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I’m MARRIED!!! (plus a great recipe for fondant…)

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My last post here was two years ago yesterday. I was beginning to feel like creating content for this site was work instead of joy, and a hobby should always bring joy! I’ve just started to feel like I miss creating and sharing recipes though, so I am back, checking in with you all, and hoping to share new things here again- maybe a little less frequently than my usual one time per week though!

So… a lot has happened in these two years! Just after I posted my last recipe here, I began walking every morning with a friend I’d known for about 8 years named Nick. We walked all that fall, winter and spring and became really close friends. Last summer he asked if I’d be interested in dating (which I was!), in December he proposed, and we were married 5 months ago! It is such a wonderful thing to have someone to walk life with. He is an incredible man, and I’m so thankful that God brought us together!

Plus he loves desserts as much (maybe more!) than I do!

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So obviously our wedding cake was a really important element of our wedding! My dear friends Megan and Wendy Davis from Happily Ever After Cakes did our cake and it was incredible on several levels.

First: They live almost 10 hours away. They made the cakes, drove them cross-country and assembled them here.

Second: Our wedding theme was confetti, and they matched our colors perfectly in fondant.

Third: It was a 5 layer cake- and each layer was a different flavor with a different filling. And all of the flavors were epic. I tried them all (of course!)

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Wendy and Megan make delicious cake (top secret recipe) and amazing fillings, but what puts their cakes over the top is their made-from-scratch fondant. I usually want to peel fondant off to get rid of it- but not this. It’s soft, and sweet, and absolutely delicious.

Megan shared their recipe with me on a visit several years ago, and I posted about it here. I thought it was worth a second share though- just in case you missed it the 1st time, so here you go: (printer-friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar- plus a little for dusting.
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clear vanilla
  • gel colors to color fondant as desired

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place your mini marshmallows and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute- until they are puffy and melted.
  • Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted completely, put them back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).
  • Add clear vanilla and mix well.
  • Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar, stir until smooth, add another 1/4 and stir.  It will become difficult to stir and very sticky.
  • Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.
  • Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together with clean (powder sugar coated!) hands.  It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency.  Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/ board.
  • This can now be colored with gel, rolled out and cut, or stored (tightly wrapped) in the fridge for about one week.  
  • Have your cupcakes or cake all made and cooled.
  • Make enough fondant to cover your item(s).  Here is a great chart by Wilton to help you determine how much you’ll need for various projects.
  • Make up some  thick buttercream icing (recipe here) and you are ready to go!

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My thoughts: YAY! It is fun to be at a place where I can jump back into sharing my ideas here again. I’ve missed you all! Until the next recipe….

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Enjoy!

 

 

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K-cup Cupcakes

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K-cup cupcakes!!

These  mini vanilla cupcakes are topped with the yummiest fondant and decorated like Keurig K-cups!  So fun!!!

My friend and coworker Mary just got a new job.  When I was thinking about her going-away party I just kept wondering how I could make a dessert that looked like a K-cup coffee pod.  Mary is known in our lab as the K-cup supplier.  Anyone who finds themselves without a coffee pod can find one in Mary’s supply…she literally orders by the case online and at any given time she has maybe 10 different flavors.  Now that she’s gone we really miss her (and her coffee!)
This is less of a recipe and more of an “idea” post.  It was a good chance for me to practice with the fondant recipe my friend Megan gave me a couple of months ago and a fun little art project to challenge my (terrible!) painting skills!
K-cup cupcakes!!!!

(It was also really a fun project to take pictures of!!!)
Want to know how to do this crazy edible art project?
Here it is:

  • Make thick buttercream icing and fondant first.  It’s easiest if I just send you to my original fondant recipe for the tutorial and directions.  Just click here to open that page.
  • For the cupcakes just use your favorite cupcake recipe (which for me was a white cake mix!)
  • I used little cocktail nut cups as my cupcake liners, because they look like the sides of the K-cup pods, but you could certainly use mini white cupcake liners.
  • Place the liners in mini muffin tins and fill about halfway up with cake batter (under-fill them a little, so that the tops bake relatively flat and not mounded up like a typical cupcake)
  • Bake according to your recipe.  My mini cupcakes baked for 12 minutes at 350F degrees.
  • Color fondant as desired and roll it flat.  Cut it into circles that are the size of the cupcake tops.  I used a small round cookie cutter.
  • Use thick buttercream to frost a smooth layer on the top of a cooled cupcake and then immediately press a fondant circle on top of the buttercream.
  • Cut colored fondant into any shapes you might need on top and use a small amount of water  to attach these  shapes to the top of the fondant circle.

