This last few weeks some of my posts have been a bit off schedule, but that is okay, we keep things fun around here! This weekend is the long weekend in Canada, with Monday being Victoria Day. We decided to have a nice little staycation at home and to do some fun things in Calgary #yyc.
Another good reason to stay home, was that me and a good friend planned a baby shower for one of our good friends. This is her third baby, but her first boy! So we had to throw a party for her that involved all things blue! I am so lucky to be able to have such wonderful people in my life, that is why I love doing stuff like this for them. Plus any excuse to make cute cupcakes and talk about woman things with fellow ladies and I am there!
This post ins't a recipe per say but more of a guide on how I made these cute cupcakes. First things first, the cute little sailboat cutouts are made by using a Cricut machine. My mother actually has one, because she is a big scrapbooker, but I never really realized how amazing these machines are! They can cut out any wording or shapes in so many different materials. My best friend owns a Cricut and came over and helped me get those all cut out, along with some super cute whales and big sailboats. It saved me hours of frustrating cutting, that I am sure would have ended up with me being super mad and hating life.
What is neat about this machine, is that it can hook into your computer and through their website and software you can download any images or font type. Then it turns into a silhouette and and with a push of a few buttons on the nifty machine, you get all these perfectly cut shapes and letters you need. This machine is going on my list for things I would love to have... hint hint.
After I had the sailboat cut outs, I took cake pop sticks and cut them to size for the cupcakes. Then with a hot glue gun, I glued the little sailboats to one end. I let them dry and set them aside till I needed to use them.
On to one of the best parts, baking the cupcakes. For these I used the pretty paper liners that are tall and usually come in all colours and patterns. You can get them at many different stores but Michael's, the Bulk Barn, and Dollarama usually have a great selection. I like these liners because they help the cupcakes to hold their shape better and can contain the icing better as well. These cupcakes are made with a Yellow Cake recipe. A really good one I have found is in the Pillsbury "The Complete Book of Baking". You can also find a good one on Pinterest, Cooking Classy has a wonderful recipe as well.
If you are not sure about doing the batter from scratch, a great way is to use a cake box mix for yellow or golden cake. To make the cake taste more like homemade and less from a box here are a few great tips:
With these specific cupcake liners, you want to only fill them half way. They rise so high that if you add more batter then they will spill out the top and not cook properly. It also allows for more room for the icing.
My next step after the cupcakes were done baking and cooling, was to make the icing. I have a tried and true buttercream I use now, but the best advice I found for making the prefect buttercream is to whip it for 6 to 8 minutes. It makes it incredibly smooth and gives it a creamy texture that I wasn't achieving before.
After I made the icing, I added some royal blue food gel to half of the icing and mixed in enough to make the blue I wanted. To have the double colour swirl icing, I placed the two coloured icings in separate icing bags. In a larger icing bag I added a large 1 inch round tip I have to the bottom of the bag. then I placed the two bags filled with icing next to each other in the large bag. I made sure both bags were equally placed in the tip, then I released some of the air and practiced a few swirls off to the side.
There are some nifty piping bags that save you some hassle by setting that all up for you easily. But you can do it with even a bunch of large Ziploc bags as well. I personally own 4 piping bags in various sizes so it is just as easy for me to do it the way I did it. But you can do some cool things with multi colours! Pinterest has some cool ideas for that as well.
After all the piping was done, I then added the cute little sailboat decorations and sprinkled on some white sugar that resembles sprinkles and can come in a variety of colours. Then I had to not eat any of the cupcakes and wait for the baby shower!
I am super happy with how they turned out, they looked so cute and tasted even better then they looked. My kids were able to eat one, my daughter couldn't believe how tall they were and said "Mommy I just don't know how to eat this, my mouth doesn't know where to start!" It made me laugh at her predicament, if you have to have a predicament at least let it involve a cupcake!
Happy baking everyone!
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