Dainty Dogwood Cupcakes

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Dainty Dogwood Cupcakes

Dainty Dogwood Cupcakes

One of my favorite trees is the Dogwood tree.  They have the most beautiful delicate blossoms and I love seeing them in bloom.  Even though the gorgeous blossoms will only last for so long, you can enjoy these dainty Dogwood cupcakes year round!  These little chocolate Dogwood blossoms are the perfect size for topping a cupcake, and floral decorations work for so many different occasions.  I think these would be lovely with white frosting for a rustic wedding cupcake tower.  As always I am a big fan of making chocolate decorations because they are tasty and can be made in advance, so on the days leading up to to your event all you have to worry about is perfecting your cupcake recipe and frosting.

Supplies

Supplies

Here are the supplies I used to make the Dogwood chocolates. The candy coatings shown are Wilton Vibrant Green candy melts, and Clasen Brite White confectionery coating.

Dogwood blossom centers

Dogwood blossom centers

I used a small squeeze bottle to fill in the centers of the blossoms.  Squeezit mold painter bottles are small squeeze bottles with very tiny tips.  I love these bottles for painting small details on a mold.  They are also great for writing with candy coating or chocolate.

Dainty Dogwood Blossom Centers

Dainty Dogwood Blossom Centers

Give the centers about 10 minutes to dry at room temperature before filling in the rest of the mold with white candy coating.  Depending on the temperature, the drying time may vary, but if you are in a hurry, you can always pop the molds in the refrigerator for a few minutes until the centers are set to the touch.

Filling the molds

Filling the molds

I use a regular squeeze bottle to fill the molds.  I also find that it really reduces bubbles if you keep your squeeze bottle upside down while you are working.  To do this, you need a small cup, like the baby cup I am using, to keep the squeeze bottle resting upside down.

Dogwood mold

Dogwood mold

Try not to overfill the molds.  In this case it is better to underfill the mold.  If you’re not sure how much chocolate to use, fill just one cavity of the mold and then tap out the bubbles to see where you’re at.

Tapping the molds

Tapping the molds

Tap the molds until air bubbles stop rising to the surface.  You can also take a look at the mold from the bottom to see if most of the visible air bubbles and pockets have been eliminated.

Dainty Dogwood Chocolates

Dainty Dogwood Chocolates

Here are the chocolates just out of the mold.

Orchid Luster Dust

Orchid Luster Dust

I had a few different shades of luster dust to try out.  This Orchid Pink is pretty, but wasn’t quite the right color.

Petal Dust

Petal Dust

This Wilton Ruby Red Pearl Dust was just right! I simple brushed it on with a dry coarse brush to accent the edges of the blossoms.

Dainty Dogwood Chocolates

Dainty Dogwood Chocolates

These little flowers remind me of Spring! I had some green luster and color dusts, but didn’t end up using them because the green was vibrant enough on its own.

Dainty Dogwood Blossom

Dainty Dogwood Blossom

Just a hint of peachy pink really makes these blossoms pop.

Dogwood Cupcakes

Dogwood Cupcakes

 


Baking Cup Comparison

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Baking Cup Comparison

Three Cupcakes

If you’re like me, you get excited when you see a super cute baking cup! I have polka dots, paisleys, zebra print, striped, colored foil, and even though I have stacks and stacks of baking cups, if a cute pattern or color catches my eye, I simply must have it.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s an addiction, but you could call it a habit.  Luckily it isn’t a very expensive habit to have, but with baking cups ranging from $2 to $7 a package, it can add up.  One thing that has driven me crazy about baking cups is when the following happens – You have the cutest most lovely baking cup that is going to be the perfect party accent and ties in with everything beautifully and you know it will just make your cupcake pop, you put the baking cups in the pan, fill them with batter, bake, and when you pull the cupcakes out of the pan you find that your super cute baking cup is completely unrecognizable.  You can no longer discern the original color, or pattern, and all of the colors are muted and confused!  Disaster!  Have you ever had this happen to you?  What is the point of having fabulous baking cups if the process of baking the cupcakes ruins them!  I promise to get to the bottom of this problem once and for all!

