had the pleasure of creating some fabulous little delights for a friend of my mother's who was soon going to be a Grandmother. I was planning on creating a very elaborate design that include two sets of booties in pink as the mother-to-be is expecting twin girls. But when the order came in I realized I wouldn't be able to do that since the flavor they ordered was Antoinette (chocolate cake with pink raspberry frosting). The little booties would never show on the pink buttercream. So I went 180 on the design and created a simple yet sophisticated design using small butterflies that I hand painted to match the color scheme of the cupcakes.

The end result was fabulous. I frosted the cupcakes to look like roses and the little butterflies were added using wire so it appeared as if they were flying over the cupcakes.

I heard that the women at the baby shower were impressed not only with the decor, but with the taste. We just modified our raspberry buttercream and although it takes a long time to make. It is absolutely delicious. I could eat it with a spoon!

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Turkey Day is approaching!

Boy is it getting cold outside. Perfect weather to stay in the kitchen and experiment with cupcake recipes. We are hard at work to develop our Holiday flavors and decorations. I'm trying to be good this time. The last time we developed recipes I ended up eating quite a number of the experiments. But I am determined to resist.

But on to Turkey Day. I am shocked at how many orders we are getting for Thanksgiving. How great is it that cupcakes have made it to the Thanksgiving menu. Above is a shot I created for our website. I just love using cupcakes creatively. Can't wait to post our Holiday ones.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Baby On The Way

I created these little beauties for a baby shower (sorry for the poor image, I was rushing). I had so much fun making the duckies. The order came from Calirfornia and the client was delightful to work with. Anyone who tells me I can do what I want is a fabulous client. The recipients (here in DC) were absolutely blown away and I even got a lovely email complementing the taste as much as the decor. Made me feel like a proud peacock.

Now I'm working on a baby shower order for twin girls. Again, the client told me that I had full creative reign on these. I'll post them when I'm done.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

We have a winner!

We recently wrapped up the Children's Inn Ultimate Cupcake contest. The contest ended with a tasting at the Children's Inn where all the kids and parents could ahve a taste of the three cupcakes that won. But we needed to find the Ultimate Cupcake. And we did. A young boy named Bret won. His creativity was unparalleled. With 6 submissions from him alone, it was difficult to pick which one as they were all great.

We will be selling the cupcakes from now until january 31st and donating $1.00 of each cupcake sold to the Children's Inn. It's our way of giving back.

Also, we will be dropping off extra cupcakes to the Inn weekly so the children can enjoy something sweet.

We will be definitely doing this again. It was a wonderful experience and the children just loved it.

Above is Bret's Cupcake

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Today is the day...Go out and VOTE!!!

I made these for a last minute order for today, election day. They're simple, but cute. I hope everyone goes out and votes today. When I open my store, hopefully soon, I will give out one free cupcake to anyone that votes in 2012! That's a promise.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Children's Inn Ultimate Cupcake Contest

The submissions are in! Wow, these kids were very creative. Some of the flavor combinations were great and others where, well, so wonderfully childlike. My favorites were the ones that had 5-8 different frosting flavors, a dozen different types of sprinkles and toppings and cake flavors that I had never heard of. And submissions where the children added visuals were the best and will be kept forever.

After reviewing the submissions, we came up with two finalists and one winner. All three flavors will be named after the children who created them and will be added to the Couture Cupcakes' menu. Proceeds from the sales of these cupcakes will be donated to The Children's Inn.

We should have the new flavors up by November 15th!

Bonbons for Everyone!

I have been working and working on a way to ship my little delights and nothing has worked. But I was thinking about a cupcake the wrong way. It doesn't have to be a small cake with frosting on top...does it? What if the texture and taste were the same, but it just looked a tad diferent? That's when I thought of Cupcake Bonbons. These little bite size goodies are the answer I've been looking for. They taste just like a cupcake! I'm experimenting now by covering them in chocolate and liquid fondant to ensure they stay moist during transportation. Above is a picture of the first ones, Mrs. Kimery Cupcake Bonbons. Pumpkin flavor on the inside rolled in cinnamon and sugar and topped with a tiny bit of buttercream.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Queen of Cake

This past weekend I met my idol. Sylvia Weinstock. She is the Queen of my cake world. Silvia was in DC to promote her new book on sugar flowers. Everyone should get this book! It's art...plain and simple. The flowers this woman creates out of sugar look so natural, you can't tell the difference between real and sugar. And she started doing this as a hobby when she taught as a part time school teacher. No classes, no fancy equipment, just her imagination and creativity. Oh and did I mention she was 50 years old when she started. What a trooper!

