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Making cupcakes with the talented Tracy from Cotton and Crumbs

22 Mar

I have swooned and oohed and awed at the amazing sugarcrafting talents of Tracy for the past two years, printing images of her cupcakes and studying those roses and rose buds and even attempting to have other sugarcraft teachers teach me how to make that rose.

So when I heard that Cotton and Crumbs was running a class, I jumped at the chance to find out how to make those perfectly swooping and utterly perfect sugar roses.

A picture of one of Tracy's designs, taken at her workshop, showing off her beautiful work.

Flying to Birmingham, back to my old stomping grounds, I was glad to be back and see that while so much has changed so much had also stayed the same since my university days.

The class itself was wonderful and I would highly recommend it. We spent 6 hours creating beautiful cupcakes and Tracy kindly and generously shared all the wisdom she has gathered through the years. Everything from the content of the contract she put together for her customers to curving the petals at just the right angle to achieve those drool worthy roses.

A divine lunch was served complete with classic crustless sandwich combos, I had so dearly missed like cheddar and onion and egg salad. To round out the perfect lunch we enjoyed scones covered generously with clotted cream and jam and I ate no less than 5!!! Let’s just say that fifth put me over the edge and I felt a little nausea after my over-eating!! Oops!

Here is Tracy showing us different techniques.

How to achieve the perfect dome:

Perfect Sugar roses:

Two-toned fondant ribbons:

Lots of pearls of wisdom, dutifully noted:

So with my last Lucazade in hand, I boarded the flight, with a box of cupcakes balanced in the other. Here are the babies, from the class which travelled all the way back to Frankfurt via a stopover in Amsterdam!

Awesome Discovery Alert!

19 Mar

For those of you like me, avid bakers who love all things baking and all things vintage chic, check out what I discovered!*

There was nothing worse than seeing all the cupcake trends, oceans away but nothing close to my new home here in Germany, but at last I have found the answer! Lecker Bakery!

What an absolutely well done publication, featuring all the amazing desserts we know and love dearly. Flicking through the lightly textured pages full of beautiful photography, you will quickly find that, yes it is all in German, but hey! what an awesome way to impress your German husband/boyfriend, by saying: “Hey, look at me, I’m practicing my German tonight! (without you having to nag me!..hehe)” while at the same time getting an eyeful of your favourite desserts! From the cleverly organized table of contents using the recipe’s pictures to the wide range of recipes with all the ingredients readily available at your local grocery store, this one is a real page turner!

Plus the magazine provides you with all kinds of website links for places where you can get vintage items for your kitchen. Yes, SHOPPING, ladies! There are many links for European companies from which you can buy from even if you live in Germany! That means no more astronomical shipping costs for that cute apron you want and it also means you can splurge a little more because you are saving on the shipping, right!?

And if I still haven’t convinced you of the cupcake wave hitting Germany (it’s about time!!), then this publication brings yet more proof! Look at this! Tchibo is selling cupcake boxes!

So to sum it up, you’ve got sassy aprons, vintage doilies and kitchen accessories, cupcake boxes, plus cupcake and muffin recipes galore even from the German muffin Queen herself, Cynthia Barcomi, all of which are just the tip of the iceberg inside Lecker Bakery.

What a discovery, I tell ya! I feel like such a Christopher Columbus!

And don’t worry, you haven’t missed much, this is only their first issue! If you want to find out more about this quarterly publication brought to us by the original Lecker food magazine, check out this link.

*Footnote: Mr. Cupcake’s mom should be credited with the initial sighting and diligent reporting back!

4th Place Whoopee!

30 Jan

So as January comes to a close and Dr. Oetker is announcing the winners, I am happy to report that I am amongst them! With all the amazing votes from the amazing people I know all over the world and with the help of a chocolate butterfly, I was propelled into a 4th place win!

It all started with this:

I stood in the check out line at the grocery store and eye-balled the delicious Kürbis (pumpkin) gnocchi. The line-up was long so I had to entertain myself and so I flicked to recipe. As I did, this insert popped out!

