Sunday, March 03, 2013

Bright baby shower cupcakes

My baking projects and subsequently my blog posts are becoming a tad few and far between. As much as I would like to spend more time on baking and blogging, I am learning the importance of finding balance in my life. Baking is my hobby - 'an activity done in one's leisure time for pleasure'. I have realized that when it no longer fits into 'leisure time', the 'pleasure' aspect of it can become diminished. I am always happy with the outcome of the projects I choose and never have regrets for taking on a project at the end, however sometimes the process in itself may not be so fun and that defeats the purpose of Sweet-D Cakes. 

These cupcakes were an example of a nice light, bright and fun project. People frequently ask me if cupcakes are easier or less time consuming than putting together a fondant-covered cake. I can't say that they are less time consuming because it can take hours to put together many toppers each containing small details that are in themselves time consuming. The benefits over doing a full cake are they tend to be less messy - no cake crumbs from trimming, levelling or torting cakes and I typically use frosting rather than swiss meringue buttercream for my cupcakes which is faster to make and makes yummier leftovers to eat with a spoon later on. The cons of cupcakes is that often they can be more time consuming due to a large number of small details versus fewer cake topper components that can be made up to 2 weeks in advance. Also, you cannot really bake the cupcakes ahead of time and maintain good quality control as they will dry out much quicker than a cake as there is more surface area and with a cake and you can seal in moisture when you cover it with buttercream and fondant.


For these cupcakes, I wanted a little more oomph than the typical pastel colours associated with babies, so I used a hint of electric/bright coloured gel pastes: fuschia + electric pink, lime green, turquoise and egg yellow (okay, egg yellow is not that bright but I didn't want them to be blindingly bright). I think that I could have used a bit more lime green in the scalloped circles as the green is not very discernable from the yellow.

All of the decorations are made from a mixture of fondant and gum paste in about a 3:2 ratio.
The little booties were very simple to make and very cute. As they were simple and plain, I added a couple tiny little flowers to each set.



For the baby faces, I rounded the edge of each fondant circle, added a hat with a little pom-pom and created a ribbed knit effect using a quilting tool. I dusted the cheeks with a bit of petal dust to add a bit of baby rosiness.



The cupcakes were red velvet with cream cheese frosting piped on with a large star tip. I used brown cupcake paper rather than white so that the red did not obviously clash with the cupcake toppers.
The result was a neutral base for bright and cheerful baby-themed decorations.


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