all hail the birthday boys...part 2

If you’ve been following my blog, you’ll remember Thomas from my a picture = a 1,000 words entry back in January, in which he taste tested one of my Cookie Monster cupcakes.

For T, mama Michelle (of the fabulous Michelle Haurilak photography) requested his birthday cupcakes feature his favourite superhero – Spiderman. So his 24 chocolate cupcakes were topped with alternating blue and red buttercream, black icing in a spiderweb pattern and blue spider and red spiderman rings.

After all, the only thing sweeter than a yummy cupcake at a kid’s birthday party, is taking home loot of some kind.

Here’s the before…

And now let's see what Thomas thinks about his cupcakes...

And here’s Thomas taking a bite out of crime (well, maybe not literally – but I would say it’s criminal not to have a cupcake, especially on one’s birthday)!

A special thank you to Michelle for taking these fabulous pictures!

best of both worlds

When I was a kid, there was nothing better on Easter morning than hunting for chocolate eggs hidden around the house. But I must admit the best part, and much easier to find, were the giant Easter eggs wrapped in colourful cellophane with a hidden prize in a little plastic cup at the bottom. Like so (you'll notice the flowerific Italian tablecloth as the backdrop):

Even better than being presented with a giant Easter egg was breaking it apart and dipping it right into a jar of peanut butter. And although Easter is still a few weeks away, I wanted to get into the spirit of this springtime holiday with a cupcake that incorporates both chocolate and peanut butter.

So I made my usual chocolate cupcakes and placed a mini Reese peanut butter cup in each one... check it out.

Then I topped them off with peanut butter icing and crushed peanut butter cups.

Now I usually don’t taste test my own cupcakes, but I think I can make an exception. :)

all hail the birthday boys... part 1

As I mentioned on my blog last week, I had two really fun birthday cupcake orders to create for two very special mini men – Logan, who’s 2 today, and Thomas, who's turning 4 on Thursday.

For Logan, who’s a big fan of Disney Pixar’s movie Cars, I made 12 chocolate and 12 vanilla cupcakes, topped with alternating black and red buttercream, sprinkles and two of the characters from the movie – Mater and Lightning McQueen. Take a look:

And here’s the after, featuring Logan’s older bro, Devlin. I can feel the excitement, can’t you? Or maybe that was just the sugar rush!

And here’s the birthday boy, Logan, enjoying his Mater cupcake. I think he liked them, what do you think?

survey says...

What better way to survive a rainy day than imagining yourself relaxing in a tropical paradise, sand between your toes and waves crashing on the shore.

Alright, now back to reality! But even though it’s a rainy, overcast kind of day out there, Friday’s cupcake selection seems to have lightened the spirits of a few of my cupcake testers.

Check it out:

“Andrea, that cupcake was really, really good. A perfect combination and I love the toasted coconut on top. One of your best yet!”
~ Michelle

“Your cupcake is like an island party to my taste buds!  It’s refreshing!  Thank you so much!”
~ Karen

Thanks gals… and there’s plenty more where that came from!

when life hands you lemons... make cupcakes!

In celebration of all things spring, I decided to add a little citrus into the (cupcake) mix.

So this week’s selection is a lemon coconut cupcake – a lemon base, topped with coconut frosting and toasted coconut. Simple and sweet, just the way I like ‘em.

And stay tuned for updates on some fun creations for two special birthday boys – Logan (who’s turning 2) and Thomas (turning 4)... coming next week!

top ‘o the mornin’

May your thoughts be as glad as the shamrocks
May your heart be as light as a song.
May each day bring you bright, happy hours.
That stay with you all the year long.
~ Irish Blessing

I can’t think of a better way to celebrate St. Patty’s Day (aside from green beer, of course!) than with these red velvet (dyed green) cupcakes in festive shamrock cupcake liners, topped with cream cheese icing and green shamrock sprinkles.

Here’s wishing you a Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

i now pronounce you… salty and sweet

So the past few weekends I’ve been living out of a suitcase working in both Toronto and, one of my favourite Canadian cities, St John’s, NFLD! (If you heard an accent on that last destination, it wasn’t your imagination – after three days out East, I now proudly sport an accent. Don’t worry hun… It will slowly fade away in the coming weeks!)

But if it’s one thing I’ve learned about working events – especially where I work – it’s all about the snacks. Whether salty or sweet, an event just isn’t the same without that Costco-sized bag of chips, a bucket of red hot cherry candies, and some cookies and cream Hershey kisses (my new fave, as evident by the half bag I consumed in less than 30 minutes backstage).

And so, for my first weekend back on the cupcake campaign trail, I’m combining two polar opposites into the ultimate salty and sweet snack.

I used good ole Martha Stewart’s recipe, which calls for a chocolate cupcake base, a caramel centre lightly salted and dark chocolate buttercream on top. And so, I give you the Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcake!

Really, I don’t think much more needs to be said. Aside from the fact that I hope it fulfills the cravings of my favourite cupcake tasters on Tuesday.

they grow up so fast

If you’ve been following my adventures in cupcaking, you know that I love to make them. But what I love even more is making them for kids. And this week, I made three batches of completely cute creations for a few wee ones under (or just turning) 1.

The first one, for Molly who turned 1 last Saturday, was a homemade red velvet cupcake with pink cream cheese frosting and topped with a teddy bear chocolate sugar cookie and pink sprinkles.

This one, for my friend Jen-knee’s nephew’s baptism, is a simple mini lemon cupcake with blue buttercream icing and topped with round silver sprinkles. Here’s hoping they added a little bit of fun to Jasper’s big day.

Last, and one of my favourites, are the Pittsburgh Penguin-themed cupcakes I made for Joseph, who's celebrating his 1st birthday this weekend. As you might remember, little Joseph was my first kiddie taste tester for those yummy Cookie Monster cupcakes. So I wanted to make these extra special.

Let me start by giving props to my patient and detail-oriented husband, who created these hockey sticks and picks out of fondant. (I know!)

And here is the finished product. Chocolate cupcakes – 6 with blue icing and 6 with yellow to pay homage to their Winter Classic jersey – alternatively topped with the hockey sticks and pucks and the Penguins logo. Just another way dad Peter can enjoy his favourite team, in all their glory.