Halloweeny Cupcakes!

YAAAY!!! It’s autumn! That means it’s almost halloween- arguably one of the best holidays of the year! So I’ve decided to do a series of halloween-related posts for your enjoyment! Since I’m not home much at the moment, I will need to rely on old photographs!

halloween cupcake decorating ideas! The mummy is my favorite!

 

 

Most of you may remember that I like decorating cupcakes in fun ways but I don’t use fondant. I know that means I lose in quality sometimes, but that’s a price I’m willing to pay for better tasting frosting.

 

If you’ve forgotten how I love to decorate cupcakes, just visit this post about my geeky cupcakes (well, some of them. I haven’t posted about all of them yet).

star wars superhero cupcakes

 

Or visit this post about St Patricks day workplace ideas, where you can see a batch of Irish-themed cupcakes I had decorated once for the office.

irish cupcakes

 

 

 

But I digress…. back to HALLOWEEN!

 

I’ve made two different groups of cupcakes in the past which have included the following characters:

 

halloween cupcake decorating ideas!

 

You may notice that sometimes I color using sprinkles. I enjoy this because it changes things up a little, and I have one less color to mix :)

 

Speaking of color, definitely invest in the gel icing color instead of using the liquid stuff. It will help keep your frosting the correct consistency without you needing to add powdered sugar.

That means if all you have is the liquid stuff and it makes your frosting too runny, you can add powdered sugar to help stiffen it back up.

Oh, but if you purchase a box set of the gel color (I got mine at Michael’s), open it before you get home to be sure it has ALL the colors. I was very sad to find out mine had two maroons, but no black :( I was a sad panda.

 

halloween cupcake decorating ideas!

 

 

 

So, what other trick-or-treat goodies might you anticipate in the following weeks you ask? Well, here are a few hints:

  • Three years ago I was lucky enough to be working in Mexico for Halloween… which means I was there for dia de los muertos (day of the dead).
  • Last year, I was working for Beyoncé and was in Sydney for Halloween. She threw a cast and crew party, so I knew I had to go big (just kidding, I’d go big anyway). Being on the road and having no sewing machine, I needed to get creative but still wanted to MAKE a costume. I will go so far as to say it is arguably one of the coolest costumes ever, and certainly one of the most awesome things I’ve ever made (I’m waiting on one of my photographer friends from the tour to find some better photos… somehow, all the ones I have are just ok).

Subscribe to keep posted on these fun upcoming bits!

 

 


Want more fun stuff?

 

Click here to see photos of Partnachklamm, a beautiful gorge in Germany in Autumn

fall foliage

gorge from above

Or if you want to geek out about holidays, click here for the top 5 high fives in TV and Movies- for national High-five day!

 

 

 

  • Have you done any Halloween cake/cupcake decorating? Share your stories and links below!

 

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Geeky Cupcakes!! Star Wars + Superheroes

Most of my friends know that I’m a bit of a geek - so I figured I should be sure you all knew this too!  :)

Geeky cupcakes star wars superheroes DC marvel

Once in a while I have an itch to make some geeky cupcakes!  (I will share more later, never you worry!)  I do not claim to be a professional decorator by any means, but it’s definitely a fun thing to do- and is a hit with the right people!

I apologize in advance for the poor photography.  In the future, I will take better/more photos of projects in order to properly share them with you!

 

star wars cupcakes R2-D2 Death Star Yoda Chewbacca Wookie

Star Wars Cupcakes!!!

I made these geeky star wars cupcakes for my friend’s birthday- they were a huge hit!  While DEFINITELY not a professional decorator by any means, I enjoy the art and silliness that goes into these.  I especially love the enjoyment my friends get from the geeky cupcakes- imperfections and all.  I know I could make much prettier designs using fondant, but I just don’t like the taste as much as real frosting.

There are 5 designs in the star wars cupcake series:

  • R2-D2- Light Blue background. White body with blue and black detail.
  • Death Star- White background with black sprinkles.  Black detail over top.
  • Yoda- Background of white it is.  Green, white and black detail you see, hmmm?
  • Chewbacca- no background, just brown “fur” using the standard round piping tip.  Black and White detail.
  • Letters- The base layer is a swirl using the star tip.  Lettering is done with the round tip.  Any contrasting colors will do.  I added green sprinkles to the word “force.”

 

Marvel DC Superhero spiderman batman green lantern superman captain america

 Superhero cupcakes!

 

There are 5 designs in the superhero cupcake series:

  • Batman- Orange background with black detail. Mini cupcakes.
  • Superman- Blue background. Red and yellow S via the star tip.
  • Green Lantern- White background with green detail.  Mini cupcakes.
  • Captain America- Blue background. Detail in white and red using the round tip.  Mini cupcakes.
  • Spiderman- Red background.  Black detail using the round tip and large white round sprinkle eyes.