And here's something interesting. Most, if not all, bakeries that make custom cakes and wedding cakes use fondant. She doesn't. She hates the stuff and refuses to use it on her cakes. So that adds even more difficulty as buttercream is temperature sensitive and can easily be ruined if it is not handled and transported correctly. So, I have decided that I too will never use fondant on any of my cakes. I also have made a promise to myself that until I can make flowers like The Queen of Cake, I will not make custom cakes. That may be a long (long, long, really long) time as I am sure this is not an easy thing to learn to do. My sugar flowers are so sad compare to hers. But I am determined and I hope that my otherwise annoying stubbornness will come in handy this time.
Here is are some images of her work.

Fall Rose

Fall is here and so are all the fall weddings. It's been a busy month and I'm happy to say that each wedding I did went very well. The picture above is a snapshot of a tower I did with roses in autumn shades. I just love it. The colors pop and the display is bold. There is nothing plain about this! I also include a picture of one of the bouquets I did which mixed real, silk and cupcake flowers.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Ultimate Cupcake Contest

When I was a teenager I became involved with The Children's Inn at NIH. I taught arts and crafts every Thursday. For all of you that are not familiar with The Children's Inn, here's a little bit about them:

The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health is a residential "place like home" for sick children and their families. Children come from across the country and around the world to stay together with their families in The Inn’s healing environment while receiving groundbreaking medical treatments at the NIH, the world’s leading biomedical research center. While the NIH takes care of the child’s medical needs, The Inn tends to the child’s heart, soul and spirit.

Volunteering at this wonderful organization was an amazing experience. I learned a great deal from the hundreds of children that stayed there. When I moved back here from Los Angeles, I decided I wanted to continue to volunteer there. However, my life wasn't as routine anymore and I just couldn't guarantee anything. So I decided to do the next best thing. I approached The Children's Inn with The Ultimate Cupcake Contest. I figured I could use my cupcakes to make a difference. They loved the idea and we created a fabulous contest for the kids.

The way it will work is similar to the Ben and Jerry's flavor contest. Children at the Inn will submit a form describing and designing their ultimate cupcake. From the cake flavor all the way to the toppings, the children will be able to create their own masterpieces. Once the cupcake submissions have been received, Couture Cupcakes will review them and select 3 winners. We will take two weeks to create the 3 flavors and they will be named after their creators. The cupcakes will be made available to the public as part of the Couture Cupcakes' menu. Proceeds from the sale of these 3 cupcakes will go directly to The Children's Inn. But the crowning moment will be a tasting at The Children's Inn where the children and families will vote on which cupcake is truly The Ultimate Cupcake.

I'm sure everyone is as curious as I am on what these kids will come up with. So I will be posting some of the ideas throughout the next month.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The Final Score: 8

Oh, today is a good day. However, it's been a tough week leading up to it. The Washington Post has been reviewing cupcakes around the area for the last 4 weeks. Initially I was disappointed they were not including me because I didn't have a store. Then I read their first and second reviewing. Boy was grateful they were not including me. The cupcakeries they reviewed got slaughtered. Honestly, if those things were written about my cupcakes...I would close up shop. And then came last week. One of my clients called me and expressed disgust that I was not included. Before I could tell her that I was ay-okay with the absence of Couture Cupcakes in the Washington Post's Cupcake Wars, she blurted out that she called the editor to complain. I froze. She went on to say that she gave him a piece of her mind and found out that there have been several people calling demanding they include me. I prayed that the editor didn't succumb to the pressure of my clients' demands. The next day I received an email from the editor asking me to answer some questions as they were including me in the Cupcake Wars reviews and I would be included in the next one. I almost passed out in fear. So I braced my self for the worst.

The days leading up to today were rough. I don't take criticism well when it comes to my cupcakes as I slave over them to make them perfect. I woke up really early this morning and twisted over to grab my laptop before I could clear the sleep from my eyes. I scrolled down to the scoring part and there it was....an 8 out of 10! I jumped out of bed and screamed. I was so excited and relieved. I then read the article 3 times. I was thrilled with what they had to say good and bad. So now comes the finally. The top scoring cupcakes will go through another round of tastings to see who makes the best cupcakes. Even if they don't choose mine, I am thankful that my little delights scored well with not only my loyal clients but a food critic.

