Archive for April, 2010

The Winners of Cupcake Camp Seattle 2010

By on Sunday, April 18th, 2010

The biggest winner of last weekend’s Cupcake Camp Seattle was the Hope Heart Institute: 5,000 cupcakes donated by 70 bakers and consumed by nearly 1,000 people raised $5,276.50 for the charity in just three hours. Carrie Middlemis, owner of Cupcakes Couture and one of the organizers of the event, says, “For our first year we estimated maybe we would have about 300 people attending. We were blown away by the response and already planning to make it bigger and better.”

As for the competitive prizes, see below or Bella Cupcakes’ post on the winners. There were three competitive categories, Most Unique Ingredients, Best Seattle, and Healthiest, with a Professional and Amateur division within each category. Last but not least is the youth division’s best cupcake prize. And of course no competitive cupcake event is complete without a cupcake eating contest (you can see the video here).

(most pictures courtesy of Barbie Hull Photography)

PROFESSIONAL DIVISION:
Most Unique Ingredients
1st: NY Cupcakes / Limoncello with Raspberry drizzle.
2nd: Rocket Queens /”War Pig” Chocolate cake, smoky chipotle, bacon; topped with white chocolate buttercream and candied bacon.
Honorable mention: Kimm of Spitfire- Kimm-chi (Korean pickled cabbage) with grated carrot, zucchini and ginger frosting. Sweetened with agave nectar.

I guess first and second prize must’ve tasted really good, because I don’t think that those are particularly unique ingredients, though I admit I may be jaded by the flavor proliferation of the Seattle cupcakery scene .  I still say that if you’re giving prizes for the weirdest stuff you can put in a cupcake and still be edible, kim-chi definitely takes first prize.

Best Seattle:
1st: : Bella Cupcakes / Pacific NW Sustainable Granola NY (left)
2nd: NY Cupcakes /Orca Whales and salmon (middle)
Honorable Mention: Rocket Queen Cupcakes / Unhappy Hipster – my favorite! (right)

Healthiest:
1st: Immortal Bakery / Banana with Honey and Cinnamon
2nd: Kimm of Spitfire / Vegan delight Banana-Orama (not pictured)

AMATEUR DIVISION
Most Unique Ingredient
1st: Tina Campbell / Strawberry Pop Rock (right)
2nd: Ronnie Porter and Nicole Lucas / The TCB Velvet Elvis (not pictured)
A banana, chocolate chip cupcake with peanut butter frosting and a slice of bacon on top. A treat the King would have surely loved.
Honorable Mention: Anisha Hathiramani, Rootbeer Float (right)

Best Seattle:
1st:
Ani and Amber Butler / Uptight Seattleite (left)
2nd: Melynda O’Brien Captivating Creations/ Ferry, Orca, Seattle scene (middle)
Honorable Mention: Vicki Bushnell / Destination Seattle (right)

Healthiest:

1st: Teigan Walker / Red Goat- Chocolate beet cake with goats cheese frosting and candied beet. (left)

2nd: Jana Bailey-Bailey-Hessler (The Cake Diva) / Vegan Chocolate Mocha (right)

Personally, I think that the Red Goat should’ve gotten an special prize for unique ingredient too – I can’t say that I’ve ever seen goat cheese and beets in a cupcake before.

YOUTH
Best Tasting/Design Kids
1st Choice: ? Unknown, Space Needle with Whale; (left)
2nd Choice Tie between Jazzmyn (middle) & Tycie Engberg (right)

I was particularly impressed by the youth category…kids in grade school did better cupcake decorating than I ever could. I salute the next generation of cupcake makers!

Johnny Cupcakes Suitcase Tour, Coming Soon to a City Near You!

By on Saturday, April 17th, 2010

“My name is Johnny, and I make clothes with cupcakes on ‘em.”  The rise of Johnny Cupcakes is the indie version of the pull yourself up by the bootstraps American dream. Johnny started out with a high school diploma, a goofy nickname and a whole lot of creativity, selling his cupcake-themed tees while he was on tour with his band. He ended up with with a multi-million dollar business based on t-shirts with cupcakes on them.

This month Johnny went back to his band tour roots with the Johnny Cupcakes Suitcase Tour. On April 3rd he started in New York City, and over the past weeks he’s been moving across the country, sharing his good cupcake news and planting cupcake t-shirts all across the country.  Next Sunday (4/25)  he’ll be in my hometown of Seattle, WA pitching shirts and meeting fans at the Trophy Cupcakes in the Wallingford neighborhood.  Sunday schedule allowing, I’ll be there soaking in the cupcake cool and taking lots of pictures for ATC.

Cupcake Camp Favorites: Baklava Honeybee Cupcakes

By on Thursday, April 15th, 2010

Testing, testing, one two bee!

Cupcake Camp Seattle was great: good cause, good food, big crowd. But my favorite thing was being able to meet some really great people who are totally into cupcakes. One of these folks is Jennifer White, an amateur baker who entered her Baklava Honeybee Cupcakes into the “most unique ingredient” category. In this case, amateur just means she doesn’t run her own bakery – those Baklava Honeybees were totally pro level.