 

image from wilton tips

This is the standard round piping tip I use for detail work and lettering when frosting.

 

A few notes and tips when trying these designs:

  • I personally use gel to color my icing.  It can be found in some grocery stores, but definitely easy to find in Michaels or other craft stores. Liquid food coloring will work as well, but it makes your frosting a bit more watery. If you need to use this option, you can always add a little powdered sugar to help stiffen it back up.
  • PURCHASE BLACK GEL! I’ve tried making black (or grey) by mixing various colors together.  It works, but it’s extremely annoying.  Just purchase black.  It’s worth it.
  • If you need to make brown icing and don’t have brown gel, you can use coca powder.  This will cause your frosting to have a chocolatey taste as well.  You may add some milk (of any type) to make it more runny if needed, as the cocoa powder will make it dry.
  • Once you fill your icing bag, stick it in the refrigerator for a few minutes.  Colder icing will create a stronger form (best used for writing letters, drawing Chewbacca’s fur, and doing detail work).
  • When drawing Yoda’s head or R2-D2’s body, I kept my icing warm (and slightly runny), so that I could mush it around in order to draw the figure more cleanly.

 

 

As a final homage to awesome geeky cake decorating, I present you with these two cakes, made by/for friends of mine:

 

tardis cake wedding

Yes, my friends- this is indeed a Tardis wedding cake topper! Thanks to Kayla and Chad for having an awesome wedding cake topper, and to Brian for the photo!  Extra thanks for allowing me to showcase it here!

 

minion cake despicable me

It’s a minion cake! Visit Custom Cakes by Dawn for more awesome cakes! (based in Ireland)

 

(for those who know that I have MORE geeky cupcakes out there to share…. don’t worry- I will be sharing those at some point too)

 

  • Which cupcake design is your favorite?  Do you have any geeky cake designs you would like to share?
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6 ideas to bring Irish fun into the workplace for St Paddys day

In hono(u)r of St. Paddy’s day, I figured I would give some inspiration for spreading Irish cheer!

st-paddy-ideas- inspiration patrick irish

Are you “that person”? You know- the one who likes to bring in treats to the office, or spread some joy by leaving smiley-face post-its on your coworkers’ monitors or occasionally writing inspirational quotes on the coffee room white board? Or do you just like any reason to celebrate?   Well- rather than dressing up like a leprechaun and handing out lucky charms, here are some ideas to bring some Irish cheer into your workplace!

 

 

1. Ireland-inspired decorated cupcakes!

irish cupcakes

Who doesn’t love cupcakes in the office? I love decorating cupcakes (as you may already know)- but I don’t have the patience to make them perfect (nor do I use icky fondant- which is much prettier).

Use some of these design ideas to decorate your own!

- Shamrock

- Celtic knot-work  Or click here to learn how to draw your own.

- Irish flag – Irish phrases (see #2 below)

- Leprechaun hat

- Celtic cross

-Pot of gold

- pointillism icing painting of St. Patrick banishing all snakes from Ireland

 

 

2. Irish phrases

http://www.flowinglass.com/art/cards.html

http://www.flowinglass.com/art/cards.html

Learn some Irish sayings or phrases to say or write and leave around the office. I’ve listed some examples below; note that I call the language Irish. Yes, it’s Irish Gaelic, but every Irish person I know just calls the language “Irish.”

Sláinte- “health” in Irish. It is what to say when clinking glasses as a drink cheer.

Phonetically= Slancha

Éirinn go Brách- “Ireland forever” in Irish. Often seen as “Erin go bragh” which is the anglicised spelling.

Phonetically= Erin guh brawkh

Céad mile fáilte- “A hundred thousand welcomes” in Irish.

Phonetically= Kayd Meelah Fallchaa

Go raibh maith agat- “thank you” in Irish.

Phonetically= gu rav mah ugut.

Póg Mo thóin- “kiss my arse.” I don’t recommend you tell this to everyone at work…. but it’s an important phrase to know, just to be sure that an Irish person isn’t pulling your leg by telling you “Póg Mo thóin” is how to say “Happy St. Patrick’s Day” in Irish.  Phrasebooks could be wrong, you know.

Phonetically= poag mah hone.

What’s the craic? (pronounced “crack”)= “what’s up?” or “what’s going on?”

 

And a few other fun quotes and sayings:

  • May the luck of the Irish be with you!
  • “Some cause happiness wherever they go; others whenever they go.” -Oscar Wilde
  • Here’s to women’s kisses, and to whiskey, amber clear. Not as sweet as a woman’s kiss, but a darn sight more sincere!
  • A good laugh and a long sleep are the two best cures.
  • Better good manners than good looks.
  • “A life making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing at all.” – George Bernard Shaw
  • May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live.
  • There are only two kinds of people in the world, the Irish and those who wish they were.

