Apr 25, 2010

DIY Wedding Cupcakes

When Food Editor Kristen Olson at Betty Crocker decided to make 250 cupcakes for her twin sister’s wedding, she knew she needed great cupcake recipes and a timeline to stay on track. As the previous owner of a small bakery myself, I found her suggestions for homemade cupcakes a fun and affordable way to skip the fancy fondant cake that most of us don't like the taste of anyway. Here are three of my personal favorites, topped off with freshly made buttercream icing. For those who love the convenience of canned, once your tender taste buds make contact with this light and fluffy icing using only real butter or margarine, confectioners' sugar (I never sift - the choice is up to you), pure vanilla and a few tablespoons of milk, I promise you'll never go back.


· 6 months:  Visit Pinterest and find recipes that are recommended and well-loved.
· 3 months: Select three or four to bake and give them the taste test. Are they moist? Flavorful? Can   they handle being frozen and thawed? Select the one you love most.
· 1 month: Purchase non-perishable supplies, such as cupcake pans, parchment liners and decorating supplies.
· 1 week: Assemble a group of friends and family to bake, cool, wrap and freeze the cupcakes.
· 2 days: Move the cupcakes from the freezer to a refrigerator to thaw.
· 1 day: Frost and decorate.
· Day of wedding: Transport to reception hall and display on tiered cake or cupcake stands.


Cupcake Baking Tips

· Don’t do it alone! Enlist helpers for every stage of the process, including baking, decorating, transporting and displaying.
· Use cake mix. Baking upwards of 10 dozen cupcakes is no small endeavor. Save time by using cake mix rather than baking from scratch. The best part? Nobody will know the difference.
· Lower the baking temperature. When testing cupcake recipes, try baking one batch at 25 degrees lower than the temperature stated in the recipe. This may prevent the cupcakes from becoming misshapen, but means you may need to increase the baking time.
· Make frosting in double batches.  Even your trusty KitchenAid mixer can only handle so much frosting – don’t overload it with a quadrupled recipe.
· Two months before the wedding, do a complete test-run. Bake, freeze, thaw, decorate and transport a dozen or more cupcakes.  If all goes well, you better get baking.

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