There are few things that I love as much as photography, but baking probably comes pretty close. More than baking, I love decorating – especially cupcakes and sugar cookies. It’s so much fun to decorate sugar cookies with royal icing, but it tastes pretty awful (I prefer cream cheese frosting for eating), so I usually only decorate sugar cookies when I can take them somewhere and leave them there.

I wasn’t terribly fond of cupcakes - especially after I took all the time to pipe homemade butter cream on a bunch of cupcakes and the Princess took one bite and told me the frosting made her want to throw up. Thanks, Alton Brown. You and I usually have a pretty good food relationship, but you failed me on the butter cream.

I’d given up on butter cream, but somebody at playgroup suggested that I try making Italian butter cream instead. Holy crow! Sooooooo much better! You use regular sugar instead of confectioner’s sugar (making a simple syrup of sugar and water and then pouring it into the egg whites), and I think that makes all the difference! In some ways, piping frosting onto cupcakes is even more fun than decorating sugar cookies with royal icing. :)

A couple months ago, when Sasquatch was in Utah with Miss Sparky, The Princess and I went on a photography outing with our friends Larisa and Foster. As bribery, I promised The Princess a stop at our favorite bakery if she agreed to have her pictures taken and gave me nice facial expressions. She obliged, so we made a stop at the cupcake cupcake counter at said bakery. I usually can’t bring myself to drop $3.50 on a single cupcake (we usually share one), but I think it’s okay to splurge on occasion.

On this particular day, they had some adorable cupcakes on display that looked like ice cream sundaes. Chocolate cake and vanilla butter cream topped with chocolate ganache and sprinkles and crowned with a maraschino cherry. They were almost too cute to eat!

I decided I had to replicate them at home. The Princess was impressed when she saw them. Without being prompted, she told me that they looked just like the cupcakes at the bakery. That was a nice little boost to my ego.

I also made some plain-looking but oh-so-tasty chocolate cupcakes with hazelnut butter cream. They weren’t quite as pretty as the sundae-cakes, but they were my favorite on the taste scale.

I couldn’t go to that much effort without taking a few pictures, so here they are. :)DSC_9385a

Don’t you just love the “catchlights” in the cherry?


And the hazelnut… I’m not much of a food photographer, but you get the idea.



Anonymous –   – (April 17, 2010 at 8:48 PM)  

They look yummy to me! I love Alton Brown, too!


Chipper62  – (April 18, 2010 at 10:36 AM)  

So glad to finally see the pictures. They are amazing. We will have to duplicate when you get here. Love ya!

Amanda Goldsmith  – (April 18, 2010 at 5:54 PM)  

YUMMY!!! Where was I on this cupcake frenzy! You know I would have helped you eat those. HELLO I totally want a picture of the first cupcake to like hang on my kids wall. Super cute!

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