With all the time we’ve been spending in the bathroom, we were all super excited to step away for a little family fun! As I mentioned, February is the start of birthday season for our family. I don’t think all families have birthday “seasons” but with seven of us, all with birthdays in the first six months of the year.. it’s a season. This past weekend we celebrated Megan’s birthday, with these OMG-get-in-my-mouth-I-can’t-stop-eating-you cupcakes, in a cute, girly, floral display, that you can easily make yourself!
This is my sweet girl, Megan. It seems like just yesterday that I was holding this little cuddle bug, wondering what the future held for her, dreaming of the spit-fire and the funniest person in our family that she’d turn out to be, and bam! I looked up to find she is now 21-years old. It literally happened that fast.
I don’t really know how that happened exactly. For starters, since I’m only 29-years old, the biology is mind-boggling. Still, that beautiful baby has turned in to this gorgeous young woman.
|Sharing her first glass of champagne!|
Our tradition is to share a dinner decided upon by the birthday girl or boy, and for me to bake a cake of their choice, decorated in whatever reminds me of them for the year. For her birthday, she requested Italian food – it was so yummy – and these Ultimate Salted Caramel cupcakes from The Baker Chick, which are filled with salted caramel and frosted with cream cheese caramel frosting – the recipe for the frosting is below!
One of my favorite memories of Meg is that she loved flowers. She loved flowers and anything with flowers on it, the bigger the better. She equated “floral” with “pretty”. As a matter of fact, nearly every picture I have of her for a three or so year period has her holding flowers. She’d scope out the room or area for a floral prop. When buying things, if you asked her if she wanted a plain one or a floral one she’d say, “the pretty one” – always the flowers. Its funny the things that come to mind with your babies, but that is what came to mind on this birthday, as I was facing my baby being a real bonafide grown up now. Her cake – or cupcakes as it were – had to have flowers.
It was easy enough to create a cute little banner using a glue gun, different floral card stock papers, two lollipop sticks, this printable and tulle.
I cut two tulle lengths – about 8-10″ each – and knotted them about every 1.5″ or so along the length. Then, I cut 13 triangles from the card stock, alternating the pattern. Then, I glued the triangles on to the card stock, spacing between the knots. Finally, I attached the cutout letters from the printable and tied both lengths to the lollipop sticks, leaving an inch or so on each end to dangle.
It was a super easy way to dress up cupcakes.. but most importantly, she loved it!
I used the Baker Chick’s recipe for the cupcakes and filling. The only change I made to her recipe was to use Ener-G egg replacer in place of the eggs in the cupcakes and to skip the Swiss butter cream, which is made with egg whites – my son has an egg allergy.
The cupcakes were really, truly, and honestly, some of the best cupcakes I’ve ever had. I’ve had a lot of cupcakes. They crusted beautifully and were nicely sweetened and moist. Shay, who isn’t usually a huge cake lover, was scraping the sides of the cupcake liner with a fork. He also may have eaten the liner while I was looking away, I’m not sure.
|There is never a project completed without a fail moment – I frosted the cupcakes then realized I’d forgotten to fill them with caramel sauce. DOH!|
I was all over the caramel sauce. The directions for making it made the whole thing SO simple. I was so excited! It is the first time I’ve made from-scratch caramel without burning it. Audra is now my caramel idol.
I will tell you that when she says “swirl the sugar around”, this is what it should look like, in case you’ve not made it before.
The frosting was my own recipe – a salted caramel cream cheese frosting.
Salted Caramel Frosting
- 1 8 ounce block cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup butter, softened
- 3 tbsp heavy cream
- 1/4 cup salted caramel sauce
- 7-8 cups Powdered Sugar, sifted
- 1 tbsp vanilla
- Place butter in a large mixing bowl and blend slightly. Add cream cheese and blend until combined, about 30 seconds.
- Add the caramel and heavy cream, mixing well.
- Mix in vanilla.
- Slowly add powdered sugar 1 cup at a time and blend on low speed until combined and desired consistency (you want your frosting pretty thick).
- Increase to medium speed and beat until light and fluffy
- Pipe caramel frosting on top of cupcakes with an extra large star pastry tip,
I filled them, frosted them, then drizzled them with caramel. Yum!
For display, I placed the cupcakes into coordinating liners and cupcake wraps and arranged them on a tiered platter. On the top tier, I placed a tiny vase to hold a handful of cut, fresh flowers.
|Yellow pleated eyelet cupcake liners ||
Pink lace filigree cupcake wrappers – similar |
We pulled off a cupcake display befitting of a princess who loves everything floral. The best part? When she saw it, she said.. “It’s pretty, mommy.” and gave me one of those super amazing smiles that makes you forgive her everything. Suddenly, she was my baby again. Just for a second. And, I began dreaming of all the things the rest of her life will bring..
My favorite part, though? Celebrating with these crazies, minus one who had to work.. there’s my heart, right there. Two birthdays down.. five to go. Maybe next time around I’ll remember my camera!
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