Awhile back I wrote a post called Weekend Gameplan in which I described the noms that I was going to be baking. Well, its been nearly a month since that weekend and I feel that I owe it to you to give you a recap!
I mentioned that my friend Mary had recently graduated from Stanford with her teaching degree, and she didn’t want a traditional graduation motif for her cupcakes. We decided on making a “bushel of apples” to celebrate her accomplishments. Here’s how they turned out!
I’m pretty pleased with how they turned out! Mary had mentioned to me that she needed some of the cupcakes to be vanilla because there were a couple of people in her family that didn’t like chocolate. About two days before the cupcakes were due I realized that I needed a way to differentiate between the two flavors — hence the two different colors of apples. Very creative, right? Unfortunately I can’t take credit for the idea… the boyfriend came up with it so allllll the praise goes to him. 🙂
As cute as they were, these cupcakes gave me some trouble.
The first factor was the heat. It was 83 degrees in Oakland that day, and my kitchen doesn’t have air conditioning. The buttercream was wilting as fast as I was putting it on the cupcakes! I ended up using the refrigerator more than I would have liked, and I’m very grateful that the cakes didn’t dry out. Something to remember when you’re planning your next event… heat + treats = 😦
The second factor had to do with the method of decorating the Red Delicious inspired apples. In the book, What’s New, Cupcake?, the author suggests halving a mini-donut (think hostess) and applying it to the top of the cupcake with buttercream. In theory this would add structure to the cupcake and give it that hump that Red Delicious apples are known for. Well… the donuts were simply too small for the cupcakes. Normally one would remedy the situation by using buttercream to build up the edges, but the heat was making the buttercream melt off of the donut resulting in an awkwardly shaped apple. I quickly abandoned the donut idea and just used sizable amounts of buttercream to recreate the apple’s shape. I think it worked out pretty well given the circumstances!
Ha… Brandon didn’t even know that he was getting cupcakes, so he had no choice in the overall design. I know that I mentioned in my gameplan that I was considering doing geeky cuppies, but I ended up going the traditional route with 3-D grad caps & diplomas.
I made the caps & diplomas out of pre-colored fondant from Wilton. I did them a couple of days before hand and let the pieces dry. After letting them dry out for 24 hours I used vodka to seal all of the pieces together. Don’t worry… if you’re not a lush like me you can always use lemon extract to “glue” pieces of fondant together. 🙂
The treats were a basic chocolate cupcake topped with either vanilla or chocolate buttercream. I decorated these cupcakes late at night, so I didn’t run into any problems with the heat until the next day. Whatcha think??
That’s that! What do you think? What would you put on your graduation cupcakes??