And with much requesting, asking nicely and pleading and securing the 4th spot, I have come out with this in my mailbox:

Inside is a contract to say that Dr. Oetker wants my recipe and wants to take pictures of my winning entry and to then have rights to distribute my recipe and cupcake’s picture. Did you hear that folks, Dr. Oetker wants my recipe!!:) And to photograph MY cupcake! Totally cooool.

Some have said, ‘aw, only 4th place’ but in fact it’s as good as winning 2nd since the prizes are the same. As a prize, I get to visit the Dr. Oetker test kitchens with all expenses paid trip to go there for myself and three people of my choice for a fun Kochtag (cooking day). So winners in 2nd through 5th place all receive this honour with their three people too. So I am super excited! Anddd, let’s not forget that Dr. Oetker will distribute my recipe and cupcake picture!!

As soon as I found out the good news here is what I posted on my Facebook:

*running around the room in circles!!* We did it! We did it! We did it everyone!!!!! 4th place!! 4te Platz in the Dr. Oetker competition!!! Yipeeeeeee!!!! No car, but an all expenses paid trip to the Dr. Oetker Versuchsküche (Test kitchen) for a cooking day!! Plus they try out my recipe and take some professional pics of my 4th place butterfly cupcake!!

All that is left to say now is just THANK YOU. You know you have awesome people behind you when they have to buy an iPad application for flash to be able to view the page to vote; when you contact your next door neighbour from when you were 9 years old and they AND their mom vote for you; when the girl you met that one time at a language school in Paris votes; when your Facebook and WordPress followers click their way through a German voting website they don’t understand just to give you their vote; when the friend of the friend you met ONE TIME in Münich devises a simpler one click link to simplify the voting process and makes sure to share it with others; when all the peeps you worked with while at university that you hardly have contact with anymore give you their votes; when long lost childhood friends, ex-boyfriends of friends and friends that live far far away which you don’t see anywhere near enough, make sure to give you their vote and their current boyfriend’s vote of course….and then there are those brand new German relatives right here close to home and close to my heart that stand behind you and give you their support as I they only want to see you succeed and be happy.

I am damn lucky and I know it. And I love it. Thank you ALL.

Ich bitte um Eure Hilfe

16 Nov

For the English version of the same blogpost, click here.

Ich gebe zu, ich bin nicht unbedingt der Wettbewerbstyp. Mir ist es zum Beispiel egal, ob ich bei sportlichen Wettkämpfen gewinne oder nicht und bei Brettspielen flunkere ich auch ab und zu, weil Monopoly ohne ein bisschen Schwarzgeld einfach keinen Spaß machen würde.

Aber dieses Mal ist es anders. Beim Stöbern durch einige Zeitschriftenregale während dem Anstehen an der Supermarktkasse fand ich in einem Kochmagazin zufällig eine Anzeige, die mich besonders ansprach. Sie warb für einen Wettbewerb, der geradezu danach schreit, gewonnen zu werden. Es war einfach Schicksal, dass ich das Magazin in diesem Moment fand und ich wusste, dass ich mich für den Wettbewerb anmelden musste. Und ich will auch gewinnen!

Konkret geht es um den großen „Dekorideen-Wettbewerb“ von Doktor Oetker, einem weltweit bekannten deutschen Backwarenhersteller, der ein Genie auf seinem Gebiet ist. Wäre es für mich also nicht einfach perfekt, diesen Coup zu gewinnen? Es wäre großartig!

Nun aber zum eigentlichen Punkt: IHR müsst für mich voten. Ich verlange keine Geldspende… auch keine Blutspende… sondern nur 2 Minuten Eurer Zeit. Es ist ganz einfach und mit keinerlei Werbung oder Spammails verbunden.

Wenn Ihr mir helfen möchtet, dann befolgt einfach die folgenden Schritte:

  • Klickt hier.
  • Scrollt Euch durch die Bildergalerie bis zu meinem Bild (da immer neue Einträge dazukommen, müsst Ihr eventuell ein wenig suchen).
  • Mein Bild zeigt einen Cupcake auf einem helllila Hintergrund mit einem großen dunklen Schokoladenschmetterling und rosa Zuckerguss. Der Eintrag heißt „Schoko Cupcakes“. Im Moment findet man mich auf der vierzehnte(14te) Seite, aber mit jedem neuen Eintrag ändert sich natürlich die Position meines Bildes. Ich werde deswegen versuchen, diesen Beitrag hier so oft wie möglich zu aktualisieren, damit Ihr nicht so lange suchen müsst.

