Birthday Cupcakes For Fernanda

 What I didn’t mention in Birthday Cupcakes For Angelin is that I made ChOreo cupcakes (Why Choose When You Can Have Both?) with the extra chocolate batter and gave them to my friend Annie. I’d been meaning to make some cupcakes for Annie for the longest time but never got around to doing so.

Annie liked them enough to order a box of chocolate cupcakes with Pinkalicious buttercream, sprinkles and lettering to spell ‘HAPPY BIRTHDAY FER’  for her friend Fernanda’s birthday. Thank you Annie!

What Annie didn’t know about is the immense stress, time, travelling and money spent on figuring out how to incorporate the lettering component as I had never done lettering before. I thought I could just buy ready-made sugar lettering but no such luck. This meant I would have to devise some way to make them. Let’s just say that if I were to expound on what I did and went through, this would be the longest post EVER. So I shall skip all that and say that I am not good at translating my penmanship into ‘writing’ with icing or chocolate. Those who can are gods to me. I am in absolute awe of your greatness. What I did end up doing; which I should have just done initially, was make a batch of sugar cookie dough and buy alphabet cookie cutters. More effort but when I saw the end result, I was so happy and proud of my work.

As I was experimenting with white chocolate earlier in the day, I coated the sugar cookies in some to make them prettier and tastier.

Coated in white chocolate and the birthday girl's name is decorated with silver pearls

I also added a little rose extract to my Pinkalicious buttercream to give it a more posh and grown-up feel. Rose and strawberry are a lovely combination. But be careful to add the tiniest drop as you do not want the rose to overpower the aroma and flavour of the strawberries.

I couldn’t get over how pretty Fernanda’s cupcakes were. Yes, I know they do not have intricate and cutesy fondant work but they were made with a lot of love and effort and most importantly you’re not eating a lorry-load of sugar which is what fondant is. I always cut down on the sugar in my baking as I want original flavours to come through and not just for everything to taste of sugar. I appreciate how you can do so much more decorating-wise with fondant but I cannot bring myself to use fondant based on how sweet it is.

Annie said the cupcakes were awesome and that the birthday girl liked them plenty. Pamela, another friend at the birthday celebration said they were delicious and very pretty. I love when my hard work pays off. I also love when my cupcakes make people happy.

I am very grateful to my friends who know about my little business and support it. I feel immense love for those who appreciate that I use quality ingredients in my baking and understand that is why my cupcakes are not cheap. Ingredients in Singapore are not cheap to begin with. Good ingredients cost even more. And you can taste when good quality ingredients are used. For those who can’t, I’m sorry for you…

For those who are cheap, buy cheap cupcakes and ‘enjoy’ them. I shall only bake for those who know that quality comes with a price.

For those who keep asking for freebies, I am so sick of it. I do not run a charity organisation. I do not work. This is my little project which stemmed from a new interest and love of baking cupcakes. My DCM funds it at the moment. The money made from sales barely cover my expenses as quality ingredients are used, prices are not marked up and I do not even charge for labour. If I want to bake cupcakes for you, I will do so. Asking for freebies is just plain distasteful.

With that off my chest…

This is what I did with the leftover white chocolate. I bought these molds ages ago and never used them till now:

And this is what I did with the pretty white chocolate hearts, some extra chocolate cupcakes and Pinkalicious buttercream for a bit of fun:

Birthday Cupcakes For Angelin

I received an order from my cousin Winnie to make 30 mini chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese frosting for her sister (also my cousin of course) Angelin’s birthday.

We had all been invited to a family friend’s place for pre-Christmas celebrations. Angelin’s birthday fell on that same weekend so Winnie decided to make it a joint celebration.

I wanted to make these cupcakes girly and pretty as well as sweet as Angelin who is one of the loveliest people I know. What do you think?

Chocolate Cupcakes with Caramel Cream Cheese Frosting

I love the Waitrose sprinkles and these pink pearls I found! They are so pretty! It’s back-breaking work decorating 30 cupcakes but I did it! I love my decorating tweezers! It’s definitely one of my best buys and one of my treasured cupcake-making aides.

