The busyness came in the form of 2 baby showers- one for a little boy in PA and one for a littlle girl here in VA and I was invited to make cupcakes for both!!! (to make this work I had to make the PA cupcakes in VA on Friday night before driving to the shower in Somerset Saturday and then make the VA shower cupcakes in PA Saturday night and then drive back home Sunday morning. Needless to say was a crazy two days, and I was very lucky that my little guy decided to sleep the whole ride both ways, the cupcakes survived the trip both ways, and my husband was supportive of the whole venture :) In the end, both showers were absolutely delightful and I was happy to help make the showers extra special!
However, to keep this from becoming a short novel...will save the details and pics of the second shower for an upcoming post so make sure to check for an update :) Hehe...have to keep you coming back for more somehow anyways, right?!?!
With that said...onto the first shower!
Shower #1: The theme was based on the nursery decor...Safari animals! While I had an idea of what cupcakes I wanted to make, as I have made both monkey and lion cupcakes before, I wasn't completely sure what I wanted to do, so I did my usual google image search for inspiration. From the search I came across a great picture of jungle cupcakes on the betty crocker website: http://www.bettycrocker.com/ complete with exact details and a video (this was great - think I watched it at least 5 times :) on how to make cupcake lions, tigers, zebras and monkeys! They actually weren't too hard...just VERY time consuming :)
Here is my version of the Betty Crocker zoo:
The monkeys and zebras were chocolate cupcakes while the lions and tigers were vanilla. The vanilla cupcakes were pretty AWESOME! To make them, I followed a simple doctored cake recipe from one of my favorite cupcaking buddies. Basically you just use a box of white cake mix, and then add 1.25 c milk in place of water, up the oil to 1/3 cup, add a tsp of vanilla and use 3 entire eggs instead of just the whites - and just like that you have home-made tasting vanilla cupcakes. Magic if you ask me - thanks Christy!! :)
To decorate, I followed Betty C's instructions pretty much to a T although I improvised on the eyes and noses. The recipe called for chocolate baking bits - which sounded and looked great in theory but in reality I could not find them anywhere! Thus, I went with black jelly beans for the lions and zebras eyes and ready-made candy eyes (which my Mother-in-law keeps me stocked up on from a great local PA bake shop!!! :) for the monkeys and tigers. The noses I just drew on with chocolate icing when I added the mouths. Here are a few close-up pics to see the details:
Think the zebras were the hardest to make - as to give the cupcakes the horse head shape, had to cut the cupcake and insert a cookie before icing (although the recipe called for vanilla wafers, I actually used thin-mints since we had several bozed on hand so figured Jeremy would not even miss them!). They actually turned out pretty fun when all was said and done!
Finally, here is the finished product on display at the shower (along with the coordinated filler cupcakes ordered by one of the mom-to-be's aunts) Think they looked pretty cool, and most-importantly, Jessica, the mom-to-be, seemed very happy with them so I consider it a definite success!!