So sieht das Bild aus:

  • Nun klickt Ihr auf das Bild auf der Dr. Oetker-Seite.
  • Sobald Ihr geklickt habt, wird das Bild vergrößert und ihr wählt den Button „Voten“ aus.
  • In dem Wettbewerb müssen immer 3 Votes auf einmal abgegeben werden, also wählt noch zwei andere Bilder aus, die euch gefallen und drückt dort ebenso auf „Voten“
  • Wenn ihr für alle drei Bilder gestimmt habt, erscheint eine Box auf dem Bildschirm, wo ihr Euren Vor- und Nachname sowie Eure E-Mail Adresse angeben müsst. Dann macht Ihr noch ein Häkchen im Feld „Ja, ich akzeptiere die Teilnahmebedingungen“ und Eure Stimme wird abgeschickt. Fertig!

Es dauert ehrlich nur 2 Minuten.

Zu gewinnen gibt es bei dem Wettbewerb einen Fiat, wobei dieser mich weniger interessiert. Vielmehr möchte ich den Erfolg haben. Das ist es… ein wenig Aufmerksamkeit für mich und meine Cupcakes. Dass Dr. Oetker mich zur Cupcake-Prinzessin krönt, die beste im Lande… das wäre ein echter Traum.

Falls Ihr immer noch nicht bereit seid, für mich zu voten, lasst mich noch eine letzte Sache versuchen, um Euch zu überzeugen.

Es gibt nämlich Neuigkeiten: Mr. Cupcake und ich sind verlobt! Aaaah! Am Abend des Antrags wussten alle Bescheid… außer mir. Für diesen großen Moment wollte meine Mutter, dass ich besonders gut aussehe… aber das ist eine längere Geschichte:

Ich hatte nur noch 24 Stunden in Kanada, bevor wir zu unserem nächsten Ziel aufbrechen wollten und es war außerdem der einzige Tag, den ich mit Mr. Cupcake in Kanada verbringen konnte. Also plante ich, etwas Lustiges zu unternehmen und nicht einfach faul zu Hause herum zu liegen. Wir liehen uns ein Paar Wassermotorräder und fuhren mit meiner Freundin, ihrem Ehemann und unseren beiden Müttern zu Turkey Point. Dort wollten wir Mr. Cupcake zeigen, wie wir Kanadier auf dem Wasser Spaß haben können und es war wirklich ein wunderbarer Tag. Für den Abend war ein gemeinsames BBQ geplant, das unsere Mütter vorbereiteten.

Als wir von unserem Ausflug zum See zurückkamen, versuchte meine Mutter mich davon zu überzeugen, mich ein wenig für das BBQ aufzuhübschen: „Ewa, komm, mach dich fertig, du musst gut aussehen. Wasch deine Haare und zieh etwas Schönes an.“

Ich antwortete darauf: „Mom, ich hab nichts Schönes und außerdem ist es doch sowieso nur ein BBQ in unserem Garten.“

Mom:  „Du hast also nichts Schönes… und was ist mit deinem Brautjungfernkleid, das du an der Hochzeit letztes Wochenende getragen hast? Du siehst so gut darin aus!“

Ich: „Nein Mom. Hör auf, so komisch zu sein. Warum zum Teufel würde ich mein Brautjungfernkleid zu einem BBQ in unserem Garten anziehen???!!! Lass mich einfach meine Shorts anbehalten.

