50's Party

This weekend my sister and I threw my mom a surprise 60th birthday party. My mom is very selfless and always thinking of others, so we really wanted to create a special day just for her!  She seemed genuinely surprised and enjoyed spending time with family we don't see often.  It was difficult keeping this a secret for months while we planned, but even my 4 year old niece played along!

We decided on a 50's theme for the shower.  I immediately began looking around online for ideas.  I'm slightly hooked on Pinterest, which is where I get a lot of my ideas! I also am a member of a Facebook group of cupcake enthusiasts where everyone shares ideas. I settled on soda fountain and record cupcakes. I also saw an idea to create cupcake stands out of records, this looked perfect for the party!

Thankfully we were able to keep the party a surprise! Here's a few pics from the party.

The first thing we created was the cupcake stand. My fiancĂ© helped me create these unique 50's inspired stands. I used some records I found at my parents house along with some blue plastic glasses I found at Michaels. This was a combination of a couple different ideas I found on Pinterest. We used craft glue to combine the pieces. After gluing each new piece was glued, Tyler stopped and used a heavy book to apply pressure.  We let it sit for about 10 minutes after each new piece was glued. It took a long time to create, but they held up great!

Drying the final layer of the cupcake stand

Final cupcake stand

While Tyler was finishing up the stands, I worked on baking the cupcakes.  I decided to create vanilla cupcakes and red velvet cupcakes. I tried a new technique for scooping the batter into the cupcake wrappers. I used a spring loaded ice cream scoop to dispense the batter into the wrappers. I had seen this idea on Cupcake Wars. The red velvet batter was a little runnier than the vanilla, so it didn't work quite as well. But this technique worked great for the vanilla! It really helped to get a much more consistent size in cupcakes and they had a uniform, evenly domed shape after baking. I will definitely use this technique again!

After baking the cupcakes, I let them sit all night and decorated them the next morning.

Soda Pop Vanilla cupcakes

I started by piping the icing onto the cupcake using the rose tip that I've used in the previous entries. I started out with the outer edge, working inward in a spiral slowly building it up. After letting the icing sit for a while, I added the straws.  We cut the straws down to a good proportion, and put them into the cupcake at the edge of the icing.  The cupcakes were finished up with a maraschino cherry on top.  I patted the cherries dry with a paper towel first, to minimize the cherry sauce that would soak into the icing.

Rockin' Red Velvet cupcakes

These cupcakes were a bit more complicated to create. I was going to create the records out of chocolate, but I decided to go for something that would be less likely to melt due to the weather.  I decided to use black Sugar Sheets from Hobby Lobby.  The sheets were pretty easy to cut and use.  We were able to use round cookie cutters and an Exacto knife to cut out the shape.  I placed them on a thin layer of cream cheese icing.  I wanted to have a flatter icing, so instead of piping I used a small spatula to ice the cupcake.

To finish out the cupcake, I dyed some of the cream cheese icing blue. I put this icing in a pastry bag with a coupler and one of the smallest decorating tips. I used this to create the music notes.  I put records on most of them, but the ones that didn't have them had various music symbols.

These cupcakes are a fun addition to any 50's themed party!  I also really liked the cupcake stand, and am looking forward to finding other themed cupcake stands in the future.

I was also excited this morning to find that my flower cupcakes from a previous post were selected to be in a guest blog on Cupcake Ideas for You and they even made a video on YouTube!  I hadn't received an email that my cupcakes were featured, but I saw the video linked this morning on Pinterest!  It was pretty exciting and surreal to see my creations on a YouTube video!  Cupcake Ideas for You is a site and blog for bakers to get share ideas for cupcakes and cakes. I had submitted it about a week ago and they had featured lots of cupcakes since then, but hadn't included mine.  But they just created a wedding cupcake idea section and my cupcakes were one of the 6 featured! I was excited to have them selected, especially since most of the bakers are professional.

Flower Garden cupcakes

This past weekend I had my biggest job for cupcakes.  I made 3 dozen cupcakes for a friend's wedding shower.  My sister was throwing the shower and chose a garden theme.  I had a lot of fun coming up with ideas, I felt like it was my own personal episode of Cupcake Wars!  :)  Not sure how they come up with, or bake, that many cupcakes that quickly though!

Given the colors were blue, pink, and yellow in the decorations, I wanted to represent each of those in a cupcake.  I decided to go with a red velvet cupcake decorated with a pink rose, chocolate cupcake with a yellow sunflower, and a french vanilla cupcake with a blue daisy. The picture below shows the three cupcakes.  It took a lot of time (and patience) to make them, but I think they turned out well and everyone seemed to like them.

For all three cupcakes I used icing dye that I found at Michaels.  They were small containers, but it really just takes a tiny amount of the dye to change the color.  I found that it didn't affect the consistency or taste of the icing as much as adding quite a bit of food coloring does. I would definitely recommend this to anyone wanting to create colored icing!

Here's how I created each of the cupcakes.

Rose cupcakes:

1. While the cupcakes cool, begin working on the icing. Start with cream cheese icing and slowly add pink dye until you get the desired color. The instructions on the box for using a tooth pick worked great!
3. Fill decorating tool, or icing bag, with icing.
4. Use the same rose tip for the roses as shown in the last post. This is the tip used for the pink icing in the picture below.

5. I piped them using a spiral pattern starting at the center.
6. I finished the look using some green icing with the leaf tip, shown below. It's best to experiment with the tip at first.  The leaves are pretty easy to create.  Position it as shown below, with the v-shape cutout on the side.  Apply a small amount of pressure and then gradually release while pulling away from the base of the leaf.

Sunflower cupcakes:

1. Start by removing the creme filling from a dozen Oreos and separate the two sides.
2. Ice the cupcakes with a thin layer of green dyed vanilla icing.
3. Add one side of the Oreo to the top of each cupcake, lightly pressing it down. If the cupcakes are very domed, you may have to flatten them by cutting some off.
4. Using the icing dye, create the yellow icing.
5. Using the leaf tip, create the petals. This is the same tip used for the leaves, shown above. I used a thicker decorators icing to ensure the petals held their shape. I found the petals work best when applying pressure for a second or two at the Oreo, and then slowly releasing while pulling away from the cookie. I did slightly wider, shorter petals since I realized I didn't get quite enough of the decorators icing.

Blue daisy cupcakes:

1. Pour small blue sprinkles or colored sugar into bowl.
2. Slice regular size marshmallows in half diagonally.
3. Stick marshmallows down in sprinkles so the sticky side (where it was cut) gets coated in sprinkles.
4. Ice the cupcakes with a thin layer of green icing.
5. Place marshmallow petals onto icing.
6. Pipe a small circle of yellow icing in the center of the petals.

I finished the display up using crushed Oreos to look like dirt. I placed them in small boxes and put a sign in each to distinguish the type of cupcake.

Hope you enjoy making these cupcakes as much as I did! Here's a pic of the display at the shower.