Let it snow!

Headed into a snow day—and another birthday for this not-as-little one—I’m thinking back to my son’s first birthday party.

I made gum paste snowflakes to adorn a frosty blue smash cake and cupcakes. I used two 5″ round pans, which I first got to make another smash cake and have served me well the past few years.

This was vanilla on vanilla, to please a wide range of palates (and a one-year-old).

We also had a hot chocolate bar with two sizes of marshmallows, crushed peppermints, toffee crunch, sprinkles, and plenty of Reddi-wip.

Nothing like hot chocolate on a cold winter day!

I think my guy liked it!

I loved the venue, Fig Tree in Park Slope, Brooklyn, which has unfortunately closed its space.

See more photos at party.walker-yung.com/onederland!

FNaF cupcakes, for one of my favorite 9-year-olds…

If the animatronics at Chuck E. Cheese gave you the creeps as a kid, you are not alone. Five Nights at Freddy’s is a video game in which such characters come to life and try to kill you. Sounds about right.

What surprised me about this scary game is that there is a cupcake! It belongs to a backup singer chicken named Chica. She wears a bib that say  “Let’s Eat!” How bad could she be? (Bad, huh?)

Chica's Cupcake from Five Nights at Freddy's

Because the cupcake in the game is brown with pink icing, I made chocolate cupcakes with strawberry icing. I used real candles with flames made from gum paste and added candy eyeballs. 

FNaF cupcake decor

I’ve not seen or played this game–or heard of it before I got this request–so I relied on the good ol’ internet. As I saw many images of Chica’s Cupcake with a blue and white candle, that is what I used. The birthday boy later told me it was supposed to be yellow. Oh well… One party goer let me know that I got the cupcake “mostly right,” and I was happy with that!

FNaF Birthday Boy

Happy birthday to this guy! That makes nine cupcakes for nine years. Remember this?

I baked chocolate cupcakes for a chocolate lover’s birthday. I wanted a silky ganache frosting, but it didn’t exactly turn out that way.

I used some milk chocolate and some semi-sweet chocolate chips, melted with heavy cream. After chilling, I whipped this chocolate-y concoction with some vanilla extract and a touch of powdered sugar.

Note that the window is small for the perfect whipped ganache. Mine went from liquid to overwhipped (that interesting “texture” you see pictured above wasn’t intended) in the blink of an eye. I didn’t have time–or supplies–to start over, so I rolled with it. Still tasted good!

Chocolate Cupcake

I’ll let you know next time I give this frosting a shot!

Some whipped ganache recipes, if you want to try:

Your Cup of Cake
Martha Stewart

Chocolate Cupcake with milk
Nothing like a fresh, cold glass of milk with a chocolate cupcake!

I’ve baked cupcakes for my friends’ son each year of his life (all 8 of them). This year he requested cherries and chocolate!

I pitted and chopped a cup of fresh cherries, which I added with mini chocolate chips to vanilla cake batter. For the tops, I grabbed a jar of maraschino cherries, the ones every Shirley-Temple-loving kiddo knows best.

Inside the Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcake

I used cocoa candy melts to make the chocolate sauce, so my dribbles would harden à la Magic Shell. I liked the look, and it was less messy than chocolate syrup.

Kids and adults alike seemed to be fans! There was one boy who pulled the cherries off five otherwise untouched cupcakes, so I guess at least the cherries were a hit. Ah, to be 8 years old…

Recipe: Cherry Chocolate Chip Cupcakes

Makes 36 cupcakes

2 sticks butter
2 cups sugar
5 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla
16 oz. sour cream
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3 cups flour
1 cup chopped fresh cherries
1 cup mini chocolate chips
maraschino cherries (for tops)
Optional: Wilton Cocoa Candy Melts

Preheat oven to 350 degrees (F).

Cream butter and sugar with electric mixer on medium-high.

Lower speed and add eggs one at a time, then add vanilla. Mix on medium until light and fluffy.

Sift together the baking powder, salt and flour.

Add half of the flour mixture, followed by sour cream, and then add the rest of the flour mixture. Mix until combined.

Add the chopped cherries and mini chocolate chips, mixing on low or by hand.

Scoop cupcakes into liners and and bake for 20 minutes, turning halfway through.

Frost with vanilla buttercream, and top with maraschino cherry.

Optional: Heat Wilton Cocoa Candy Melts (or similar) to drizzle over frosted cupcakes.

This was a fun project, my first mini-cake made for smashing! I made cupcakes for the guests with toppers to match the theme.

Smash Cake

The one-year-old boy presented with this cake, though, just would not smash it! Let’s see how he does on his 2nd birthday.

Raccoon Cupcakes

Note to self, perfect cupcake frosting is not the same for smoothly icing a cake.