Monday, September 24, 2012

The Very Hungry Caterpillar Cake

Celebrating his first birthday with family, this little boy got a 6" 3 layered chocolate, with white chocolate butter cream frosting, Very Hungry Caterpillar cake!  That was a mouthful.  Literally.  And very yummy!  I may or may not have eaten the left over batter (baked) and frosting after making the cake.  Nom nom nom!

 The little feet were my favorite part.

 Side of the cake, fruit.  The base was made of gum balls!
 I used a heart cutter for the body of the strawberries and trimmed the pointed bottom.  Then used a flower cutter for the green part and trimmed it to look like leaves and a stem.
 Back of the cake.
Each segment of the caterpillar was cut with an oval cutter and trimmed individually with a sharp knife to fit together.  I used four different shades of green.  Each was not completely mixed with another shade to give the same "swirled" effect as the illustrations in the book.
Happy Birthday Tanner!  I can't believe you're one already!?  :)

Monday, September 17, 2012

News and Marketing Materials

Big News:  If you haven't already heard, by the end of this year I will be a licensed baker working out of a rental commercial kitchen!  Woo hoo! 

Yes this means my overhead will go up a little bit.  BUT it also means I will be able to advertise, do bridal shows, and fully market myself (not limited to word of mouth business - which has been fantastic by the way and Thank You!) to generate more business to cover some of those extra costs.

I am very excited (and nervous and a tiny bit impatient with a dash of caution but mostly excited) about this new adventure and have spent a good chunk of time the last few weeks fine tuning some new marketing materials.  I have a new logo, thanks to a very talented friend, new business cards, thank you cards, stickers, and other fun stuff to help promote Libby's Cupcakes Etc. LLC. 

Here is just a taste of what's to come...

 Business cards.
 Thank you cards.

...and that's all you're getting for now. ;)

Dylan's Pad

One of the things I love about baking and blogging is that there is always a story to tell.  I count it an honor and blessing to be able to contribute to significant events in people's lives and then be allowed to share their stories here.  This story is bittersweet but very dear to my heart...

A few months ago a family I know faced the unimaginable when they lost their 8 month old baby boy suddenly.  In the time since this tragedy, they have been sustained by their family, church family, and their faith.  Their strength and genuinity is truly profound.

Their son had a toy frog he loved.  Following his death, the acronym F.R.O.G., Fully Rely On God, became crucial to them.  Their congregation had already planned to build a park behind the new church and decided to do so in their son, Dylan's, honor.  They named it Dylan's Pad.  (Get it?  Like a lily PAD that frogs typically sit on?)  The project was led by a member of the youth group the couple helped lead.  He is 13 years old and used the experience as his Eagle project. He did an amazing job organizing everything and showed maturity well beyond his age.  The project was finished in a little over a month, just in time for the church's fall kick off.

On the kick off Sunday the church did a ribbon cutting and dedication of Dylan's pad.  As fate would have it, the date was Dylan's would-have-been first birthday.  After the dedication there was a potluck and celebration, with cupcakes of course.  Frog themed, and green.

 The spread.
 White Almond cupcakes.  Dylan's Pad in fondant.  Green frog was a candy mold.
 Green Velvet and Chocolate cupcakes.
Green Velvet and Apple Butter cupcakes with Cream Cheese frosting.

I was humbled to be a part of the celebration of the short life of their baby boy, and the love and faith that has surrounded his death.  Truly inspiring.  Thank you to A+T and big sister N for letting me share your story.

N+S Wedding Cupcakes

If I had to describe this wedding in 5 words or less it would be Rock-N-Roll Glam.  And. I. Loved. It.  Black and white linens, a disco ball, vintage crystal plate stands and table ware, chandeliers and candelabras, and tall white flower table centerpieces decorated the American Legion ballroom.  The band almost had me dancing while setting up the cupcakes as they did sound check playing Phish's "Fire On the Mountain."  And with Maple-Bacon as one of the cupcake flavors, who wouldn't have fun at this wedding?!?

 The spread.  The stands in the center were reserved for Kuchen Bars that had yet to arrive while I was setting up.  One was marked rhubarb.  I would love to have tried it!

 Mandarin Orange cupcakes with Pineapple Cream Cheese Frosting.
The orange flavored ROCK candy on top was a nod to the groom.  He's in a band.

 Here they are.  The Maple-Bacon cupcakes you've been hearing about if you're a fan on face book.  A vanilla cupcake made with brown sugar to taste more like a pancake.  Maple butter cream with pure maple syrup made in Minnesota, of course.  And the best bacon I could get my hands on, cooked to a crisp and sprinkled on top.  I have a friend whose husband's family (to the 7th degree) owns a meat locker in Starbuck, MN.  His brother drove them all the way up here so I could use them for these cupcakes.  Bacon good!

Chocolate coffee cupcakes with brewed coffee and espresso in the batter, coffee in the frosting, and topped with a dark chocolate covered espresso bean. Yum!

 More cupcakes on stands.

The devil is in the details.  Loved these forks they had set up on the dessert table.  The glasses in the background reminded me of my Granny who had similar ones.  And oh those chandeliers!  So pretty!

Princess and the Frog Cupcakes v2.0

Here's another batch of Princess and the Frog cupcakes.  A little different from the last one.  (I don't usually like to make the same thing twice.  Every order should be unique even if it's the same theme!)  This order was for a baby shower.  The mom-to-be is vegan and so are the chocolate cupcakes!  Enjoy!

  Crowns.  (That didn't cause hairloss like the last ones. ;))
 Lily Pad.
 Sugar Sparkly Wands.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Art Museum Wedding - Black & White Cupcakes

This might just be my favorite picture of a cake. Ever.
If pictures speak a thousand words, this is what this one might say...

This wedding reception took place in the beautiful Plains Art Museum on the 3rd floor in downtown Fargo.  The couple's colors were black and white with ivory roses.  The late afternoon sun plus original hardwood floors and exposed beams and brick made for a lovely setting for these vanilla bean and dark chocolate cupcakes. 

The room.
Ivory roses.  Inspiration for the cake.
The two tiered cake had a vanilla bean 8" round base and chocolate 6" round top.  As usual each tier had 3 layers of cake.  Vanilla-almond butter cream and chocolate butter cream alternated between the layers.  Frosted butter cream roses and a few black and white fondant details made this delicious cake B-E-A-utiful!  

Ivory rose cake with black and white fondant details.
The cupcakes were vintage-y with just a touch of modern; the perfect mix for an artsy Fargo Bride and her New York Groom! 
 Seven stands and a few groups on the table held all 144 cupcakes.
 Cupcake tower.
These may look familiar from my sister's wedding.  I still can't get over the tiny little sugar pearls for the dogwood center.

 Ruffle flower in white with black sugar pearl center.
 I think I can see my reflection in that sugar pearl!
 Black ruffle flower with white sugar pearl center.

Rose cupcake with black fondant leaf.
 Yes.  I'm still posting pictures.

 At the tasting the bride really took a liking to these little black hearts simply placed on top of the frosting.  As the style of wedding changed more toward the modern feel, I felt the original design didn't quite fit with the new.  So I came up with this; I treated the white square (modern in it's own right) as a canvas and placed the heart off center and topped it with the little white flower.  Thank you design school for paying off in cake design.  ;)
 Another modern design, stamped white fondant medallion on a black square.
 Small black daisy cupcake.
Large white daisy cupcake.

Since I often end these blog posts with "Enjoy!" I had to take a picture of this.  How cute!  :)
So did anybody count to see if there were a thousand words in this post?  Nope. 365.