Princess Cupcakes

Fellow millennials, you will feel me on this one: the day you log-on to your social media network (i.e. Facebook, Instagram) and wonder, "when the heck did everyone start having kids?" Yes, we're in the traditional time frame for weddings and starting families but goodness gracious! It's almost like people from my high school timed it! They're just pictures until it hits home and the next thing you know, you're making Princess Cupcakes for a 1-year birthday party.

Brave, new, wonderful world my friends.

The recipient of these cupcakes is an adorable cherub named Lhian. I've been homies with her father, Harvey, for over 10 years. Harvs was the quiet guy in the corner of the party, chuckling softly and egging things on safely from the sideline. He was my go-to-guy after college; we spent many a weekend carpooling in his awesome minivan to Richmond to visit our friend Heather. He loved putting me in awkward situations (the sushi chef incident, cough cough) and giggling (yes you giggle) at my brutually uncensored rants about life. Everyone teased him for not sharing details about his relationships- he's very discrete. Or sketchy. Take your pick. 

You can imagine my delight when a girlfriend became a partner which led to a bundle of joy. The real cherry to my sundae was to learn that they were having a little girl. Oh Harvey. In your own words, "Girls... a million and one lessons." Lhian is going to kick your butt suckah! In all seriousness, it's been a treat watching you grow as a father. You're going to do great with your subtle but firm nature. Much love and many blessings to your beautiful family.

All right. Back to the baking. 

These cupcakes were made with a lot of love, and a lot of patience. Harvs didn't give me much direction aside from making them girly. I couldn't think of anything more "girly" than a princess theme. The end result was a combination of crown-cupcake toppers, miniature flags, and elegant sugar pearls. Next time, I want to take a try at making tiaras!

A few lessons learned from this adventure:
  • When you go to apply the cupcake toppers- make sure that the base frosting is at room temperature so that the toppers go on smoothly
  • Apply the decorative sugar pearls while the frosting is still fresh to ensure maximum adhesion
  • Seal the crown fondant as soon as possible so it doesn't lose elasticity
  • Ribbon with a little metal wire is ideal because it keeps shape- getting those base cupcake bows was a pain

The crowns are made from white fondant with a few drops of concentrated purple food coloring mixed in. It took some trial and error, but we got it to work. Mike cut out a template from some card stock (similar to this style) and we got an assembly line going; he cut out the crown and then using a dab of water, I sealed the seam. The sooner you seal it, the better because the fondant quickly loses elasticity. Immediately place crowns on a parchment-lined plate in the freezer to solidify the form. 

To apply the pearl tips, wait until the crowns are hardened (over-night preferable) and then dab a complimentary colored frosting at the top of each peak. Apply the sugar pearl and return to freezer to harden. The base frosting shape is made with the ever beloved 1M tip for rose-like symmetry.

The flags were made from lollipop sticks (toothpicks work just as well) purchased at Michaels. Pick a sturdy ribbon and knot at the top; trim the excess on one end and cut a v-shaped tip on the other end. It's nothing terribly fancy. I've also made them with cut-out paper when adding text to the flag. If you plan ahead, you can find some super cute options on Etsy.

Special thanks to the hubby for helping out- this process takes forever if you're trying to do it solo. Bribe a friend to pitch in! Train your cat to hold a piping bag! Every bit helps!

If you have any questions about the toppers and/or cupcakes, feel free to leave a comment and I will do my best to answer.