Monkey Themed First Birthday!

When my friend Kristin asked me to make cupcakes for her son Micah’s first birthday of course I was super excited about it!  My cupcakes were going to be the first sugar baby Micah would get to eat!  Then, when she decided on a jungle theme for the party and asked if I could make monkey cupcakes, I was even more excited.  I had the perfect cupcakes that I had pinned oh so long ago and I knew they’d be great for this occasion.

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Kristin and I decided on half chocolate cupcakes and half banana chocolate chip cupcakes because, well, how cute is it to have banana flavored cupcakes that look like monkeys??  I went with one bowl chocolate cupcakes since they are my ultimate favorite chocolate cupcake recipe.  They always come out perfectly, it’s a no fail recipe if you’re looking for a good chocolate cupcake.  And for an extra bonus, you only have to use one bowl so less to clean!

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For the banana chocolate chip cupcakes I went with a recipe I had made very early on in starting my blog.  But instead of the butter, I used canola oil since I think it makes for a moister cupcake.  I also used about half the amount of chocolate chips because I didn’t want them to be too chocolatey.  Blasphemy, I know.  But I figured since I was making chocolate cupcakes already and both kinds were going to have chocolate frosting, I didn’t want to go too crazy.

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Decorating the cupcakes were super easy.  I just used large and mini Nilla Wafers for the face and ears.  It did become a little ridiculous when I decided to pipe little white chocolate rounds for the eyes.  After I had piped about a hundred of them I realized that I had basically made white chocolate chips.  It would have been a lot easier had I made them but what can you do.  The last step is to use black gel frosting to pipe on the eyes, nose, and mouth.  I liked positioning the eyes differently so that the monkeys look like they have different expressions.  Some silly and some serious.  I’m not going to lie, I like my cupcakes better than the original ones I pinned!

The monkeys definitely fit in with the jungle theme of Micah’s birthday and he had a huge monkey balloon tied to his highchair so it was perfect!  Can I tell you how chillaxed little Micah is?  I mean that boy almost never stops smiling.  And it’s so adorable how he loves driving his little car around with his arm hanging out the window.  Parents hide your daughters!

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IMG_2410 I’m pretty sure he enjoyed the cupcakes as you can see from the picture.  He seemed a little reluctant at first and unsure but once he got a taste, he really dug right in.  I was so happy to see that mess all over him but I don’t think it was as exciting for mom and dad to clean up!  Micah definitely had a good birthday and we loved celebrating with  him!

Cake Decorating Class: Part III

My final week of cake decorating we were told to come to class with some ideas of how we wanted to decorate our final cake.  Of course I went in with nothing in mind except wanting to practice more flowers.  We were given two cupcakes and an 8-inch cake and were basically told to go for it.  Oh, we also learned one more new trick for flowers.  Freezer flowers!  I love this trick!  You pipe the flowers on a piece of parchment paper and let them harden in the freezer.  Then you can put them on the sides of your cake.  Makes it so much easier than piping flowers on the side of a cake.

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For my cupcakes I decided to practice my roses more.  They definitely take a ton of practice but I think they are so worth it.  I love the way that they fill up the top of the cupcake with decoration.  So there you go, there are my cupcakes.  They could be better but I think it wasn’t too shabby for 3 weeks of cake decorating class.  Now I just need to keep practicing.

Now for the cake.I wanted this cake to be my pièce de résistance, it was after all, going to serve as my final project so I had to do something that would be worthy of an A+.  I decided to stay with the flower motif but wanted to really go all out with it.  Basically covering the cake with as many flowers as I could.  I figured adding in some vines would be a good way to go to really tie it all together.

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I’m definitely happy with the way it turned out.  I loved covering the cake with the vines and the flowers.  And while I’m not sure I’ll be making a ton of cakes to decorate, it was definitely good practice for my frosting roses and flowers.  And see those flowers on the side of the cake?  Those are the freezer flowers.  Love them!

photo5 I’m my own worst critic but I think this was my best project yet.  And not too bad after three classes.  I can’t wait to take more advanced classes.  So what do you think about my final project?

Cake Decorating Class

It’s been a long 3 months away but I’m excited to share about my most recent adventure.  Cake decorating class!  I’m taking the class through Party Favors in Brookline and I couldn’t
be more excited about it.  It’s a three week class where we learn everything from basic frosting, to flowers, to fondant!  And the best part of this class is that I don’t have to make the cake or frosting to bring with me.  Less prep!

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Last Wednesday was my first class and it was a ton of fun but I have to tell you I was a little deflated after.  I walked into class all confident thinking I’d be the star.  I mean how couldn’t I, right?  Well making pretty things with cupcakes isn’t as easy as it looks.  Sure I can do all sorts of swirls on my cupcakes but that doesn’t transition over into frosting animals and flowers apparently.

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The first class was on cupcakes and we started with a few different kinds of flowers.  Let me tell you, getting the right pressure and movement of the frosting is tough.  After flowers we move into animals.  Penguins, pigs, and dogs to be specific.  The penguin wasn’t too bad, it’s pretty basic.  But as you can see my little piggy isn’t as cute as he could be.  And don’t even get me started on the dog.  It looked like a turd and I couldn’t get the shape I wanted so I scrapped it for another penguin since those little guys are pretty cute.

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Clearly I need to practice a little more.  I’m nervous that we’re going to be working on roses this week because my attempt to teach myself was disastrous.  Keep your fingers crossed that with some one-on-one teaching I’ll get a little better at this!