September 5, 2016

Pastel Purple Flower Cupcakes.

Hi friends!! At the beginning of August I was asked by a dear friend of mine to bake cupcakes for her upcoming baby shower. I felt incredibly honoured and flattered by her request! I was also super excited to get things rolling because she asked if I could do my signature buttercream flowers on the cupcakes. {Click here to see my past work!} YAY! Piping buttercream flowers is my favourite thing to do in the world of baking. I find it very therapeutic, fun, and at the same time informative because I learn something new every time I pipe out another petal or flower; I learn what I like, dislike, if my buttercream is too thin, thick, cold, or warm, and if I'm applying too much pressure or too little pressure with the piping bag. If I'm not writing these things down I'm attempting to take mental notes. {I need to get better at taking notes while baking because I'm always telling myself that I'll easily remember every little step that I did...pfft! Nope, not the case!}

I was asked to do 4 dozen cupcakes. {48 cupcakes!!} 24 chocolate, and 24 vanilla. This was the biggest cake/cupcake order I've had yet, so I was super excited!! Learning from past experiences and mistakes, I baked half of the cupcakes {12 chocolate and 12 vanilla} the week before the baby shower, froze them {with my careful and tedious-for-good-reason cupcake freezing method} and then baked the other 24 cupcakes on the evening before the baby shower. I think some people look down upon freezing baked goods, because they're not considered "fresh" to them, but alot if not most cake decorators have freezers full of frozen cake layers/cupcakes because it saves them time on the day of decorating. But more than that, freezing cakes actually makes your cake moister. Seriously. {And if you're curious about how to properly freeze cakes, I'd love to share with you a tried and true way!}
I could have easily baked all 48 cupcakes at once, but one of the recipes I love I had only done for cakes so I needed to experiment how they held up in cupcake form and how many cupcakes it could yield. THANKFULLY they turned out perfectly because that recipe is my all-time favourite and I wanted to use it so bad for this order!

ALSO, baking some ahead of time helped me figure out what to price the cupcakes at. <---This part is always fun...not! But I must say, since I started pricing baked goods back in the beginning of the year, I have gotten much better at it! Compared to the time it used to take me to price cakes out, this order took no time at all! You guys, the fact that I've improved and progressed in this area makes me SO happy; I feel so encouraged because pricing and cost is a crucial part to the "business" of baking and I feel like I'm on my way!! :) Thank you, Lord!  <3

The evening before the baby shower {Friday} I finished baking all 48 cupcakes {truthfully, I baked a few extra in case some didn't bake properly, and I'm glad I did because there were a few cupcake liners that I didn't fill with enough batter. Oops!}

After experiencing hallucinations and nightmares all night involving some sort of cupcake catastrophe or distaster, on Saturday morning I woke up to my alarm at 7 am. Thank goodness because I had a nightmare that I woke up at 12 pm, leaving me less than 2 hours to whip up the buttercream frosting and pipe 48 floral buttercream cupcakes. Talk about a stressful sleep!! Anyone else experience dreams like this before a big event?!

In all honesty, I spent an extended amount of time on this buttercream frosting; like, much more time than most people would. I just wanted it to be absolutely perfect; not too sweet {especially this!!}, not too soft, not too firm, not too salty {I love salt's important for me to remember that not everyone loves salt as much as I do!}. I'm kind of particular in this way...I have a buttercream recipe that I go off of, but after I adding all of the measured ingredients that are listed I just go with the flow, adding a little more vanilla here and there, another teaspoon of salt, another 6 cups of icing sugar, ect. :P And best of all, it's ALL pure, amazing, delicious, melt-in-your-mouth butter. No filmy-feeling-on-the-tongue shortening.
But most of all, I wanted this frosting to be theeeee most perfect pastel purple ever!!

As I briefly mentioned in a previous blog post, I used my 6 QT Professional Series KitchenAid mixer for the buttercream and it was AMAZING. {I should really be getting paid by KitchenAid for saying this...} I've only had my stand mixer for a few months now, so I'm new to the working wonders of the glorious KitchenAid mixer and I must say it's practically life changing. It's like when you have a baby. All is well before your baby comes into the world, and you can't even imagine life WITH a baby in it. Now, after having a baby, you can't even remember your life "before-baby" and can't imagine life "without-baby". Ergo, I can't even imagine my life "without-my-pastel-pink-KitchenAid-stand-mixer". {bahah, how terrible was that comparison?! I thought it was fitting with the whole baby shower nice to me in your comments below... :P }

ANYWAY...This particular cupcake endeavour was my most organized and successful one yet, take this photo for example:

I have a clean kitchen {culinary school's classic: clean-as-you-go system}, all of the cupcakes are laid out in their fancy "boxes", and everything is set up in "assembly line" fashion; buttercream frosting, piping tips and couplers, disposable piping bags, cupcake wrappers, and glitter {which I never ended up using}.
I even had it all planned out of what piped flower designs I would do and exactly how many of each design as well. {I've progressed immensely!}
This is just beautiful. When I see cupcakes like this I see delicious blank slates, ready for anything. I get so so soooo excited and nervous {the good kind of nervous!} during this stage of baking because it's my favourite part and also the most crucial part. I just love piping flowers and applying all of the finishing touches!
 My first four cupcakes in the rose design, none of which I had to redo! I got it all perfect on the first try!! Ugh, what a good day.
A few hours later, DONE. 48 cupcakes DONE! I get asked how long it takes me to do each cupcake and honestly, it can go from a few seconds to a few minutes. The rose swirls for example take literally seconds, whereas the tiny-petaled-chrysanthemum designs take minutes because of the tediousness. {But the intricacy of the eye-appeal is totally worth it!}
Due to the annoyingly horrible indoor lighting our kitchen has to offer, the colour of the cupcakes you see in this photo is not true. In fact, they definitely look more pink here than they do purple. That is why whenever I am colouring my buttercream frosting I'm always dipping my spatula in the frosting and then walking over to our living room window and holding the spatula up against the white wall so that I can see the true colour of the frosting I've produced. I think I did this 10 + times trying to achieve the perfect pastel purple {and it SURE paid off}!
I bought these BEAUTIFUL laser-cut lace cupcake wrappers off of Amazon and I wasn't completely sure if I'd even use them, just because I'd never used cupcake wrappers before. But the moment I placed the first cupcake in one of those lacy-white beauties I fell in LOVE.
The cupcake wrappers made these cupcakes go from "pretty cute" to "GORGEOUS"! They add a whole different dimension to the cupcakes because they hide those wrinkly transparent cupcake liners.
AND OF COURSE, anyone who knows me at all know that I need to photograph all of my beauties!! :D Note the colour difference from the photos taken in my kitchen to the photos taken beside the window! If there's any advice I can give to foodie photographers, please take photos of your food in natural light--you'll give so much more justice to the work you put into your creations!!
Unfortunately I didn't have alot of time for a photoshoot, so setting them on this marble tray was all I could come up with.
 ^The cupcake with all of the little petals is the one that takes the longest to pipe. {Can you imagine piping 4 dozen of just that design of cupcakes?!}
 I also ordered these amazing plastic cupcake boxes off of Amazon {Amazon Prime is my best friend--what is better than free 2-day shipping?!}. These boxes are perfect because their domes have a high height and their compartments are wide enough to fit cupcakes plus their cupcake wrappers-although it was a little snug in there. I'd ask for compartments with a teeny-weeny bit more circumference if I could...
All ready for transport!! Delivering them is also a nerve-wracking part of the whole ordeal.

Now, normally I drive to the destination, open the boxes to show them to my client to make sure they're pleased, return to my car, drive home and sigh a huuuuuuge glorious sigh of cake-decorator's relief. But this time was different as I was actually attending the baby shower. Not only did I have to bake the cupcakes, but I had to be present for when people were trying them and eating them for the first time! {GAH!!} So many fears and insecurities snuck into my brain at this time such as, "what if they're actually horrible? What if nobody likes them?!" but I just have to remind myself that I KNOW what I'm doing. I've done this before! I've had friends and family taste-test all of my recipes and give me honest feedback. I've tasted this batch of cupcakes at every stage of the baking and decorating process, and most of all, I have put so much love into this it's not even funny! I don't think I've ever put so much love into a cake order yet {mostly because my love grows surprisingly deeper and deeper every time! Haha!}.

Despite driving to the wrong house and not remembering the actual address of the baby shower and having to call Jarryd at home to go look at the invite to tell me the address and then mentally freaking out because I was arriving late to the baby shower and feeling horrible because this is an important cake order and it probably looks so bad for my reputation that I'm LATE, it was all good because it was so busy inside the house with everyone standing and greeting one another that nobody even noticed I was late! * gasp * WOOOOW that was a long run-on sentence!! {Plus, I think when my "clients"/friends laid eyes on the cupcakes it distracted them from me being 10 minutes late}. Phewwwwww!

And then there's THIS!! I always say that piping the flowers on my cupcakes is my favourite part of the process, but seeing the look of approval and joy on people's faces when they see and taste my cupcakes is actually my favourite part. It's the reason I even DO all of this!!
It felt incredible to have complete strangers come up to me at this shower and ask me "was it you who made the cupcakes?", and after an enthusiastic squeaky "yes!" from me, for them to say how amazing they were, that they not only looked gorgeous but TASTED incredible and that they'd like business cards, felt so so so good!! I honestly can't even tell you how many people came up to me to compliment me because I completely lost count {haha!}. I'm pretty sure I looked like I was permanently blushing the entire time. And it's not like I went around the room approaching people with a "sooooo how'd you like the cupcakes?!" just fishing for compliments {believe it or not, there ARE personalities who do this!}. Like, total strangers approached me; total strangers along with friends and acquaintances went out of their way to talk to me about the cupcakes. They didn't have to say anything, but they did, and I'm so glad!

I've always been a person who can take criticism well. I'm very teachable and can learn from my shortcomings; therefore, I appreciate ANY kind of feedback, especially on something that I'm most passionate about!

As I said in my above Instagram post, I'm so thankful for this passion that God has instilled in me; He gives us these passions for a reason. He's given me the patience to wait for cake batter to rise in the oven. He's given me a steady hand to hold a piping bag and for piping intricate designs. He's given me a creative eye for food styling and skill with a camera. He's given me introverted mind that never tires of dreaming, imagining, and exploring new ideas! There's also things that aren't so natural to me such as planning most efficiently and working with numbers, but He's given me the determination and motivation to grow in these areas!! He is so good and I'm so excited and willing to go wherever He takes me with this whole baking thing! <3

A few days later after all of this, my friend sent me photos that she took of my cupcakes {and some with her preggo belly!!} with her fancy-schmancy camera and because I'm so in love with them I just HAD to share them on here with you guys!
 Baby belly! :)
I just love how they look with the wood!
Thank you to everyone for supporting me and for all of your encouragement and LOVE. I appreciate it more than you know! And thank you for reading my bloggy blog. I would absolutely love to hear what you think in the comments below!! Until next time, friends! <3


  1. I love my kitchen aid and babies do too! I also love your pretty cupcakes. You should definitely get business cards if you don't already have them.

  2. So glad it all turned out so well!!!!!!!! I have yet to taste them..........
    Those covers are perfect with your flowery cupcakes.