Monday, September 29, 2008

And so the fall wedding came...

I worked hard on this one. The acorns were so hard to make as I had to take caramel squares and roll them into balls. Not fun to do as they are pretty hard squares. I loved the end result though. The wedding was a very intimate wedding at Wolf Trap. I Love that the bride and groom chose The Love Cupcake (our largest cupcake that serves as a cake) to top the tower. I cut long cigarette style cookies and used buttercream to "glue" them on the base so it looked like the paper cup of a cupcake. Great additional treat for all the guests! I think the whole thing worked very well for the season and the wedding theme.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Another Happy Customer

A couple of posts ago I showed a sassy order with shoes and handbags. Here is the final order and a very happy customer!

results of Sunday's Inspiration

Here are the results of my fun day.

Goofing around on a Sunday

When things are slow, I set up my patio table with cupcakes and wait for inspiration to hit me. Here is an image of what my table looked like after 3 hours of "being inspired".

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Where can you find Couture Cupcakes?

Oooooo.....I'm giggling with joy! My little cupcakes are now available at Tu-O-Tu Cafe in Georgetown and ACKC Cocoa Bar in Logan Circle + at their Del Rey, Alexandria location. I just can't believe I've made the jump to retail. And the cupcakes have been so well received! ACKC Cocoa Bar had their tasting last night. I made hundreds of Petite cupcakes in six flavors and 6 dozen Classics for them to have to sell. Of course I got sick over the weekend and was struggling to function so I couldn't attend the event. Well at around 8pm I got an email from one of the owners and not only did they give out all the Petites, but they sold out of the cupcakes!!! Now I have to scramble to get them more so they are stocked for the weekend. And did I mention I have 3 weddings to finish for this weekend. Yup...I will be pulling of all nighters tonight and tomorrow night. I already have my coffee pot programmed. Thank goodness I absolutely love what I do.

Sunday is my only day of rest, and what do I like to do? Experiment with flavor combinations. This Sunday I'm going to try and make a baklava cupcake. Welcome to my cupcake life.

Update: They sold out again in only a two days. So I'm going to spend my night tomorrow baking more yummy cupcakes for ACKC. It's just such a great feeling to see that my little cupcakes have become so popular!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fall is in the air...

Well, here they come. The fall weddings are coming in every week. I love this particular order. The theme is maple leaves and the colors I need to stick to are orange and green. I threw in the acorns made from caramel and chocolate sprinkles just to take it up a level. I thought fall wedding cupcakes deserve acorns.
This shot is a glance at the work in progress.  The bride chose to top the cupcake tower with our large cupcake called The Love Cupcake. I can't wait to see it all put together.

Sassy Order

I got a last minute order for a dozen cupcakes last week and of course it required a bit more than just frosting. All I was told is that the recipient loved shoes and purses. My kind of lady! Because of timing, I couldn't spend to much time on them, but I thinks the end result will be fabulous. Above is a shot of my work in progress. 

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Which frosting is best

I always get asked how I make my frosting because it literally tastes like a dessert on its own. I can't give my secrets away, but I can let everyone know it takes more than just butter and sugar.

I think that frosting is a personal thing, just like shoes. Some prefer simple while others prefer something more extravagant. I would venture out to say that my buttercream is like a Louboutin or maybe a Manolo stiletto. It takes me a long time to make my buttercream so I make it in tubs and freeze it. Yup, I admit, I freeze my buttercream. And honestly, it tastes so much better after it's been frozen and thawed. I don't know why, but it just does. But I doubt that most women have the time to dedicate to make a frosting and then freeze it, thaw it and pipe it. So here is a fabulous and quick buttercream:

