This blog is all about the incredible women who have imparted their wisdom, either through their kind words or their strong actions and have made me who I am today. Even though we should take the time to celebrate the incredible women in our lives everyday, the reality is that too often we're clouded by to-do lists and running around to do much celebrating. Maybe that's why we're given this special day every year! Apart from birthdays and holidays, Mother's Day is all about celebrating the amazingness that is our Moms. Those special ladies that bandage the cuts, give the best hugs, tell you what you need to hear (whether you want to or not) and no matter what, are always there. They care, they love and they do it relentlessly!
I've never been a very big fan of flowers. I'm not the best at keeping plants... 'flourishing', so they tend to intimidate me more than anything! But there's no denying that receiving a bouquet is always a sure way to bring about a smile. So... who says that a bouquet has to be made out of flowers? If a bouquet's only going to disappear in a few days anyway why not make it super fun, enjoyable... & delicious (with, say cupcakes perhaps?).
When I made my Mom this cupcake bouquet I think it made me a million times happier than it made her. She just kept twirling it around and was, dare I say it - impressed! Is there a better feeling than when you've impressed your Mom?? She even cleared out a shelf in the fridge and carefully placed it there, to preserve it to show to family who were coming over a day later!
This cupcake bouquet did take quite a bit of manipulation and creativity. It involved a trip to a craft store for supplies as well as the grocery store. It's best to prepare it in steps and please make sure you have everything you need before you start. I know that's commonly said before plenty of recipes but trust me, it's pretty frustrating when you go in to pin the tenth cupcake and you're short a skewer! Also, don't panic when the cupcakes start falling off your bouquet - it's going to happen. If you're anything like me there's going to be some mess, a few tears and sheer confusion at how all those awesome foodie bloggers manage to get such beautiful, clean, crisp pictures of their prep! But y'know what the best part about our little madness is? When we finally pull off the finished product (what feels like 3 years later) the pride just bursts out of you!
Below you will find pictures of prep that you don't normally find on a blog. There's mess, stuff everywhere and somewhere in the midst of it all a batch of cupcakes transforming into a bouquet. It's my little metaphor for all the amazing mommies out there. Through all the mess, chaos and work there's something bright flourishing. It take a lot of work, a lot of frustration but at the end of the day you'll feel that pride!
To all incredible Moms (and most of all to My Mommy!) thank you for everything that you constantly do. It may not always be shown (though it most definitely should be) but you're our heroes, our role models and as much as we yell and scream when we're young, I can tell you that everyday this Itsy Bitsy Balebusta hopes she becomes more & more like her very special Mom!
Hope your Mom enjoys this very special flour bouquet and has a wonderful Mother's Day!
You Will Need:
1 clay pot, medium sized (can vary depending on how many cupcakes you'd like to arrange)
1 Styrofoam ball (purchase this after the pot, they come in a variety of sizes and you'll want to have the pot on you while shopping so that you can fit the ball into it to ensure it's the right size)
1 sheet of green tissue paper
A small package of marbles or pebbles from the craft store or dollar store
22 wooden skewer
Mini cupcake pan
Colorful mini cupcake liners
Here's a great cupcake recipe you can use to make the mini cupcakes as well as a video on how to pipe from the ever amazing Can't Stop Baking I absolutely love this blog, there are a ton of great recipes! (Just click on the name of the blog to take you to the recipe).
A Classic Buttercream icing would work great here. I used a frosting recipe from the cookbook "Spice and Spirit" that was a little bit lighter. You can find a link to it on the Itsy Bitsy Balebusta's Shop page.
Basic Creamy White Frosting (page 393)
1/4 c margarine, softened
3 cups confectioners sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
Dash of salt
3-5 tbsp non-dairy creamer
Cream the margarine. Add confectioners sugar, vanilla, salt and enough non-dairy creamer to achieve a spreadable consistency. *Here I added a little bit less, about 3 1/2 tbsp in order to keep it more cohesive and hold up better as flowers on the cupcakes.
Divide the frosting into 2 bowls and using gel food coloring, tint it to the color of your choosing. You can add more than 2 bowls and do a wide variety of colors. Just keep in mind that there's a lot of work in the assembly and prep and you don't want to be overwhelmed trying to alternate 10 colors! Map out how you will alternate them before icing if you want to avoid having two of the same color next to each other. If you do have side by side matching colors in the end, then no worries - it'll add a natural element to your bouquet!
You can also use icing pens (available at your local craft store or supermarket) to add additional details to your flowers!
*I've also prepared this bouquet using a confetti cake mix. You want something that's sturdy but not heavy. Eliminate any pound cake options as well as anything filled. Anything too fluffy also won't work out. You need something that will stay in place on the skewer and not so heavy that it will weigh it down or fall off (happened to a friend of a friend of mine... okay it happened to me, but baking is all about trial and error... right?)
Wrap your Styrofoam ball in the sheet of green tissue paper.
Place the marbles/ pebbles into the pot.
Place the wrapped Styrofoam ball over top the marbles onto the pot. It should fit snugly and not move.
Carefully insert a 3 inch long skewer into the ball. Continue evenly spacing out each skewer. If your wooden skewers are too long than cut them to fit. Do not use tooth picks. They are too flimsy and won't properly support the weight of the cupcake.
Insert the skewer so that only an inch protrudes.
Carefully center the mini cupcake over the skewer and push into place. Repeat until all of your cupcakes are safely on the ball. Start with the bottom row and work your way up to the top of the ball. Tightly pack they so that they support each other.
Once all of the cupcakes are assembled, starting with the topmost one, pipe frosting onto it. Start with a dot in the center and without moving your wrist too much, move your hand in a quick clockwise motion, spiraling away from the center until you've reached the perimeter of the cupcake. Don't pipe all the way to the edge or else the icing will touch the other cupcakes and start to get messy. Keep each one as self contained as possible.
One you've finished piping the top one, continue on the second row and then bottom until they are all frosted!
Wrap a bow around the pot and your flour bouquet is done!