Saturday, November 21, 2009

Giant Cupcakes

As I am sure you were able to figure out, today's order was for Giant Cupcakes.  10 of them to be exact.  In addition, it was decided that the bottom of the cupcakes would look much fancier/cleaner if I did a chocolate molded "liner" for them (see photos below).

This is the cupcake shown on the Giant Cupcake pan box
 As you can see, the bottom of the cupcake is unfrosted.
This not only means it will go stale very quickly, but it is also much messier to work with.

This cupcake and liner are from Oh Sugar Cakes.
       (Notice how much cleaner the bottom looks.)

Anyway, we decided that I was to make 10 cupcakes with candy liners.  This was a very tedious process, because I only had one pan, which I needed to make each liner (one at a time) and each cake (one at a time).

This pan, while neat, I was sure was going to be the death of me.  Because one side of the pan is conical and one is cylindrical, one side has far less batter and thus is done much sooner than the other.

If I had one note to Wilton it would be to split the pan in half so that when the top is done you can just take it out instead of having to wait for the bottom to finish baking.  I fear the only way to get a perfectly baked cake from this pan is to fill only half of it at a time and bake until done, then fill the other half and bake.  Because I was making 10, this was not a practical option for me.

Also, I think Wilton should consider down-sizing the pan to 4.5 cup capacity (the size of a standard cake mix and most standard cake recipes) instead of the 6 cups it currently holds.  That amount is rather strange, and necessitates multiplying every recipe by 1.5-- again, not a step I really wanted to deal with.

Anyway, less griping and more baking!

The first thing I had to do was make the 10 liners.  These cakes were to be centerpieces for a baby shower whose colors were pink and green (a lovely combination).  I was going to be making two flavors of cupcakes, 6 chocolate and 4 vanilla, so I made 6 pink liners and 4 green ones.  I wish I had taken pictures of all of the liners empty, but I was far too aware that I had 12 hours of work to do and only one night to do it.  Here is another picture of the first one I made, though:

To make the liners, I found that melting wafers were by far the best choice.  Specifically designed for melting, they are already evenly-portioned and come in a variety of colors.  To get this bubble-gum pink, I melted white and hot pink wafers together at a ratio of 2:1.  For the green, I didn't need to adjust the color at all:

Sorry it's blurry-- I was in desperate need of sleep when this was taken.  Anyway, I got these chocolate melting wafers from my local cake supply store (although they are not labeled, I believe they are Merckens brand).  I know Wilton also sells them, although I prefer these because I find them easier to work with.

For each candy liner I used 3/4 of a pound of candy, although I think a full pound would have made them sturdier.  For an excellent tutorial on how to make them, I highly recommend the one from Oh Sugar!.

So after managing to make 10 acceptable liners (after a few re-dos), I had to bake the cakes.  I worked with modified cake mixes (additional chocolate in the chocolate ones, and the addition of vanilla and sour cream to both varieties).  This was primarily for consistency's sake, along with the fact that I was in a time crunch.

Because this pan is deep and thin rather than shallow and wide, it baked like a bundt (read: longer), and, as previously mentioned, the bottom side took much longer to bake than the top.  After a few attempts to remove the top while keeping the bottom in the pan (with mixed results), I just resigned myself that the tops would be slightly overdone.  This isn't necessarily a terrible thing, as they needed to hold their shape which can be difficult with the fluffy texture of cake mix cakes.  None of them were burned, so I am hoping that they will be ok.  These were primarily for display purposes, though they were going to be raffled off at the end of the shower for people to take home and (presumably) eat.

As previously mentioned, I made 6 chocolate and 4 white cakes.  The chocolate were placed in pink liners and the white in green.  Before putting the cake inside the chocolate, ensure that they are completely cooled!  Hot cake melts chocolate!  I was getting impatient toward the end, and because of that I ended up having to do some patching when the softened chocolate started to tear.

Because the chocolate molds were made in the same pan as the cakes, the cakes had to be trimmed so they could fit inside.  This made quite a mess, but now I have a ton of leftover cake for cake balls or something similar.

Frosting/decorating was an interesting challenge.  Most of the decorations I have are not appropriate for such large applications-- they just disappear into the mass of frosting.  I ended up settling with an assortment of a few different decorating techniques.  I think the polka-dots are my favorite, but the pink flowers are nice, too.  There are also a couple decorated in pink and green sanding sugar, but I forgot to get a picture.  

In all, it took over 18 hours but I am happy with the results.  If I were to do these again, I would make sure to get oversized sprinkles and decorations, so that I wouldn't be so limited in design.
(The polka-dots are just melting wafers-- the perfect size!)

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


As the title implies, this is just a preview of what is to come.  I am going to say no more than that it is for a November 21st order, and it involves a giant chocolate mold shaped like this:

The rest will have to be left up to your imagination for now.  But trust me, this is going to be impressive.