 

 

3. Limericks!

Writing a limerick is not too hard
Just get a pen and paper or maybe a card
Use your rhyming ear
And drink a pint of beer
And you too can write limericks like a bard

One year, I wrote a personalized limerick for everyone in my office.  To this day, I believe only two of them knew it was me.

A limerick is written with the following rhythm and rhyme (say it out loud):

Rhythm and rhythm and rhythm and A
Rhythm and rhythm and rhythm and A
Rhythm and B
Rhythm and B
Rhythm and rhythm and rhythm and A

Or for you musicians/dancers:

1+a 2+a 3+a 4(rhyme A)
1+a 2+a 3+a 4(rhyme A)
1+a 2(rhyme B)
3+a 4(rhyme B)
1+a 2+a 3+a 4(rhyme A)

The rhythm does not need be exact, but should fit in the rhythm relatively well.  (You should be able to fit the words with emphasis on the down beat comfortably).

The following limerick – which won an Irish ‘Listowel Writers Week’ prize in 1998 – exemplifies the structure:

Writing a Limerick’s absurd,
Line one and line five rhyme in word,
And just as you’ve reckoned
They rhyme with the second;
The fourth line must rhyme with the third.

Below are a few examples of ones I’ve written for co workers.

There once was a lass from New York
Whom, I doubt, would listen to Bjork
This next part is random
You can say it in tandem:
The sweedish chef says “bork bork bork!”

 

There once was a lass who did crafts and things
She treated all people as if they were kings
She liked apples that weren’t mealy
and learning Swahili
and the joy that each day brings”

Hints:

– feel free to use “there once was a lass/lad….” as your first line:

“There once was a lad from HR

Who enjoyed spending time in a bar…”

-or-

“There once was a lad who liked bacon

A lot of ruckus he enjoyed makin’…”

 

– think first of what words you can rhyme easily.  I don’t recommend “there once was a lass from Ohio” or trying to rhyme the word “orange” for example.

-If their name is easy to rhyme, consider using “there once was a lad named ____” as your first line.

– when you can’t figure out what word to use that rhymes, go throughout the alphabet:

Trying to rhyme the word “small”?
All?
Ball?
Call?
Dall?
Fall?
Gall?
And keep going until something makes sense in your limerick

 

 

4. Traditional food

Research some traditional Irish food to bring in to share!

http://hellyeahitsvegan.com/vegan-irish-soda-bread-2/

Irish Soda Bread with honey butter is always a great idea. Sadly, as I am currently on the road- I cannot make Irish soda bread and share the recipe and photos with you.  I CAN however, link you to a few recipe suggestions (even a gluten-free and a vegan one).

 

Also, making honey butter is always more impressive than it should be (it’s just what it says guys- honey and butter).  Let a stick of butter sit on the countertop and soften.  Put the butter in a bowl, pour honey over the top and mix it (I use a knife, just because I don’t want to dirty more dishes).  Keep mixing until smooth and all the lumps are out.  Do a taste-test and be sure you like the sweetness.  If you want it more sweet, add more honey.  If you want it less sweet, add more butter.

 

Click here for St. Paddy’s day recipe ideas!

You could always do an Irish office potluck for lunch.  Food ideas include: potato-leek soup, Guinness stew, shepherd’s pie, corned beef and cabbage, steak and Guinness pie, black pudding, pork pastie, Guinness cake, and whiskey cake.

 

 

5. Figure out everyone’s Leprechaun names and use them ALL DAY!

http://girlsguideto.com/articles/what-s-your-leprechaun-name

Because being a little ridiculous is always fun!

 

 

 

6. Contests!

Organize or host an office contest for St Patrick’s Day. Ideas include:

– Encourage everyone to dress up for the occasion and give an award for the most green or best Irish spirit.

– Hold a limerick contest (call it an Irish poerty slam?) and have everyone vote on the best one.

– Challenge everyone to some Irish trivia.

– There are a large number of famous Irish authors and playwrights. Pass out a sheet with the authors and a list of famous quotes. See if everyone can pair the quote with the proper author.

– See who can perform the most convincing jig. You might even have a coworker who actually knows some Irish dancing! Perhaps they will teach a dance to the group!

– Do an Irish singalong, or see if a group can perform an Irish drinking song “Whose Line is it Anyway?” style:

If you want to skip to my favorite part, go to 7:04.  It’s worth it.

If all else fails, you can just dress up a bit too much, bring your Irish whistle to play a few tunes, talk in and Irish accent most of the day, and keep asking folks if they’re heading to the pub after work…which may or may not be what I did last year ;)

 

 

Speaking of which, be sure you all go out to the pub afterwards for a pint, or some Jameson, neat.  And tune in- or subscribe, because the next post is dedicated to Guinness!!!

 

pass me a pint!

 

 

  • Do you have any Irish cheer ideas for your office/workplace? Think you might try one or more of these ideas? Share your stories with us!
  • Oh! Oh!   – and what is your leprechaun name??
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