Monday, June 3, 2013

Flower Garden Cupcakes

I don’t even know what to call these cupcakes.  Cupcake Blossoms? Flower Pot Cupcakes?  Flower Garden Cupcakes?

Here’s the deal…I had an idea. The good news is…I like ideas.  The bad news…almost all my interesting ideas require a lot of work.  I thought this cupcake was a really fun idea that I couldn’t wait to try.  [When working with newcomers in recovery, I tell them, "If you have an idea, call your sponsor.  If you have a good idea - go to your sponsor's house and wait on the doorstep."  Sometimes, I forget to use this on myself. Ugh.]  Anyway, ...

I started with a base of my favorite chocolate cupcake.  I chose the dark brown cupcake liner to keep the color consistent.  I opted for a ring of chocolate ganache covered with finely crushed Oreo cookie “dirt.”  This is crumb coating, literally.  Finally, I piped on some green cream cheese buttercream frosting…using the Wilton Grass Tip #233.  I didn’t have the frosting consistency dialed in – first it was too soft and then it was too hard.  Am I looking for the Goldie Locks of Buttercream? … It needs to be juuuuust right.  So that was today’s task.

Yesterday, I put together the Flower Blossom cupcake toppers.  The pink flower is a mix of crushed corn flakes, finely chopped peanuts, marshmallows, and butter.  I pressed it flat with my hands then used a rolling pin; the goal was to get the mix about ¾” thick (light enough to not topple the cupcake and thick enough to insert the stick/stem).  I used a flower-shaped metal cookie cutter, inserted the flat coffee stirrer, and dipped it into the white chocolate.  Hot tip: I add Crisco, 1T to 1½T per 8oz, to melted chocolate to smooth it out and make it easier to coat cookies, etc.  (I had tinted the chocolate a light pink for coating the flower and darkened it for piping the design later).  Let the flowers set completely on wax paper/parchment paper before handling.

The lavender flower is made with an Oreo Double-Stuff cookie.  Hot tip: Microwave four cookies for 15 seconds prior to inserting the flat stick; the cream center will be slightly softened.  Support both sides of cookie to help reduce breakage.  Dip the cookie into the melted and tinted white chocolate, place on waxed paper/parchment paper, and pipe on the design of your choice.  Allow the cookie to firmly set prior to piping on the darkened purple.

The yellow flower is one of my husband’s favorite holiday snacks.  The Deep South (in the U.S.) elevates the Ritz Cracker to something more than a platform for cheese and this is one of its finest.  Start with making a Ritz Cracker peanut butter sandwich – two crackers with smooth peanut smeared in between (flat sides facing in).  Place flat stick in the peanut butter before topping with second cracker.  Follow the same routine…dip into tinted white chocolate, place on waxed paper/parchment paper, and allow to firm.  Pipe on the design of your choice with a darker shade of the flower color.

The “leaves” are limited by imagination.  I was able to find two different patterns for green ribbon – I totally loved the different textures.  Green pipe cleaners could work, green tinted raffia would be so fun as would cut construction paper leaves glued onto the stick. 
Cutting the stick short enough was part of the learning curve…if the flower is too tall, the whole business topples over. 

There’s a life lesson in there…reaching too far without a stable base can lead to a face plant.  And, with a large enough, strong enough position – much is possible.  In my life, I have experienced both.  I’ve failed and fallen down…and when I’ve gotten back up, I didn’t do it by myself.  Reaching out for others has strengthened my base.  Tapping into the experience of other people who have gone before me makes every difference between stalling out and moving forward.

On this journey, I don’t travel alone.


  1. That's what I call a crumb coat! These look so delicious. I can't wait to see what you come up with next...


    1. The reports are "best cupcake ever." I'll take that ;)

      Word on the street...keep the ganache coming. Alrightsy then.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you! They were so fun to create...and took longer than I thought. Probably because I was still figure out what went first, next, etc.

  3. These are so cute!! Love how you set them all up.

  4. Thanks! This was a fun took my mind off the flooding. :)