Cupcake Case Comparison

Baking Cups

There is a baking cup line out on the market now called ColorCups.  This line is manufactured by Wilton and guarantees that colors will remain bright on the outside even after baking.  The slogan on the package describes ColorCups as “Always bright, colorful, and fun!” I decided I would put these supposedly super powered baking cups to the test! I decided to test them against a regular baking cup and see what the results were.

Empty ColorCup Baking Cup

Empty Rainbow Dots ColorCup

Empty Polka Dot Fairy Case

Empty Polka Dot Cupcake Case

 

 

 

 

 

 

Taking a look at the inside of the ColorCup baking cup, you can see that it is actually foil. Of course a foil lined baking cup!  The foil makes a barrier between the grease and oil from the cupcake protecting the pretty outside liner! Brilliant!  Once I saw this, I had high hopes for these new baking cups.  The baking cup on the right is just a standard no frills baking cup.  Because I already knew that the standard plain baking cup would probably not fare well against this new hybrid ColorCup baking cup, I decided to throw a third cupcake liner into the mix.  I used a standard polka dot baking cup lined with a Reynolds foil baking cup.  I wanted to see if I could make a DIY ColorCup by adding a foil liner to any old baking cup.

Reynolds Foil Baking Case

Reynolds Foil Cupcake Liner

Standard Baking Cup Lined with Reynolds Foil

Standard Baking Cup Lined with Reynolds Foil

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I baked all of the cupcakes at the same time, in the same pan, with the same batter so that there would be no other variables.

Baking Cup Comparison

Baking Cup Comparison

I intentionally used baking cups with white backgrounds since the bleed through shows up best on baking cups with light backgrounds, and I know from previous experience that dark colored batters such as chocolate show through on a lot of baking cups, so I used chocolate for the “worst case scenario.”

Chocolate Batter

Chocolate Batter in Pan

Chocolate Cupcakes

Baked Cupcakes

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the moment I took the cupcakes out of the pan, the results were obvious.  There was a clear winner!  The Wilton ColorCup had prevailed!

ColorCup Cupcake

Cupcake in Wilton ColorCup Baking Cup

The standard baking cup was the biggest loser!  The polka dots were completely lost and the brown from the chocolate of the cupcake became the prominent color.

Cupcake in Standard Polka Dot Baking Case

Cupcake in Standard Polka Dot Baking Liner

The standard baking cup lined with the Reynolds foil baking cup came in second.  The polka dot baking cup was still vibrant and colorful with no grease seep through or color mutation, but the liner still pulled away from the cupcake since it was not actually attached to the foil liner.

Cupcake in Standard Baking Cup Lined with Reynolds Foil Cup

Cupcake in Standard Baking Cup Lined with Reynolds Foil Cup

You have to hand it to the Wilton ColorCup; it really is a revolutionary thing to be able to bake a cupcake and still have a perfectly bright and pretty liner!  One of the keys to the ColorCup design is that the foil lining is adhered to the pretty paper exterior liner.  While the standard baking cup lined with the Reynolds foil baking cup came in second, you could tell that the cupcake had two separate liners.  The space between the paper and the foil is visible making the overall cupcake just slightly less attractive.  In some scenarios, if you are going for a ruffled look, this could be preferable, but overall the ColorCup wins.

Baking Cup Comparison

Baking Cup Comparison

The answer to this baking cup problem that has plagued bakers endlessly has been solved! If you need a perfectly dressed cupcake, use a foil lined baking cup.  In addition to Wilton ColorCups, Reynolds has a similar line called Reynolds StayBrite baking cups.  Hopefully other baking cup manufacturers will follow suit so that we will have a wider array of designs to chose from.  In the meantime, I need to start stocking up on more baking cups!!!


Peter Rabbit Cupcakes

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Peter Rabbit Cupcakes

Peter Rabbit Cupcakes

Here comes Peter Rabbit pushing a wheelbarrow full of carrots from Mr. McGregor’s garden. These Peter Rabbit Cupcake Kits and Cupcake Holders by Meri Meri will brighten your Easter and bring you back to your childhood and the wonderful world of Beatrix Potter.

