Friday, November 20, 2009

H's Cupcakes

A while back, I did a post on Grace's Cupcakes. Grace is the G in GH Kim Photography, our incredible wedding photographers. They did such an amazing job on our wedding photos that I offered to make her whatever she wanted for her birthday. She chose the Chocolate Salted Caramel Cupcakes, which turned out fabulously!

Well, this month it's Hun's turn! He's the H. =)

He chose the Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes with Mascarpone Frosting, one that I recently posted. Apparently Hun is a huge sweet potato fan and wanted it for his birthday party...just a small get together of close family & friends. All 60 of them. *gulp*

Grace was super nice about it and asked me if 5 dozen cupcakes would be too much for me to handle. And of course I said "no problem!" What kind of domestic goddess would I be if I offered my catering services and then backed out simply because the task was daunting? It presented itself as a challenge and I was determined to triumph! Besides, this would be good practice for when I start my bakery one day. =)

I had never in my life made so many cupcakes before in one go, but I was a determined woman on a mission! I meticulously planned out what I would do: making detailed grocery lists in the exact amounts needed, drawing sketches of the toppers and wrappers, re-writing the recipe for the amounts that I needed to make bigger batches, etc.

At first I had thought about making wrappers that matched the toppers. I did a few sketches and sent them over to Grace for approval. She mentioned that maybe doing the wrappers would be too much, and on second thought, I agreed. There was no way that I could make 60 toppers and wrappers in a few short days. So we stuck with H toppers. I originally wanted to do them in blue, because.. well, no particular reason, I guess. But then Grace mentioned that Hun's favorite color is black. And her's is white. lol. Are black and white even colors? hehe. Oh well, I'm really not one to judge, since my entire wedding was done in black and white (with a splash of green). So black H's it was!

(1) The H Toppers

I thought it would be fun to do a bunch of H's in all different fonts. So I got some thick card stock and printed out a few sheets of them. I sliced them into strips, and then into individual squares.

I also got some thick black card stock from Michael's. It had a cool shiny sheen on one side and a super deep black on the other. Perfect!

I found this awesome 1 inch square paper punch and went at it! I ended up with 144 little black squares. No kidding! lol. I made 6 dozen little H's. =)

I used mounting tape to affix the H's. This made it so that they kinda popped out. It was super cute!


To finish them off, I glued toothpicks and added a back side. Done!

(2) The Cupcakes and Frosting

Here are some of the ingredients it takes to make 60 cupcakes: 5 lbs of sweet potato, half a bag of brown sugar, half a bag of flour, ten eggs, 5 sticks of butter, 40 oz of mascarpone, 5 cups of heavy whipping cream. I barely had enough counter space to hold all of it!

Wow! That's a lot of cupcakes! Not all of them are pictured here, either. Hehe. Couldn't get all of them to fit into my photo station. =)

Candied Sweet Potato Cupcakes w/ Mascarpone Frosting

Please see this entry for the recipes and "How-To."

Hun had decided that he wasn't going to have a cake at all. My cupcakes were it. The most important element of any birthday party is the cake, right? If I messed up on these, I would have to run out to Costco to buy him a sheet cake large enough to feed 60. And it would probably be ugly, with pink roses. Plus it would taste like pure sugar paste in your mouth. The pressure was on. Did I mention that I've never made a cupcake batch this large?? *gulp*

So I started baking these at like 10am and finished at around 6pm. The entire time, I was perpetually stressed out and totally freaked out. lol. I don't really know why. I mean, I could practically bake cupcakes in my sleep.

I felt fine when I woke in the morning and was pumped to start on them. But as the day went on, I got more and more nervous, and my imagination ran wild: what if something goes wrong? I don't have enough ingredients for an extra batch. Dang! Why didn't I get enough ingredients for an extra batch?? Sixty people are going to eat these and if they're horrible, all of them will know that I was the one who made them! Then my career as a baker would be over before it even started! I'd be known as the girl who baked disgusting cupcakes! A total fraud! No one would ever want to come to my bakery if I ever start one.

(3) Assembly of the Cupcakes

Everything went relatively smoothly with the cupcakes, with only a couple of hiccups along the way. (Mainly because I was frazzled, which caused me to make silly mistakes.) But it wasn't anything major that wasn't salvageable.

By the time I was onto the frosting, I was in a relatively good mood....

Until I realized that the mascarpone frosting was the DIVA of frostings. No kidding. It was SO fragile. I already knew it was, when I made a dozen of them last week. But to frost 5 dozen was a whole different story! It literally melts. Like, if you got a tiny drop of it on your hand, it would turn into sugar syrup in a minute or so.

By the time I frosted a dozen of them and placed them into the box, the first dozen already showed signs of melting! My beautiful swirls of frosting were sitting in a tiny pool of sugar syrup that was beginning to develop at the base! So I had to keep my bowl of already-made frosting in the fridge. I would fill my bag with enough to pipe 5 cupcakes, run over to pipe them, and then run back to the fridge to "reload." All the while, praying that my already frosted cupcakes wouldn't melt before I finished the entire 30 that fit into one box!

