Wednesday, March 21, 2012

sweet pea

    this is an idea i have seen many times (on pinterest of course) and still love. it is so cute, especially for a twins baby shower - which is exactly what i made them for. this was one of my first experiments with fondant and i quickly grew to love it! now i am always looking for ways to test my skills with different themes. brings me back to my pottery days growing up as a kid :)

Monday, March 19, 2012

shout out - charming

one of the first cake decorating shows i got hooked on was ace of cakes on the food network. the show gives you an inside look at charm city cakes, a custom cake shop run by duff goldman. instead of your standard bakers, they are a collection of true artists! their creativity is amazing, most of the time you can't even tell it is a cake. here are some of the incredible creations...

Cake: Bagels

duff also has a collection of products for sale that are great for those getting into the world of cake and cupcake decorating. these are beyond your standard tools which allow you to test your creativity. i highly recommend the fondant if you don't want to spend the time making your own.

on my wish list is the airbrush machine. just another fun way to add color and texture that is so different than using your standard food coloring!
duff products can be found at michaels or online -  -

shout out to the charm city cakes crew!
You dream it. We'll bake it. You eat it. There are no limits to what we can do at Charm City Cakes

Sunday, March 18, 2012

candy creation - sail away

here is a fun and easy way to make colorful candy sailboats.

note: given the size of the candy i recommend using a mini cupcake, flavor of your choice.

start with the large version of swedish fish

sour patch fruits

cut the swedish fish in half and then cut the pointy side in half again. the cut sections will be sticky so you shouldn't need icing to connect. stick the top section together making sure to leave a space to create the sail. use a fruit slice for the base and stick on the sail. you may need icing to keep the sail and base connected. using blue icing or white icing with blue sprinkles cover the cupcakes for water. a fun and easy to make your cupcakes set sail.
 here is the result!

      Friday, March 16, 2012

      shipping out for the weekend

      it is amazing that a box, small or large, can tell you so much about what treasures are inside. when i decided to purchase boxes in bulk it felt like a huge decision, i had to get it right. luckily i usually know exactly what i like and confirmed my top choice pretty quickly! meet the cup a dewdle dew box - it needs some dressing up but that is in the works.

      help me fill these boxes :)

      here are some other boxes that i love to see at my doorstep...

      we all recognize that smile and love an amazon delivery - i would also like to say amazon prime is awesome, highly recommend it!

      i just learned about erin condren this year and love all her designs and life planners. even her packaging is adorable!
      image found here

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      ladies no man can go wrong bringing one of these beauties home!
      and my all time favorite box! above anything else i am so excited when a crate and barrel box is delivered to my attention.
      lindsey regan thorne from be pretty teamed up with kristin vining photography for a crate and barrel themed post wedding shoot - which i of course loved. check out more of the story here
      have a great weekend!

      Wednesday, March 14, 2012

      happy st. patrick's day

      in celebration of st. patrick's day i wanted to make cupcakes that sparkled! using a form of edible gold colored glitter i was able to make my icing and clovers shine. here is how it turned out.

          another easy way to add sparkle to your cupcakes is with a gold liner. so simple and will make them shine! Pinned Image
           image found here

          or dress up your cupcake with a gold cake topper - try this great diy by two delighted, seen here!

          or set the dessert table with perfectly mini cupcakes and liquid gold, bubbly!
            image found here
            happy st. patrick's day!
            i hope you find your pot of gold this weekend

            Monday, March 12, 2012

            shout out - 24 hours

            genius! pure genius! sprinkles cupcakes designed a 24 hour cupcake atm in beverly hills. craving a delicious sweet treat, just swipe your credit card for the cupcake of your choice, even at 3am. check out the video in the article (link below) to see how it works.



            amelie's is one of my favorite sweet destinations. this 24 hour french bakery has something for everyone! my personal favorite is the caramel salt brownie - i can't leave amelie's without one in hand. they have two locations in charlotte, the 24 hour location is just outside of downtown noda and another location in the city across from wells fargo that has select hours.

            image found here

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            and my favorite...
            image found here

            desserts are never closed for business at these great locations and that is definitely worth a shout out!

            candy creation

            i have been known to spend many hours standing in the candy aisle, picking up options, and figuring out how to make it all work. this is a fun challenge and allows me to experiment. it definitely doesn't always work as planned - but here is an example of one that i was very happy with the result.

            using the following items...

