When Betsy over at Java Cupcake contacted me about participating in a Cupcake Couture Blog Party. I was so in. Cupcake posts have been lagging behind on this blog so what better excuse to get back to cupcake creating then a party? And Just look at all these talented bloggers who joined the party!
Bella Cupcake Couture
Chronicles of a Foodie
Crazy for Crust
Cupcakes Take the Cake
Diary of a Mad Hausfrau
Eat Your Heart Out
In Katrina's Kitchen
Inside BruCrew Life
Love From the Oven
Make Bake Celebrate
Not Just a Mommy
Sugar Swings! Serve Some
The Baked Equation
The Baking Cup
The Decorated Cookie
The bloggers selected to participate in the party were all sent a random package of beautiful cupcake wrappers from Bella Cupcake Couture. We were instructed to find inspiration from the wrapper design to create a cupcake and style the photos with whatever we already had at home. I received the Hannah Pink/Yellow style. Love them! They have some seriously beautiful wrappers over at Bella.
The Cupcake Couture Blog Party – Your Cupcakes Never Looked This Good! is about showcasing how easy it is to not only make a delicious cupcake... but how simple it is to create a scene for any occasion, event or party that will WOW your guests without having to spend a lot of money or time.
My inspiration for this cupcake is the same one I have been blabbing about for the last days, the lilacpalooza that happened at our Pennsylvania house. The result of which has been an explosion of lilac desserts here.
Using fresh flowers or greenery from your garden to help style your cupcake presentation is an inexpensive and elegant option. I also used lilacs to flavor my cupcakes making lilac sugar and lilac syrup and using both in the recipe.
Way back in a corner of the kitchen cabinet I found large round pink candy decorations. They matched the wrappers providing a little extra prettiness.
Usually I pipe frosting onto cupcakes using no tip at all using the open end of a disposable pastry bag. This time I rummaged around until I found a fancy tip large enough to pipe the buttercream. These pretty wrappers deserved an extra bit of effort.
The owl vase is actually an antique Shawnee pitcher, a gift from my mother. It turned out to be the perfect receptacle for a spray of fragrant lilacs and blended well with the color scheme.
The fire king dishes are from a large stash I've been collecting ever since I was a kid. These white ones with gold edges are some of my favorites because of their versatility. Ranging from shabby chic to formal in style, They can be used for holidays, formal dinners or to brighten up a brunch table. We don't have a tremendous amount of room in our NYC apartment so I've chosen these multi-puposers to fill the limited cabinet space.
Oh and the little forks are a TJ Maxx clearance purchase.
All the colors and flavors I used were inspired by or used to accentuate the Bella wrappers. Aside from the lilacs, the wrappers remain the most colorful element. I used neutral items I already had to complete the look.
Now onto the Cupcake Prize Pack Giveaway!
Thanks to our amazing Prize Pack sponsors for their generous donations! Please, visit their websites to see more of their fabulous products!
Lil' Punkin Creations
Sweets & Treats Boutique
- $200 store credit to Cupcake-Stand.com
- A prize pack from Sweets & Treats Boutique
- A set of every cupcake wrapper that was used in this party from Bella Cupcake Couture ($200 value)
- Polish Pottery Cake Stand from Poland from JavaCupcake.com ($100 value)
- Cupcake Vinyl Decals for your stand mixer from Lil Punkin Creations
Now onto the cupcakes!
- 2+1/2 cups flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 sticks (1 cup) butter
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup lilac sugar (recipe follows)
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste
- 2 tablespoons lilac syrup (recipe follows)
- 1 cup fresh lilac blossom (rinse well and pat dry with paper towels)
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place liners in two cupcake pans.
- Whisk flour, baking powder and salt together in a bowl and set aside.
- Beat butter until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
- Add sugars until combined.
- Add eggs one at a time.
- Beat in vanilla bean paste and lilac syrup.
- Add flour mixture and milk alternating a bit at a time.
- Add in fresh lilac blossoms and incorporate thoroughly.
- Place a disposable pastry bag (or ziplock bag with a corner snipped off) in a large drinking glass.
- Fill the bag with batter and fill the cupcake liners 3/4 of the way.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in one of the cupcakes comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and let cool completely before frosting.
For the Lilac Syrup:
- 1 cup white granulated sugar
- One cup Water
- 1+1/2 cups fresh lilac blossoms
- A few drops of purple food coloring (optional)
- Rinse the lilac blossoms well and gently pat dry with paper towels.
- Place the f lowers sugar and water together in a saucepan and heat on low.
- when mixture starts to boil turn the heat down to low and simmer for about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens.
- Stir in the food coloring if desired
- Remove from heat, strain out the flowers and let cool completely.
- Place in sealed jar and store in a cool dark place.
For the Lilac Sugar:
- 2 cups white granulated sugar
- 1/3 cup lilac blossoms rinsed and patted dry
- In a canning jar or a jar fitted with a tight lid layer the sugar and lilac blooms one after another in the jar until almost full.
- Place in a cook dark place.
- Remove and shake the jar occasionally until ready to use.
For the Lilac Vanilla Buttercream:
- Two sticks (1/2 pound) butter, room temperature
- 8 cups confectionary/powdered sugar
- 1/3 cup lilac syrup
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- Cream together the butter, 2 cups of the sugar the syrup and vanilla extract.
- Add the rest of the sugar one cup at a time.
- Add the cream and blend throughly.
- You can add more syrup or cream a little at a time if the buttercream seems too thick.
- Place a disposable pastry bag fitted with the tip of your choice in a large water glass and fold the edge over.
- Load the buttercream into the bay with a rubber spatula.
- Clip the end or seal with a rubber band and frost the cupcakes