Mom: „Mach schon, Ewa… bitte zieh dir heute Abend etwas Schönes an. Es wird toll werden…..“

Ich: „Aber Mom!! So ein Kleid ist für diesen Anlass total unangebracht. Wir essen nur mit unseren Freunden zu Abend.“

Und dann machte sie ernst: „Wenn du deine Mutter liebst, dann ziehst du dieses Kleid an!“

Ich war daraufhin ziemlich genervt, wollte aber nicht weiter streiten und ließ ihr den Sieg. Ich sehe sie ja auch nur einmal im Jahr, seit ich nach Deutschland gezogen bin…. also gut, ich zog das Kleid an und ging nach draußen in den Garten, total entnervt und dachte die ganze Zeit, wie OVERdressed ich doch war!

Natürlich wussten alle Anderen die ganze Zeit davon, dass mir Mr. Cupcake an diesem Abend einen Heiratsantrag machen würde und waren deswegen damit beschäftigt, unsere Gartenlaube mit allerlei Dekorationen zu verschönern und selbst gemachte Cocktails neben dem Grillgut auf dem Tisch zu arrangieren…

Um 20:00 Uhr saßen dann endlich alle unter der Gartenlaube oder standen neben dem Grill und ich fühlte mich ziemlich fehl am Platz mit meinem schönen türkisblauen Brautjungfernkleid…. aber egal, das Essen war fertig und wir stießen am Tisch gemeinsam mit den wunderbaren selbstgemachten Cocktails an. Alles war mit Lichterketten beleuchtet und da waren außerdem diese tollen Blumen auf dem Tisch (die mir Mr. Cupcake von der Hochzeitsfeier in Ohio vom Vortag mitgebracht hatte. Ein Bouquet aus großen pinken und weißen Rosen, das er sogar im Flugzeug mitnehmen durfte)… Ich habe mir nichts dabei gedacht, denn das Ambiente war typisch für meine Mutter.

Nach dem Anstoßen setzten wir uns alle hin und dann stand Mr. Cupcake plötzlich auf und sagte, dass er die Gelegenheit gerne nutzen wolle, um etwas zu sagen… also saß ich da und dachte „oh wie schön, er wird sich bestimmt bei meiner Mom für das schöne BBQ bedanken…“.  Aber dann setzte er sich vor mich und sagte, dass er mir direkt etwas zu sagen habe… er nahm meine Hände und gestand mir seine Liebe…. Ich sah mich um und realisierte, dass mein Bruder alles mit unserer Kamera aufnahm und da dachte ich “Wow, das ist es!“. Ich schaute zurück zu Mr. Cupcake und er redete weiter wie ein Wasserfall (das Meiste weiß ich schon gar nicht mehr, aber zum Glück ist ja alles auf Kamera!!)…. er zitterte wie Espenlaub… und dann kniete er sich vor mich und fragte, ob ich seine Frau werden will. „Weil ich dich liebe und weil ich dich zur Frau nehmen möchte…..“  Er ließ mich eigentlich überhaupt nicht zu Wort kommen und redete ständig weiter… und dann stoppte er plötzlich und ich fragte mich, ob ich nun immer noch einfach „Ja“ sagen konnte, obwohl er die Frage der Fragen schon vor etwa 5 Minuten gestellt hatte. Also antwortete ich „Ja, natürlich will ich deine Frau werden!“

Dann haben wir uns geküsst und umarmt und der Garten war komplett erfüllt… von Liebe. Alle waren glücklich und gratulierten uns. Es war einfach großartig.

Wenn Ihr mich vorher gefragt hättet, wie ich mir den Antrag vorgestellt hätte, wäre es wahrscheinlich nicht so traditionell gewesen. Aber ich fand es im Nachhinein einfach perfekt, so, wie es war! Es war toll, dass meine Mom und mein Bruder dabei waren und das jemand das Ganze auch noch auf Video festgehalten hat, sodass ich nichts von diesem Moment vergessen werde (oder wie Mr. Cupcake mich deswegen nennt: Schwarzes-Loch-Generator)…

All diese familiären Emotionen nach dem Antrag… das war unglaublich. Ich habe immer gedacht, dass ich mir einen Antrag am Strand unter dem Sternenhimmel wünsche. Nur er und ich… aber es hat meiner Mutter solch eine Freude gemacht, dass sie dabei sein durfte und ich fand es wunderschön, den Moment mit meinen Nächsten zu teilen, so dass ich mir heute keinen besseren Ort oder Zeitpunkt für einen Antrag vorstellen kann!

