Sunday, July 24, 2011

Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes

I love event planning, so when I found out our next door neighbors finally sold their house and would be moving at the end of the month, I knew we had to throw them a going away party.

Here are the invitations I made:

I just typed up the invites in MS Word, printed them out two per page and cut them in half.  Then I took an old atlas, tore out a bunch of pages, cut them in half and glue-sticked the invite to a map.  Super easy, kind of time-consuming (though I was gluing them while watching a movie so that may have been why) but I got TONS of compliments on them from my neighbors!

[Side note: we've lived in this house for almost 20 years, so my neighbors have seriously watched me grow up-- my first bike, learning to drive, graduating from high school and college, etc]

I wanted to make a special dessert, too-- part of my "I'm 24 and need to learn how to bake or else my future kids are screwed" summer mentality-- and after browsing around some of my favorite baking blogs, I found a recipe for Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes.  It was actually a guest post on Carrie Sellman's cake blog, Half Baked.

These are the treats as created by cupcake contributor Lauren of Crave.Indulge.Satisfy:

I loved her idea for making cupcake jars but I'm taking baby steps with my baking... for now =)

And these are how mine turned out:

I'm sure a professional photo shoot like Lauren's wouldn't hurt too, instead of just a cell phone pic, but you get the idea!  What I just can't figure out, though, is how she got her cupcake wrappers to stay so yellow-- mine ended up going from a bright primary yellow to cake-color invisible yellow.  How do you maintain the color???

Now, I cheated a little on the cupcakes... Instead of making the cake from scratch (the idea of which still terrifies me as a total newbie baker), I did pick up a box of Duncan Hines Moist Deluxe Lemon Supreme Cake mix.  But I made the strawberry buttercream frosting totally from scratch!  I ended up having to play around a little bit with the proportions of powdered sugar, strawberry puree and lemon zest but overall they weren't too difficult!

And they were a hit at the party =)  Everybody loved them and said they can't wait for my cupcakes at our next party!

Things I learned while making these cupcakes:
  • How to use a food processor
  • How to puree something
  • How to use a stand mixer
  • The best way to load an icing bag is to fold over the top so you have a cuff, then place it in a glass or jar (with the cuff folded over the top edges of the glass/jar) so you can use both hands!
  • Always use an apron!  Unless you're baking in an old sorority t-shirt and Soffe shorts...
  • Flexible spatulas are a necessity
  • Strawberry juice/puree will stain things (spatulas, icing bags, etc.)
  • If you don't have a zester, a small handheld cheese grater works just fine
 Here's what I used for this baking project:
In the future I'd love to try these again from scratch and maybe try a raspberry or blueberry twist instead of strawberry!  The possibilities are endess....

Have a great Sunday =)


No comments:

Post a Comment