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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Assorted birthday cupcakes

I wanted to throw B a birthday party for a while.  I originally mentioned it to him about three and a half months before his birthday.  I wanted to make sure (a) he wanted a party and (b) that I had plenty of time to plan!

So I spent the past few months planning his birthday party -- first from whether it would be a group dinner out at a restaurant or a party on his roof deck (I let him make that decision), and once the decision was made, there was lots more planning: from the color scheme to the treats I'd bake to the food I'd order to the drinks we'd serve to the favors I'd give out to the should-there-be-a-photo-booth-at-the-party debate to the guest list to the centerpieces, and so on and so on and so on.  Have I mentioned my OCD tendencies?!

I wanted to make cupcakes.  But I couldn't make just one kind of cupcake.  Heck no!  There needed to be a variety of cupcakes...and other treats, too.  I am, after all, JulieBakes, and he has made it a habit of making me show people all of my baked goods when I meet them, so I couldn't embarass myself with just one kind of cupcake (even if it was his favorite cupcake).  So I made lots of cupcakes.  Lots and lots of them!  Iced with a perfectly piped heap of icing and beautifully decorated.  I mean, it is a PARTY, right?

So for the party, I made red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese frosting (I used dark cocoa powder since I loved the flavor it gave the red velvet bundt cake I made a few months ago).  And dark chocolate cupcakes and vanilla/yellow cupcakes, and then I made vanilla buttercream and chocolate buttercream (this time I used 1/3 dark cocoa powder and 2/3 regular cocoa powder), and then I made a mixture of cupcake combinations - chocolate cupcakes with vanilla buttercream, yellow cupcakes with chocolate buttercream, chocolate cupcakes with chocolate buttercream, and yellow cupcakes with vanilla buttercream.  On each cupcake, I piped the icing on in a swirling pile with a big round tip (Ateco 809).  And then I went to town decorating them.  I had seen these cupcakes on Pinterest and they were my inspiration for B's birthday cupcakes.  I totally copied them, but it was so worth it....the cupcakes were gorgeous!!

I had a bunch of "pearls" -- white, black, graphite grey/silver, and silver.  I used silver dragees as well.  And then I used white and black nonpareils, and teeny tiny silver dragees that were basically the size of nonpareils.  I started by strategically placing the pearls over half of the piped icing, and then after that was done to my liking, I started sprinkling a mixture of the silver, black, and white nonpareils (I mixed 2 Tbsp of each color together in a bowl and then used that mixture for the sprinkling) over the same half of the cupcake where I had placed the pearls.

I'm not going to lie, it's a bit time consuming, especially when it involved decorating 36+ cupcakes....but c'mon, look at the them....it was TOTALLY worth it.  Even I - who never brags - think they're pretty freaking adorable!

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