Excitement was the first emotion that struck when I got the email. An old friend from school was getting married and she wanted me, ME, to make her wedding cupcakes. What an honor.
The next thought was a little bit of panic and some reassuring myself that I could do it and indeed was up for the challenge of baking wedding cupcakes (eek!). Should you ever be in the position of having to make and decorate 100 cupcakes, there are a few things that you should know.
Tip number one: estimate the amount of time you think it will take you, then double it. These things always take longer than you think and you definitely don’t want to rush it when you’re baking wedding cupcakes. Well I certainly didn’t want to.
Tip number two: make sure you have a suitable plan for cupcake transportation. Unless you’re making them and serving them straight away in the same place, they’re going to have to take a trip in a car. Cupcakes + car movement = squished mess = stressed bride = disaster. I bought a set of disposable boxes with holes in them so the cakes are held in place.
I still told Will to drive like he was bringing his first born home from the hospital and panicked at every jolted movement but we made it. I got mine on eBay for a pretty good price including delivery.
Tip number three: do your calculations and make sure you have all the ingredients the day before. You don’t want to be racing out for a slab of butter or bag of flour half-way through.
Tip number four: measure everything in bulk so you don’t have to keep starting from scratch. I think I made about 8 batches of cupcakes all up so it was much easier to have two measuring sessions rather than 8.
Tip number five: practice first. I know my oven doesn’t cook evenly so I could only cook one tray at a time. That’s probably one of the reasons they took so long but it’s better than having some under-cooked or burnt.
Tip number six: make at least ten percent extra just in case. I had the odd one that bust its case or just looked all wrong so it was good to have backups. It’s also pretty hard to look at cupcakes all day without eating them so make a couple extra for yourself.
Tip number seven: have a practice run to work out your design. I made a trial run for the bridal shower so we could work out which colours and decorations looked best. Sometimes what you picture in your head doesn’t look quite as pretty in cupcake form.
Tip number eight: use plastic wrap. I think I saw this tip first on Pinterest (figures) but I adapted it a little myself. Because I was working with three different colours and two different icing tips I didn’t want to have to wash out the bag a million times. Enter glad wrap. You lay out a sheet of it and plop on the icing. Roll it up then twist the ends. Tie one end in a knot and then snip off the other twisted end and stick it into the bag.
Only the icing tip gets dirty so it’s nice and easy to switch between colours and you don’t waste and icing because you can squeeze it back out again. The other bonus is it doesn’t squeeze out the open end of the bag.
Tip number nine: don’t lay them all out on the bench individually. Divide them between trays so it’s easy to move them around.
Tip number ten: stand back and admire your work when you’re done and wonder how you turned bags of flour, sugar and icing sugar, a few kgs of butter, some vanilla, colouring and orange juice into 100 beautiful cupcakes.
What about you? Have you ever had to make a large number of something? Do you have any other tips?
ps Yes the competition to win a $100 Woolworths voucher thanks to Broccolini baby broccoli has now closed. I’m still waiting for one of the winners to get back to me so check your email it could be you.
Hope you are well. I read your article and it was very helpful. I just have one question.. which might sound very silly but in terms of makes cupcakes or even cakes in general .. how do you know what the basic measurements for flour/ sugar etc. Each recipe I see online there are so many different measurement requirements. Is it all about practicing and then eventually figuring out that …250g of flour/sugar is ok or there is an actual basic measurement that can be used.
Great question Eni. It really depends on the recipe. Some give measurements in cups or grams… it’s best to just stick to whatever each individual one says.
Loved your suggestions! I’m not a professional baker, but a mom of 3 and 67 years old. My youngest is getting married Saturday, June 30 and she wants 100 cupcakes – 3 types of cupcakes: lavender, chocolate with mint frosting and Funfetti (a lifetime love of hers). I’ve been researching recipes and I have decided on adding 1/4 cup of sour cream and an extra egg white to the DH white cake mix I’m using for the lavender. (Did a test run and they seemed to come out moist). I’m switching out oil for butter and adding an egg in the chocolate mix that I’m using for the chocolate cupcakes, and add same probably for the Funfetti too. (I need to test that). What I’m having an anxiety attack about is the Frosting. It’s an Outside wedding and it’s probably gong to be hot (I can keep the cupcakes inside for most of time I think. Also, I want to use the new Russian tips to make flowers, and some of the Russian Ball tips to make swirls. Anyway, I plan on using some Hi-Ratio Shortening with the butter in the Buttercream (3/4 butter 1/4 shortening, or half and half) adding mint flavoring to 1/3 for the chocolate frosting and vanilla for the 1/3 Funfetti and Lavender for last 1/3). I’m adding Meringue Powder to help keep it together in the heat. I may go ahead and make frostings and freeze them ahead – frosting them on Friday. And making the cupcakes a week ahead and freezing them – or making cupcakes on Thursday, not freezing. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated by anxious mom –
I’m so sorry for the delayed reply Lillian. It sounded like you had a very good plan and I trust it all went beautifully!
Congratulations on a job well done could you please list the ingredients for the 100 cupcakes and is there a way I could reduce the eggs I use 6 eggs 2 cups self-raising flour 250gms shortening 1 cup sugar and vanilla extract only to make 12 large cupcakes so to make many I have to use tonnes of eggs and shortening is there a simple vanilla cupcakes recipe that makes 100 thanx
I’m sorry I don’t have a link to the original recipe but this is what it was and this makes 24. I would make half the recipe to start and make sure you like it. There are just 4 eggs for 24 cakes.
