Balls to the wall baking

Easter weekend was a huge baking ordeal this year.  Not only did I plan on bringing some desserts to the T house per usual, but my little cousin’s 4th birthday party was also the day before Easter.  My aunt just got a new job in Philly, so she and my uncle now had tons of space to host the little guy’s party, plus, I hadn’t seen him in a while and he requested “chocolate and vanilla” so I had to HAD TO make something for his birthday.  In addition to these 2 major events, I agreed to donate a bunch of baked goods to this awesome charity I worked with last year.  They were hosting an event a couple days after Easter, so I figured I might as well make some extra mini cupcakes and bring them to the charity event.  I mean, Easter + WWJD but pull off a miracle and make tons of baked goods appear, right? =)

Creamsicle and berry cream mini cupcakes with a mixed berry cake ball egg

Creamsicle and berry cream mini cupcakes with a mixed berry cake ball egg

I planned out my post-work calendar the week before Easter weekend.  It went a little something like this:

Monday: berries & cream frosting; (orange & cream) Creamsicle® frosting; vanilla frosting

Tuesday: Mix and roll out cake balls

Wednesday: Dip and decorate cake balls for the birthday party

Thursday: Bake & frost chocolate cupcakes

Friday: Dip and decorate cake balls for Easter

Saturday: Bake lemon cupcakes and Creamsicle® cupcakes; frost

I think I only got 3 hours of sleep on 4 of the 6 nights.  I’m a little slow and perfectionistic when it comes to this, and I didn’t have anything prepped so it just took FOREVER.  And once I get in the groove and I’m plugged into Pandora on my phone (after dropping my phone countless times during baking sessions, I finally got a Velcro sleeve that will hold the phone so I can listen to music and bake at the same time), the minutes just fly by and before you know it, it’s almost 3 am.

I took over the fridge with all this frosting!

I took over the fridge with all this frosting!

So the first night, I made at least 6 pints of vanilla frosting, then divvied the buttercream to make berries & cream frosting and a frosting concoction that tastes basically like a Creamsicle®.

Chocolate birthday cake balls with rainbow sprinkles for the birthday boy!

Chocolate birthday cake balls with rainbow sprinkles for the birthday boy!

I used the last of my precious mashed up chocolate cake reserves from the freezer to roll out some chocolate cake balls with berry frosting for my little cousin.  I had some fun rainbow sprinkles, so I started meticulously and speedily placing each sprinkle on the dipped cake ball.  I did about 4 of those, and then just decided to throw the sprinkles on each ball.  I love the little kid but let’s be real here, he’s still going to love it because it’s sprinkles + sugar + chocolate.  haha

Double berry cake balls!

Double berry cake balls!

I had leftover cake layers from the ombre cake in the freezer, so I popped them in the food processor to grind up for cake balls.  I forgot how awesomely delicious and moist these were, so the texture was a little too soft for my liking for cake powder.  I didn’t need much frosting to hold the balls together.  On a whim, I decided to make each ball be half pink cake and half red cake, kind of yin-yangish, and it was an interesting effect upon biting the ball in half (that is, if it wasn’t entirely popped into one’s mouth).  I dipped some of them in blue chocolate and the rest in pink raspberry cream candy coating.  I thought it would fit with the berries and cream frosting for the cupcakes.  I drizzled some white chocolate zig zags on them; that one simple step just makes it look so elegant and classy.  Haha

Chocolate mini cupcakes with white vanilla frosting

Chocolate mini cupcakes with white vanilla frosting

I stayed up late to bake little mini chocolate cupcakes for my cool little cousin.  I totally went overboard.  Only 15 people or so came to the party, and there were tooo many cupcakes.  I brought about 50 of them, AND the cake balls.  But my aunt and uncle said they’d bring some extras to my cousin’s school for his birthday; how’s THAT for a first impression at a new school?

There are 225 mini cupcakes here... or 325.  Somewhere in-between that.

There are 225 mini cupcakes here… or 325. Somewhere in-between that.

When I got back from Philly I baked a massive amount of mini lemon-vanilla cupcakes.  I got these pretty tulip wrappers from Michael’s b/c they were on sale, and coincidentally my frosting colors matched (hey man, I just realized that when I was baking @ 2 am).  I lost track of how many I made after I counted 216.  I had planned on making about 80 extra for the charity event and bringing about 45 to Easter, but ummm… yeah. Kinda overshot that.  I ended up bringing about 120 cupcakes to Easter, in addition to 2 dozen cake balls and about 20 extra chocolate cupcakes from my cousin’s birthday, too.  Quite a few people took home some extra cupcakes =)

Creamsicle and berry mini cupcake flower tower for Easter

Creamsicle and berry mini cupcake flower tower for Easter

A couple days later, I brought in about 100 mini cupcakes for the Dynasty Project’s 2.0 event.  I was going to head there after work to set up and hang out and buy raffle items for a good cause, but I got a major migraine that afternoon  =/  I got a couple event photos from one of my friends and heard it was a great turnout. Anything to help raise $ for kids!

Counter cupcake display for the Dynasty Project event and some guests enjoying the goods!

Counter cupcake display for the Dynasty Project event and some guests enjoying the goods! (Photos by James Shin)

 

Post in a post: I heart balls

I used to really hate making cake pops/balls, but now I find they’re the easiest and fastest and most “wow” way to brighten someone’s day.  I usually have some Ziploc bags of finely ground cake and extra frosting stashed in my freezer in the event I need to make some last minute treats, and an entire shelf in my downstairs pantry is full of a rainbow of different colored candy melts.  Put some sprinkles or designs or a bow on the pop and package it nicely and it’s a pretty and delicious present.

I sent a few extra of the birthday and Easter cake balls to a friend in Boston and she and her husband loved them.  He said, and I quote: “These are dangerous!”  (I have to disclose that she hooked me up with some really sweet workout gear after devouring the cake balls. haha)

L's chocolate cake pops

L’s chocolate cake pops

I whipped up some cake pops for my lovely friend L for fixing a hair color disaster and taking me from a dark brunette to caramel blonde.  She did an amazing job!  I have to think of something else to bring when she kicks it up a notch to go lighter.  Can’t go to a friend’s house empty handed, can we?  I also brought her hairstylist friend some berry cake balls when she fixed my botched up hair cut (I was having terrible luck with my hair; pay attention to the risk of using flash deals, kids  =/

Spattered berry balls

Spattered berry balls

And one of my friends from college had a great write up in the NYT and an awesome concert coming up (she’s an amazing classical musician) so I promised her I’d go and bring her some baked treats.  It was so great to see her again and hear/watch her perform.   She shared the cake balls with some of the performers and they loved them.

Break a leg cake balls

Break a leg cake balls

I think these are a pretty good way of saying “hello” and “thank you”, don’t you think?

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