August 11, 2009, 11:26 am
Filed under: yummy in the tummy

Is there anything more festive than cupcakes?  Except, perhaps, for Champagne — in a category all its own — I think not.

cupcakemontagetopbumblebee | butterfly | sunflower | spring | chrysanthemum | sprinkles

Here are the cupcakes I made for our birthday picnic on Sunday.  I used the Magnolia Bakery chocolate cupcake recipe {buttermilk in cupcakes is so brilliant} as well as their Vanilla Buttercream Frosting recipe with a few tweaks of my own {a little more than half the sugar, but twice the amount of milk, which I substituted with cream}.  So delicious!

mycupcakesThis was my first attempt with a piping bag, hence the simple polka dot design.  I found this basic design really easy, so next time I’ll step it up a notch.  My younger sister decorated cupcakes for the bridal shower of our brother’s fiancee, held on the same day back home in Pennsylvania, and really showed me up!


One other thing I learned is that I don’t like using food colouring — the reason for the baby pinks and greens rather than the richer colours I had originally intended to mirror the invitations.  Once I started down the path, it just seemed, well, icky to add chemicals like that after making the effort to make something gorgeous, with real ingredients like free range eggs and organic butter, from scratch.  It got me to thinking of other ways to colour and decorate…  using gourmet candies maybe?


Or fruit, like this:

fruittopsmartha stewart | lily vanilli | enjoy cupcakes

How about colouring frosting with mint extract, or rosewater, like Clothilde of Chocolate and Zucchini did for her August birthday?


A bakery called Enjoy Cupcakes in Los Olivos, California, featured yesterday on Design*Sponge for their great decor AND delicious treats, features a rainbow of goregous, creative natural flavours “inspired by local produce, flavors, wines and respect for food” in their home near the Santa Ynez Valley…they are my new *idols* in naturally-flavoured cupcake creation.


A new menu of flavours is featured all the time.  This week features Chocolate Blackberry Syrah (chocolate, syrah infused cake, filled with dark chocolate belgium fudge, topped with blackberry frosting and a wine soaked blackberry that’s rolled in sugar crystals), Pink Verveine Champagne (bubbly champagne cake, filled with verveine infused pastry cream, topped with fresh raspberry frosting), Subtle Spicy Chocolate (chocolate spice cake, filled with ancho chili & cayenne fudge, topped with a spicy dark chocolate brown sugar frosting), Mandrin Orange Creamsicle (vanilla cake, filled with orange curd, topped with orange buttercream (made with fresh squeezed OJ)), Smores (chocolate cake, layered with buttery graham cracker crumbs & dark chocolate chunks, topped with marshmallow frosting and roasted marshmallows), and Sugar Daddy (vanilla bean cake, filled with vanilla bean caramel, topped with cream cheese frosting – swirled with caramel).  !!!   Amber, *pretty please,* write a cookbook!

Now, what can we celebrate next???


2 Comments so far
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thanks so much for the lovely words. you made my day! blessings to you, amber

Comment by amber

[…] remember when I banished food colouring from my decorative baking adventures?  I must confess, I’ve had a bit of a […]

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