Thursday, April 7, 2011

Spring Break Cupcakes!

It's that time of year again - Spring Break!  A time all college kids cherish!  After the long winter months holed up in the campus library studying, college students make plans to unwind and relax - and most head for sunshine somewhere!  My youngest son, Alex,  is studying Architectural Engineering and spent many long hours in labs this past quarter.  His spring break destination - Hawaii!  Alex was all set to visit his brother, Sam, my second son, who is living in Kaneohe, Oahu.  While Sam was at work, Alex made arrangements to take classes to become a certified scuba diver. Needless to say, Alex sounded elated when he called to say he was on his way home.   I wanted to surprise him with a Bon Voyage treat and decided on cupcakes! After watching back to back episodes of "Cupcakes Wars" on the Food Network I was inspired!    The packaging on this mix caught my eye as it just shouted 'tropical' and the flavor - pineapple with pina-colada frosting - was perfect for a send-off to Hawaii.    But how was I going to decorate these to really create the "Aloha spirit"?!  I had some finely shredded coconut so I decided to toast it to a golden brown.  I had some blue rock candy I had picked up at "Urban Outfitters" on clearance - it reminded me of the crystal blue waters.  I remembered I had found some miniature palm tree picks on clearance somewhere. I think they were supposed to be used like those little umbrellas that you put in exotic drinks, but why not use them for cupcakes?  

My vision started to come together - but I needed cupcake liners.  I searched my stash and nothing I had on hand even came close to looking tropical.  What to do?  I decided to make my own cupcake liners out of brown lunch sacks to resemble raffia hula skirts.  I started by tracing around one of the cupcake liners I had for size, adding about a half inch to the diameter to be sure I had enough extra to make the fringe. I cut out my pattern and then traced and cut out twelve circles. (The mix made twelve cupcakes)  Next, I folded circles in half three times to make a wedge, just like when you make paper snowflakes at Christmas.  Little cuts in the arched side of the wedge created the fringe and then I folded the tip of the wedge inward about 3/4 of an inch.  I unfolded the whole thing and voila!  I had my grass skirt cupcakes liners.  I placed the brown fringed liners in each of the tin cups of the cupcake pan and then put a plain liner inside. I wasn't sure if the cupcake batter would stick to the brown lunch sack paper so I thought it would be best to add a regular liner inside the homemade one! 
  I filled the liners with batter and put them in the oven.  The batter cooked up beautifully and filled out the liners.  Next, I whipped up the frosting mix, included in the bag, with the suggested cream cheese, and frosted the cooled cupcakes. I sprinkled some toasted coconut on one half of each cupcake and some of the blue rock candy on the other half.
  One palm tree pick placed in each cupcake was the finishing touch!  I grouped the dozen cupcakes on a green pedestal plate and left it on the counter in the kitchen.  Alex has a five hour drive from San Luis Obispo to Sacramento so he was ready for a treat when he got home!
   While enjoying the delicious cupcakes, we chatted about the past quarter and the adventure Alex was about to embark on. No matter how old your kids are, they always love a special treat.Each time one of my three sons walks in my door is a moment I cherish.  Alex arrived in Oahu the next day and was a certified scuba diver two days later! 
I'm pretty sure it was a Spring Break he will always cherish!

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  1. Thank you for such a wonderful post. I enjoyed every bit of furniture

  2. Too cute! I love cupcakes...esp. icing! Thanks for linking this up to the Creative Bloggers' Party and Hop!

  3. I know that you have so many blog parties to choose from so thank you for choosing Creative Bloggers' Party & Hop. This post is added to the party blast! Enjoy the rest of the week :)


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