Easy Spring Bake Sale Treat: Lemon Cupcakes with Royal Icing Poppies

Sunday, April 6, 2014

I made four dozen of these lemon cupcakes topped with royal icing poppies to help out my BFF, who organizes the bake sale for her boss's garden club's spring flower show. (I know, gag. Just more proof I'll do anything for my friends.)

The lemony cupcakes were a nice light treat for a spring themed event.  The poppies were the perfect level of difficulty for my entry level cake decorating skills. I'd clipped the concept from a Martha Stewart magazine ages ago and was excited for a chance to use it. This link is to the Martha Stewart website entry that coordinates with the original print article, and includes a video for how to pipe the poppies.

The original recipe called for making the flowers with buttercream, but I needed them to stand up to transportation and sitting around in a high school gym for the bake sale. So I made royal icing with the recipe right off the can, and they came out great. Yes, I know I could have made royal icing from scratch, but let's be real - I was already making four dozen cupcakes for someone else's event.

I used a #7 Wilton flower nail, piped them onto little parchment squares and let them dry on sheet trays, just like you're supposed so.  (Note: I only made the flower petals with royal icing, the green leaves I piped on with buttercream after the flowers had been placed on the cupcakes. I put the poppyseeds on as soon as I piped them so they'd stick to the flowers as they dried.)

I was so proud of my big sheet trays full of painstakingly piped poppies. I totally took pictures, just like a good little blogger. Nope, I can't find them.

As you can see from the photo, I didn't get too fussy when I applied the base of white buttercream. Let's call it a deliberate design choice for a casual event.

To keep them clean, transport them, make them easy to stack at the sale and easy for participants to carry home, I used individual cupcake boxes. I'm kind of in love with the individual cupcake box concept and am definitely looking for reasons to do it again.

If you do a project like this, do not buy the cupcake boxes from your local craft or big box store. Retail, it can cost $7 for a package of 4.  We used a online discount site and got a case of 100 for around $50, which is a pretty great deal.  If profit margins are a concern for your bake sale, make sure to take that 50 cents per box into consideration. We essentially donated the boxes.

My only goal here is to save someone else from the special hell that is trying to come up with ideas for a bake sale. These got priced at 2 bucks a pop. They're small and cheap enough to be the token purchase for the folks who don't want to buy something but feel really obligated to. And they're perfect for people who want to bring a little something home for their kids, but don't want to commit to a full size cake or a whole plate of cookies.

Go forth and cupcake!

 Here's my pin of this post.