Wednesday, June 30, 2010

cupcake conundrum

Okay, once again, let me reiterate how much I hate making things in multiples of 80. We just finished putting together napkin/cutlery packs and the monotony is more than I can take. It seemed like such a small task yet it took a ridiculously long time to complete.

Luckily, I was able to periodically distract myself from that task because I was baking all our yummy cupcakes at the same time. Once again, in multiples of 80. Although, I love cupcakes and I love to bake, so that was more fun than programs or napkin packs.

After purchasing a copy of Martha's cupcake bible, and taking weeks to decide one some flavors, we finally locked in our choices and settled on the following: swiss chocolate, french vanilla, carrot, and rainbow bit. Although the rainbow bits cupcakes come from a box, I have loved them for as long as I can remember, so they had to be included. Mr. FP's only request was carrot and so we settled on vanilla and chocolate in hopes that everyone will be able to find something they like.

So, countless cups of flour and dozens of eggs later, our cupcakes have been successfully made and frozen since I made them a week ahead of time.

With everything baked, I turned my efforts to frosting. Although fondant cupcakes look extremely pretty, a lot of people hate the taste of fondant and although I've never had fondant, I'm a fiend for frosting, so that's an obvious choice. I had originally thought that I would be able to buy some pastry bags and decorating tips and make our cupcakes look as pretty as some cooked by a pro, but I have since given up that dream.

After wasting a can of frosting practicing with a decorating tip, I have realized that I should never take up cake decorating as a profession. I simply don't have the patience or coordination for it. Plus, if I take the more homemade route of frosting with a spatula or knife like I always do, I can enlist the help of my bridesmaids the day before which will be a huge relief. They may not look as pretty as a professional, but (as Mr. FP eloquently pointed out to me) "who the hell cares?".

And after all, he's right.

I've been trying so hard to make these cupcakes perfect that I've been stressing too much about it. Ever since telling people that we're opting to have homemade cupcakes instead of a traditional cake, I have been met with skepticism. People told me it was too much work. Too much stress. That they wouldn't taste or look as good as something I could pay for.

Well, they may not look as pretty as the ones on Ace of Cakes, but they do taste damn good if I do say so myself and saving the money was definitely worth the $60 we spent on ingredients and the one afternoon is took to make them. As it turns out, the only stress I've experienced in the process is my own desire to make them look amazing. Baking them was actually pretty simple and since baking relaxes me, it was the perfect way to spend a Sunday afternoon.

I was so concerned about meeting the standards of other weddings that I got sidetracked from our original goal: to have some money and have delicious customized cupcakes. Once I finally realized that it's okay that the cupcakes aren't as perfect as something I could have purchased, the stress melted away and now I'm excited about them more than anything.

Especially since our flower girl/my cousin was so concerned about them that she has asked me about them 4 different times. She was very worried that I would only be making white ones, and she took great care to remind me that she doesn't like white frosting. Thankfully, the Swiss chocolate ones have chocolate frosting. She was very relieved to hear that.


SMK said...

I think frosting with spatula/knife just adds charm to it - and honestly, cupcakes don't last long around me so I don't need them to be all frosted perfectly like someone had to use a mathematic equation to get it right!

I think it's simply amazing you are making them at all! Especially the carrot (my groom's ultimate favorite as well - I made them once for his first birthday we were together and never since, food processing carrots is an ordeal for me) Did you make 80 of each kind? or like 160 total, evenly split, or some other combination to equal 80?

Congrats on being one step closer!

Sara said...

Definitely don't stress yourself. I feel like a lot of the wedding plans are a similiar roller coaster ride. We go up, getting excited about an idea, then down, like you said (perfectly), trying to meet the standards of other weddings. It's refreshing to read that you're seeing the bigger picture and having fun with it.

I'm sure the cupcakes are going to turn out FABULOUS, and I'm all for restraining yourself against the massive wedding industry. Personally, I'm like you, I enjoy baking, and I think it's wonderful you're incorporating things you enjoy into the wedding. Good luck with that icing :)

Gaynor said...

They sound like they are going to be fab!

I agree about hating doing stuff in the 80's; im currently doing our thank you cards and have only done 38 out of the 100+ I need to do!

Lisa said...

don't be stressed! you are too close and you ahve made so much awesome stuff! I'm sure your cupcakes will be absolutely charming, no matter how you frost them (I recommend with frosting too! much tastier)

Bicoastal Bride said...

Way to go for doing them yourself! I would never have the patience. They will look great!

Anonymous said...

Rainbow bit, or as I call it, "space cake," is my FAVORITE. I think as a wedding guest I would feel so warm and welcome by having cupcakes prepared by the bride. GOOD WORK!

Stacy Marie said...

I love sight of the goal too and get caught up in the comparisons...evil things they area. You're baking the cupcakes for your own're clearly a badass, and anyone who says otherwise can go and suck one. I think the non-picture-perfect ones look tastier anyway, I'm always afraid to bite into the other ones!

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