We’ve just come off of a big birthday week. Not that there were a lot of birthdays, just a lot to do for a birthday—our baby turned four! We had a small celebration at kindergarten and then a big Dora party and dinner at home.
Every year I find I cannot remember what was
not successful in the way of cakes and cupcakes and how to ice them. It’s often a hold-your-breath-and-see-if-this-will-work feeling for each birthday! Living overseas has meant learning how to create something edible and appealing to a multinational audience without a cake mix and a carton of icing. You can find mixes in Germany and Portugal, but many people say they are dry and certainly less sweet than American mixes.
Mickey cupcakes in Germany 2 years ago—couldn’t tell you what I used for the cake and icing
A nice break from the challenge using pink marshmallows, cake mix and carton icing during our time in America last fall for our oldest daughter’s Strawberry Shortcake birthday party
This year I decided to use a Portuguese cake mix for the school party since I was feeding cupcakes to mostly Portuguese children. We’ve had German kids refuse to eat icing and even the cupcakes made from American recipes. I had cream cheese on hand so that made some nice smooth cream cheese frosting.
I cheated with a strawberry cake mix my American friend gave us for the Dora cake to save time. I ran into a problem with the “decorator frosting” that called for shortening, supposedly to make it easier to pipe frosting. I used what I’ve been told is shortening and the icing turned out grainy. With all the colors I used, you couldn’t tell too much, and hey, it was my first theme cake to ice. I used leftover icing to frost the rest of the cupcakes.
Later my mom told me about a frosting she read about on The Pioneer Woman called “That’s the Best Frosting I’ve Ever Had” that uses FLOUR! I will have to try it out—all of the recipes I’ve made from her blog have been great so far! Then I saw a post from Simple Bites that gives tips and recipes on making the best cupcakes and a really cute idea for an Easter cupcake. Maybe these will be the birthday cake sources I need! (Check out the beautiful cupcake wrappers you can download and print at Shabby Blogs too!)
To end on a different note, I wanted to share some cupcakes that cannot be dry or have runny icing, only cute. Theses were wall decorations in the kids’ area at The Chocolate Festival we visited:
What tried and true frosting and cake recipes do you rely on?