Sunday, September 24, 2017

purple and white flower bouquet cupcakes

Since I have three kids in two different schools (my youngest is still in preschool), I had two sets of cupcakes (on two different days) to make for Teacher Appreciation Day last year. Since everyone seemed to like the flower bouquet cupcakes that I made for the elementary school so much, I decided to do the same for the preschool, except with a different flavor cupcake and a different color frosting. So I decided on carrot cake cupcakes with purple and white frosting!

Once my cupcakes were baked and cooled, I was ready to start decorating!

As I discussed in my last post, the piped flowers were made using these Russian piping tips, and during my first time using them I learned two important things:

1. Your frosting needs to be at the right temperature. Too warm and your flowers will look like shapeless blobs. Too cold and the frosting won't squeeze through the holes in the tips.

2. Use a very large piping bag. I normally use 12-inch piping bags, but I would suggest using a larger one so that you won't have to refill the bag and the coloring on your flowers will come out more consistent.

But once your follow those two points, the flowers were pretty easy to pipe, and they come out pretty darn cute!

Again, I used green frosting and a leaf tip to pipe leaves in the gaps between the flowers, and the pop of green makes each flower stand out.


Sunday, September 17, 2017

pink and white flower bouquet cupcakes

Last year for Teacher Appreciation Day, I signed up to make dessert for the teacher luncheon, and ended up making these flower bouquet cupcakes for the elementary school! I've made floral themed cupcakes for Teacher Appreciation Day before (see here and here), but this time I decided to test out my new set of Russian piping tips

Let me just say that the tutorials I saw on these tips made them look so easy, but I actually had a hard time with them! For my first attempt, I popped the piping tip into my pastry bag, filled it with frosting (I used an offset spatula to place white frosting on the sides of the bag and pink frosting in the middle), and excitedly piped my first flower ... but the frosting must have been to soft, because the "flower" came out as a big blob, with no flower definition at all. So I placed my pastry bag (still full of frosting) into the fridge to let it firm up a bit. But I must have left it in the fridge too long because when I attempted to pipe my next flower, the frosting was too hard and wouldn't squeeze through the holes in the tip! *Sigh*

Anyhow, once you get your frosting to the right temperature and piping consistency, the tips do end up piping cute and easy flowers. Once my chocolate cupcakes were baked and cooled (recipe in my book, The Hello Kitty Baking Book!), I started on the decorating. For the "flower bouquet", I piped once flower in the middle ...

... and then piped flowers around the center flower, until the top of the cupcake was full of flowers.

Then I filled in the gaps in between the flowers with green frosting and a leaf tip.

I thought they turned out pretty cute!

The other thing to point out is that every time you refill your piping bag, the placement of the center color may come out differently. In the ones above, the pink isn't really in the middle of the flower, and kind of seeps to one side. Below are the flowers that came out after I refilled my piping bag.

The pink came out more centered and even.

So I suppose if you want flowers that are all consistent, then use a large piping bag (mine are 12-inch) so you can fit more frosting without having to refill.

I've also seen people do only one color, which came out nice as well, and in that case you won't have to worry about the inconsistency in color placement.