Thursday, March 12, 2009

Butterfly How-To

I used to take detailed step-by-step process pictures as I was decorating cakes and cupcakes, then post a big long narrative about how it was all done. This is the first time I didn't do that. I didn't think anyone really cared, and I don't want this blog to be boring! And this time I got questions about how I made the butterfly wings. And I'm thrilled to share with you all! (I'm just sorry I don't have any pictures of the process to share.)

Unfortunately I can't claim this particular idea as my own. I followed the instructions for Monarch wings as detailed in the book Hello, Cupcake! by Alan Richardson and Karen Tack.
I made a few changes to accommodate the requests of my customer; she asked for more "girly" colors. So instead of using dark melting chocolate and orange melting candy, I used almond bark and food coloring. The problem I discovered with the almond bark was that it dried really fast, and made it difficult to work with.

The basic process includes printing off a wing template and placing it underneath waxed paper, then outlining the template with one color of melted candy. Next you fill in the outline with another color candy, and then (quickly! before they dry!) use a toothpick to drag the outer color into the inner color. While the candy is still wet you can sprinkle non-pareils onto the wings, if you so desire. My initial mistake was to outline 3 sets of wings, then fill in 3 sets of wings, then try to drag in the colors. By the time I got back to the first set of wings, the candy was completely dry. I had to stick the butterflies in the oven to try and re-melt them, and it just wasn't a very smooth process. The second try went much better, working butterfly by butterfly. Eventually I ran out of almond bark and used some Baker's dark chocolate melting wafers, and they worked SO MUCH BETTER than the almond bark! The chocolate didn't harden nearly as fast. (I also made the antenna by simply tracing a template onto waxed paper and letting them harden.)
After the wings are made, and hardened, place them on the cupcake, propped up with a piece of candy such as an M&M, (I just piped some frosting and that did the same trick,) place the antennae, then pipe a frosting body down the middle.

That's it! It really wasn't too complicated, once I figured out how to do it right. And the best part was, the wings could be made ahead of time, so I didn't have to do the entire project in one day. ESSENTIAL when you have an 18-month-old in the house! :)

My sister-in-law inspired me to buy this book, and eventually try these cupcakes, after making them a last year for my niece's birthday. Don't they look great!?!? Thanks, Laura!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Spring is in the air!

It was so fun to do this most recent cupcake order, especially with the recent change in weather! A sweet little girl is turning 3, and requested "flowers, butterflies, or princesses," for her birthday; I was able to fulfill 2 of 3 requests for her.
Take a look at my new "professional" packaging!


Welcome to my new address. This site should be undergoing some significant cosmetic changes in the near future, but for now it will work.

Please visit my old site for more history about who I am and how I got started, as well as pricing information, etc.

Thank you for your patience while I am "under construction!"