Peter Rabbit and Wheelbarrow

Peter Rabbit and Wheelbarrow

Do you remember Peter Rabbit, Benjamin Bunny, Jemima Puddle-Duck, and Tom Kitten?  These adorable cupcakes will remind you of all your favorite Beatrix Potter tales, and if you’re not yet a fan maybe you will bake up a batch of these delightful cupcakes and become inspired to begin reading Beatrix Potter’s beautifully illustrated classics.

Peter Rabbit Up Close

Peter Rabbit Up Close

These Peter Rabbit cupcake holders are designed as little wheelbarrows. They are very simple to put together and each wheelbarrow holds one cupcake.

Peter Rabbit and Friends

Peter Rabbit and Friends

Each cupcake pick features a different Peter Rabbit character.

Peter Rabbit

Peter Rabbit

Use tip 4B to pipe the decorations on each cupcake. My friend Grace had the brilliant idea to use orange sugar pearls at the center of each flower.

Benjamin Bunny

Benjamin Bunny

Egg yellow gel paste is used to color the frosting on these cupcakes. Use about one-quarter teaspoon per 4 cups of frosting to get this shade.

Jemima Puddle-Duck

Jemima Puddle-Duck

You will need about four cups of frosting to decorate 12 cupcakes using tip 4B.

Tom Kitten

Tom Kitten

Jelly beans, sugar pearls, and orange carrots can be used for added color!

Decorating Supplies

Decorating Supplies

For perfectly sized cupcakes, use a batter scoop to fill your baking cups. I use one level scoop per cupcake.

Ready to Bake!

Ready to Bake!

Even the cupcake cases have Beatrix Potter Characters decorating them.

Cupcake Tip 4B

Cupcake Tip 4B

Begin by piping from the center outward using tip 4B.

Fully Piped Cupcake

Fully Piped Cupcake

Continue all the way around until the cupcake is completely covered.

Placing the Sugar Pearls

Placing the Sugar Pearls

Use tweezers to place each sugar pearl. Then carefully push down using your finger.

Piping Grass onto the Cupcake

Piping Grass onto the Cupcake

Use grass tip 233 to pipe the blades of grass. Layer the tufts of grass for a full look. Sprinkle with carrots.

Grass Cupcakes with Carrots

Grass Cupcakes with Carrots

To get this shade of green frosting, add one quarter teaspoon avocado gel paste, 3 drops leaf green gel paste, and one drop mint green gel paste per 2 cups of frosting.

Name Tags

Name Tags

Print up name tags and stick them to toothpicks to personalize your Peter Rabbit cupcakes.

Jelly Bean Cupcake

Jelly Bean Cupcake

If you are having an Easter party or family get together, these Peter Rabbit cupcake holders will make your table extra special.  Use your Peter Rabbit cupcake holders as place cards, and each guest will get their own special treat!

Row of Rabbits

Row of Rabbits

Put your Peter Rabbit cupcakes on parade or display them on cake stands for a dazzling centerpiece.

Cupcakes on Cake Stands

Cupcakes on Cake Stands


Haunted Forest Cupcakes

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Haunted Forest Cupcakes

Haunted Forest Cupcakes

Create a petrified forest full of spooky trees and plump pumpkins. These Haunted Forest Cupcakes are sure to please this Halloween.

Supplies

Supplies

Begin with black baking cups, haunted tree suckers, Bundt bon bon pumpkins, and a pastry bag filled with blue frosting.

Blue Frosted Cupcakes

Blue Frosted Cupcakes

Use Americolor Royal Blue gel paste to tint your frosting. Ateco tip 825 is used to pipe frosting on these cupcakes.

Cupcakes with Pumpkins & Trees

Cupcakes with Pumpkins & Trees

Add some plump little pumpkins to spice up these cupcakes.  These pumpkins are chocolate, made using our bundt bon bon mold and decorated with green royal icing.

Single Cupcake

Single Cupcake

Add your own details and decorations to these cupcakes to make them your own.  Yellow sugar pearls will add an extra splash of color and purple polka dot baking cups are also a fun choice.

Haunted Forest Cupcakes

Haunted Forest Cupcakes