Cupcakes As Theatre

Baking By cutthecake

cutthecake Posted 6 Jul 2009 , 12:59pm
post #1 of 1

Yesterday we had a graduation party to celebrate the graduations of our three children (from high school, college and grad school!) with about 100 guests. The party was held outdoors in a nearby park, and we were blessed with the first truly picture perfect day of the summer in the Northeast. Hot but not unbearable.
I had decided to make cupcakes instead of a cake, as each of our children wanted a different cake flavor. (And I often find that guests don't eat the cake if it isn't a flavor they like.) We had been to several parties at which the regulation "cake with graduation cap and 2009" was served, and we wanted something different. Logistics--transporting to a park-- were another concern.
Because of the countless hours spent on CC, I learned all about cupcake towers, successful freezing of cake, and the popularity of cupcakes. I decided to make cupcakes, after consulting with the guests of honor.
About a month before the party, I started to make a cupcake tower. I used plywood and flower pots and a threaded rod. I made a smaller tower that I intended to use for cookies but wound up using for cupcakes, too.
About a week before the party, I started baking and freezing cupcakes in doubled zipper bags. I baked 12 flavors, for a total of about 330 cupcakes. Then I made a variety of frostings. The night before the party, our oldest daughter helped me frost the cupcakes for HOURS. (Kudos to all you cupcake bakers out there. It's exhausting, messy, time-consuming work!) By the time we were finished, we were giddy and covered in frosting. Each flavor of cupcake was distinguished by a something on top of it--rainbow or chocolate sprinkles, coconut, raisins, candies, etc. Then we made a Cupcake Menu which we displayed in a stand-up picture frame at the party.
I did not bring the desserts to the party until the food was served. My sister and I discreetly left the party to pick up the cupcakes (and brownies, blondies and cookies I had also made). I originally wanted to unveil a spectacular cupcake tower, but it was logistically impossible. It had to be done in front of all the guests, so I decided to make the best of it. My husband placed the towers on the dessert table, and we parked nearby. My sisters and cousins helped unload the car, and we quickly began to arrange the cupcakes on the towers. Everyone gathered around to watch. Many took pictures, which I have yet to see. They were all commenting on the variety, the quantity, the presentation, the labor involved. They tried to guess the number of cupcakes. They were so impressed, and I was so happy it was well-received. They were awed! I really wasn't sure how the adults would respond to cupcakes. One guest in particular raved about it! She said it was so fun to pick out your favorite flavor, and to watch the process. She declared it was so much better than regular cake! Many agreed with her. I kiddingly said there was a three cupcake minimum, and that everyone had to eat at least three cupcakes before they could leave. Many guests complied, and some exceeded the requirement. I think the record was held by a cousin who ate 9, eliminating the three flavors he really disliked. We offered cupcakes to take home as people left the party, and many accepted.
It was a huge success, and I was thrilled!
I really didn't want to set-up in front of everyone, but it turned out to be a great thing. And I'm so glad I rolled with it.
I have never posted pictures here before, but I will try. I'm not even sure what pictures are in my camera.

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