An afternoon of Panda Cupcakes

6 January, 2009

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Yesterday afternoon my friends Denise, Tisha and I embarked on a mission to make some panda cupcakes from Alan Richardson and Karen Tack’s book, which Denise received as a Christmas present. The book’s creations are adorable! Making these was a great group project since all the components that transform these cupcakes into pandas take a considerable amount of prep work. By the way, the lovely kitchen you see in these photos is at Denise’s parents house.

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The cupcake decorating ideas in this book vary from the whimsical, like our pandas, to the elegant like a white Christmas wreathe.  It also comes with a cupcake decorating kit, which includes metal decorating tips and some disposable pastry bags. However, one of the book’s big draws is that you need little more than some candy, plastic storage bags and time.

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There’s also a section in the back with recipes for making your own cupcakes from scratch. We saved some time by using white cake mix and vanilla icing from the grocery store, but I’d be happy to give the book’s cake recipes a go next time.

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Making 24 of these little guys took us three hours, complete with messes, improvised ingredients and laughs. Ooodles of fun photos after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »

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Red Velvet Cupcakes (from scratch!) with Cream Cheese Frosting

19 November, 2008

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Two weekends ago The Whit’s office got a new coat of paint… or paints. We painted most of the room a beige called “Westward Ho” and used “Red Velvet Cake” as our accent color for one and one-third or so of another wall. Needless to say, the rich velvety red inspired me to bake after I got over the shock of seeing it all over my shoes.

I meant to bake these cupcakes last week, to up the already tangible WOW factor in the office and treat the newspaper’s staff. The November slump has hit them too, and I’m hoping the baked goods will be a pick me up. Unfortunately, my work load was not conducive to a leisurely Tuesday afternoon in the kitchen last week. Luckily, this afternoon was. Photos aplenty, along with the recipe, await you after the jump! Read the rest of this entry »