Whew! It was a close one, but I got through it! Keeping the frosting well refrigerated between each piping session proved to work really well. It kept the frosting stiff enough to work with, even though the heat from my hand was melting it pretty quickly, before it even made it onto the cupcake. The ones that melted a little bit congealed just fine in the fridge after a couple of hours!

One more snag: after I boxed them, I realized that I could fit 30 of them into each box, and only needed two of them. wow. not good. For regular sized cupcakes, you're supposed to only be able to fit 24. I didn't realize this last week when I made them for the first time, but they're significantly smaller than regular cupcakes! I think it's because they're so dense with the potato mixture. I felt really bad and wanted to start on a new batch so that I could deliver 6 dozen, but it was too late! =/ It was already approaching 6 pm and I was out of time! Grace later joked that American generally eat too much anyway, so the petite size of the cupcakes were perfect. lol. That made me feel a bit better.

Yay, I did it! I sent them home with Grace and she commented on how beautiful they looked. It felt good that I was able to pull off my first big cupcake order! This was really good practice for when I have my own business one day and it turned out to be super fun... in retrospect! lol. I spent the entire day baking and frosting cupcakes, what could be better?!

But the verdict is still out! Hun's party isn't until tomorrow night, so I don't know how people will receive it. I'm still a tad bit nervous about it, like what if I dumped in too much baking powder and the cupcakes are bitter?! I tasted one of them, but only from one batch. What if a different batch was messed up? But alas, I'll just have to wait patiently until after the party. Grace said she'll get back to me on it. =)

Happy Birthday, Hun!


  1. Oh Judy, I'm sure they'll be wonderful as always! I love that you show and tell your process for making the toppers. So unique and creative! You'll be great at running your own bakery one day. :)

  2. wow, this is seriously impressive. And the cupcakes are gorgeous!

  3. Great idea that could be used in so many ways on so many occasions. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Great DIY Tips on the toppers!!! I LOVE THEM!!! (Now, I have to run over to Michael's and pick up every 1"-2" punch i can find! ;-)

  5. Judy, I was at H's party and the cupcakes were D.E.L.I.C.I.O.U.S.!!! When it comes to cupcakes in general, I either scrape off half the frosting or scrape off ALL the frosting for two main reasons:
    1. tastes bad, or just tastes like whipped sugar
    2. fatty

    But I have to confess, I ate EVERY SINGLE BITE, frosting and all! If the "H" topper was edible, I would have eaten it too ;)

    I love to bake, but have not quite advanced to the next level yet ie. creative cupcakes. Thanks for sharing your talents!

  6. Jane, thanks so much for your kind words! I was nervous about whether or not these would turn out ok, so thanks for putting my mind at ease! hehe.

    I totally know what you mean about the frosting. I HATE super sweet frosting! I've converted many cupcake haters with my super light buttercreams. =) If you like the one on H's cupcakes, you should try some of the SMB recipes on my blog. They are all equally light and delicious!

  7. Hi Judy

    What a great effort. You have been busy. I could totally relate to what you were saying about getting nervous and stressed - whenever I am getting paid to bake I completely freak out whereas if it is "just because" I am super cool. Why is it different? LOL.

    Happy baking

  8. Another huge hit Judy! Bow down to the domestic goddess!

    Thank you so so much for your generosity! You are something else.

  9. Magical... until I tried eating the H topping. :]

  10. Hi Judy,

    Thanks so much for your post. The cupcakes looked wonderful and I know tasted the same. I feel your sentiment about nervousness. I worry so much when I'm cooking for others as well. It made me realize that we should plan ahead because something unexpected always happens. i.e. your butter cream melting. ( I thought it was just me :) I wish everything would come out perfectly. You made it work & it turned into a learning experience for you and for us reading your blog. Thanks Judy!

  11. You are a superstar!! I think you need to open that bakery tomorrow because I have no doubt your gorgeous goodies would sell quickly :) Amazing job on these cupcakes! Hope the birthday boy loved them.

  12. That was so fun! I am planning to try the recipe tomorrow!! Thanks again.

  13. your blog is just amazing~ i was so impressed!!!... hmmm, another thing is, here is my appology to that i have requested an email subscription to your blog without your consent... i hope your don't mind... ^_^

  14. I love you page, I have soo many ideas with all the good photos you put up. I know what it is to back cupcakes for a lot of people, I made 250 cupcakes for a wedding, in my very small apartment, but they where very good. Now i think i could have done a much better job with all the ideas of your blog, specially love the cupcake wrappers, I didn´t know about them till i found your thanks again, i hope i get my own bakery some day too, but it so had hear in Spain to get the paper work done.
    hopping to see your next post very soon.

  15. I want to start by saying I have throughly enjoyed your blog... all the beautiful pictures that show every step and all the fantastic ideas that you have! You definitely are a domestic goddess!

    I was inspired by the "H" toothpicks and was wondering what kind of toothpicks you used? They don't look like the usual kind as they are flat on the bottom and look like they might be a little longer than a regular toothpick?

  16. thanks Jen! they're actually just regular toothpicks, believe it or not! i got them at my regular local grocery store. they're the exact same length as any other standard toothpick. =)


Related Posts with Thumbnails