a story about cupcakes.

... a post in which I both brag and complain. It's like an American miracle.

On Thursday afternoon, the female teachers at my school had a shower for our co-worker, Elise, who is expecting her first baby - a daughter! - in January. I volunteered to make (surprise, surprise...) cupcakes!

I was inspired by this ruffled cake by Sweetapolita and this tea-party that she did. Then I saw this pin by Manda and knew I had to make pink cupcakes. And finally, since I love raspberry as a flavoring in... pretty much anything, I wanted to re-visit these cupcakes by Annie that I've made before and maybe tie in these cupcakes by Annie as well.

So. I had a glorious picture in my mind of dainty, pink ruffly cupcakes with raspberry filling.
I was pretty pleased with the result. The end!

Just kidding, because if you know me, you know that there were obviously some bumps in the road. 

I started out with ridiculously high and lofty goals, and decided that I would try to make the pink of the cake fade from light to dark. I had purchased gel food coloring, which I've never used before in my life, and thankfully, I had the gut instinct that a little would go a long way. I dabbed the tip of a knife into the food coloring - barely anything. Wiped the blade on the paddle of my mixer and began to stir it into the cake mix, and the batter turned, like, neon pink. So, there went my idea for changing the shades of pink. Oh well, the cupcakes will be pink, which is cute.

Baked the cupcakes. All was well. Made raspberry filling, all was well. Started to make raspberry buttercream frosting. 

I opened the cream that I had purchased THAT DAY, and huge clumps of nastiness plopped out into my half-made frosting. Now, I don't know if I should admit this online, but if I were just making these cupcakes for myself or maybe even family members, I might have just scooped out said clumps of nastiness and gotten different cream and continued. But I was taking these to a baby shower, and there was a chance that the guest of honor might eat one and who knows what bad cream could do to an unborn baby, because I didn't really pay attention in biology, and frankly, I don't even know if we covered that. Then I thought about what would happen if I made all the female teachers sick, where would we get that many substitute teachers, and how would our school survive if only our male co-workers were there? So I just threw away the tainted frosting. 

Thankfully, I had purchased another container of cream, and could successfully create my raspberry buttercream. My illustrious dream of ruffly pink goodness was about to become a reality. I pulled out a Ziploc bag (to pipe with - I keep it classy.), which I had also just purchased that day... and realized that I had mistakenly grabbed a box of 2-gallon bags. Why are there 2-gallon Ziplocs? 1. Who has that much freezer space? 2. What are you storing? Leftover turkeys? 

Anyway, I cut the bag in half and put the box back, lacerating my index finger on the cutting edge of the parchment paper box. I made some weird, pained noises and Doug came in and helped bandage my poor, afflicted finger. The show must go on!

I started trying to make pretty, ruffly, ribbon-like frosting decor on a cupcake. The operative word being "trying". Sweet mercy, these things were ugly. In fact, I saved a picture on my computer as "ugly cupcake".
Maybe you can't really tell, but take my word for it. These things were not living up to my expectations.

At which point I decided to try to make roses. Which, surprisingly, were much easier than I anticipated. But I realized I was going to run out of frosting. So, in a last minute effort, I made some chocolate ganache and finished my cupcakes. Ta-da! They ended up looking kind of cute, and the shower was really fun and people liked them. The end? 

The next morning, one of my co-workers told me she had an allergic reaction to the cupcakes. I'm not joking.   (She was okay - just lip & facial tingling and minor swelling... no breathing problems or anything.) Apparently she's never had a reaction to any of the ingredients I listed before, so she thinks she might have developed an allergy to raspberries...

Lesson learned? Maybe just buy some cookies for school-related events. 

Also, I had a cupcake for breakfast today.


  1. Hey so I know this post is not related to the auction in any way, but I am really excited for your adoption and have been racking my brain about what I could donate to the auction and I'm really lacking in the talents department but if there is anything that you were wishing somebody would donate or if you have a better idea of my talents than me and know and I can make it happen. You can email me if you prefer jmv3986@gmail.com

  2. HA!! i love this post. i laughed out loud twice. love the ugly cupcake picture too. you're funny. i miss you. come back to me soon. xoxo.

  3. that's the way the cupcake crumbles?

  4. eat humble pie...er...cupcake?