The final Cupcake Camp product

Jennifer says that she came about this recipe especially for cupcake camp – when a friend of hers told her about the event, she knew she’d have to come up with something super cute and super tasty.  The inspiration for the bee theme came from the Bright Ideas beehive cupcake that was taken to the next level by actual honey, even cuter bees and Jennifer’s love of Greek food.

After a test run at an office birthday party which ended with an empty cupcake box and rave reviews from co-workers, the Baklava Bee cupcakes were ready for Cupcake Camp, which is where I got a chance to taste test them. Being a fan of the deeper sweetness of honey, good baklava and cute little bees, it was love at first bite.

If you want to try out Baklava Bees for yourself, Jennifer’s recipe and instructions are below :

Favorite yellow cake recipe, enough for 24 cakes: I like Martha Stewart’s basic yellow cake and if pressed for time, I have the best results with Duncan Hines “Butter Recipe Golden” boxed mix.

For the nut and honey mixture: 1/3 cup each of the following chopped nuts: almonds, walnuts, pecans. Combine the cup of mixed nuts with about 3 heaping tablespoons of clover honey.

Note: I also like Tupelo honey, but not everyone likes the distinctive taste of Tupelo honey. Other types of honey might also work well, but I’d caution that some may be overpowering, for example Orange Blossom honey is probably just a little too pungent.

For the crusts: About 4-5 tablespoons of melted butter, but you might end up using a whole stick depending on how generous your buttering is. 1 box of frozen Phyllo Dough, though you won’t come anywhere close to using the whole thing. For 24 cupcakes, you’ll need 96 squares cut about an inch or so larger than your cupcake cup base, but you’ll want to cut about 110 squares (some will tear and break, so don’t fret if you lose a few). I used a sharp knife to cut the squares. Keep a slightly damp napkin or towel on top of the squares you aren’t working with so they don’t dry out too much. Also, make sure you’ve defrosted your dough well beforehand. Defrosting usually takes a minimum of 5 hours.

Honey Buttercream Frosting
: 1 cup unsalted butter, 1/3 cup honey plus two tablespoons, 2 level tablespoons meringue powder, 4-5 cups powdered sugar, gold food coloring (optional). Cream the butter, honey, and meringue powder for 2 minutes. Add 2 cups of powdered sugar. Start on low speed, beat until smooth and creamy, about 3-5 minutes. Gradually add the remaining sugar, 1 cup at a time, beating well after each addition until the icing is thick enough to be of good piping consistency. You want it to be stiff enough to hold a shape but don’t add so much sugar that it loses its creaminess.

For the cute little bees: Next I needed to perfect those cute little bees.  I decided that I needed a yellow shiny candy and black frosting that would dry hard.  For the test batch for the birthday party, I tried out multi-colored pastel Jordan Almonds.  The problem was these really only come out around Easter time and are terribly expensive.  I decided for the Cupcake Camp that the pastel Easter peanut M&Ms were a more reasonable choice, and personally I prefer the taste of them to Jordan Almonds.

I decided to use the black gel icing that comes in a little white tube, ready-made and store-bought, to paint three black stripes on the bees.  You could use black royal icing, you just want to make sure you know how the bee is going to sit once you’re done icing it and have set it down to dry.  Many bees want to roll over onto the icing; I leaned them against the edge of my cake carrier to dry.  You have to make sure you prepare the bees the night before so that the icing is completely dry before you add them to the cakes.  As with the Bright Ideas honey bees, I used almond slivers for the wings.

Disturbed Cupcake Necklace

By on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Love dressing yourself up in Cupcakes?!? Are you always looking for new Cupcake items to add to your already sweet wardrobe?!?! I have found this lovely necklace that will fit in with your self-decor perfect ….

Disturbed Cupcake Necklace found at ShanaLogic!

this necklace would pair perfectly with  the Candyland Racerback Tank

Free Cupcakes on Tax Day

By on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

I love tax day!  I know it sounds crazy but having a CPA  in my family,  I look forward to the relief that this day brings.  Now Cinnabon is making this day more special by giving away free cupcakes! Go to participating a Cinnabon location on April 15th from 6pm-8pm and you will get 2 free Cupcake Bites.  Sweet!

Cupcake Concessions: Cupcakes come to Safeco Field

By on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

The official cupcakes of the Seattle Mariners :)

My hometown is just full of cupcake news this month.  Cakespy got the scoop that Safeco Field, home of the Seattle Mariners, is now also home to some gigantic gourmet cupcakes.  The stadium just revamped their concessions stand menus and decided that they just couldn’t leave out our favorite baked good.  Cupcakes at the ballgame, cupcakes at the art gallery…where will they show up next, Seattle?

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes

By on Wednesday, April 14th, 2010

Mickey Mouse Cupcakes from Whisk Upon A Star Photostream on Flickr.

You may also want to check out the Whisk Upon A Star Facebook page.