So, und nun sage ich noch einmal zu Euch allen: Wenn Ihr mich liebt, dann votet ihr jetzt bei Dr. Oetker für mich.

Ich habe zuerst überlegt, dieses Foto hier für den Wettbewerb hochzuladen, aber mich dann doch für das andere entschieden, da es den Zuckerguss besser zur Geltung kommen lässt.

Gerne könnt Ihr mir einen Kommentar hinterlassen, nachdem Ihr für mich gevotet habt. Das würde mich wirklich freuen!

I don’t ask for much but I want to ask for this

13 Nov

Für die deutsche Version meines blogpost, bitte hier klicken.

I’ll admit it, I’m not one for competitions. I don’t try hard at sports because I don’t care if I win and I always cheat at board games because winning is no fun unless you’ve snuck a few extra 50 dollar bills during monopoly.

But this time I want to win. This time, THIS Wettbewerb (competition) shouts at me to win it. As I queued up in the check-out lane at the grocery store, I casually flicked through the food mags in the magazine rack and I found an advert for this competition. It spoke to me. I knew I had entered that super market at that moment to find this ad, to enter THIS competition.

It’s run by Dr. Oetker folks. Yes, the German baking goods producer genius that is known world-wide, not just in Germany for all things baking and this competition is everything to do with baking decor. So it would be so cool to win this from Dr. Oetker himself, wouldn’t it!? Just splendid! But the thing is, is that you gotta vote. Yes vote. Not donate your blood or your money, just 2 minutes of your time. You don’t even get any junky mail in your mailbox when you vote for me!

Look, I really so badly want to win and to win I need your vote.

Just follow these simple steps.

  • Click here.
  • Then scroll to find my picture. New entries are added daily so it may be a little tricky to find me.
  • Scroll down and look for a picture of a cupcake on a light light purple background, with a light pink swirl of frosting and a big butterfly made out of chocolate that looks perched with flapping wings on a cupcake. The entry is called ‘Schoko Cupcakes.’ Currently I am located on page 14 of 26. But that will change as more entries are added. I will try to keep updating this page number as it changes.
The picture looks like this:
  • Now click on the picture on the Dr. Oetker page not on the one here.
  • Once you have clicked on the picture and it appears big size in the centre of your screen, click on “Voten”, the rectangular box under the picture.
  • Now, in this competition you have to make two more votes. So just randomly choose two more pictures. And click “Voten” just like you did with mine.
  • When you have clicked “Voten” for all three pictures, a box will come up automatically and you just fill in your first name, last name and email address and click the ‘Ja, I accept the terms and conditions” box. Then click Jetzt teilnehmen (which means ‘participate now’) and you are done!

2 Minutes of your life, I swear it.

The prize for the competition is a Fiat although I could care less if it ends up in my Parkplatz (parking spot). All I want is 15 minutes of baking fame. That’s it folks. Feel the light shine on me and my cupcakes. Have Dr. Oetker crown me and my cupcake babies, the best in the land…Ah…a girl can dream.

Now if you still don’t give a damn, let me try one last thing on ya.

So the latest news is that Mr. Cupcake and I are engaged! Yes, engaged! Eeek! On the night Mr. Cupcake was about to pop the question every but me knew. So for the big moment, my mom wanted me to look pretty and here is what happened.

So it was my last 24 hours in Canada before we flew to our next destination and it was the only day that Mr. Cupcake joined me in Canada for. So I planned to actually do something fun not just chill like beans at home…so we rented some Skidoos and drove to Turkey Point with my friend, her husband and her mom and my mom and showed Mr. Cupcake how us Canadians have fun on the lake and it was a good time..then we went out for some wings, while the two moms prepared BBQ dinner for the evening…

So when we got home after the day on the lake, my mom was like, “Ewa come on get ready for the BBQ but you have to make yourself look nice……Wash and blow dry your hair (you all know, what lake hair is like) and put on something nice.”

