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.

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.