Party Planning Hack #2 – Cupcakes! Cupcakes! Cupcakes!


Many people have written off cupcakes as a passing trend but I believe that this sweet and wonderfully portable dessert is here to stay! Not only are cupcakes cool, they are also a wonderful combination of deliciousness & practicality – it’s cake that you carry in your hand, need I say more!! They are adorable because of its size and if you mess one up, you can mix it amongst two dozen other cupcakes but if you mess up a cake, well, there’s just no forgiveness in that!!  

Cupcakes are also extremely versatile in that they can be a part of the decoration (think centerpiece) or be a favor (think yummy treat to take home) or an activity (think decorate-your-own-cupcake)!   I especially love how many brides are using cupcakes so creatively in their wedding whilst crossing “centerpiece” and “cake” off the To Do List at the same time!

Last fall, I went to a wedding where the bride & groom used different cupcakes as the centerpieces because they were much cheaper than doing floral arrangements. Not only was the centerpiece adorable, as a guest, I found the cupcakes to be way more fun than an overly arranged & overpriced floral arrangement! It was every bit as beautiful as an actual floral display, plus it has one thing that flower counterparts don't have and that’s being completely edible!

Cupcake centerpieces are not only beautiful for weddings but are also a fun and yummy treat for any table at a bridal or baby shower, dinner party or any other special occasion. There are so many creative ways to decorate a cupcake - here are some of our favorite ideas that are both fun & simple:

  • Forget the painstaking chore of making your own fondant pieces. Instead, simply place a small, clean plastic toy on top of each cupcake for instant fun e.g. toy cars, tiny action figures, plastic jewelry, etc.
  • Use cake picks with colorful toppers to accent the top of each cupcake.
  • Use small candy to make faces or animal designs on each cupcake.
  • Or simply sprinkle with a generous shake of rainbow sprinkles.

If you’re in the market for a new cake recipe, I’d like to share with you one of my go-to-favorites that never fails to impress! I came upon this recipe when a friend requested carrot cake for his birthday and I selected this one because it was very simple to follow and did not have raisins or walnuts. Kudos to the original recipe owner, Peggy Fielder, for this recipe simply titled “A good carrot cake recipe”.

CARROT CAKE 

2 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2 teasp. baking soda
2 teasp. cinnamon
1 teasp. salt
3 cups grated carrots
4 eggs
1 teasp. vanilla extract
1 1/2 cup vegetable oil  (I use 1 ¼ cup instead as it’s less oily) 

  1. Sift dry ingredients into a mixing bowl.
  2. Mix in grated carrots, vanilla, eggs.
  3. Beat, and add oil slowly.
  4. Pour into a buttered 8"x12" pan, or two 8" diameter round pans.
  5. Bake at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes or until the center is done.
  6. Let cool.

FROSTING
8 oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 lb. powdered sugar
rind of an orange
walnuts (optional) 

  1. Beat cream cheese, adding butter, orange rind, and vanilla.
  2. Add powdered sugar in thirds, beating.
  3. Frost cake, top with nuts.

 


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