So I say, “Mom I don’t have anything nice and anyway it’s just a BBQ at home in our back garden.”
Mom: “You do have something nice…how about that bridesmaid dress you wore for the wedding. You look so good in it!”
Me: “No mom. Stop being weird mom. Why the heck would I wear a bridesmaid dress to a BBQ in our backyard??! Go away, I don’t care, just let me wear my shorts..”
Mom: “Come on Ewa…please wear something nice tonight…it’ll be nice…”

Me:“But Mom!! A bridesmaid dress to dinner with the family and friends, that is just bizzarre!”

And then she hit me with it. “You’ll wear the dress, IF you love your mother.”

Oh then, I was just pissed off that she’d used the “if you love your mom” card on me and I couldn’t keep arguing but had to let her win and wear the dress..I mean I do only see her ONCE a year since I moved to Germany…So fine, I put on the bridesmaid dress and went out to our backyard, totally cringing and thinking how OVERdressed I was!

Of course, the whole time everyone but me, knew that Mr. Cupcake would propose and were busy making the gazebo thingie in our backyard all nice with fairy lights and setting out homemade cocktails and fresh BBQ food on the table…

So I go out at 8pm ish and everyone is sitting under the gazebo or standing by the grill and I feel like an ass in my dress…but anyway, the BBQ was ready and we all sat at the table and we made a toast with our lovely cocktails…Everything was lit up with fairy lights and there were the flowers on the table (that Mr. Cupcake brought over for me from the wedding party in Ohio the night before! Big beautiful pink and white rose bouquet that they let him take on the plane to Canada)…I didn’t think anything of it because with my mom, fairy lights are appropriate all times of the year!!

After the toast with cocktails we all sat down and then Mr. Cupcake is standing up and says, that he would like to take the opportunity to say something…so I am sitting down,  just thinking “Oh how nice, he’ll thank my mom for a nice BBQ..” and then he sits down in front of me and says I want to say something…to Ewa…he takes my hands and starts pledging his love to me..I look around and realize my brother is taping with our camera and I am like…”Oh wow!! This is it!” So I look back at Mr. Cupcake and he is saying stuff (most of which I forgot but don’t worry it’s on tape!!)..and shaking like a leaf! and so he gets down on BOTH knees!! and says will you be my wife? Because I love you and I want you to be my wife…So he doesn’t actually let me answer but rambles on past the question and then stops…and well I can’t just say yes, when he asked THE question like 5 minutes ago?!! So I just say, “Yes, of course I will be your wife.”

Then we kiss and hug and the whole room/garden is filled with love…!! Everyone is happy and congratulating us! And it’s great! Now if you would have asked me how I imagined it, it would not have been that traditional! But I loved EVERYTHING about it!!! I loved that my brother and my mom were there and that we had someone we love tape everything since I forget everything (or as Mr. Cupcake lovingly calls me: a black hole generator)..and all the family emotions in the room afterwards…it was great! I always thought I wanted this beach proposal under the stars just me and him…but it was such a gift to my mom and everyone there, that it was sooo beautiful to share the moment with everyone!!

So now I say to you: You’ll go on Dr. Oetker and vote, IF you love me.

I debated uploading this one for competition but I decided on the other one as it has more of a close up on the frosting swirl.

Feel free to leave me a comment after you’ve voted to inform me of the great news of your vote for me!

Rotwein Festival

8 Nov

Just in a few weeks ago, Das Cupcake had a booth at a Rotwein Festival. It was on a glorious Sunday, one of the last, hot sunshine-y days here in Hessen. It started out as a damn cold Sunday morning, getting up at ridiculous o-clock but quickly the bright sun came out and we were in business.

Here was what we started with on that cold morning.

And here was the final product.

A little cheap and cheesy, I know, the blue and white beer tent stripes don’t do much for the pretty cupcakes but alas it was 35€ at METRO! Bargain, I say! Brown and orange were the autumn-esk colour palette I chose.

Mr. Cupcake AND his mom joined in the on the festival fun and volunteered to spend the day with me selling cupcakes. It was amazing. Mr. Cupcake was rockin’ and rollin’ and charming every old lady passing by. He sold like a madmen and I was totally jealous of his sales skills.

