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 Post subject: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:46 am 
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EXCITEMENT!!

A pretty good friend at work just got engaged. Everyone at work loves when I bring cupcakes and she's said several times before she wants me to make cupcakes for her wedding cake.

They don't even have a date yet, but OMG EXCITED!! I get to make tons (hundreds?) of vegan, GF cupcakes AND probably build cupcake stands. YAY! They will be VCTOTW cupcakes - definitely coconut lime, and probably a couple other flavors. We're going to have a tasting at some point, haha! More yay!!

Anybody "caked" a wedding before?

Any tips on things like baking ahead of time, transporting, etc.?

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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:14 pm 
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I don't have any advice, but that's really awesome! Good luck!

Edit: Actually...are there any bakeries in the area that you frequent? Or any you'd feel comfortable asking questions? Talk to them, because they would have some good advice for you too.

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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 2:53 pm 
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I said I'd do this for my friend's wedding next July. He and his fiancee both have like eight million friends, though, and I'm sort of scared there are going to be tons of people at the wedding. I've baked lots of cupcakes before for charity auctions and parties and stuff, but I think the most was like 250 minis. Plus, I have to do some gluten free ones and that intimidates me.

As far as transporting goes, I find those inserts that keep the cupcakes from sliding around in their boxes to be a lifesaver. (But then I tend to frost to the edges. If you're a dollop-on-topper you could probably get away with packing them snugly in your container of choice.) I've had good luck ordering boxes and inserts from this place: http://www.orangenoveltycakesupplies.com/


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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 3:50 pm 
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I made 120 cupcakes (and one large cupcake cake) for my sister's wedding last spring. Making that amount was doable in only a few hours, to my surprise. I would recommend no more than three flavors, because things get complicated quickly. For a few hundred cupcakes, you're looking at one or two long days. You can space it out by making them early and freezing them (unfrosted).

I actually found that making the frosting and then frosting the cupcakes was my least favorite part. This could be in part because I don't really like frosting, but it's also because it has to be done closer to serving time (like the day before or the day of) so there felt like there was more pressure. Plus they had to look cute. Enlist many aides for the frosting.

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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 8:46 pm 
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I've had really good luck freezing frosted cupcakes from both VWAV and VCTOTW. I know frozen frosting is easier to transport and you won't have too worry too much about damage to the frosting that way. But you have to have the freezer space and be able to set them up a few hours ahead of time to thaw.

I found a bakesale website that mentioned one of the best ways to display/transport cupcakes is to drop them into 9-inch punch cups, the cups are the perfect size for cupcakes. You could do like Chef Chloe did on Cupcake Wars and put them into plastic champaign glasses.


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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Wed Oct 27, 2010 9:42 pm 
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I also made about 120 cupcakes for a wedding a couple of years ago. I baked them the day before and stuck them in the fridge, and I frosted them the morning of delivery because the weather was super hot at the time, and frosting them and leaving them out would have left me with a mess. I was using colored fondant as decoration, so the frosting was just spread on flat and then I put on a two-layer colored fondant flower cut out with a tiny cookie cutter. I made the fondant flowers the day before too.

I made chocolate, and there were two frosting colors, pink and yellow, but not on the same cupcake.

For transport, I found that 11x17 box lids from a paper-supplier box were perfect. They're deep enough so you don't have to worry about your frosting getting messed up by your covering. If you want to go that route, you could try asking at places like Staples, Kinkos, etc.

Good luck, it's really exciting!


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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:54 am 
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Lil_Witch_Kitty wrote:
I've had really good luck freezing frosted cupcakes from both VWAV and VCTOTW. I know frozen frosting is easier to transport and you won't have too worry too much about damage to the frosting that way.

Wow, I wasn't aware that I can freeze cupcakes with frosting. Space in a freezer could be problematic though. I've never had on opportunity bake for such a a big party but I was supplied some small family events like Holy Communion and birthdays - I baked them day before and stored in the fridge (but once I had take out all my food because I was afraid of "smell contamination) and the frosted and decorating them on the next day but like in the 4 in the morning.

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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 7:03 am 
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I just met with my daughter's school advisor and she just got married and had cupcakes at her reception.

She had the following varieties:

Whoopie Pie
Carrot Cake
Red Velvet

She had trouble choosing between carrot cake and pumpkin. I would have dropped the Red Velvet and subbed something like Key Lime.

I agree with the person who said to limit to 3 types.


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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:23 am 
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I made a cake for a wedding, but it was small and not very impressive.

I did make 120 cupcakes for my graduation, though. I remember Isa had a list of tips for making several batches of cupcakes. I can't find it now, but this is what I did, so it's probably mostly Isa's tips.
-Type up a doubled version of the recipe(s) and print it out so you can tape it to the wall near where you're working and you don't have to worry about keeping the book open or accidentally not doubling something
-In order to save time, I measured the dry ingredients into ziploc bags ahead of time. One bag for each double batch.
-I baked the cupcakes the day before, I got the wet ingredients ready, mixed them with the dry and used an ice cream scoop to fill the 24 liners (I had my helper put all the liners in the pan while I mixed and measured)
-While it was in the oven, she did the dishes and I cleaned up my workstation and started measuring again (but I didn't combine the wet and dry until the first batch came out of the oven)
-After cooling a little, I pulled them out while my helper re-lined the pans. I mixed, filled, and did the whole thing over again a million times until I was done.

