Thursday, April 4, 2013

It's A....Gender Reveal Cupcake

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First, let me begin this post with an apologetic, "I can do better."

Yesterday one of my favorite pregnant people found out whether she was carrying a boy baby or a girl baby.  I saw her before her appointment and her excitement was contagious.  I was swept right up into the anticipation of "What will it be?  I can't wait to find out!"  I suggested she reveal the baby's gender via a cake or cupcakeShe had seen the idea and said she had thought of that.  Well, you know me, I LOVE baking, decorating, crafting, surprises, challenges, the list goes on and on.  You also know I work well under a time deadline.  I piped up, "I'll make it!!" I'm not even sure if I gave her a choice in the matter.  I think if my memory serves, I just took over from that point on

My friend, I'll call her "M" because her name starts with an "M", was going to tell her in town relatives last night with a pink and blue balloon presentationHer out of town relatives will find out tonight.  They are the ones who will be taking a bite out of these "Gender Reveal Cupcakes". 

Here's where my first sentence is explainedIt's been since February since I've made a birthday cake and I had depleted my homemade icing ingredients shelf and hadn't re-stocked.  (I basically only make cookies and cakes for relatives and friends, after having spent many a year taking orders from the general population and getting burned out with it.  That doesn't mean I would turn down your cake or cookie order if you asked, I most likely would do it because I have a problem saying no.So, given the time constraints, we went with store bought frosting and cake mix.  

M dropped off the ingredients and the cupcake liners she had on hand.  Her liners were all boy themed ones because she and her husband are already the very proud parents of an adorable little boy.  I had some cupcake liners but mine were girly ones covered in red hearts.  We went with it.  6 of one, half a dozen of the other.  Literally.  I made six with boy liners, 6 with the girly ones.

This was a last minute less than 24 hours to get it done in scenario.  (That doesn't even make since, does it?  Last minute less than 24 hours?  Oh, well!When a fun event arrives on short notice we roll with it.  We go with what we have on hand and we make it happen.  Thus, the color scheme you see here.  Given more notice my brain would have been consumed with a million different ideas.  I would have thought about it day and night.  I would have planned, gathered and probably used pink and blue and done more of a baby themeI would have used ruffly liners and made baby faces in frosting, or question marks made from chocolate, or pacifiers from fondant, who knows what I would have created.

I baked the cupcakes and while they were cooling, I set about making cupcake picks.  I had long cookie sticks on hand that I had used last year when I tried my hand at making Easter Bunny Face cookies.   Here's a look at those.  Boy, the people I could embarass if I posted their pictures here posing with their cookies.  I'm thinking of my husband and youngest son, in particular.  Instead I'll show my little buddy Liam posing with his.
I cut the sticks in half because they were super long.  I then hopped on my computer program and created a little "What will it be" teaser to attach to the sticks.  I printed those out on regular white paper, but if you have round labels, I'd go that route.  I cut them out by hand and glued them to red cardstock.  It's actually a red file folder, but if you have cardstock, use that.  
Now, had I not started the year trying to be more organized, I would have used my hot glue gun to attach the circles to the sticks.  Instead, I can't remember where I put the glue gun and after spending the better part of an hour hunting for it, I gave up and went with another glue.  If you haven't organized recently and know where your glue gun is, use that.  

Now that the sticks or picks or whatever you want to call them are complete it's time to move onto the cooled cupcakes and fill them with the appropriate color of frosting, pink for a girl, blue for a boy. 

I had seen different ways to make them.  One way was to just stick the frosting tip into a cupcake and fill it with frosting that way.   I had my doubts about that.  I envisioned the tip getting plugged up with cake.  I tried it on one just to see if it worked.  I wouldn't recommend doing it that way.  The frosting tip will get plugged and the cupcake doesn't really hold up well when doing it that way.  Now, that is my opinion.  If you try it that way and like it, then go with it.  

I ended up taking a small paring knife and cutting a cone shape out of each cupcake.  It's really simple to do.  A child could do it if you allowed a child to handle a knife, which I don't.  Unless. . . the child is named Carl and he is holed up in a prison surrounded by walkers, then I'd let him work the knife on this project.  I'm sorry, it's 192 days until The Walking Dead returns and even though the season just ended the other day, I'm going through withdrawals.   

Back on topic.  Cut a little hole in each cupcake, saving the piece you cut.
Tint your frosting if you haven't already.  I tinted mine while the cupcakes were baking.  Fill your pastry bag with the frosting.  You can use a tip or not.  It's up to you.  This part won't be seen so it doesn't have to pretty but it should be neat.  Pipe the frosting into the the cut out area.  Then after trimming the point off of the cupcake plug, place it over the frosting.  
I cut one open to see how they looked and to taste test it.  It passed both tests with flying colors.

Now you are ready to frost the tops.  I dislike frosting cupcakes.  I really want to say hate frosting cupcakes but I try not to hate anything.  I give huge props to those who can frost a cupcake neatly.  I can if I really put some effort into it, but today I was short on time and opted to pipe the frosting on using a star tip.  They seemed a little plain to me so I sprinkled some red dusting sugar on themSince these cupcakes are going to be traveling I did not stick the cupcake picks into them.  M can do that when she arrives at her destination.  
There you have it!  And, yes, it's a girl! 

Might I suggest Stephanie Jo for her name?

See how simple that was?  You don't even have to be super prepared to pull off this very easy but fun cupcake reveal.  It's all about the surprise anyway.  Once they bite into that cupcake and see whether it is blue or pink, they won't even be thinking about what the cupcake looked like.  I think these are cute though. (Re-read first sentence.)

Oh, one last thing. . .remember when I promised my hutch I'd have her doors finished by Easter?  Everything else was painted/stained except for her doors?  Yeah, well, it didn't happen.  I was busy, there weren't enough hours in the day, etc.  You know how it is.  I swear if that hutch had eyes it would be staring daggers at me right now from where it sits, behind me and across the room.   Great, now I'm afraid to turn my head and take a gander at her for fear it's glowing or something.  

Until next time!     

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