Monday, April 30, 2012

Planning and Making Cupcakes for a Bridal Shower

I volunteered to provide cupcakes for a bridal shower last weekend.  I wanted to share the final results plus everything I learned in the process of planning, baking, frosting, transporting and setting up 80 cupcakes.  

Choosing the Cupcakes
First of all, I needed to come up with some recipes.  From what I read online, most people recommended only making 1 type of cupcake, and trying out the recipe before making it for the event.  I broke both of these rules. I made 3 types of cupcakes, none of which I had tried prior to 3 days before the shower when I started baking them.  

These 3 types of cupcakes were:

  1. Chocolate Mint Oreo Cupcakes (24)
  2. Chocolate Cupcakes with Toasted Marshmallow Peanut Butter Frosting (24)
  1. Ultimate Vanilla Cupcake (double for 32) with Vanilla Bean Buttercream Frosting  (quadruple this recipe)

My decisions were based on the fact that I wanted one kind with chocolate and one kind without chocolate just in case someone hated chocolate. I threw the Mint Oreo one in because it has an Oreo in the bottom!! Yes, that and the toasted marshmallow frosting were both emotional decisions. 

I didn't like the Oreo one much because of the box mix, but went ahead and made it anyways. The batter tasted funny; could definitely tell it was out of the box. The Chocolate with Marshmallow/Peanutbutter frosting was by far my favorite one.

At least 1 week before, print out the recipes and make your shopping list. The vanilla one needed vanilla beans of which I ordered online.

Transporting the Cupcakes
This was the part I struggled with (and stressed out about) the most. I ended up ordering the Cupcake Courier 36-Cupcake Plastic Storage Container, Soft Blue Sky from Amazon and was about to order a second when I came to my senses. When would I ever need to transport 80 cupcakes again? For transporting the remaining cupcakes, I purchased 2 round trays from Gordon's Food Supply.
This combination was perfect. I was actually going to leave a few cupcakes home, but since they were all nice and snug in the containers, I decided against it. One of the biggest fears I found online was driving with them and having them topple over because of the heavy frosting. Some remedies for that in which I saw were:

  • Creating tin foil supports for the cupcakes by molding the tin foil around a cupcake pan and placing that in your container
    • I didn't have enough room in my containers for this to work
  • Placing a small dot of melted chocolate under each cupcake so that it sticks to the tray and doesn't fall over
    • My cupcakes were already touching each other, so I was quite confident that they wouldn't fall over

As far as transporting them, I had a 2.5 hour drive. Lucky for me, it was cold out. It is not often I wish for cold weather. They all fit snuggly in the trunk of my G6. I made sure they were packed in well.

Making the Cupcakes
The shower was on Saturday, so two days before, Thursday, I baked the cupcakes. This took around 3 hours. I didn't encounter any issues with this. Made sure to read through all of the directions prior so that I had all of my butter and eggs at room temperature if needed.
I checked off the ingredients as I put them in so that I wouldn't get confused. After the cupcakes had cooled, I put them into their containers. This was my first time working with vanilla beans. It was surely exciting.

Friday, 1 day before the shower, I frosted the cupcakes. This took much longer than the baking and I ran into only 1 major issue. The frosting for the Oreo Cupcakes contained pieces of Oreo which got caught in the nozzle while I was piping it on. I only got through 2 cupcakes before having to remove all of the frosting from the bag to get the nozzle off. From there on, I just used a piping bag with the tip cut off.
 Snoops had a sugar high.  I let him lick a few of the beaters once I was done with them  :)
I left the cupcakes on the counter overnight as our house gets down to about 55 degrees at night during the spring time. If this was summer, I would have put them outside in the trunk, but since the weather was going below freezing, I didn't want the frosting freezing. I read that if the frosting freezes, it will develop a hard shell on the outside.

The Day-Of the Bridal Shower
The day-of the bridal shower, I loaded up the car and was on the road by 6:30AM. I had a dress fitting at 9AM. When I rolled into town, the first thing I did was open up the trunk to make sure the frosting didn't all fall off. After I noticed the cupcakes were just fine, it was smooth sailing from then on.
 For the dessert table, I used Cupcake Stands which I made previously (see the making of those here).
 A Chalkboard Bunting Banner which I also made prior to the event (see that how-to here).
 And Paper Cupcake Toppers (tutorial here).  One definite thing to remember is to put the toppers on the cupcakes 1 to 2 hours before they are to be served as, after awhile, the moisture from the cupcake begins to seep up into the paper.
 I had to get a picture with my cupcakes.  This took a lot of planning, but I was so thrilled to see it all come together the day of.
 From the Chalkboard Bunting, I had a few triangles left over, so we used those on the gift table to spell out "Best Wishes".
The shower was beautiful and everyone did a fabulous job planning and making all of the food, decorations and games. Can making cupcakes be my full-time job? ;)

Just as a recap, all of the Bridal Shower Planning posts are:

1 comment:

  1. A very delightful article that you have shared here. Your blog is a valuable and engaging article for us, and also I will share it with my companions who need this info. Thankful to you for sharing an article like chocolate online Philippines