Filtering by Category: cupcakes

Just In Time For Fall... New Cupcake Flavors!

DC locals are ready to break out their sweaters and boots as they wave goodbye to the humid days of summer and welcome the cool days of fall (just ignore the fact it was 90+ degrees the first day of autumn). So that's why I'm so happy to introduce two new flavors to the Hey Love cupcake menu: Chai Latte and Pumpkin Chocolate Chip!!

The Chai Latte cupcake has all the spices and punch you'd normally find in the traditional drink. With the combination of cinnamon, ginger, cardamom and cloves, this aromatic cupcake tastes just as great as it smells.

I debuted my pumpkin chocolate chip cupcakes at Cupcake Camp! I hear it was a hit but I wasn't able to hear firsthand from any tasters.

Pumpkin chocolate chip just screams fall with a chocolatey kick! Since the 'cake itself is so sweet, I chose to do a light drizzle of icing versus a swirl of frosting.

Here is the updated Hey Love Sweets menu.

Cupcake Camp DC 2010

I had the pleasure of not only attending but being a guest judge for the first ever Cupcake Camp DC event held on 18 September 2010 at Funxion in Washington, DC. The purpose of the event was pretty much to bring cupcake lovers together in the same place to share and eat cupcakes. Part of the event was a cupcake competition, which I judged with Robin, Olga of Mango & Tomato, Amy, and Tara of Yelp DC.

Cupcake Fans! This place got real packed.

I mostly hung out upstairs as it was a safe haven from the crowds and I did my judging duties upstairs with the others. It was kind of cool to look down and see all the cupcake fans having a good time and swarming the volunteers whenever they brought down trays of cupcakes.

I wish I had taken more photos, especially of myself, my fellow judges, and especially super coordinator extraordinaire, Nicole, who volunteered to run this whole operation with nothing but love for cupcakes and a team of volunteers. Here are some cupcake highlights...

The winner! (I think.) This was one of my favorites, especially presentation!

This was one of my favorite cupcakes, and I'm not even a chocolate fan! I was super impressed with the presentation - strawberry speckled frosting, pink blower, chocolate covered strawberry with pink drizzle - and wished that there was a column just for presentation. I believe this was the winning cupcake as well!

I give the

I was super impressed by the presentation of this "wine and cheese" cupcake as it appeared that the wine bottles were made by hand. I think that takes a lot of time and skill to master, so props to the person who did that. However, it had goat cheese in the frosting and either I'm not ready to have goat cheese in my cupcakes or there was a little too much goat cheese, but the taste was very over empowering. This is an instance where I wish there was a score for taste and a score for presentation, because both would have been scored on different ends of the spectrum.

This little gem wasn't a part of the competition, nor did I ever eat it, but it was so darn cute!

This little gem wasn't for judging but look how cute and shiny! Just proof everything is even cuter when they are in mini form.

Love the swirly and colors of the funfetti cupcake (homemade not boxed).

What a great twist on Funfetti cupcakes! This certainly wasn't the boxed variety we are all familiar with. I loved how beautiful the swirl frosting looked. It reminds me of cotton candy.

Am example of one

This split (cupcake) was bananas, B-A-N-A-N-A-S! The banana split cupcake in the back of this photo was ridiculous! It had frosting underneath and bananas, it was all sorts of crazy. This plate was also an example of what each "round" of cupcakes consisted of. Lots to taste!

The aftermath. Even though we didn't finish any cupcakes the judges and I had serious sugar coma!

The aftermath after about 8 rounds of tasting. Oh boy.

I had a lot of fun at this event, finally being able to meet Nicole and Ogla after having exchanged tweets with them for some time. The fat kid in me was happy to be eating all these cupcakes but my waistline was not. Things to remember for next year: wear stretchy pants, bring lots of water (in case the venue is weird about providing tap water), and pace yourself! Nicole told us we didn't have to try every single cupcake, yet we did. We should have listened to this wise gal!

The event went by so fast that I wish I had the opportunity to take more photos or even enjoy each cupcake. I'm struggling to remember what cupcake was what or who made which one, but overall I'm happy I got to be a part of it and that it was such a great event! Until next year!

To check out Nicole's summary of Cupcake Camp DC and to see the winners, click here.

What the Heck are Cupcake Flags Anyways?

They are these cute little gems.

Cupcake flags saying "oink," "quack," and "moo!" for a farm/barnyard-themed baby shower. | Hey Love Designs

Flags are a great way of adding a message to your batch of cupcakes. They can come in any shape and say anything you want. They also spice up your party or fit your theme.

For my friend's baby shower, her sister decided to give it a "Born to Be Wild" animal theme, so she asked me to put some animal sounds on the flags.

Cupcake flags saying "oink," "quack," and "moo!" for a farm/  barnyard-themed baby shower. | Hey Love Designs
Cupcake flags saying "oink," "quack," and "moo!" for a farm/  barnyard-themed baby shower. | Hey Love Designs

I may or may not have started quacking when I ate my cupcake.

Test Kitchen: Third Time's a Charm

Oh gluten-free cupcakes. You are the bane of my existence! My first attempt at making GF cupcakes was on 4th of July. I was hosting a party and thought it would be a great opportunity to try a new recipe. My friend who is allergic to gluten was going to attend, so I thought she'd be a good critic.

Well, they didn't turn out so great. They turned out so bad that I didn't even take photos... and I take photos of everything!

The overall verdict was that they tasted GREAT, however when I baked them, they rose too high, then overflowed. I basically had to carve the cupcakes out of the pan. They also seemed to fall apart in your fingers. But my friends encouraged me by telling them they tasted great, despite the fact they were crumbling.

The second attempt was when I wanted to make a test batch for an upcoming order. I decided to tie it to girls' weekend so we'd have some sweet treats for the road. Another fail! The cupcakes overflowed again, however they also sunk in the middle. Big time. Bummer.

Before the third and final attempt, I scoured the interwebs for ideas. Why did my cupcakes sink? Why do I have such a hard time with GF cupcakes? Why aren't there more recipes for GF and vegan cupcakes? The task seemed impossible and I was very close to just buying a box mix, but as someone who bakes cupcakes to sell, I believe that my creations should come from scratch.

So finally, the third attempt. I crossed all my fingers and toes, I did a wishful dance around my living room, I sent positive vibes into the oven. PLEASE turn out good. Okay they're rising, they're rising, don't rise too much!! I was on the edge of my seat.

And by golly, these baby cakes turned out great!

Vegan-Gluten Free Lemon Cupcakes

Third time's a charm, right?

I'm still getting used to the taste, but I think that is just how gluten-free cupcakes are. Since they are without wheat flour, the recipe relies on a blend of other flours and starches: garbanzo flour, potato starch, tapioca flour, sorghum flour, and fava flour. So yea, it's going to taste and feel different.

I also happened to be decorating sugar cookies for the same order that night, so since I was experimenting with the cupcakes anyways, I decided to play around with the decorating. I took some leftover royal icing, lemon slices, and some almonds I had laying around and viola! New decorating ideas put into good use.

Treats to go

I'll be bringing the experimental 'cakes into my full-time job. I'm sure the boys will be very happy. :)