Testing, testing..

To start off with.. guess what I bought?!?!

Ta Da! She’s so beautiful, I wanted to hug her for hours! (Yes, it’s a her because she’s a beautiful shade of pink, my assistant, and she will be receiving a name as soon as I find one good enough!)

In an effort to make the most amazing, yummy cupcake display for my dad’s 50th surprise party (shh!) next weekend, I have been testing cupcakes that follow the black and white theme.

I started with a cookies & cream cupcake, recipe thanks to Homemade by Holman. The batter was a little runny, so I have to say that it made me a little nervous. I lowered the oven temp to 325 and they came out beautifully.

Next I made Martha Stewart’s chocolate cupcakes. The batter was liquidly. But they came out so light and fluffy. Maybe I see a pattern emerging.. I’m used to thick cupcake batter but it always comes out too dry and dense for my liking. I think I’ll stick to the thinner batters from now on – it seems to work well.

Finally, I made just yellow cake that I had to make for my Wilton class last night. I hate cake mix. It always gets so sticky in the end. My cake actually turned out and I’ve never made an actual CAKE before.. cupcakes are definitely my calling. But look how pretty it actually looked once I got it out of the pan:

Next came the icing.. I made the cream cheese frosting that is with the cookies & cream recipe.. it tastes yummy but I definitely like my icing a lot thicker.. it seemed to melt easily. Maybe I will do half butter and half vegetable shortening next time. I took out half of the batter for the cream cheese and then added Oreos to the rest.. now that icing was to die for. If I could have gotten it to stiffen a little, I would say that it is close to the perfect icing.

So I tried different icing combinations, and at the end of the day, I would say that I loved the chocolate cupcake and Oreo icing and also the Cookies & Cream cupcake with cream cheese frosting. I think for my dad’s party, I’m going to make the Cookies & Cream cupcake with cream cheese frosting, Chocolate cupcake with whipped ganache, chocolate peanut butter cupcakes, and some form of vanilla with vanilla bean icing. Can you tell we love chocolate in my family?

I need to look into cupcake towers more, and photos of my boyfriend’s attempt to construct it for me will come this weekend. Next baking adventure: good vanilla buttercream and testing of the chocolate peanut butter cupcakes.

Until next time, cupcake.

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