More Halloween Cupcakes
Originally uploaded by kristin_a

Hope everyone has a great Halloween!

Halloween cupcakes

Halloween cupcakes
Originally uploaded by kristin_a

Wow this has been a busy week for cupcakes! I finished my large order last night – 60 cupcakes – and delivered them today. The customer seemed very pleased with them for her party tonight. She took a bunch of my business cards with her to pass out to her friends and party goers. So hopefully that will bring in more business.

For this order, I made:
1 dozen Witch Hats – red velvet cupcake with a green italian meringue “witch hat” dipped in chocolate

1 dozen Spiderweb cupcakes – chocolate pumpkin cupcake filled with cranberry curd and topped with cinnamon buttercream

2 dozen Candy corn cupcakes – vanilla cupcakes layered in the colors of white, orange and yellow and topped with vanilla buttercream

The other dozen was a compilation of leftover red velvets and chocolate pumpkins decorated in a halloween theme. I love those monster hands. I ordered the last two from Sugarcraft. I’m gonna have to keep my eye out for more and buy them in advance.

Updated website

I updated the color scheme of my website. The pink was bugging me. I’m not a huge fan of this template but whatcha gonna do about something that is free.

I’ve decided that I want my colors to be in the family of purple, green and brown. But I am not going to worry about a new website right now. The one I have serves it’s purpose at the moment. My money is better spent on other things right now. But if you have any ideas, please let me know.

Baby shower cupcakes

My Saturday order went well. I think the cupcakes turned out pretty great. The baby shower color scheme was teal, orange and brown. I already had orange fondant but not teal so I had to color some myself. That was the first time I’d ever colored fondant myself. I was pretty pleased with the way the color turned out.

My next big order is due Wednesday morning. I decided that I am going make all the decorations and frostings tonight and bake the cupcakes and decorate them tomorrow. I really hope I am not up until 1am but I have a feeling it’s gonna happen. I am still trying to decide some of the designs for these Halloween-themed cupcakes. There is big potential for future business here and I don’t want to disappoint.

On the catering kitchen front, I sent emails and left messages for 6 caterers in my area and not a single one have called or emailed me back except one. And they told me that they only have a convection oven. I have no idea how to bake cupcakes in a convection oven. But if I can learn, I can use their kitchen so that’s cool. So I guess I’ll be doing some googling on that subject today.

If you’ve ever used a convection oven to bake cupcakes, please let me know your thoughts on that.

Busy busy!

Fauxstess cupcake
Originally uploaded by kristin_a

Well thanks for CTTC for the mention last week cause I’ve gotten 3 orders for cupcakes so far!

The first order was delivered this morning. They requested half La Dolce Vida and half Fauxstess (seen above). The Fauxstess didn’t come out how I envisioned it in my head so I’ll have to practice some more with that. But it tasted good!

The Tiramisu cupcakes (La Dolce Vida -seen below) ended being a pain in the butt only because the mascarpone I bought at Trader Joes curdled when I was working with it. So I had to run down to Ralphs at 9pm and pick up another container. And they only had one left! Just my luck. So those cupcakes ended up taking longer than anticipated and I didn’t end up finishing until 11p (and I started at 7p).

Tiramisu cupcake

I believe things would go a lot quicker if I had a larger kitchen. Which is why I’ve started looking into local caterers to borrow kitchen space from them. So far none of the caterers I’ve contacted have gotten back to me. Sad, I know. I plan to follow up early next week and see what happens with that. Once I find a place, I can start working on getting a business license and LLC. First things for though.

I have another order for tomorrow morning. 2 dozen mini cupcakes decorated for a baby shower. You’d think that mini cupcakes would be easier but really it’s about the same amount of work as regular sized ones.

I’m on the look out for kitchen shoes. My feet kill me after standing on them for 3 hrs straight. I was wearing my Crocs but they aren’t helping as much as they used to. Maybe they are just old and I need new ones. Or I can look for special shoes. I just don’t want to spend a lot of money on them so Danskos are out. If you know of any, let me know.

We thought about getting those kitchen gel pads you see advertised in the back of Gourmet magazine but they are very expensive. We might just use garage fatigue mats. LOL. That’s classy!

Well you get the idea

Happy Birthday cupcake box

Meringue Bake Shop is starting to get some action!

I had an order for another birthday box minus the balloons and candles for a coworker. Her husband turned 45 today and he loves chocolate (and my cupcakes) so she asked me to make him this box to celebrate.

The cupcakes are chocolate with cookie dough inside and topped with chocolate swiss meringue buttercream. I tried one. They are delicious! I might add these to my menu…

Speaking of menu, I got a shout out on Cupcakes Take the Cake blog yesterday. Read about it here:

How cool is that! And that mention on their site brought me business! I got an email this morning from someone wanting to purchase 1 dozen cupcakes to be delivered on Friday. Can I tell you how excited that makes me?? I’ve been giddy all day!! A stranger is buying my cupcakes! Not a friend or a friend of a friend or a coworker. A complete stranger! And, to top that, I’m delivering them to a hotel in Anaheim. You know I’ll be leaving some business cards with them. I might even take along 4 extra cupcakes to leave for the hotel staff… hmmm….

So that’s what’s been happening lately. It just makes me wish more and more that I could open my own shop and leave this rat race. Lyle is going to help me research investors online. I guess there are quite a few places where investors look to help out small businesses. Having an investor is kinda weird though. I guess in a way I’d still be reporting to someone right? I don’t know. We’ll see…

Right now I’m also working on my Halloween email. That should be going out tomorrow. I just need to mock up some Halloween-themed packages, take pics and send out the email. I hope that generates some business. Those are always fun to do. And then, in early November, I’m planning to send out another email focusing on Thanksgiving. Not just cupcakes but also pies and biscotti and dessert bars.

Cupcakes for a shower

Liz’s Wedding Shower

Back in August, my friend Liz had a wedding shower here in Orange County. I volunteered to make the dessert portion of the shower. And of course, they were cupcakes!

These cupcakes were made to look like zinnias. I followed the idea from the book Hello, Cupcake! They definitely took some time. All of those petals are piped on separately. The center of the flowers are golden oreos. I was worried that the oreo with the cupcake and the frosting would be too much, too sweet. But it was great. The oreo had just the right amount of saltiness to make the cupcake a perfect mix of flavors and textures.

Zinnia cupcakes

Close up of the cupcakes

For the cupcake, I made a white cake and added orange and lemon zest. And the frosting was a plain buttercream livened up with Cointreau and orange extracts.

The cupcakes were accompanied by a candy buffet (seen in the background). We chose pink, yellow, purple and orange as the wedding shower colors to symbolize the sunset and the sun setting on her single life. 

Liz's Wedding Shower - candy buffet

So I tried to stick with those color in the buffet. There was a TON of candy leftover. But that is to be expected. You need a lot of candy to make the buffet visually appealing. It wasn’t hard to find new homes for the leftover candy though.