A friend of mine asked me to make cupcakes for a baby shower she was hosting. I love to make cupcakes, so I said yes. The order was for 2 dozen cupcakes, themed for a baby girl. Living in Germany can present some challenges. Cupcakes are not quite as a big deal here as they are in the States. Therefore, procuring supplies can sometimes be a challenge. I had some various pink cupcake liners that I had brought back from D.C., but they were not what she wanted. She had seen some purple with polka dots liners at a “Euro” store, but when I was able to get there a couple of days later, they were nowhere to be found. We agreed that maybe we should just do white liners. I think white liners can be boring, so I knew I was going to have to dress up the cupcakes. Please excuse the quality of the following pictures, I took them with my phone.
2 flavors were chosen – Vanilla and Marble. I like to do a marble cake instead of chocolate or red velvet when I am using white liners. I am able to keep the majority of the dark colored cake in the middle, leaving the outside a light or white coloring.
French Vanilla and Marble Cake
2 colors were chosen – pink & purple (more of a lavender). No problem, I have food coloring and I can mix it accordingly, if I don’t have the correct color.
I was given the choice of frosting flavor.
Here is what I came up with (forgive the pics, I was going to take final pics when we had set up the display, more on that later).
After baking the cupcakes and looking at them, they looked okay. A bit on the boring side, but okay.
Plain French Vanilla Cupcakes
I was not happy with how plain they were looking, so I had to come up with a plan. I took out one of my cupcake wraps (you know the kind that cost more than you want to pay to wrap around a cupcake). I trimmed it (I can use it again), got some scrapbook paper, traced the forms, and trimmed my new “wraps”.
That was good, but I needed a little more. I found some flower stickers at a local store and added those to the cupcakes. They were lavender with polka dots, I was hoping that would fit the bill with the lack of colored cupcake liners.
They are starting to get there! Next I needed to make the frosting. I thought about doing a vanilla sugar frosting for both. Then I thought, why do we want Vanilla on Vanilla. No way! Let’s do Lavender Vanilla frosting on the French Vanilla cupcakes. Now, I had to figure out how to make the lavender flavor. In my sugar frosting recipe, I tend to use heavy cream, so I took about 1/2 cup of heavy cream, put my lavender flowers in a tea bag (I ended up using 3 tablespoons…. way too many – not bad, just a little stronger flavor than I would have liked. Next time I will try 1 tablespoon), heating up the cream and tea bag (be careful, milk products can easily scorch on the stove), and then letting it steep.
I added the Lavender Creme to the frosting concoction, added a drop of red and a drop of blue food coloring to make the frosting Lavender. I added a little vanilla extract to the mix (after all, it was supposed to be a lavender vanilla frosting). The next batch of frosting was going to be pink. I wanted a little flavor to that, so I added some strawberry flavoring to the mix and a little bit of pink food coloring.
Here are the final results (please ignore the blurry picture):
Now, remember when I said I was going to take a picture of the cupcakes on display? They never got that far, they are currently sitting in my refrigerator. Why? Well, as I was about to start frosting the lavender cupcakes, I got a text from my friend JW (the person hosting the party). The mommy-to-be became a mommy that morning. UGH! I could have delivered the cupcakes to her and let her freeze them for the rescheduled party (one or two weeks away), but I know her freezer is probably about the size of mine. We have German sized freezers, which means TINY. I also don’t feel the quality of the cupcake would have lasted. I refuse to have people eat a cupcake that is not up to my standards. So, it looks as though Barefoot Runner and I will be taking cupcakes in to work tomorrow to share with our lucky co-workers. I will happily make her a new set of cupcakes at a later date.