Angelin & her adorable daughter Amelia blowing out the candles.

The cupcakes were a hit! It was adorable seeing the little children at the gathering carrying them around and licking the frosting.

Get Me In The Mood For Christmas

A little before Christmas, I wanted to bake something to get in the mood of Christmas. My BESTEST BEST FRIEND in the whole world, Bao-sie said orange and cranberries!

Orange and cranberries is a combination I’ve come across many times yet never paid attention to. And yes, it is an extremely Christmasy flavour pairing. I gave it a go and just the process of baking these orange and cranberry cupcakes put me in a huge Christmas mood.

Soft, fluffy and moist...

I loved them. Orange is a lovely flavour for a cupcake. I found dried cranberries infused with orange flavour which were a perfect complement. I would have made a cream cheese frosting to go with these but I didn’t have the time and they were really lovely on their own.

I gave some to my parents who really liked them. The Mumsy even called just to tell me they were good! Huge compliment! The father liked them plenty too.

I gave a few to my Japanese neighbours who have the most adorable little girl (I adore!) . The lady (I do not know her name) said her little girl loved them and she ate most of the cupcakes. The Japanese are such polite people. She returned the box to me with a note and a little packet of Godiva chocolates!

My DCM doesn’t like cranberries in cupcakes but liked the orange cake. One out of two is good enough I guess.

The only thing I will do differently next time I make these will be to taste the orange juice before deciding on the amount of sugar to use as these oranges were sweet and that coupled with the sugar from the cranberries made the cupcakes lean a little more to the sweet side.

I think orange cupcakes with lemon buttercream will be divine…

Why Choose When You Can Have Both?

I’ve always been tickled by the idea of a cookie in a cupcake. I wonder if the person who came up with the idea accidentally dropped cookies into cake batter and was too lazy to take them out or if it was one of those ‘I’m bored. Let’s try something funny’ scenarios. Whatever it is, I think the Oreo cupcake is a great idea!

I made some and I loved them! I love how the cookie retains its shape yet softens while the cream just suspends within the cake and adds another subtle dimension to the cake. I do not love how addictive it is.

Gg's Perfect Chocolate Cupcake batter

Yes I know I'm anal like that...

Chunky Oreo filling

Whole Oreo filling

Don't waste the extra cookies!

Ready for the oven!

Fresh out of the oven!

Love this poofy mini version!

I topped the Perfect Chocolate Cupcakes with White Russian buttercream and toasted almonds. I wanted to leave the ChOreo Cupcakes as is but to see a cupcake without frosting or any form of decoration just seems wrong. I was running a little late so I placed a mini Oreo on top of each ChOreo Cupcake just for nice.

My new cake & fruit stand for the dining table.

It seems Winnie and her colleagues enjoyed the cupcakes. One of them even said she loved them and would pay money for them! I received rave reviews for the White Russian buttercream too.

Because I Wanted Some

I felt like lemon cupcake so I made myself some!

Fresh out of the oven!

Soft, fluffy and lemony...

There were fresh, beautiful berries in my fridge as well as Rachel’s Organic Vanilla Yogurt. I made a blueberry sauce, arranged a pretty plate, ate it and was happy.

Get It Right

I mentioned that the chocolate cupcakes I made in Cupcakes For Caroline were not as chocolatey as my perfect chocolate cupcakes were so I had to bake a batch to make sure that I got them right the next time I made them proper.

Fresh out of the oven!
I wish you could smell these…

I tweaked the recipe a little and add lots for chocolate. Phew… I still got it. They are actually a little better than the original perfect chocolate cupcakes as they formed more beautifully. I also realised that my oven temperature is probably a little on the high side as the cupcakes cracked a little on the tops.

Slightly cracked but still beautiful

I think it’s important to experiment and practise to make sure things are either in tip-top condition or can be improved. Especially for a novice baker like me. I am definitely looking forward to making chocolate cupcakes again. I think I will very soon…

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