K-cup cupcakeK-cup cupcakes!

  • Once those extra pieces are attached, use a small brush to wipe away excess powdered sugar and then use gel food coloring and a fine tipped brush to paint on the fondant.  I used an actual pod as a model to paint from.

Paint cupcake with food color gels.

(note: you might need to add a little white food coloring to the dark colors to make them show up- otherwise your dark blues and greens will look like black when used as paint.)

Be creative and use your imagination!  I just pulled all of my pod flavors out and tried to pick ones that were fun – but also ones I thought I could handle copying!  I wanted to do a Starbucks pod- but that logo…!  Yikes.  No way I could paint anything that looked like that!!

K-cup cupcakes!!!!K-cup cupcakes!!

My thoughts:  These aren’t what I would qualify as easy, but they are really a fun afternoon project.  Very relaxing.  I’m POSITIVE you all can paint better than I, and if you like to just create and paint and color you will love this project!  Take your time and enjoy the process. (and don’t actually try to brew one- lol!  I had someone ask me about that and I had to explain that the above picture is simply a creative presentation of a cupcake!!)

I’m dedicating this post to you Mary!!  I miss working with you and I hope your new coworkers realize how lucky they are to have you!!!

This is also a shout out to Keurig and the genius of those delicious little coffee pods– you make every morning so much happier for me!!!  Lots of love from Easybaked to all of you!  ~r

K- cup cupcakes!!!

Other mini desserts you might enjoy:

Cookie Dough CupcakesChocolate Raspberry Mini CupcakesRich Chocolate Ganache Mini CupcakesMint Creme Brownie Cups

Fondant…how to make it, use it and eat it!

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Fun fondant cupcake toppers

Homemade fondant that is easy AND tasty?  Here you go!!!

Every time I see cute cupcakes or cakes decorated in fondant I love them…and then I dismiss the possibility of making them for two reasons:

1. Fondant is really hard to make and use.

2. Fondant tastes bad and everyone just peels it off to get to the real frosting and cake underneath.

My good friend Megan from Happily Ever After Cakes set out to prove me wrong on both counts….and she did!

If you follow the comings and goings of easybaked, you know that I recently had a visit from my dear friend Megan for a weekend long baking extravaganza.  This is project #2 from that weekend.

Before Megan came, I knew we would be tackling fondant cupcakes and we both went on an internet hunt for fun and easy ideas to try.  We saw these cute garden themed cupcakes on a Flickr site called Hello Naomi and decided to try them out!

The cupcakes are just plain white cupcakes (use your favorite flavor/recipe!)  What’s amazing is, of course, what’s on top.  There are two recipes involved~ a thick buttercream that acts like a glue on the top of each cupcake and the actual fondant recipe.

Let’s start with those two recipes and then I can tell you how we pulled it all together.

Thick Buttercream Frosting: (makes about 4 cups of frosting)

(printer-friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter (softened)
  • 1/2 cup Crisco
  • 1 tsp clear vanilla (or any flavoring you might want!)
  • 4 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon of half-and half cream.

DIRECTIONS:

  • Beat together butter, Crisco and vanilla with a mixer until smooth.
  • Add powdered sugar gradually and mix until combined and a little crumbly.
  • Add half and half cream and mix on low.  You might need to add a little more until frosting is a thick but smooth consistency.
  • Don’t beat frosting on high speed or for too long to prevent air bubbles that will keep it from spreading smoothly.
  • This frosting can be used to frost cupcakes or cakes that will have fondant laid over the top.  It has a sticky consistency that acts as a glue to attach the fondant.  It can be kept in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for about a week.

Marshmallow Fondant (recipe from about.com site)- they have a great video tutorial too!! (makes about 1 1/2 lbs of fondant.)