The streets were packed with people on such a blissful day and we sold out by the end.

A bigggg thank you goes to the lovely and talented Ms. Nicole who was a fabulous event organizer and stayed cool and collected under the pressure of such a big event and so kindly thought of bringing Das Cupcake along for the day.

100th Das Cupcake Fan Comes to Frankfurt

17 Oct

So the title of the blog post says it all. A few weekends ago, I had my 100th Das Cupcake Facebook fan join me in Frankfurt for some baking and it was awesome! She was my 100th fan and I wanted to make her feel special because all my Facebook fans are special and it just so happens that she is a cupcake fanatic just like you and me!

I was going to send her something sweet and delicious by post, but she was cool enough to make the trip to Frankfurt so we spent the weekend together talking all things cupcake, decorating all things cupcake and more deliciously, eating all things cupcake.

She not only made it all the way to Frankfurt but she also came bearing presents! Cupcake-related presents! She brought me a variety of beautiful cupcake cases which I loved. Especially these tulip-y ones that I have wanted to try out for ages! And a cupcake cookie cutter. Eeek! I’m in love!!

Of course, I had a full cupcake itinerary planned. I wasn’t gonna make her come all the way down for nothin’! So we did the Frankfurt cupcake tour  -Jenny’s Cupcakes, We Love Cupcakes and McDonald’s and did the hard work of cupcake taste testing.

Jenny's Cupcakes in Frankfurt.

We Love Cupcakes' shop in Frankfurt.

From left to right: Jenny's Cupcakes, (flavours from top to bottom) Coconut, Hazelnut Chocolate, Vanilla Chocolate; We Love Cupcakes, (flavours from top to bottom) Vanilla, Chocolate, Carrot Cake; McDonald's (flavours from top to bottom) Strawberry, Chocolate

You’d think that would be enough cupcakes for one weekend, but we went onto baking 2 dozen of our own cupcakes the Das Cupcake way! We baked and then decorated our sweet goodies.

Fantastic job using fondant discs! Look at the beautiful application and it was her first time using fondant.

We really had a fabulous time since I love any excuse for baking and decorating and it was one of the first times I was able to share some of the many, many things I have learned on my cupcake journey with someone who loves all things cupcake like I do. I think that by the 200th Das Cupcake Facebook fan, I will have learned heaps more and I can’t wait to share it with that lucky number 200!

Using 1M piping tip to make red frosting roses.

Wrapped up and ready to get eaten!

Cupcake Tower for AUSA

16 Sep
So I am making a comeback to my blog after a somewhat long hiatus. As I wipe the dust off the old wordpress, I remember how awesome it is to blog and that my blog post don’t have to be cool or funny. They are just here to document my little dream that has now grown into its own little beast and will hopefully continue to grow into a bigger beast, all the while challenging me to learn and go after what I came here looking for.
It is interesting though, this beast concept as Das Cupcake has more and more become its own entity. You know, it’s not, “Hey how are you doing today Ewa?” It’s more like “Hey how’s the cupcake business going?” Which is really awesome cause that means people care and see it as something, its own cool thing that has its own life too, intermingled with mine of course.
So after all the Konditor exams and all those hurdles that I’ve jumped over, I am back in hunt mode for the next piece of the puzzle -finding a kitchen. Still on that piece as I was in my previous post and am clearly realizing that these milestone type thingies take time and aren’t just one hurdle but many. So I’m off again, trying to find a good kitchen. Like everything so far, there is no one person giving me the standards for the kitchen, but many departments such as the health and safety department and also the general building standards. It’s all a bit of a huge of amount of German information to process, as per usual.
Luckily, there is always fun to be found in marketing. And by marketing I mean giving away cupcakes and making people smile and come back for more. And as event season gets back in full swing, there was a Security Symposium run by the people at AUSA. So to make the people happy, I brought these little badboys.
They are chocolate and vanilla. The chocolate ones have the company logo and the vanilla ones have  red and blue berries in the spirit of the USA.
I received wonderful feedback and the best reviews were in seeing people come back for another.
I provide these tower displays free of charge to display cupcakes at your event.

