These edible Easter Baskets are a great treat for kids and adult alike. They look adorable, but the best part is – they’re relatively easy to make. A simple cupcake acts as the “basket” base (I chose coconut cupcakes), green-colored coconut is strikingly realistic Easter grass, tuck in a cookie handle, and mini chocolate eggs finish off the look. Just a couple of do-ahead steps, and you’ll be ready to assemble your own baskets!
These are our (The Crown Market’s) fall kids cupcakes…although I continue to say they are appropriate for the kid in all of us. The pumpkin cupcakes are piped using a large round tip and accented with a pretzel stem, buttercream leaf and vine. Unfortunately, we can’t take all the credit for the scarecrows; the heads are plastic picks that we place on the cupcake. We add the straw detail by piping yellow frosting with a grass tip. However, all together, they look so cute! What could say fall more than scarecrows sitting in a pumpkin patch? (Hint hint, a large order of these cupcakes displayed together would make a really impressive spread!) These cupcakes will be available all fall (or at least until Thanksgiving when the Turkey cupcakes arrive). Each cupcake retails for $1.69.
Here are the fruits of today’s labor. We had an order for 200, yes 200, soccer ball cupcakes. All were hand decorated and piped with chocolate fudge. It officially took me 1 hour and 40 minutes to create all the cupcakes and then about an additional hour to recover. (Hunching over a workbench for hours at a time tends to do a number on your back and neck.) But here they are nonetheless. The picture below only shows half of the order.
The cupcakes were ordered for a Bar Mitzvah with, you guessed it, a soccer theme. Like so many these days, the customer opted to forgo a traditional cake and serve individual cupcakes instead. While I admit that 200 was a little daunting, I feel as though I conquered something. A cupcake marathon, if you will? (Side note – have you ever attempted to draw a soccer ball? Turns out when you investigate, the pattern is made of up both black pentagons and white hexagons. Now, try to imagine piping those shapes, with straight lines and crisp angles with chocolate fudge in the middle of the summer! I promise, it was not the easiest of tasks.) I hemmed and hawed over their likeness to real soccer balls, but in the end, if you squint, I think they are good enough. Everyone who came into the bakery kitchen today who could identify the cupcakes as soccer balls got a hug (it was that kind of day).
As promised, although slightly late, here is one option for using all of those perfectly ripe summer strawberries. These fresh strawberry cupcakes certainly let the sweetness of the strawberry shine. I used white cake and filled the cupcakes with berries marinated in sugar, grand marnier, mint and orange zest. Surprisingly so, these additions really help to make the flavor of the berry pop and add some depth to the overall taste. To top the cupcakes, I made a fresh strawberry buttercream. Using my traditional Italian Buttercream recipe (post to come soon), I added fresh, mashed strawberries. The juices from the mashing helped to not only flavor but also color the buttercream a perfectly pale pink. I purposely mashed the berries instead of pureeing them because I also wanted small pieces of the strawberry throughout the buttercream. If you are going to go to all the trouble of making fresh strawberry buttercream, you may as well show it off, right? To finish up, I adorned each cupcake with a small perfect berry (stems attached, for that just from the farm look) and there you have it.
Recipe: Fresh Strawberry Cupcakes
What better way to celebrate Cinco de Mayo than a cupcake? (Who needs beer, guacamole and salsa anyways?) Scott and I were invited to a Cinco de Mayo party and I started thinking of what Mexican inspired dessert I could come up with that would be good for a crowd. While beer may be the drink of choice for this holiday, I am a personal fan of the mojito. The combination of rum, lime and mint is very refreshing and says “South of the Border” to me. (I do realize the mojito is traditionally a Cuban drink, but lime is certainly no stranger to Mexican cuisine). So I knew I wanted to play with the idea of an edible mojito, but in what form? When planning for a party, I tend to fall back on the cupcake for group events. They are already pre-portioned, don’t require a plate or utensils and are easy to eat. So I knew what I wanted to create, the next step was actually figuring out how to do so. (more…)
Spring has sprung at The Crown, which means … they are back! The butterfly cupcakes have returned to the Crown Supermarket. These are our seasonal Spring “kids” cupcakes, although suitable for the kid in all of us. We made these colorful butterflies for the first time last year and our customers really seemed to enjoy them. Each butterfly wing is a cookie, dusted with pink and purple sugars. I pipe the body with pink buttercream and add red licorice antennae. (All Kosher Parve, of course!) These signs of Spring retail for $1.69 and are available all season.
Unfortunately, I cannot take creative credit for these too-cute cupcakes. These “Rabbit Hole” cupcakes are featured in the cookbook, Hello, Cupcake! which I picked up recently and have since fallen in love with. With cupcakes ranging from fish bowls, to sunflowers, to corn on the cob, authors Karen Tack & Alan Richardson have it all covered in this book. With the idea that all the cupcakes can be made by the home chef, using equipment and tools on hand, Track & Richardson display true creativity.
With a family Easter gathering on the horizon, I knew exactly what I would make. I have been waiting for an occasion worthy of these playful cupcakes. I did make this batch myself, following most of the directions, but of course, tweaking it a bit. When all the cupcakes are lined up together, hopefully it looks as if these bunnies are scurrying back into their holes, with only their fluffy tales left in sight. I will be honest that piping all the grass on each cupcake was quite a lot of work, so be warned that these treats are time consuming.
Check out Hello, Cupcake! at Amazon.com
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