Monday, August 20, 2012

Website Launch "&" Cupcakes & Tutorial

Today I'm going to try out my first tutorial. I hope it is nice and clear for everyone.

This past week, my the company my dad works for launched their website. He works in an office of all women. He is the only male out of about 20 employees. The only other boy that comes around is his coworker's dog Snoopy.

For the website launch, My dad asked me to bring in some cupcakes. I decided to use their logo and make little chocolate ampersands.

For this project you will need:
An image to trace
Wax Paper/Transparency paper
Red Candy Melts
Disposable Piping Bags
#2 or #3 Tip
#1M Tip
#230 Tip
Red Sprinkles (Optional)

To start, you will need to find and prep your image.

If you are placing the image on cupcakes, you will want to make your logo about 2" wide (the average cupcake is 3"). I used Photoshop to size and repeat my image 12 times on a page, but this can also easily be done in Word. Then print this image out. I like to make a ton of extras because these babies are fragile and some of them will not be as pretty as others.

Next, tape your image down to a cookie sheet. Then tape a piece of wax paper over it.

Now, prepare your chocolate. I drop the chips into a measuring cup. For a 24 symbols, I used about 1 C. I wanted to make sure I had enough. Then I melt it for 30 seconds, stir and throw it back in the microwave for another 20 seconds or so. Once it is a nice smooth consistency, you can put it in your piping bag and being.

Trace over your image slowly and carefully, making sure not to drag your piping tip through the chocolate, but letting it fall into place. I like to make sure that my chocolate is really touching at the intersections and thick enough that it wont be too fragile.

Quickly and generously pour the sprinkles all over. After realizing that I liked the look of them with sprinkles the best, I found that it was best to pipe one ampersand, then immediately cover it with sprinkles. It covered all my boo-boos and held to the chocolate the best.

Once they are dry, which should take only about 10 minutes at the longest, they will be ready to peel off. How I like to do this is to take up all of my tape, then slide one hand underneath the wax paper, tap away my sprinkles until I can see my chocolate again and then peel the wax paper away from the back. I find this puts the least amount of pressure on the delicate chocolate.

At the end, when you have extra icing, I like to work around my sprinkles and create new chips, then when they are dry, they are perfect for remelting.

Also, use your wax paper to help get your extra sprinkles back into the sprinkle bottle. Just fold it in half with the sprinkles inside and pour them back in.

Then bake your favorite vanilla cupcake, whip up your favorite vanilla butter cream and maybe if you are feeling daring, make a big pot of chocolate ganache to fill these babies with. I've posted my favorite recipe for each below.

Finally assemble. I used a #230 tip to fill the cupcakes with chocolate ganache. Then used my favorite #1M tip to create a butter cream swirl on top.


Vanilla Cupcakes

(Adapted from Magnolia Bakery's Recipe)

1 cup (2 sticks) Unsalted Butter, softened
2 cup Sugar
4 Large Eggs, room temperature
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
½ tsp Salt
2 ¾ cup Flour
1 cup Milk

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Line two cupcake tins with cupcake liners.

In an electric mixer, at medium speed, cream the butter until smooth. Add the sugar gradually and beat until fluffy, about 3 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add the baking powder, vanilla, and salt. Then add the flour in three parts alternating with the milk, scraping the bowl down with each addition.

Fill the cupcake tins about 2/3 of the way full with batter (I recommend using an old fashioned ice cream scoop).

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out with a few crumbs or clean.

Vanilla Buttercream
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)

1 & ½ cup (3 sticks, 24 oz) Butter, softened
¾ lb (12 oz) Confectioners Sugar, sifted (or not... I don't, so shoot me)
½ tsp Vanilla

Cream butter in an electric mixer for a few minutes with the paddle attachment. Don't be shy. Then add the confectioners sugar in 3-4 parts. Beat the mixture. You can't beat butter cream too much, so really let it have it. Finally, add the vanilla and let her rip one more time.

Chocolate Ganache

12 oz Chocolate or Chocolate Chips
1 cup Heavy Cream

Put ingredients in a medium saucepan and heat on low until it all comes together to create a smooth and glossy chocolate. About 5-10 minutes depending on the temperature of your heavy cream.

Let cool completely. From here you can use it as a glaze, pipe it or even whip it.

Tip: The better chocolate you use, the better your ganache will taste.


  1. Jess
    This is amazing, how very cleaver and talented you are! Just like your "old man"! Love what you did for you and really appreciated the effort, they were delicious. Thank you. I love this thing called a 'blog", it's beautiful!

  2. You are so creative! Love it!

    I stumbled upon your blog and its super cute!