Sunday, September 9, 2012

Happy Sunday! Today it's all about Cupcakes! Ok, cupcakes and cupcake LINERS! This week I had lemon cupcakes on the docket with plain old vanilla buttercream. Yup, it tastes very well together but can look fairly boring. That is until you add a fancy wrapper and bow! 

In the past few years cupcake liners have really made a change. Before you could buy the pastel colored ones. Pink, blue, green, yellow and white came all in one package. And I do still use these quite a bit. Your other alternative was the foil liners that come with a really thin white inner liner. These can look very cool all by themselves but invariably I get burned on them so they are not a favorite of mine. But since the "revolution" of cupcake liners there are getting to be more and more available in the store....yup, the regular old grocery store...that you can buy and turn your every day cupcake into a mini work of art. 

One of the complaints I hear from clients is that they could bake a cupcake but not have it turn out like one of mine. Part of it is the ingredients I use. So the taste of the cake. But, mostly, it seems that what they really like are the look of the cupcakes. This week was no different. Small birthday party for a 2 year old. She wanted "Minnie Mouse" cupcakes. I suggested the ones above but with mini cookies for the ears but she didn't want to take a chance of the little ones in the group choking on the pieces. So I promised I would make the icing a bit more fancy and keep the bows and polka dots. 

The bows are just thin strips of fondant folded over into the middle and then another strip for the center piece. That's it. Really. It is really that simple. I used a 1M tip for the piping and just piped strips of buttercream from the outside edge into the middle and then stuck the bow right on top. And while the bow would have been cute on a cupcake in a white liner it is the red and white polka dot liner that says "Minnie Mouse". 

Here are a few of my favorite liners I have used over the past few years...
 The red of the liner really works to coordinate with the little lady bug on the topper. Just that hint of red made all the difference.
 There are fun themed liners as well. These Gingerbread Men liners helped to add even more whimsy to these reindeer cupcakes for a Christmas Party last year.
 They can add a bit of elegance to the party as well. These sweet little heart patterned liners really set off the simple yellow cake and vanilla buttercream cupcakes and coordinated beautifully with the little fondant arrows.
 Sometimes it's a mood you are trying to set. You want to be funny or romantic or elegant. These cupcakes were meant to just look sinful. Mexican Hot Chocolate cupcakes filled with caramel then topped with buttercream and drizzled with, a plain white wrapper would not have done them justice. But this dark purple one sets the decadence off just right.
 The other fun product out there are cupcake wrappers! Bake the cupcakes in any type of liner and then slip them into this outside wrapper for maximum effect. The "popcorn" cupcakes were baked in plain white wrappers and then put into the striped wrappers before the marshmallow "popcorn" was added on top. Too fun!
Wrappers also span the range between funny and elegant. These chocolate starfish cupcakes are perfectly adorned by these gold wrappers that pick up the gold sugar that was sprinkled on top. Very elegant indeed.

So the next time you need to bring cupcakes take a few minutes to browse the liners at your local cake store or craft store...or even your grocery store aisle! It is a lot easier to have a fun looking, or elegant looking, cupcake than ever before!

Speaking of order this week is for ganache! Can't wait to share this sinful cake with you next Sunday!


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