250g (8oz) butter
250g (8oz) caster (superfine) sugar
2 tbsp orange juice
4 large free-range eggs
250g self-raising flour
4 tbsp butter, softened
2 cups icing (confectioner’s) sugar
2 tbsp milk
Pre-heat the oven to 160C (320F) fan-forced and line two 12-hole muffin trays with cupcake liners.
In a food processor, process the butter, sugar until smooth.
Add the egg, one at at time and mix them through.
Scrape down the sides then add the flour and process until smooth (you may need to scrape down the sides again so there are no dry parts).
Divide the batter between the cupcake liners and bake for 25-30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
Transfer the cakes to a wire rack to cool completely.
While the cakes are cooling make the icing.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter until smooth and fluffy.
Slowly add the icing sugar, pour in the milk and increase the speed.
Keep beating until the icing is light and fluffy.
If the icing is too thick, add a little milk or water to thin it so you can pipe it.
When the cake have cooled, use a piping bag to pipe the icing on top.
*Gulp* My brother asked me to baked his wedding cupcakes. Thanks for the great tips!
Good luck Liana!
Far out that is SOME accomplishment! And they all look so perfect and gorgeous. What a lucky bride!
Thanks Martine! It was quite the mission!
Wow Claire, what an amazing job! Those cupcakes look gorgeous! I love the cupcake boxes. I need to get myself some of those.
Thanks Jen! The boxes definitely come in handy.
That’s no mean feat! Congratulations, all those cakes look great!
These are so beautiful Claire and you should be so proud of yourself. They’re just gorgeous and I love the pearly colours. Thanks for letting me know of these boxes and that glad-wrap tip is a good one. Maureen actually told me about it on the weekend! xx
Thanks Charlie! It’s such a great tip I can’t believe I didn’t discover it sooner. x
Oh my gosh, they look incredible Claire! Well done!
I love all your bulk baking tips, these will definitely come in handy. Thanks so much, sweetie!
You’re very welcome Katy!
I saw a video of the cling film idea and it’s absolutely brilliant. I will never use any other method for filling a piping bag.
Your cupcakes look amazing! I’ve only done one wedding reception and it was for a dear friend and I was so exhausted I nearly slept through the wedding.
It’s a tiny bit wasteful but sooo much easier! I can’t imagine going to the wedding. I was so exhausted that night I couldn’t move from the couch. We had take-away Thai!
How fabulous! And baking 100 of them is not an easy task at all. You did a spectacular job Claire!! :D
Thanks Lorraine! No it wasn’t an easy task but lots of fun!
Fab job Claire :D they look great! I like your tip about cooking a couple extra to nibble on lol
Thanks Nic! Yes well I couldn’t make 100 and then not get to eat any!
What a super clever idea using Glad Wrap to save time moving / cleaning between frostings. I might just use this with thick royal icing for cookies. I’ve committed to 100 Christmas cookies for my son’s kinder – am I mad? haha
You might go mad making them :-) No you’ll be fine! Would love to see a photo when you finish!
O.K. – might just do that, although I am a complete novice. I love reading baking blogs and yours is always genuine and full of great ideas.
Aww thanks Marica! Good luck with the biscuits and don’t forget to share them with me, I’d love to see them!
wow! i cannot even imagine the pressure of making these! so smart of you to think about transportation. Great tips!
There was a bit of pressure Stephanie I will admit but it was so much fun making them!
I love that Gladwrap trick! I’ve never done icing on my cupcakes, because the icing always gets so messy and gets EVERYWHERE, but now I’m definitely keen to try it.
It’s so good Melissa. Makes clean up so much easier!
Yummm…. I can still remember how delicious they were! They look so pretty in their boxes x
Thanks! Me too :-) I may have eaten a few too many but I didn’t want to ‘waste’ the leftovers!
I like your tip that we should double our estimate on time to make things. I love baking, but I am very time poor and always try and squeeze in a bout of baking during a hectic schedule. I always regret it as I then become stressed about the very thing I love! Well done you on those cupcakes. They look beautiful!
I know exactly what you mean Nicky! Usually I decide at the last minute that taking baked goodies to someone’s house would be a good idea. It never is!
These look gorgeous! I have baked for a few engagement parties and transporting the cupcakes is always a stressful nightmare. I’ll definitely buy some of those boxes online in future. What cupcake liners did you use? The ones I get from Coles are terrible and often bunch up into the tray and result in deformed cupcakes :(
I was soo worried I was going to trip walking them to the car. That’s no good about the cases. I got mine on eBay. Here’s the store http://www.ebay.com.au/itm/2000x-White-Medium-7cm-Cupcake-Liner-Baking-Cup-Patty-Pans-/180997706248?pt=AU_Cookware_Bakeware&hash=item2a244dd208
Hi Claire, have you ever used [filigree] wedding cupcake wrappers along with those transport boxes?And do the cupcakes still fit the holes? I need to do about 100 for son’s wedding.
Hi Thelio. I haven’t but a friend has and I am sure they fitted in the box. They wrap pretty tightly around the actual wrapper so it should be fine. Good luck! How wonderful to be able to make the cakes for your son’s wedding!
These are fantastic! I’ve never made anything in such large numbers! But we did buy cupcakes for out wedding, 20 of 10 different flavours. They were delicious!
Ooh 10 different flavours! I would have been stuck trying to choose which one to eat.