Summer Lovin’

Summer time means prime wedding season, and when my wonderful friend M asked if I could help out with her brother’s wedding, I was more than happy to oblige and honored to be part of such a special day.  M’s brother and his lovely new husband were originally going to just get cupcakes from the supermarket (quel horreur!) and luckily M intervened and suggested that I bake since she’s tried my goods before and thought they were up to par =)  Through email correspondence, the couple and I discussed their theme/colors and what flavors they wanted.  They decided on chocolate mini cupcakes (2 per guest) with yellow and white vanilla frosting swirls on top and estimated about 175 guests so this would be a whopping 350 cupcakes!  I have never baked this many cupcakes all @ once (and of course, I’d have to make extras), but the request was basic enough that it wouldn’t be too insane.  Of course, only a crazy person thinks baking close to 400 cupcakes will be easy… hahaha

A tower of wedding cupcakes (ML’s pic)

I ordered and bought all my supplies and containers a few weeks before the wedding and got the eggs and milk the day before.  Luckily, I am too lazy to put away the extra mixer prepared and still had the twins out to do double duty.  I mean, a 6 quart mixer can only hold so much cake batter, and it will definitely not hold enough for 6 batches of mini cupcakes.  I had the oven going for a couple hours and had 3 trays going in perfect rotation: one would be baking in the oven, one would be cooling from just being in the oven and replenished with cupcake wrappers, and the other one would be getting refilled with cake batter.  I was just churning them out like a mini cupcake factory; once I got through with the 6 quarts of batter from one mixer, I moved on to the next machine.  I didn’t have enough cooling racks and just crammed all the baked cupcakes on the dining table. I lost count after making 274, but I definitely made @ least 400 minis.  Maybe 450.  Or more.  I don’t know but it was getting a little claustrophobic in the dining room and I’m really surprised I didn’t have dreams about a menacing towers of cupcakes falling on me and crushing me.  haha

Billions and billions of chocolate cupcakes… OK, maybe a few hundred

While those all cooled, I cleaned out the mixing bowls to use for the frosting.  I whipped @ least 6 pounds of butter and about 5 pounds of powdered sugar for the fresh frosting, and there was another 2 pounds or so of butter in the cake batter.  And I STILL have about 8 more chunks of creamy fat in the freezer.  Let’s just say I can’t look @ butter for a while.  haha  I added sugar till the consistency hit that sweet spot, where I got that ideal balance between non-melty consistency and taste (not too buttery, not too sweet!). When I finally turned the 2 mixers off, I ended up with about 3 gallons of white and yellow frosting and just hoped it was enough.

Tubs of yellow and white vanilla frosting

I needed to make room to frost and decorate  so I packaged as many as I could in huge plastic takeout containers.  I ran out of containers so I stuffed the extra cupcakes I wasn’t using for the wedding order (they were either too puffy or slightly underfilled in the baking cups) into huge Ziploc bags to freeze for another occasion.  I counted out 30 clamshell containers and got ready to ice, ice baby!  Surprisingly, I only used 3 disposable icing bags to decorate 380+ cupcakes.  I expected to go through more and bought another box of 100 b/c I was running low, but that was pretty eco-friendly and efficient of me to use so few bags.  Then again, I went through almost an entire roll of paper towels to wipe up the batter and frosting that was flying all over the place and constantly wiping my hands and cleaning the icing bags.  haha  It was a little more time consuming filling the bag just so to make the twists and my right hand started to cramp up a bit (my mom is always telling me to keep playing piano to keep my fingers flexible), but I kept icing and packaging the minis in batches till all the clamshells were full.  I positioned the stacks right in front of the AC blast to keep them chilled.

Mini chocolate cupcakes frosted with yellow and white twists

Transporting these wasn’t too bad b/c I had a good helper.  I knew I could carry 240 mini cupcakes by myself into the city (the tote bags I have fit the cupcake clamshells like a glove), but 360?  I needed a third arm, and what better manly assistant to be my third arm than Vin?  Plus,  I was able to convince Vin to come with b/c I said I’d treat him to dinner for being a huge help and letting me drag him into the city to just be arm candy and hired muscle <3

Before and after… (thanks ML!)

We met up with M @ the venue (she looked beautiful!) and I thought I’d be helping with the set up, but the caterer suggested to set everything up later after the ceremony so they’d do it themselves.  I got to say hi to the happy couple (they were just beaming =) and wish them congratulations on their special day, and then whisked my assistant away to dinner to say thank you for helping me out.  M sent me a few shots of the set up and everything looked fantastic.  I was just thrilled when she said that the newlyweds loved the cupcakes and that they were delicious!  Phew!  That’s all I needed to hear =)

Congrats to C & H!!!  I had me a blast baking for them.

(I’m taking a break this coming weekend, but I’ll be posting the week of August 12!)

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