Tuesday, July 27, 2010

fabulous day of cupcakes remembered....

So, 2 days later and I'm still on the sugar high of Sunday's events.  I really had a blast at CupcakeCamp and can't wait for next year! 

I still can't believe that I won on Sunday. It was definitely a dream come true.  I've loved to bake since I can remember and I just kept thinking about how I would sit in my room and bake cakes in my easy bake oven and that I had just won for tastiest cupcake in a roomful of cupcake lovers. It is just so amazing to be a part of such a wonderful day and raising money for Cupcakes for Cancer.  It was quite inspiring...

Plus, I was lucky enough to be next to two great bakers who were so nice. It made the day even better to be chatting with them during the event. I hope to see them at CupcakeCamp again if there is one next year. 

How the Chocolate Salted-Caramel Twinks made it to CupcakeCamp Santa Barbara...

The baking started Saturday afternoon, luckily it didn't take too long since I was baking with the mini pan and it holds 2 dozen for each pan.  I was done baking the cakes by about 6pm and they cooled over night. 

award-winning cupcakes in the making and didn't even know it...

cooling....maybe we tried one or two:)

4am Sunday morning came very quickly. I was up and scooping out the middles by 4.16am... This didn't take nearly as long as I had budgeted for... which thank goodness.  The caramel took 3 times... really probably the first batch would've been okay but I dumped it and there was no going back.  The 2nd batch, I'm still trying to figure out what happened, just as it seemed it was turning and starting to carmalize the whole thing just crystalized and looked like snow.  Batch 2 dumped.  On to batch number 3 and the third was the charm.  

everything seems like its going smoothly....

when batch 1 went wrong... sometimes you should just follow your instincts

this is right before batch 2 crystalized and looked like snow
(notice the melting chocolate...I think this is where the lesson learned comes in:)

finally the little fella's are filled

Unfortunately, I had already started to make the chocolate frosting during batch number 2, so when I had to make caramel batch number 3 I should've put the chocolate frosting into the fridge but I didn't. Lesson learned. So by the time I tried to frost the little cupcakes, the frosting was so warm I couldn't get it to form the peaks... Well, I know my husband loves me dearly as he let me have a meltdown and when I said I wanted to give up, he wouldn't let me. 

By this time it was now after 9.30am and we still needed to get the little guys packed up and head out for the 1 hour 40 minute drive according to google maps.  Thankfully, it wasn't too sunny yet during the drive!

With fingers crossed that the frosting didn't melt on the drive we pulled into the Fess Parker Hotel parking lot.  We knew instantly we were in the right place as we saw a few ladies carrying in cupcake containers.

It was too late to turn back now, we were here. 

Once inside, we were told amateur bakers were along the right side of the wall and that envelopes with our names were at our station.  I don't think I have ever been as excited and nervous as I was walking along the row of tables looking for the envelope with my name.  

my very first spot at a cupcake baking event... supercool.

Once there, it was a pretty quick set-up. It was 3 bakers to a table and I was on one end. The tablecloth was absolutely perfect. It wasn't too long before we had all the cakes set up on the display and the little crochet guys around. We were done with plenty of time to spare... You could feel the excitement as all the other bakers started to arrive.

Ammie's Sweet Treats 
i loved my display - and i love that this photo
captured it so perfectly. 

The apron on the chair was my Grandma Twink's. She was a fabulous baker and cook. I was lucky enough to get her baking gene. That is why they are called chocolate salted-caramel twinks. I have lots of memories of her baking at the holidays and doing crafts.  Scott thinks that everything has tasted even better since my mom gave me it a few months ago:)

Once they let the doors open for the event it was a mad-house! There were so many people I couldn't believe it. As people started coming through the line I quickly realized that Nancy who was next to me was going to need to sell out of her fabulously decorated flower cupcakes. Everyone was at our table but only for Nancy's cupcakes (she had 3 different kinds) So, for the first 15 minutes or so I was a little sad as no-one was asking for one of mine.  It really was a lesson in that people go for what attracts the eye. Once her flower cupcakes were gone, business started to pick up.

almost time...

the doors are open...

love the flower design and the rootbeer cupcakes were delish

spiced coffee cake was delish and the mocha cupcakes looked yummy too

After awhile things got to be a little less crazy and the bakers I was next to we traded cupcakes to taste.  Nancy to the right of me, had these rootbeer cupcakes that looked interesting - they were excellent and my favorite of the day.  Sarah to the left of me and a spice coffee cake which was really good too. It had cream cheese cardamom frosting (cardamom is my favorite spice & is in my favorite norwegian christmas cookies)

lots of tasters coming through

the cupcakes awaiting the judges table...

close-up of my cupcakes awaiting... 

cupcake lovers unite!

I'm so happy that people chose to taste my cupcake with their donation tickets. I had so much fun handing out my cupcakes. There were 2 little girls that came through, they reminded me of my best friends little girls... I even had a 3-peat customer. I received a lot of kind words about the crochet cupcakes. One little girl tried to eat one! 

finally all my cupcakes were all gone... 

Scott traded and sat down so I could go around and do some cupcake tasting of my own.  There were so many, and so many great decorating ideas.

there were a lot of fun straw decorations...

i loved this sunflower tree

Then came the time for the announcement of the winners of the different competitions. When I heard my name called I look for Scott in the crowd and we both just looked at each other and said - they just called my name!  I was SO EXCITED! I really don't remember all that happened, except walking up and getting my gift bag and hug from Stephanie the Mother of the girl who started the event a few years ago. And then looking at the judges table, and the judges clapping and saying it was delicious.

so honored...