Cream, Butter and Sugar: For every 2 sticks of butter add 3 cups of confectioner's sugar. The secret is to leave the butter out so it comes to room temperature. You can't cheat and put it in the microwave, it will usually get too soft and the balance will be off. Beat the butter until it has doubled in size. Add the sugar slowly. If you pour the 3 cups in all at once and start your handheld mixer, you'll cover yourself and your kitchen in confectioner's sugar. And don't get me started if there is any moisture on the floor or counter. You'll have a very sticky mess to clean. Once you've added a cup of the sugar add a tablespoon of heavy cream. Then add another cup of sugar and another tablespoon of cream. Keep going until your done. Now for the flavoring. If you are going for a simple vanilla buttercream, add your vanilla (a teaspoon will do for a small batch). If you are aiming to impress, buy vanilla beans. It really does make a difference. To extract the pods from the bean, simply cut down the length of the bean with a small knife. Split it open and either run a spoon down the inside of the bean collecting the little pods or run the back of your knife down the inside of the bean. Add them to your buttercream and mix well. Place the used bean in your buttercream and either put it in an air tight container to use later or leave it on the counter until you are ready to use it. The bean will continue to infuse your buttercream with vanilla. When you are ready, take the vanilla bean out and mix your buttercream. This is a yummy buttercream. For other flavors, like chocolate, melt milk chocolate over a double boiler or if you're lazy pour 1/4 cup heavy cream and 1 cup chocolate chips in a microwave proof bowl. Heat it under medium heat for 30 seconds. Check it and stir and put it back in for 15-20 seconds. Keep stirring and heating until it gets smooth like chocolate sauce. Let it cool a bit until it's slightly warm. Add it to your buttercream and whisk until incorporated.

For other flavors like lemon or strawberry: Please DO NOT USE extracts. Use real ingredients. It will taste a million times better.
For lemon flavor: zest a lemon and add the zest into your buttercream. Take a small bowl and pour in 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar and the juice of 2 lemons. Mix well and add mixture into buttercream. Whisk the buttercream. It will tasting amazing.

As for strawberry or any berry flavor: Get a jar of your favorite jam and add 1/2 -1 cup of it to your buttercream. It will taste much better than using oils or extracts. Trust me.

Hope this helps and inspires all of you!

Happy cupcake baking!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Elephants and Donkeys

The race is on. Who will it be? In honor of the political hype, here are some cute cupcakes with fondant sculptures on top. I made these just for fun. A little patience...and here they are.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Marianne's Cupcake

I created a group on the ever so popular website Facebook for my little cupcake company. I haven't figured out exactly what to do with the group, but so far I have several members. Two weeks ago I posted a question asking my members if they had any ideas for cupcake flavors. I'm working on launching a Fall Collection of flavors. So far I have Apple Crumble Pie (Jaclyn), Pecan Pie (Rose) and Pumpkin Spice (Tabitha). But yesterday evening I got a message on my Facebook from someone named Marianne. And she sent me two flavor combinations. The one that stuck out was her Baklava one. So that is going to be added to the Fall Collection if I can get my act together and create a Baklava cupcake. Marianne thought the combination of honey, walnuts and cinnamon would be great in a cupcake. I couldn't agree more! But how can I make it into a cupcake that screams Baklava? I'm going to try a couple of things. One, which I hope works, is to use phyllo dough as the cup and bake the cupcake in it.

In the meantime, above is a shot of Pamela, one of the latest and greatest flavors I launched.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Getting There

I haven't posted in a while. I have been swamped with orders, which, yes I know, is a good thing. And when I'm not baking I'm finishing my business plan so I can open my own shop. I'm almost finished and thanks to the help of my Father, my business plan will be solid. Having a former World Bank senior director as a Father definitely made a difference.

In the meantime, I have been working on polishing up my website and booking weddings and events. My carpenter is working feverishly to finish additional cupcake towers. We're getting a heart shaped one! It's adorable. I can't wait to photograph it and post it online.

This weekend I have a baby shower and Success In The City is having a little afternoon event at Saks Fifth Avenue. This will be the first time I put a logo on a cupcake. I'm trying to be creative with the presentation but I'm so limited if the logo has to be the focus of the cupcake. I want to add a little flower or maybe some sugar beads. But I'm scared it will look tacky.

The baby shower should be cute. I'm creating blush, pink and dark pink flowers to adorn the cupcakes. So cute!

Friday, July 25, 2008

So Couture

What can be better than shoes, purses and cupcakes. Absolutely nothing. 
A couple of weeks ago I drew the silhouette of the soles of my stilettos and reduced them using my copier. I cut them out and used them to create fondant soles. Then I needed to let them dry so they had an arch to fit the heel. My solution? I propped them up using the side of a medicine bottle. The rest was fun, the heel was easy to mold and the details on the strap took some time but nothing too painful. 
The purse, well, that I used a fabulous mold I found. 
What's next? I'm thinking pink pumps with a black ribbon.

