12 Aug 2011

DIY Cupcakes

there were a few things ben and I decided to do ourselves for our wedding to save some money and whatnot.

one of the things I latched onto early on was making all the cupcakes myself.
ben said "have fun, but I am not going to be frantically frosting cupcakes two hours before the wedding. at that point you're on your own".

I had to admit there was risk so, thankfully, it didn't come down to last minute decorating.

I also had help.
my mom, my sister and kitchen-aid all came to my rescue.

here's how it went down:
I spent the entire wednesday before the wedding baking.
it was a 98 degree day.
not the best timing on my part.
but they all got made.
all 112 of them.
(I am a baking machine!)

the next day my family come up to nh from ct, and I put molly to work on the frosting.
(she wants to be a chef. this is practice. it's good for her. really it's me helping her out.)

she whipped up the buttercream, but the second she stopped the mixer the eggs and butter separated.
it was that hot.

we decided to stop baking and go drink cool beverages by the river instead.
frosting could wait til morning.

thankfully friday morning it had cooled off and the frosting stayed in frosting form!
glorious non-melty frosting.

she set herself up at the dining room table and frosted like the devil.
(do devils frost? how do they keep their buttercream from separating in the heat?)

they were done.
they were delicious.
and we prolly saved ourselves a couple hundred bucks.

not to mention all the bragging rights we obtained.

it's all about the bragging rights.

working in the tiniest kitchen known to man.

consulting the recipe.

smiling through the heat. with our kitchen savior in the bottom right. (orange!)

testing the stiffness of the peaks.

getting down to the real frosting.

with my stolen apron.

I may have stolen a cupcake in retribution. (they were delicious)

and now, on to the recipes!

the spread

carrot cake
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 1/8 cups white sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 1/2 cup crushed pineapple
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/4 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly grease 12 muffin cups.
  2. Beat together the eggs, white sugar, and brown sugar in a bowl, and mix in the oil and vanilla. Fold in carrots and pineapple. In a separate bowl, mix the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger. Mix flour mixture into the carrot mixture until evenly moist. Fold in 1/2 cup walnuts. Transfer to the prepared muffin cups.
  3. Bake 25 minutes in the preheated oven, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out cream cheese frosting and sprinkling with remaining walnuts.

  • 2 3/4 cups sifted cake flour
  • 4 teaspoons baking powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 egg whites
  • 1 1/2 cups white sugar
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract


  1. Measure sifted flour, baking powder, and salt; sift together three times.
  2. In a mixing bowl, beat egg whites until foamy. Add 1/2 cup sugar gradually, and continue beating only until meringue will hold up in soft peaks.
  3. Cream butter or margarine. Gradually add remaining 1 cup sugar, and cream together until light and fluffy. Add sifted ingredients alternately with milk a small amount at a time, beating after each addition until smooth. Mix in flavorings. Add meringue, and beat thoroughly into batter. Spread batter in a 15 x 10 x 1 inch pan which has been lined on the bottom with parchment paper.
  4. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 30 to 35 minutes. Cool cake in pan 10 minutes, then remove from pan and transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. This cake may also be baked in two 9 inch round pans for 30 to 35 minutes, or in three 8 inch round pans for 25 to 30 minutes.

chocolate cake (from this book)


  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into pieces
  • 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3 eggs, at room temperature
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Chocolate or vanilla buttercream for frosting cupcakes 
  • Grated chocolate for garnish (optional)


  1. Preheat an oven to 350°F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin pan with paper or foil liners.
  2. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt. Place the chocolate and butter in a large heatproof bowl and set over (but not touching) simmering water in a saucepan; stir frequently until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan and let the chocolate mixture cool to room temperature, 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Using a wooden spoon, stir the sugar into the chocolate mixture until combined. Stir in the eggs one at a time, beating until combined after each addition, then beat in the vanilla. Gently fold in the flour mixture just until no traces of flour remain; do not overmix.
  4. Divide the batter evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about three-fourths full. Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center of a cupcake comes out with only a few moist crumbs attached, 22 to 24 minutes. Let the cupcakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes. Then transfer the cupcakes to the rack and let cool completely, about 1 hour.
  5. Frost the cupcakes with the buttercream, garnish with grated chocolate if using, and serve. (The frosted cupcakes can be refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 3 days; bring to room temperature before serving.)

buttercream frosting (from this book)
  • ingredients

    3 large egg whites, at room temperature
    3/4 cup sugar 
    Pinch salt
    1 cup unsalted butter at room temperature, cut into small pieces


    In a large, clean heatproof bowl, combine the egg whites and sugar. Set the bowl over (but not touching) simmering water in a sauce pan and heat the mixture, whisking constantly, until the sugar has completely dissolved and the mixture is very warm to the touch (about 160 degrees on an instant-read thermometer), about two minutes. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Using an electric mixer on high speed, beat the egg white mixture on high speed until it is fluffy, has cooled to room temperature and holds stiff peaks (the mixture should not look dry) about 6 minutes.

    With the mixer on medium-low speed, add the salt and then the butter, a few pieces at a time, beating well after each addition. If the frosting appears to separate or is very liquid after all the butter is added, continue to beat on high speed until it is smooth and creamy, 3-5 minutes more. Add the flavoring(s) of choice and beat until combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Use right away.

    Makes about 2 cups

    almond flavoring

    the book says add 1/2 tsp vanilla extract and 1/4 tsp almond extract, but we accidentally switched the two measurements (1/4 vanilla, 1/2 almond) and liked it. so we kept it.

    chocolate flavoring

    slightly altered, as we did not wish to to stand over a double boiler again, we cut out the melted bittersweet chocolate and doubled the cocoa powder. we added 6-7 tbsps unsweetened cocoa powder into a double batch of buttercream frosting.

    cream cheese frosting (from this book)

    • 12 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
    • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
    • 1 cup confectioners sugar, sifted
    • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla together until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat in the sugar and mix until thoroughly combined; scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Use right away, or if the consistency is too soft, refrigerate until the frosting is spreadable, about 15 minutes.

    and good cake was enjoyed by all.

    THE END.

    [photos 1-7 my myself or my mom, photos 8-11 by amy ritz, photo 12 by an unknown person of genius seated at table number 13]



  1. That looks amazing. Thanks so much for sharing. I am definitely going to try and make the white with chocolate butter cream.

  2. Cool, I love this. You really have a nice blog.. keep up a good work..feel free come to my blog  korean fashion online | korean fashion online malaysia | Malaysia Online Shopping have a nice day...