I am such a lucky girl! On Saturday I attended a class at the Culinary Institute of America called Creative Cupcakes. I consider myself very fortunate to live just a few miles away from the CIA. I’d be crazy not to take advantage of it, right?
First, a warning: The cupcakes you are about to see are not gluten-free, dairy-free, allergen-free, or free of any of the foods most of us need to avoid. These cupcakes were made with wheat, butter, and eggs. The frostings were made with sugar, butter, and milk. Some of us might call them inedible, while others might call them poison.
I didn’t take the class to learn how to make the cupcakes; I went to the class because I wanted to learn how to make them pretty.
But before I get to the beauty shots, allow me to share a few things I learned:
Flavor, flavor, flavor – baked goods are all about flavor. I agree! In fact, that’s one of the reasons I love gluten-free/dairy-free/egg-free baking. If all you use is wheat flour, butter, eggs, and sugar your flavor options are limited. When you use different grains (buckwheat, amaranth, quinoa) instead of wheat, and different fats (coconut oil, grapeseed oil, sunflower oil) instead of butter, there are unlimited flavor options. Am I becoming a gluten-free baking snob? Hmmm… maybe.
Orange and chocolate go really well together – Great idea! I have long been a believer of mixing chocolate and fruit. You will see me combining orange and chocolate in the future, for sure!
Add alcohol – This is not something I think to do very often. Even though vanilla extract is alcohol-based, I rarely think to add alcohol beyond that. This is one I will explore.
Everything looks better with colored sugar sprinkles. Even if you do a lousy job with the frosting, sprinkle some sugar and you get:
Now, about making those cupcakes look pretty.
We learned how to make two different kinds of frosting roses:
Nope, I didn’t make those – they were mostly made by our instructor:
Here are a few of the cupcakes I decorated:
These were decorated by my instructor:
And these last few were decorated by a class attendee who has been decorating cupcakes for more than 30 years:
Clearly I still need some practice!