Friday, May 31, 2013

My Big Fat Cupcake Event

While I’m busy baking and creating a new cupcake (Chocolate Mocha Caramel Macchiato with Chocolate Mocha Ganache and Vanilla Buttercream topped with Caramel sauce), I want to blog about a different cupcake event.

My first BIG cupcake event came about from my own doing…or undoing.  A young man at church was organizing a fund-raiser taco dinner; he was gathering clothes, toys, sports equipment, etc. to sort and deliver to an orphanage in Hungary.  I offered to provide cupcakes for this soiree in the hopes it would increase the dollar donation of each attendee (this is typically a tight-wallet’d crowd).

Initially, I figured a smattering of cupcakes would be good…”just for a taste.”  Perhaps five or six dozen…some Chocolate, Vanilla, and Red Velvet; these three are almost always a crowd pleaser.  But, it was difficult to ignore the Lemon and the Carrot cupcakes, sooo....  As I thought about these sweet treats, I also envisioned different decorations, toppers, and flavor profiles.  It was February in the darkest, most bleak winter Germany had experienced in the last 20 years.  ...And I was cupcaking in my head. 
I did all the baking on Friday. The first batch of Red Velvet turned out too dark for me…batch #2 was just fine. That’s 54 Red Velvet cupcakes and I'd barely gotten started. Whaaaa?? Next was Chocolate for two dozen plus a couple extras and a double batch of vanilla for three dozen, and so on and so on ….  end of the day…176 cupcakes.
The first Red Velvet cupcakes cooling...notice my printed recipes scattered across the table.
More cupcakes cooling...time to expand the table.

This is most of the cupcakes and some of them already have cream filling.
Saturday was devoted to frosting and decorating…we needed to be at the fund-raiser by 5:00pm.  I started working on buttercream as soon as I was up…and didn’t stop until 4:30pm when it was time to toss off my apron and make myself presentable.
I made these little buttons from fondant I hand tinted...I placed a trio of each color on a lemon cream filled cupcake with buttercream frosting.  First attempt at fondant..I liked the results.
Some of these beauties were cream-filled...that's what those little dots are on top of unfrosted cupcakes.

Some early Easter fun with these little jelly bean egg baskets and carrot-topped cupcakes.

 The roses are marzipan; sprinkles are on Red Velvet.
The chocolate cupcake with peanut butter buttercream is topped with 3 mini peanut butter cups.  The chocolate covered strawberries are sitting on top of a chocolate cupcake with cream cheese frosting.

My always amazing life partner put himself in charge of packing and transporting the cupcakes.  While I was piping the buttercream, he was engineering a way to get the three of us (him, me, and our youngest) into the car along with these lil beauties.
Most of the cupcakes ready for transport.

He also was instrumental in helping set up the cupcake table– that was a bigger job than I originally anticipated. I thought it looked great. And that was the feedback of some dinner guests.
The cupcakes disappeared in NO TIME.  The bulk were gone in under 15 minutes.  It took another 10 minutes for the B-list cakes to be chosen. 
Nine carrot cupcakes remained at the end of the night.  We sat back and watched the teenagers eat one while walking back to their seat while carrying two others.  Couples would choose different flavors so they could split and shared different cupcakes…then send an envoy back to the cupcake tower for their favorite. 
What did I gain?  Most of my fun happened during the process.  Thinking about the cupcakes is just as much fun as producing them.  Watching people eat them is more fun still.  I learned that I like to see people happy. 

I was also reminded that I can be thin-skinned and my feelings can be hurt if the cupcake consumer doesn’t say “thank you.”   When that happens, I go back and review my motives related to my actions.  That helps me get my ego out of the way.  My motive for this event was to help this kid raise money for the Hungarian orphanage.  I hope my effort helped. 

I haven’t volunteered this offer again.  But maybe I will again, at the right time.


  1. Love reading about your cupcake adventures! So fun to see the Heidelberg church in the background of many of your fun creations. Hope you are doing well!

  2. Thanks for reading my blog, Mindy! I enjoy thinking about new creative ways to approach cupcakes ... it's helping me keep it all together. And, I like writing about it too.


  3. Indeed, this was a tower of cupcakes! I can't believe how many of them there were -- and that they were eaten so quickly. It helped out the event so much. A big THANK YOU to the baker and the packing and transport crew!

    1. What a relief to know the collective efforts paid off. It seemed as though the project was excellent, start to finish.