Business Plans and Kitchens

11 Jul

Now that the joy of passing my exams has died down a little, I have been back to the nitty-gritty. The nitty-gritty, Mr. Cupcake loves, but which I hate.

Two words:

Business Plan.

Yuck. It feels like I am back at square zero with this business plan writing not going very well. And  no business plan = no business loan. And no business loan = no kitchen and no business. Ugh.

You see, I am more of organic growth kind of girl. Start small and grow gradually, but Mr. Cupcake is all about the viability of the business and the numbers and the future targets. So this is really hard for me.

Right now I am in the thick of things trying to answer two not so simple questions:

  • Why would someone want to buy cupcakes?
  • And why would they want to buy them from me (and not my competitors, for example)?

Both very fully loaded questions and are the ones that will convince the bank to give me a loan.

As I said, things are hard going and I have not only to answer those two questions but also to crystallize my business concept on paper so that I know what I am selling and how I am going to go about selling it.

Luckily I have Mr. Cupcake for the financial modeling part of the business plan because I am hopeless with Excel but he has a full-time job so unfortunately he doesn’t have a lot of spare time to dedicate to this at the moment.

While I chip away on my business plan which needs to be submitted sooner rather than later, we are also on the hunt for a kitchen space. We are calling people and contacting kitchens to see if they want to share their space for a small rental price. Hopefully someone will take Das Cupcake on and I can work in their kitchen baking my cupcakes. We are also investigating places in Frankfurt where we can set up a small kitchen location so please let me know if you know of any small shop spaces that we could transform into our kitchen so that I can bake some more of these!

Like with everything in life. This cupcake business has peaks and valleys and although I am struggling to re-focus my energy and give this business plan an ass kicking, I will get there. There are some positive and awesome things on the horizon, I am sure of it!

Cupcake Revelations

16 Jun

Last Saturday Das Cupcake had a photoshoot and it was awesome. Actually last week was all around awesome for Das Cupcake. On Monday, I had my final exam and passed! So now I am officially official to sell my cupcakes anywhere in Germany because I’m qualified man! I am a Konditorin. I just love the way that spills off my tongue. This is a huge deal!

Last Saturday was also huge because a new friend I made came all the way from Stuttgart with all her photography equipment and we had a cupcake photoshoot.

I prepared the cupcakes a day ahead and styled them for each set-change. It was my very very very first time being a Director on a shoot and I didn’t really know what to do. Luckily for the first two thirds of the shoot, Jen took charge and set up the photos and finally during the last third of the shoot I started styling the shots a bit more and looking over Jen’s shoulder into her Canon’s viewfinder. When I did that, I felt truly like a creative Director and it brought me back to watching America’s Next Top Model episodes with Jay Manual directing the shoots! Halfway through the shoot, as I prepped a cupcake and saw my living room transformed into a mini set, I got this immense surge of joy. Here is an excerpt of what I wrote during this time (so as not to forget exactly where my whole being was at that time):

“I feel it! I feel IT! I have this constant sense of well-being and joy flowing through my body. I know that I am doing what I love. I can’t get this grin off of my face. My heart is so happy. We are listening to a compilation of my old soundtracks I compiled online and listening to this music has somehow connected me to my past and present. On a subconscious level it has brought me back to my past when I was unhappy with my career and spontaneously triggered a reaction in me in response to how happy I feel in this moment of time. I’m soaring. It feels like I’ve come full circle. Like I’ve come home. What is that called when the past and present combine and it’s just perfect harmony? An incredible feeling. I feel so connected to myself.”

Now brace yourself for some cheesiness, but it has to be said. I really believe that this feeling I get when making cupcakes gets passed onto the customer. It’s not just ‘x’ amount of hours spent on a cupcake order, but my love of the cupcake coming from THE ultimate place of self-fulfillment in my soul right to you!

I really had a wonderful day (and week!) and I thank Jen with my whole heart for making the huge effort and sharing her huge “Photographerin” talent with me!

A sneak peak at the goodies we photographed!