Tag Archives: cupcakes

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!

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Girly Spring Cupcakes

22 Apr

The weather in Frankfurt continues to be splendid and I am continuely inspired by all the blossoming flowers so today I made some girly spring cupcakes for a friend. I hope she enjoyed them!

Happy Easter everyone! Eat lots of chocolate bunnies and paint lots of eggs!

Short and Sweet Post: Golf Event Cupcake Minis

20 Sep

Last week I sponsored a golf charity event that was hosted by the president of the Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow club which I am a part of as a mentor. He invited me a few weeks ago and I decided it would be a wonderful opportunity to introduce yet more Frankfurters to cupcakes.
I came up with a simple design as I knew that the majority of golfers would be male so no girlie cupcakes were allowed. I made classic flavours, French vanilla and Belgian chocolate. I frosted the vanilla ones in green tinted buttercream and added a little white M&M flavoured chocolate bean which my Trusty Apprentice recently smuggled in from the UK. I added a little toothpick flag to increase the cuteness. The chocolate cupcakes were decorated with a swirl of chocolate frosting and topped with chopped frozen Mars bars.

I scored this awesome vintage tray at Das Depot (no relation.:)) in Frankfurt for €6. Das Depot is the equivalent to say, Home Sense with lots of home accessories. It's usually super over-priced but had a sale on. Woo hoo!

Once the golfers came in and finished lunch, I walked around with tray and distributed them. I love interacting with people and talking about my favourite topic (cupcakes!) so it was a fun afternoon.

P.S. Stay tuned for my next post ─an autumn-inspired photo tutorial.

Cupcakes for a friend and A Red Ribbon Rose tutorial

30 Aug

Last Monday I had the pleasure of baking some cupcakes for one of my best friends in Frankfurt. We met each other in our Beginners German class and didn’t exactly hit it off. But after bad first impressions and one tram ride later, we actually found out that we could be ‘bestie’ material after all. So here we are, nearly 12 months after the fact and we are in fact besties. She celebrated her birthday this week and I made her some chocolate cupcakes to bring to work and share with her colleagues. This leads me to one definitely bizarre tradition I’ve found in Germany.

On your birthday, in Germany, YOU have to bring the cake. On your own birthday, YOU have to either buy or bake a cake and bring it in to share with your colleagues. All is good in when it comes to cake, but shouldn’t your friends and colleagues be THE ONES surprising YOU with the cake? I ask. Anyway, a little bit of cultural differences aside, cakes and cupcakes are always a good idea-well, that is if you want people thinking it’s your birthday.

For her birthday, I made her favourite –my Belgian chocolate cupcakes and decorated them simply with some cute ribbon roses. I have wanted to make these roses for a while and after a few tries, I finally got the right thickness and shape.

And since I like to keep things fresh, I thought I would post a quick ribbon rose tutorial in this blog post for those captivated by these cute little guys.

Note: Make these at least three days in advance so the fondant has time to harden.

Check out the captions underneath each picture for further instructions.

To make a red ribbon rose you will need:

a pinch of fondant about the size of a large blueberry
a pinch of gum tragacanth
red food colouring
ruler (if you are a perfectionist)
a square (8cmx8cm) cut out of a plastic sandwich baggie (if your hands are warm, the fondant can stick to you)

Step 1:

Pinch off some white fondant and treat it with some strengthening powder by kneading gum tragacanth into the fondant. This will ensure that your rose hardens and keeps its shape. CMC powder is a synthetic version of gum tragacanth and will also do the trick. The size of the fondant you pinched off determines how much gum tragacanth you will use. The rule of thumb is 1 tsp per 250g of fondant, so it’s really just a pinch for small amounts of fondant like the one we are using here.

Step 2:

Next add the food colouring paste. Red is notorious for having a bittery taste, so use it wisely and just for small fondant decorations. i.e. cute ribbon roses

Step 3:

Knead red food colouring paste into the fondant. When kneading, I don't use latex gloves and so I do get red food colouring all over my fingers. A good hint here is, work with light colours, like pink and white FIRST, so as not to mark lighter colours with your red finger tips. Washing yours hands often helps, but not fully, especially when using white fondant which is very easy to stain. So if you are making pink and red ribbon roses, make your pink ones first.

Step 4:

Once a smooth colour appears, pinch off a small bit red fondant, about the size of a blueberry.

Step 5:

Roll a thin sausage in between your palms that will measure about 4cm. It can be a little pointy on the ends.

Step 6:

Take a square you have cut out from a plastic bag and flatten the sausage. I use the square piece of plastic baggie to keep the fondant from sticking to my finger during flattening, however you don’t NEED a square piece of baggie. Make sure that the width is only about 1cm if you want your rose to be short, cute and stubby like mine...if you want a taller rose, ignore the 1cm rule.

Step 7:

Ok, getting close now. Roll the flatten sausage, ensuring that from that very first rolling motion you create a tight roll as this will create the centre of your rose. What is also cute is if you don’t roll in a perfectly straight motion, but instead a little unevenly across the edges as this gives the rose a bit more dimension.

Step 8:

And there you have it! One ribbon rose.

I hope you enjoyed my 8-step tutorial on making your very own fondant red ribbon rose.

Have fun!