Monday, March 21, 2011

Cupcakes For A Crowd!


Without a doubt, this was my most challenging baking project to date - making 400 cupcakes!  It was also, without a doubt, my most fun - with the help of several of my amazing friends!

These cupcakes were designed and baked for our school's major annual fundraiser - a silent auction and comedy night.  Small plates were served during the silent auction in our transformed gymnasium and this plated dessert was served in our multi-purpose cafeteria/auditorium during a much anticipated comedy performance.

So how does a home baker begin to bake 400 cupcakes?  By using the school's kitchen, of course!


The committee decided on two kinds of cupcakes:   half chocolate and half white.  I used Martha Stewart's One-Bowl Chocolate Cupcake recipe because A)  It's delicious, and B) It's relatively easy to make.  All the cupcake ingredients can be mixed together in a single bowl.  Also, it uses oil instead of butter which makes a moist and easily mixed batter.  For the white cupcakes, I made a vanilla-buttermilk cupcake which I adapted from the  chocolate recipe.  The recipes can be found below.

To simplify the process, I bagged double recipes of the dry ingredients at home in gallon Ziploc bags.  This made the process quicker and easier when it came time for baking.


Here's my perfect friend, Kathy, putting brown vellum liners into the cupcake pans.  She is always quick to come to my aid, especially when it was she that volunteered me for the project! (Did I mention that I wasn't even at the meeting to defend myself?)


The extra-large convection ovens in the school's kitchen came in handy for baking multiple pans of cupcakes at one time.  The cupcakes baked in only 13 minutes!  Convection ovens are a bit windy, however, and we ended up with some slightly uneven tops.  Nothing that a good swirl of icing couldn't cover, however!



Above are the trays of baked cupcakes and the trays of chocolate squiggles 
which would serve as our cupcake toppers.


Here's my resourceful and amazing friend, Kelly, who, through no fault of her own, 
was assaulted by a KitchenAid mixer filled with powder sugar!


My completely talented friend, Becky, did an amazing job in helping pipe pounds and pounds of cream cheese icing!  Don't you love her French Maid apron?  Aprons are completely necessary in baking, so you might as well have a cute one!


Here are rows and rows of completed cupcakes.  
I love these tulip baking cup sleeves from Cupcake Swirl! 



They give the humble cupcake so much presence!


Thanks to all who helped with this amazing event!


One Bowl Chocolate Cupcakes
Martha Stewart's Cupcakes

Makes 18 Cupcakes

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Reduce speed to low.  Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract and water;  beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2.  Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes;  turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.  Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to two months, in airtight containers.


Vanilla Buttermilk Cupcakes

Makes 18 Cupcakes

2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
3/4 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons vegetable oil
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
3/4 cup warm water


1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line standard muffin tins with paper liners.  With an electric mixer on medium speed, whisk together flour, cocoa, sugar, baking soda, baking powder, and salt.  Reduce speed to low.  Add eggs, buttermilk, oil, extract and water;  beat until smooth and combined, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2.  Divide batter evenly among lined cups, filling each about two-thirds full.  Bake, rotating tins halfway through, until a cake tester inserted in center comes out clean, about 20 minutes.  Transfer tins to wire racks to cool 10 minutes;  turn out cupcakes onto racks and let cool completely.  Cupcakes can be stored overnight at room temperature, or frozen up to two months, in airtight containers.

Cream Cheese Frosting

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, room temperature
1 8-ounce package cream cheese, room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 teaspoon salt
4 cups powdered sugar

Cream butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add vanilla and salt.  Continue to mix.  Add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time until well blended.


2 comments:

  1. If I lived close by, I surely would have helped out my BBF! The tulip liners are tres chic, and the squiggle is the perfect topper. I still have yet to try the One Bowl recipe- I have to find an occasion- or do I?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Without a doubt, we would make an awesome duo! :-)

    ReplyDelete