As previously mentioned, the Rock & Shop Craft Sale was a smashing success. The hours and hours of creative thinking, preparation, planning, baking, and crafting (and stressing) were worth every second. Although I had a million other things on my plate during that week leading up to it, I don’t regret shifting the majority of my focus on this event. Creating the cupcake menu was the best part! And one thing lead into another, of course. The sewing machine made its way out of the closet and demanded that some owls be made. I couldn’t turn the opportunity down…
So, here’s what my all-vegan cupcake menu looked like:
-“The Magnum PI“: vegan chai tea cardamom cupcake with a vanilla bean cardamom buttercream frosting, topped with a Tom Selleck chocolate MUSTACHE ! (these sold out first)
–Chocolate Coconut Curry: vegan chocolate curry cupcake with a sweet coconut chocolate curry frosting, topped with pink himalayan salt crystals
-“The Nutty Drunk Monkey“: vegan caramelized plantain cupcake with a cinnamon maple rum walnut frosting, topped with a banana chip
–Lemon Lavender: lemon zest vegan cupcake topped with a lavender buttercream lemon zest frosting
Here was my pre-sale sampling platter of the rejects (according to me) that I split up among my family so that we could taste to ensure they were not poison.
It was hard to chose a favorite. I think my top two were the chocolate curry and the lemon lavender, although they were all delicious. All of these were experiments, mind you. I’ve made the cupcake portions many times before, but the flavor combos with frostings were something I’d never tried before. (Note: all slightly modified cupcake base recipes came from VCTOTW, so thank you Isa & Terry!) My favorite part of cupcake baking is the creativity of flavor pairings, so this was definitely what I enjoyed most out of this experience. I had so many ideas flowing through my head for DAYS. It was all I’d think about at work for a while. I’d scribble and jot down notes on random pieces of paper and at the end of the week I finally committed to a menu. It wasn’t easy. I would have baked 12 dozen cupcakes if I could have. But I had to calm myself down. Four dozen would be plenty.
Anyway, the chocolate curry combo didn’t seem too far off especially since there seems to be tons of chocolate bars these days donning these ingredients. Coconut extract packed in a little extra punch in the frosting and rounded it out perfectly. And chunks of sea salt are also a popular pairing with chocolate, so I topped the cupcakes with a few grinds of that.
As for the lemon lavender, I don’t think I have to explain my obsession once again for the flavor combo. I used a little bit of lavender syrup in the frosting and it came out great.
Originally I thought of doing a banana cupcake with a peanut butter frosting, naming it something clever, like “The Elvis” or something similar in the title and what-not, but I didn’t want to follow the trend of every other bakery out there that’s doing that exact thing. Plantains have been a regular staple in my kitchen for the past year or so, mainly fried up in some ghee, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cardamom to put in my morning oatmeal or whatever, but they have so much more potential to them to be explored culinary wise. Incorporating them into a cupcake seemed only natural. To soften and ripen it up a bit, I caramelized it by baking it in some margarine and spices for a few minutes in the oven. And then I mashed it with a few regular bananas so it wouldn’t be so dry. The frosting was another story. I modified the “cashew butter frosting” recipe by using walnut butter instead, and it called for soy protein powder. Well, let’s just say the first batch didn’t turn out so well. Little miss trying to be economical by trying to find most ingredients in the bulk bins, I accidentally used soy flour, the yellow funny-smelling stuff that has quite a disturbing taste if you’re not prepared for it. Thank GOD I taste tested that frosting before they went on the cakes. I usually never do. Anyway, I ended up getting the right stuff and it turned out. It was a bit runny and didn’t stay on the cupcakes well so I refrigerated them overnight and it helped a little.
And as for the chai cupcake piled high to the sky with the vanilla bean cardamom frosting and the mustache that gives you wings. Deeelicious. Very mild and sweet. Although I’m not much of a frosting person, I typically go for a cupcake > frosting ratio (not the other way around), I would eat this any day.
So yes, I sold them for $3 each (not an easy decision either…) and ended up selling out! I wasn’t so sure how popular they would be, but it was a hit. I also ended up selling some gluten-free brownies topped in gold dust, and some shortbread tea cookies (lavender, rose, and caramelized pear truffle teas).
As for the owls…
Meet Winston (far left, not pictured), Matisse, Olly, Mortimer, and Lilith.
They all have stories and antidotes that I can’t recall at the moment, but they were all one happy family before some were adopted. I sold Olly and Mortimer.
These went for $25 a piece, and I was happy to have sold at least one!
They were very fun to make and I can’t wait to make more in the future…
As for the other sellers, there were other (mini) owls, chandeliers made out of silverware, feather hair clips, hand-made toddler clothes, homemade marshmallows, and many other crafty things. Most importantly, my stepmom sold her fabulous paper crowns with me, too!
Harvey Lee Owlswald. Genius.
A cupcake treat trade paid for part of that bee necklace.
The crafty lady that made it (and the other art plaques and magnets) happens to be my new hairstylist. I get my haircut by her tomorrow! So stoked.
I set out my DIY “business” cards to advertise my blog and such.
Only 2 were left at the end of the day.
People wanted to know if I catered for weddings or birthday parties! I wish! I was so flattered!
Someday… someday in the (near) future.
And here are some shots of awesome cupcake supporters:
My personal favorite. She was completely obsessed with this cupcake. The second she came up to the table, she was fixated and kept pointing and saying “mustache! mustache! mustache! I want the mustache cupcake!” She wouldn’t take no for an answer from her mom.
Adorableness to the 20th power.
And blogger friends! Amey (Vegan Eats & Treats) stopped by and had herself a nutty drunk monkey!
This was truly some of the best 7 hours of fun I have had in quite a while. Although I had no idea what to expect, it exceeded that non-existent expectation. I was glowing and grinning from ear-to-ear the entire time and have ever since. So many friends and family came out of their way to support and I thank each and every one of you from the bottom of my heart for doing so. It really means a lot. You all made my day/year/life!
Cheers to more cupcake baking and craft sales in the future!