I baked a test batch of cupcakes for Nora’s birthday party* today, and let’s just say it’s a good thing I did a test batch. Don’t get me wrong — they tasted good. But, I am hardly an experienced decorator, and I was attempting some pretty advanced stuff (for me).
*I don’t want to talk about it. *sniff*
The party is going to be nature-themed, and I set out to make a batch of cupcakes based on these — ladybugs on a bed of grass.
Hitch-in-the-works #1: I didn’t want to make a whole batch of 24 or 36 cupcakes just for a test, so I halved the recipe. It actually worked out pretty well for the cupcakes themselves (although they were maybe a little denser than I’d prefer), but since the buttercream called for 5 egg whites, it was a little tough to halve.
Hitch-in-the-works #2: The all-natural food coloring I picked out for the “grass” was a little more bluish-green than grassy-green. Not a huge deal, but I think I can fix it by either adding in a touch of yellow (if I can find it), or just giving up the ghost and using gel-paste colors, scary artificial ingredients be damned.
Hitch-in-the-works #3: When I got ready to pipe the frosting onto the cupcakes using my brand-new Wilton #233 tip, I realized that it didn’t fit my decorating bag — arrgh! Thanks to a handy husband, It was jury-rigged with duct tape to work acceptably, but I will be in the market for an appropriate decorating bag before the main event. The icing also seemed to heat up a bit too much as I piped it on, too, making my later cupcakes a little messier.
Despite all of that, they actually turned out okay. Not too pretty, but tasty!
You have to imagine the marzipan ladybugs, since I didn’t have the energy to trial those tonight, too.
Importantly, though, I think I know how to fix the issues I encountered, so the actual birthday cupcakes should be fab. I will have a Plan B ready, though!
Whew. Quite a Saturday evening around these parts.