How to Make Cupcakes

My officemate at work has a birthday this week. She took a half day yesterday and took all of today off from work. We typically do something special for eachothers' birthdays, but due to various circumstances (mainly the reason I had to wear pantyhose yesterday), we weren't able to do something birthday-y yesterday, so we just planned on doing it Friday. I volunteered to make cupcakes. Lane's birthday is next week (AGHHH!!!) and I 'm planning on making and decorating the cupcakes for his party so I figured this would be great practice. Right. Sometimes? I'm an idiot.

I emailed my SIL about advice on cake decorating tips and made my way to Hobby Lobby on the way home this afternoon. I left Ryan and Lane in the car because I figured I'd run in, grab a simple decorating set, and pop right back out. Now...I consider myself a fairly crafty person. I have rarely ever gotten anxious while picking items out in the craft store. However, today I stood there and saw all those cake tips, frosting bags (honestly, why so many sizes?), smoothers, molds, and couplers...and came close to a meltdown. After ten minutes (and I don't know how many points in blood pressure) I grabbed four tips, a box of disposable bags (completely sure they'd last forever because I'd be all 'economical' and reuse them), and a coupler and ran to the checkout line.

After supper I mixed up my batter and pulled out the cupcake pan. The birthday girl just happens to be on Weight Watchers so I was trying to figure out a way to bring cupcakes without her feeling like we were trying to sabotage her. I decided to make the mini cupcakes (the kind you typically eat 12 of because, hey, they're smaller). I then had the brilliant idea to put the batter in the frosting bag and 'practice' squeezing it into each muffin hole. Right. Turns out that cake batter still has tiny, little clumps in it. And it turns out that clumps clog that cute little tip. And although tooth picks unclog the tips, you create a huge mess when the 'dam' breaks and batter goes flying out. After finally getting all 24 mini cupcakes filled, I put them in the oven. And then I thought, 'There's no way in heck I'm doing that again.' I hunted and found my little heart shaped cake pan and mumbled, "That'll work."

Once cooked (and bag cleaned of cake batter...'cause I'm, I let them cool off for a bit. I then carefully read the directions for the coupler and assembled my bag, coupler, and tip. And then I realized, this coupler thing is pretty nifty. It sure would have been nice when I tried cake decorating YEARS ago with my granny. Probably would even have kept all that frosting from oozing out the sides of that stupid bag and hearing her say, "Ugh...this would make a preacher cuss." What will they think of next?

So...loaded the bag of frosting (chocolate...bliss) and started making those little dot things. LOVE these. They're pretty, they look nice, and they're WAY EASY.

Then I made a few 'low-fat' cupcakes.

And then I got a little stupid.
By the way, I'm taking them in my cutey-patooty cupcake holder my SIL gave me for Christmas. LOVE IT.

My heart cake was finally done and after letting it cool I tried to get it out of the pan. Ugly things happen when you forget to spray the pan well...heart-breaking things. For instance...your cute little heart shaped cake can break and crack down the middle. Yeah...enjoy the irony in that one. Now, I would have put frosting on the entire cake, but my right arm was already hurting from the cupckes and I also wanted to write something on the cake. I decided to put more little dots (I think they're actually called stars) around the edges. And then I decided I needed another row of dots/stars. And then I switched tips (yet ANOTHER wonderful use for that coupler thingy...think of the mess I had when I was trying to change tips without that thing!) to try out some lettering. I started the H for Happy Birthday and thought, "Dude, I can totally do this." I reached the second P and my forehead started wrinkling. I managed to get all three works down and breathed a sigh of relief. Then I remembered the crack close to the middle of the heart. Hmmmm....hey, why not put something there? Sure! Let's put...oh, I don't 'bout a smiley face? Perfect. That's definitely proof that I didn't buy the cake.

And now what to do with all that left over icing?

Although I'm a little impressed with myself (even though all my friends with AMAZING cake skills are probably cringing looking at these pictures) I think I'll be sticking to the sewing machine in the future. Cheers!


Table for Five said…
I am TOTALLY impressed. I'm like you. Consider myself pretty crafty. But cake decorating? Breaking out in hives just at the thought!

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