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.

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.