This weekend, I had my biggest order to date from a new client. I have to say a huge thank you to Becket from The Food Fairy, a local personal chef! She is friends with a co-worker of mine, Xenia, who connected us. Thank you Xenia and Becket for helping me reach new people! 🙂
Becket was working with a client who needed cupcakes . . . specifically, cupcakes that looked like puppy faces (or “pupcakes”) for her great nephew’s birthday party. She reached out to me for these cupcakes, and I’m so glad she did . . . because they are just TOO cute. (but hopefully not too cute to eat, right?)
I found some inspiration and cute tutorials on Momma D and Da Boyz, as well as the book, Hello, Cupcake! You can also find a tutorial on Family Circle, here.
I ended up going with four different breeds, and made a total of 30 cupcakes. Each puppy had different parts to make the face, made from candies like tootsie rolls, laffy taffy, caramels and marshmallows. The tutorials suggested using mini M&M’s and jelly beans for eyes and noses. I was afraid that the candy coating from the M&M’s would bleed into the frosting, since I was making these a couple of days before the event. So, I hand shaped eyes and noses out of black fondant and let them dry the day before I started working on the cupcakes.
The Westie was made by piping fur all around the top of the cupcake . . . the ears are mini marshmallows, the tongue is a pink laffy taffy, and the snout was part of a marshmallow.
The beagle’s ears were flattened tootsie rolls, the snout was part of a marshmallow, and the tongue was a laffy taffy.
This guy’s ears were cookie chips (or you could use wafer cookies) that were cut to the right shape. His snout was also from a marshmallow.
The bulldog’s ears, muzzle and chin were from flattened caramel. I just love his little face!!
Upon talking to the client more, she asked if I could do a cake for her son’s graduation from Elon. I was able to fit it into my schedule, but it put me on a tighter deadline. I always like a challenge, right? 😉 She requested that I incorporate the names of his frat brothers that were also graduating, and that I use Elon’s colors. The rest was up to my creative design (which I love!).
The cake was vanilla bean with vanilla bean frosting, that was tinted gold. I then colored some modeling chocolate maroon (which left me with some glamorous pink hands) and cut out diamonds for the sides of the cake. The banner and names were also modeling chocolate. I had made a fondant graduation cap earlier in the week, so that it would have time to dry, complete with a gold tassel and initials of the fraternity.
Now, one way to achieve sharp edges on your buttercream cakes is what they call the upside-down method . . . wherein, you turn the cake upside-down after stacking it, frost and smooth it, then chill it. After the buttercream firms up, you take it back out, and flip it right side up, smooth it some more, and go on with your decorating. This works great for 6 and 8 inch cakes.
What I failed to realize was that it miiigggght not be the best idea for a cake of this size! It was a 12-inch cake, that was taller than normal (6 inches), and weighed somewhere around 7-8 pounds. This is what I thought to myself, as I almost threw my back out when I flipped it the second time. 🙂 Hey, each cake teaches me something new!
After packing up the cupcakes and finishing the cake, it was time to travel! This delivery was about an hour away, so I wanted to make sure my buttercream creations would make it safely. I had finished the pupcakes Friday night so that the buttercream had time to crust, and the cake had been well-chilled. (no smudging allowed 🙂 ) I cranked the A/C in my little honda, threw on a hoodie and loaded up the car. I boxed up the graduation cap separately, (padded with tissue paper, or course) and I was nervous about the tassel since it was pretty fragile. Thankfully, everything went smoothly, and there were no casualties!
I really had fun with this order, and the client was happy with how it all turned out! I count that a success 🙂 Happy Memorial Day Weekend, everyone!