I love my job.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Too Cute

I was playing around with some left over fondant and thought...how cute would it be to create little bumble bees. So I molded some, painted them and placed them on some cupcakes I made for a magazine editorial. I decided that it would be even more charming to include little ladybugs. I'm thinking of creating a line of these little sugar items and make them available for sale through Couture Cupcakes. I think decorations are so limited for cakes and cupcakes. They look generic. 
But these....too cute!

Traveling in Pink

Just recently I made an order that I just had so much fun doing. A client called me to create a dozen cupcakes for her birthday. She told me that this was the first birthday she was spending at home. Her past birthdays were spent in exotic countries. So she wanted a travel theme. She also told me her favorite color was pink and whatever I did had to have pink incorporated in it. So I thought long and hard and came up with luggage tags...in pink of course. These took me some time to make as I had to also include her name in the lug tags. The long hours paid off. Above is a picture of the order. Aren't they adorable?

Friday, July 18, 2008

Developing New Ones

Summer is the best time for Couture Cupcakes. This is our time to play!!! Orders slow down around mid-July through August, so we use this time to develop fun new flavors and items for the Fall and Holidays.
This weekend is dedicated to a new coconut. While in France I experimented with a recipe I found there. My goal is to finish with a coconut pineapple rum cupcake topped with a light frosting rolled in fresh coconut. I'm debating whether to soak the pineapple in rum or to just add the rum to the cake batter.
And then comes the name, I thought of a friend of mine's little girl named Mia, but since the cupcake carries rum...doesn't feel like a good fit. I need an exotic name, something sassy. Hmmmm. Any ideas?

My next 2 flavors are a Boston Cream Pie cupcake and a brownie cupcake. The Boston Cream Pie is going to be fabulous. I found a great custard recipe from Lady Bourman. I stayed with her while attending boarding school in England. She was an amazing baker. Her custard recipe is superb. So I will probably name the cupcake Lady Bourman. As for the brownie cupcake. I have had this recipe for a while. I developed it while recovering from a terrible car accident. I had broken my wrist and dislocated my arm ...I was a mess. But if it wasn't for the kindness of the firemen that took such good care of me, I'm sure I would of suffered more injuries. So as a thank you, I decided to make them brownies. Of course, I chose the wrong time to create them as I was on Darvocet ( a pain killer) for about a week. But I was determined. I also only had the use of one arm. So everything I added was estimated, I measured nothing as I couldn't be bothered. When they came out of the oven I was shocked that they had baked. I cut them up and placed them in a cookie tin. My dear friend Pamela helped me deliver them. I kept assuring myself that even if they were awful the firemen would still appreciate the thought and effort. Well, a day later I received a call from Fireman Steve saying that the cupcakes were the best they had ever had and if I could make more.  And I got a date with Firemen Steve, which was a nice bonus. The problem was, I couldn't remember what I added and how much. I had an idea. So, I made another batch adding the items I had used...which some were not traditionally used in making brownies. And the end result was even better than the first. Thereafter I started making these brownies every year for the fire station, mostly for holidays. They are super moist and delicious. So now I will be taking my accident brownies and turning them into a new cupcake flavor. The name? I am going to name the brownie after Pamela (Pam), who took such great care of me after the accident. Without her, I would of never recovered.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Strike A Pose

Today was such a great day. My little cupcakes were photographed for a editorial in one of the city's hottest magazines. I spent a week creating different little ornaments to jazz up the cupcakes. I now have so much inventory of sugar pieces, I just don't know what to do. Anyway, I snuck in behind the photographer to capture the moment.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Wedding Bells

This order was created for a small wedding. I used edible silver paint to give the frosting a certain glow and added a beautiful flower. The cupcakes were placed in lace cups. They looked great and the look on the bride's face was priceless. I have to say, having a cupcake business is a great. People are always happy to see you! But the best is when I get emails telling me how yummy they were. It is such a "feel good" business. Everyone should make cupcakes!

Mother's Day Best

Mother's Day week was a very busy week for my little cupcake business. I baked and baked and baked until I didn't know my own name. There were some orders that I was particularly proud of. The picture above shows an order I made for an event planner who was hosting a little brunch at her house. The only instructions I had were to make the cupcakes "over the top". So I did just that. I hand painted the butterflies in a iridescent sky blue. Each cupcake was placed in a lace cup and adorned with several flowers and sugar beads. I walked into her house feeling like I was carrying a work of art, a true testimony of utter fabulousness!
I hope to receive more orders where the only instruction is for "over the top" cupcakes!