After the cupcakes were all baked, I started making the frosting. I wasn't sure how many recipes worth I'd need, so I just made one or two double batches.
I put it in a fridge overnight and frosted in the morning.

For transportation, I only have a carrier that fits 36 cupcakes, so I went to local grocery stores and asked if they had some of those plastic containers. I got lucky and found one guy who gave me a bunch for free. It was tough, though. I pretty much had to beg. If I were to do it again, I'd order a bunch online, like these: http://www.brpboxshop.com/cupcake-boxes-and-holders-standard.html

Good luck!

ETA: I found Isa's tips: http://theppk.com/2006/10/baking-lots-of-cupcakes/


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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 3:14 pm 
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Thank you so much, everybody, for the awesome tips and links to supplies and things!

kara - unfortunately I don't, I tend to do my baking myself! But I'll ask around a little at work maybe.

I'll definitely look into the boxes and things linked. I have a cupcake courier, so that will hold 36. Would it be wrong to buy another one and then give it as a gift to the bride after using it to transport? hahaha!

I don't have much freezer space but maybe I will freeze and refrigerate some test cupcakes to see how they fare at the different temperatures, and how long they need to warm up before eating.

Thanks for the encouragement to stick to 3 flavors or less. I tend to overdo things, especially dessert related things.

I'm not too worried about frosting - spreading it is a headache but I'm a whiz with a pastry bag. That part should be easy!

joyfulgirl - great idea about premeasuring stuff in baggies, I love it. The assembly-line style soothes my obsessive compulsive nature, haha.

Pinko - don't fear the GF cupcakes! The VCTOTW gluten freedom recipes (both vanilla and chocolate) are killer. I used a mix one time (cherrybrook, I think?) that was tasty but weird texture - tasted like vanilla cake, texture like a corn muffin. Bleh. Gluten Freedom are awesome. My personal experience is, quinoa flour smells bizarre and kind of gross when baking, and makes the cupcakes smell gross and herby while still warm, but you can't taste it much in the final cooled product. Second time around I subbed half of the quinoa flour with sorghum which cut down on that weird grassy smell. I've had great success with Isa's GF flour mix (also written somewhere in VCTOTW - a mixture that you sub for 1c flour) in cookies - I'll let you know how it works (and any subs I made) for the coconut lime and any other flavors.

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Now I remember why I try to keep a continent between me and New Jersey at all times. -torque


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 Post subject: Re: I am probably going to be making wedding cupcakes!!
PostPosted: Thu Oct 28, 2010 8:10 pm 
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I used to bake at a cupcake bakery, then began doing semi-frequent cupcake 'catering' for parties and celebrations.

I do not recommend freezing frosted cupcakes for such an occasion.

From my own mistakes: Make sure the oven you'll be using is working, its temperature accurate (get a thermometer), at least a week before, so you don't get hit with having to beg neighbors for their ovens, and Make Sure the recipe of choice is Proven to Work and bake up moist and light in the oven you'll be using. Ending up with dry, gummy, over-browned or otherwise improperly baked cupcakes due to using a different oven is such a let down!
Buy new leavening, don't risk old baking powder. Make your shopping list well ahead of time, and buy extra in case someone decides to demolish a package of tofutti cream cheese in the middle of the night. Enlist help, for transportation if not assembly and production. If you do enlist help and appearance of frosting matters, demonstrate how to frost/pipe before the day of the event (maybe this will save you freaking out at someone for 50 sloppy cupcakes, as I have). Oh also, prepare an area for cooling cupcakes, and you will not find yourself lamenting soggy cupcake butts and other issues.

My strategy is so similar to joyfulgirls. I start with writing down a gameplan: shopping list and time estimates for preparing each step (preparing fillings; mixing frosting; mixing and baking cake; making homemade decorations if applicable, like sugared flowers, candied/spiced nuts, fondant shapes, fun cupcake toppers, or homemade cupcake liners or wrappers; cooling; frosting/assembly), figuring out which to do in advance and which may overlap. Most fillings can be made up to a week in advance, and almost all frosting can be made a few days ahead of time and refrigerated- but not all, so do beware. I prefer to make buttercream and cream-cheese the day before the event, along with the cupcakes.

I definitely write out the recipes, amounts adjusted if need be, and post them by my workspace. I cross ingredients out on the recipe to keep track of myself, because I will always freak out about the possibility of messing up otherwise, but you may be less of a ditz than I!

The evening before baking day, I'll SIFT dry ingredients into separate bowls/containers, cover with plastic wrap and mark for which kind and how much (X1for single batch, X2 for double). As I'll only do double batches (tripling gets nutty without a Hobart and with my tendency towards distraction), for 4 or 5 times a recipe there must be 2 or 3 containers of dry mix.

If you can, invest in extra pans or borrow them from friends. Place the liners in them before you start mixing your ingredients on the day of baking, with each batch. You don't want that batter sitting and waiting for you.

Make more cupcakes than you think you need- assume that you will drop one, or smoosh the frosting during transport.

If the bride and groom are willing to pay from cupcakes' safe transport, you could buy a plastic carrier, but what works best for me are long, flat rubbermaid containers (under-the-bed storage kind) --or really any long, flat box-- lined with non-slip shelf liners, a tip I found online. This method means you don't have to fret over getting them out of their slots without ruining the frosting.


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