Sunday, January 23, 2011

Cub Scouts Pinewood Derby Racing Cupcakes

Happy Sunday! This weekend began with the annual Pinewood Derby. This is a racing derby where the Cub Scouts carve out wooden cars and decorate them then race them for trophys. This was my second year of providing a dessert for the event. Last year was a cake and I found that it was hard for the younger Scouts to eat so this year I thought cupcakes might be more fun. But, of course, I couldn't just do average ordinary cupcakes so these are just a tad different and that's where the "secret" of the day is hidden.

Cupcakes are rather easy to do but because they dry out quickly you have to make them and serve them within 24 hours or they get dry. But it's easy these days to dress them up with colorful wrappers and fun picks to go into the icing. So the cake batter and the icing is where you get a chance to play it up a bit. For these I was trying to please a large group and since some people don't like chocolate (yes, unbelievably, some people do not like chocolate) I made half of them chocolate and half of them vanilla. Then I topped them with creme cheese buttercream. Now this is easier to do than you think and it's something you can even do with canned frosting you get from the store. Just start out with a brick of creme cheese from the store. Full fat creme cheese works the best. Whip that with a mixer till smooth, creamy and fluffy and then start your buttercream recipe as normal. If you are using canned frosting this is where you would use the mixer to beat in the canned frosting into the creme cheese. Because canned frosting is already fairly loose the creme cheese may make it a bit too runny so you may need to add some powdered sugar to your mix to get the icing stiff enough for your cupcakes. My buttercream recipe is already pretty stiff so the addition of the creme cheese made it just the right consistancy for piping onto the cupcakes and still hold it's shape. Then it was just a matter of sticking in the flags and getting them to the venue.

Two more "secrets" for you. When doing a large amount of cupcakes that you will be traveling with it's easier to put the unfrosted cupcakes into the box/carrier and then frost them in place than trying to put them into place after frosting. This way the frosting isn't jostled or messed up as you place them into the box. The other tip for you is presentation. There are many cupcake display stands out there in the stores and online. These make a bigger impact when it comes to serving your cupcakes up in style than a regular plate or platter would. Pictured below are two versions of cupcake stands that help to make a big impact. These are wired stands but there are plenty of disposable cardboard versions out there too.

The final display

Finally I leave you with a small taste of next weeks' cake! I have an auction coming up benefitting our school so I needed a small but elegant display cake. "Miss Amelia", pictured below, is part of the topper for this cake which could be used as a birthday cake or bridal shower cake.

"Miss Amelia"

She is not based on a real bird but is colored to suit the cake she will perch upon. Made entirely of fondant I handpainted her to match the colors on the cake. You will get to see the entire cake next Sunday! Have a great week!


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