Show Off

A client called me asking me if I could create a "girly" cupcake. She was turning 40 and wanted something cute and sweet. I asked her if she had any ideas and all she said is that she wanted the cupcakes to look too pretty to eat. So I sat in bed that night with the remote in one hand and a glass of Rose in the other and thought to myself...what would be too pretty to eat. I starred at my glass and thought...pink! And then I went on to pink roses and daisies and leaves and sugar beads and....what else could I put on them? I had to edit my list because if not the cupcakes would look like an explosion of gum paste and her guests would spend a good 30 minutes picking off all the decorations before getting to the actual cupcake.

The end result was sheer girlishness. I took some pink and purple roses and topped all the cupcakes. I added a smaller flower to balance the rose out so it didn't look like a beacon. The beads were a little extra bling.

I love orders like these. When customers give me a general theme to go by but let me create the final design. It's fun and really gives me the opportunity to be creative.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Make Them Beautiful

It is so easy to make cupcakes or cakes stunning. All you need is a little imagination and some time. There are places one can buy sugar flowers. I highly recommend buying them, but making them can be fun...especially for kids.
The ones in this image were purchased from http://www.fancyflours.com/. A great little site with fun and beautiful decorations. To make the leaves, I used left over frosting which I added green to. The tip is a leaf tip. Practice makes perfect when it comes to piping. You can find disposable bags and a variety of tips at http://www.fancyflours.com/ or http://www.michaels.com/.
You can use a recipe for cake to make cupcakes. However I would add more fat (butter or oil) to make sure the little ones don't dry out in the oven. If you are not much of a baker, the pre-mixed cake mixes are great. And for the frosting I would recommend making your own. A great recipe mixes soft unsalted butter with confectioner's sugar. I never give measurements because you should decide how sweet you want it. But generally it's 2 sticks butter to every 4 cups confectioner's sugar. For those with no patience or time, buying a tub of pre-made icing works. But I would try adding two sticks of soft butter and whipping it. It will give you a smoother and more "homemade" flavor.

The Birth Of Couture Cupcakes™

Presentation is everything. How you present a product to the desired demographic is key. And that's exactly what I thought when I developed the ad for Tiny Jewel Box titled 'Just a Little Frosting".

I moved to DC about two years ago from Beverly Hills, CA to take a job with a local jewelry company. My first task was to create fresh and eye-catching ads. The cupcake craze had just launched in Beverly Hills with the opening of Sprinkles. So cupcakes were definitely on my mind, especially since there were not cupcakeries in DC. I knew that I wanted to use a cupcake, but not an ordinary cupcake...I wanted Couture. So I approached a local pastry chef and he created a not so fabulous cupcake. He wasn't getting my vision. So that weekend I went to Michael's and purchased everything to make my dream cupcake. I bought Fondant, sugar flowers, cutters and a book on how to make decorations. I bought 8 boxes of instant cake mix and spent my weekend baking hundreds of cupcakes. After destroying my kitchen, I came out with four beautiful cupcakes. I photographed them and should them to the Chef. He said...aha! And within two days created spectacular cupcakes which were used to create a series of beautiful ads. After the ads launched, I looked at my box of goodies I purchased from Michael's and started to make more cupcakes. I spent several days finding the ultimate recipe from my Grandmother's cookbooks and baked away.
Soon, my friends were asking for my cupcakes. I got requests for "something pretty, something different". So I did just that. I developed unique flavor combinations and offered a variety of unique decorations. Some looked just too pretty to eat!

Finally, in April, I decided I wanted to share my passion for fabulous cupcakes with the public. I incorporated and got all my permits and licenses. I launched my website and a week later I got a call from Daily Candy. The next thing I know I'm being bombarded with orders. Not complaining, but it did shock me. I'm sure I disappointed a lot of people when I turned their orders away. I'm a stickler for quality and to make great anything, you need time. Quality cannot be rushed.

My future, well, I plan on opening a store and purchasing a very powerful and large oven that can make 200 cupcakes at a time. That way I can increase my capability and still make delicious and beautiful cupcakes.