(printer-friendly recipe)

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 cups mini marshmallows (half of a 16 oz. bag)
  • 4 cups powdered sugar- plus a little for dusting.
  • 2 tsp water
  • 1/2 teaspoon of clear vanilla
  • gel colors to color fondant as desired

DIRECTIONS:

  • Place your mini marshmallows and water into a large mixing bowl and microwave on high for about one minute- until they are puffy and melted.
  • Stir them together with a rubber spatula until they are completely smooth (if not melted completely, put them back in the microwave on high for 5-10 seconds).
  • Add clear vanilla and mix well.
  • Add about 1/4 of the powdered sugar, stir until smooth, add another 1/4 and stir.  It will become difficult to stir and very sticky.
  • Pour the rest of the powdered sugar onto a clean counter or cutting board.
  • Scrape the sticky fondant mixture out of the bowl and onto the powdered sugar and begin to knead it together with clean (powder sugar coated!) hands.  It will gradually become like a smooth clay consistency.  Use a metal scraper to keep it from sticking to the counter/ board.
  • This can now be colored with gel, rolled out and cut, or stored (tightly wrapped) in the fridge for about one week.  Megan recommended refrigerating it overnight before use, so we did.

Melt marshmallowsMix until smoothPour onto counterKnead together with hands

Now comes the fun part….

  • Have your cupcakes or cake or cookies all made and cooled.
  • Make enough fondant to cover your item(s).  Here is a great chart by Wilton to help you determine how much you’ll need for various projects.
  • Make up some of that thick buttercream icing and you are ready to go!

We needed to cut circles to cover each cupcake and we used a circle cutter set, which was nice because we could choose the perfect size to cover our cupcake tops.  We simply powdered a cutting board and rolled out the fondant using a fondant rolling pin.   We cut out the cupcake tops in white  (we saved the red tops for later when we colored fondant).

Rolling out fondant

Roll fondant out into a fairly thin layer and cut round pieces out to fit the tops of your cupcakes.

  • To place the fondant circles on top of the cupcakes just spread some of that sticky buttercream icing on top of a cupcake, smooth it as much as you can and place fondant circle on top.  
  • Gently press the edges down to touch the top of the cupcake liner and smooth it with your fingers.
  • We made daisies to go on top of the caterpillar cupcakes, so we cut out the white flowers before we colored anything.  Megan got me two cute daisy fondant cutters and they were SO fun to use!
  • Roll your fondant out, cut out daisies and lie them on a powdered sugared curved edge to harden a bit.  I used a plate with a lip on it.

Cut daisies out of fondantSet daisies on curved edge to harden

Time to color a little fondant for those yellow centers:  

  • To color just add a little gel color to the center of a bit of fondant and mix it with your hands.  
  • Use a little powdered sugar to prevent the fondant from sticking to your hands.

Tips:  keep fondant under a glass to keep it moist until you need it.  If it gets too dry you can add a little bit of Crisco to soften it up.  If it gets too sticky and the powdered sugar isn’t helping, you can use a little cornstarch to dry it up.

  • Roll a bit of yellow fondant into a small ball, press it flat and brush a tiny bit (just make it damp!) of water on it.  Press into center of white daisy—–so cute!

Water acts like glue with fondant…..something to remember as you start to decorate.

Add color gel to fondantKeep fondant under a glass to keep it moist.Use a little water on the fondant flower centerPress yellow center into daisy

Next, we colored some fondant green and rolled out little caterpillar body parts.  We let them set awhile and cut leaves out of the green as well– you can use that wonderful circle cutter set to make them– we “glued” them on white cupcake tops using water (just a little!).

The last colors we made were the red and black for the lady bugs and mushroom caps.  Both of these dark colors get ALL over your light colors if you aren’t careful about washing your hands– so make them up after you’ve already cut and shaped the lighter colored parts!  We just cut circles out for the mushroom caps and shaped ladybugs by hand….

ladybugs!All of the shapes– the bugs and daisies and mushroom spots were “glued” on with a little water and the last step was to paint on little faces and ladybug spots.  We dipped right in to our black gel food color to do this– Megan got us a fine-tipped decorating brush that made short work of painting.

Ladybug and Caterpillar cupcakes!

Aren’t they fun?

My thoughts:  I realize this entire post is a far stretch from the “EASY” in “Easybaked”…but it was honestly not as difficult as I thought it would be.  I can see myself making fun embellishments for topping off regular cupcakes in the future now that I know how simple fondant is to make.

The best part?  It is honestly SO yummy.  The fondant isn’t rubbery or hard- you bite into the cupcake and the fondant is soft and tastes like marshmallow-y frosting.  I wasn’t tempted to peel it off at ALL! (promise!)  I even enjoyed snacking on the little critters and flowers on top.  Yum….!

ladybug and caterpillar cupcakes!Other fun and yummy cupcake ideas:

Butter beer cupcakesblackberry cream cupcakeAndes Mint CupcakesChocolate molten lava cupcakes

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