                i made rubber duckys, which would be perfect for a bath time baby shower...
                    i also used a casserole dish as a "bath tub" to serve them to my guests. photo
                    how i made the ducks -
                    1. first i made royal icing and added yellow food coloring to match the color of the lemonheads and lemon drops.
                    2. attached all the lemonheads to the lemon drops to create the bodies and set aside to allow the icing to harden.
                    3. i cut the orange chocolate covered sunflower seeds so they had a flat side for attaching. the candy shells will crack so make sure to use a very sharp knife.
                    4. then with orange colored royal icing attached the sunflower seeds for beaks.
                    5. final touch, black gel for eyes.
                    6. use a blue tinted frosting of choice to make the water

                  Friday, March 9, 2012

                  frosting friday

                  frosting - or icing - is the easiest way to decorate cupcakes and make them stand out! i use walton's gel food coloring to change up my frosting color and match them to a theme.

                  i will caution - be careful and make sure to taste test as you add coloring, it can change the flavor if you use too much.

                  here is an example of cupcakes i made with purple frosting to celebrate mardi get the swirl effect put a different color on each side of a piping bag (i suggest sticking with only 2 colors) then pipe using a swirl motion.

                  They don't always have to match perfectly, go with the flow

                  here is some color inspiration

                  for the girly girl...

                  image found here

                  something as simple as color makes these cupcakes really pop!
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                  image found here

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                  image found here

                  Wednesday, March 7, 2012

                  gobble gobble gobble

                  i know thanksgiving is far away - and i am sure i will come up with something new for 2012 - but i still wanted to share the cupcakes i made for a work thanksgiving potluck last year. these fondant turkeys created a range of comments, but mostly laughter. the best part was when one co-worker took a knife and fork and proceeded to ask who wanted dark or white meat.

                  that is what i love about making decorative cupcakes - they are fun and allow you to be a kid again!

                    note: i apologize for the picture quality, i took it with my iphone during the potluck

                    Tuesday, March 6, 2012

                    shout out!

                    i thought it would be fun-  and allow the oven to take a break - to give a shout out each week to those that inspire me!

                    when i first heard all the hype about this d.c. based bakery i was skeptical. i mean it's just a cupcake, right?! well i was quickly put in my place when i tried georgetown cupcakes - they are delicious! adorable! and amazing! ever since my first bite i have found myself following Katherine and Sophie on their dc cupcakes adventures seen on TLC.  seeing the everyday life of running a cupcake shop and - my favorite part - taking on creative challenges with their "special projects". it is amazing what you can do with a cupcake! check out some of their projects.

                    All pictures from TLC dc cupcakes season 2 - click HERE

                    Katherine's surprise engagement 
                    KATHERINE'S SURPRISE

                    lunar new year celebration
                    SO YOU THINK YOU CAN LION DANCE

                    SO YOU THINK YOU CAN LION DANCE

                    girl scout cookie college
                    COOKIE COLLEGE

                    COOKIE COLLEGE

                    the perfect dozen

                    The shop

                    the sisters

                    Monday, March 5, 2012

                    rise and shine

                    who said you can't have cupcakes for breakfast! these are super easy and would be great for a brunch or breakfast event. sticking with the breakfast theme i made the "cupcake" out of pumpkin bread (or you could use banana bread). for the decorations use a giant marshmallow, slice them to make the egg whites and then add a skittle for the yolk. so easy and fun!!


                    Sunday, March 4, 2012

                    spring flowers

                    the warm weather and a new chocolate cake & chocolate icing recipe from my mom inspired me to make spring cupcakes. and what better way to celebrate spring than with a collection of flowers!

                    i also included information about how i made the roses and mini pink flowers.

                        photo  photo
                        using fondant (your color of choice), take a small ball and make into a square. i used a grilling skewer to create an indent on each side. then i used a silver ball for the center and wrapped the petals around until i got the shape i liked. very easy and make adorable mini flowers.
                            photo photo
                              first create a cone out of fondant (your color of choice) then start with a small "petal shape" and wrap it around the cone. continue to get a little bigger each time and continue to wrap around the cone and layer of petals. i kept an example of one i like in front of me to try and keep them the same size and number of petals. i also cut off the excess fondant on the bottom and added a couple of leaves as a finishing touch.

                              note: i did all the flowers by hand and without tools (with the exception of a grilling skewer and knife for trimming). there are a ton of great tutorials out there and most seem to recommend Wilton supplies.