Nancy who was to the right, won for most unique flavor for her rootbeer flavored cupcakes.  After that, I don't know who won anything else... I hope everyone had as much fun baking the cupcakes and handing them out as I did and congratulations to all the bakers. I heart Baking.

I would really like to thank my babe, who was such a trooper and hung in there with me. And also to Eva and Mychau, without their little crochet cupcake guys the display wouldn't of been the same.

It was a long day, just like this post turned out to be but it was so worth every moment. And it really makes me know that when I finally decided that I wanted to take my baking more seriously a few months ago after years of talking about it... I know I'm on the right adventure and can't wait to see more.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Officially award winning cupcakes - chocolate salted-caramel!

It was a long day (up at 4am)- but so worth it. Had a blast meeting other cupcake bakers during the event and then at the end..... I won!  I couldn't believe it when they called my name. I won for tastiest cupcake.  I'm so excited - there are lots of pictures that will follow tomorrow. And the crochet cupcakes were a hit as well - I think there could be a business selling just those!

Sweet Dreams!

Saturday, July 24, 2010

only 1 more day!

So, the weekend has finally arrived. I am so excited for tomorrow. The chocolate cupcakes have been made, baked and are cooling as I type.  We did a taste test and they taste pretty good. I even got a "maybe even better than last time..."  There is a lot to get done tomorrow morning, but I've written all the steps out and have time frames... Things should be fairly smooth to finish the caramel and frosting.  It's the traffic to SB that is going to determine things!

The display is ready too. I finished sewing the table cloth this morning. The new sewing machine is pretty cool. It had a program that matched the design on the fabric perfectly. The crochet cupcakes are going to be so cute next to the real ones. Eva and Mychau are my heroes for their help in creating those little guys.

Till we meet again!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

only 4 more days until CupcakeCamp Santa Barbara!

I can't believe it is almost here!  Thanks to some fabulous girls at work, I will also have awesome crochet cupcakes to add to my display on Sunday.  

Tonight I am tackling the sewing machine again.  It beat me last night.  It's all starting to come back to me though as it has been too many years to count since I last sewed something.  I just need to get the needle to pick up the thread from the bobbin... I don't know what I was doing wrong last night. But I will prevail and will also have my own hemmed table cloth for the display as well.

Okay... enough blogging time to tell the sewing machine who the boss is!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Red Velvet Cupcakes

Back to the classic Betty Crocker recipe for this one.


add some vanilla butter cream

dripping with tastiness

Monday, July 12, 2010

Chocolate Salted-Caramel Minis

chocolate minis batter


fill chocolate cupcakes with caramel

swirl some dark chocolate frosting

add some sea salt and VOILA!  - Chocolate Salted-Caramel Minis

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Kion's cake...

The cake has now been frosted and I actually put it in the fridge... I looked up the recipe online and some say to refrigerate and some don't. I wasn't sure and it's a few hours before I need to take it to work.... 

cake mix goes into the bundt pan

whahoo - it didn't stick to the pan!


Introducing Pistachio Cake 
with Pistachio Pudding Frosting

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

This one is for Kion!

I'm baking a special request for Kion.  According to Kion, this Pistachio Cake recipe is the best in the world. It smells delicious. The thing is, I know that between me and my brother one of us is allergic to pistachios.  I am 99% sure it is him...

Well, the cake is baking for another 30 minutes or so and will frost in the morning...

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Happy Birthday America!

Today is the 4th of July, one of my favorite holidays ... mostly because my birthday is exactly 1 month from today!! Meanwhile....

Looked at a fabric store yesterday to get an idea for making a table cloth for the Cupcake Camp Santa Barbara table display.  We found a great light green square check pattern. Right now, that is the front runner. Still want to check some other fabric stores for more ideas.

I decided to practice the strawberry cupcakes with some new frosting tests.  I was planning on the strawberry cupcakes for the Cupcake Camp Santa Barbara but I am a little nervous that the strawberries won't be very good. Even this weeks options for berries were pretty picked over and not as sweet and juicy as a couple of weeks ago.  I'm starting to come up with some backup ideas for the cupcake event.

The strawberry cupcake was still good, but you definitely need the large sweet berries for best cake taste.  Scott requested the chocolate ganache for one of the frostings. While the ganache is good, the cake is good but together the ganache was just a little too heavy. Maybe if the strawberry had been a little sweeter it would've worked better.

The other frosting was a champagne butter cream.  For this I just did a google search and read a couple of different recipes and then sort of came up with my own measurements.  The champagne taste was very light and I added just a dash of vanilla. This frosting matched the cake much better.

This time we remembered to take pictures during all the stages....

Happy 4th of July Strawberry delights!

mixing the cake batter

in go the strawberries

strawberries gently folded in

fresh out of the oven

chopping the chocolate

cream & light corn syrup simmered mixture 
slowly poured onto chopped chocolate

mixing the chocolate and cream mixture

chocolate ganache

introducing strawberry delights with 
chocolate ganache


presenting strawberry delights
with champagne buttercream frosting

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Santa Barbara here we come!

Ammie's Sweet Treats has just entered the CupcakeCamp Santa Barbara's tasting and competition for the tastiest cupcake on July 25!  

For more information on the event, go to:

It looks like the Strawberry Delights are the early favorite, but we have a few weeks for other contenders to emerge.