Eldest Sister passed on an order of 192 cupcakes she got from her husband’s niece last week. The dummy that I am, I took it on without batting an eyelash. You really have no idea how many 192 cupcakes are until you have them all laid out…and run out of counter space.
This really was a first for me. When I got food orders in the past, I would pass it on to Eldest Sister and just help her. When I started adding up the ingredients I needed for this order – it only then dawned on me, this was not going to be such a piece of cake, pardon the pun.
There’s the logistics of what is the most efficient way to do things so you don’t screw everything up…like making sure your cake batter is fresh and the glutens in the flour won’t develop and make the cake tough. I had visions of cake batter boiling up in the heat of the kitchen and crawling out of the cupcake liners….and there was the thought of ending up with scary-looking Halloween cupcakes instead of the pretty Christmas cakes I had in my head…
Mercifully, the order came more than a week before the delivery date so I had more than enough time to prepare. The shopping was done a couple of days after we got the order and boxes and ribbons ready the next day. The buttercream icing was done a couple of days before delivery and there was nothing to do the day before but bake, decorate and pack.
Before all that, I did a trial batch of Red Velvet cakes and it was a total disaster. I used the convection oven for some reason and the cakes came out burnt on the outside and runny on the inside. That really floored me….but I tasted it and it was really delicious. I knew I had a good cake recipe to begin with so I just have to smarten up and correct my mistake. I also decided to work with only two tried and tested cake recipes, Vanilla and Red Velvet. I then stuck to buttecream icing and an almond-flavored poured fondant for frosting.
If worse came to worse I thought, I’ll call and say there won’t be any cupcakes. But I was not giving up all because everyone else was too busy to help me out and I was IT. It won’t kill me is all I kept thinking throughout the whole experience….
And so the night before I did the actual baking, I prayed for calm and peace…. and it worked!
I enjoyed myself baking and decorating the next day. Oh sure I got up before the sun came out and went to bed at past 2 in the morning the next day….but I did manage to sneak a 30-minute power nap during the day…and sure I had aches and pains everywhere but it only took a couple of Advils to get me going again…and Spouse…oh my Spouse was there all the way! He even did most of the packing and came up with an ingenious idea so the cupcakes won’t rattle and fall in their boxes. I am so blessed.
The best part, my client seemed happy enough to order more cakes the very same day we delivered and said her 6-year old daughter loved the cupcakes. Last night I got a message from her saying her daughter allocated 2 boxes for herself. She also opened a box of the cakes before it was loaded into their car and started happily chomping on a vanilla cupcake. Her mom said she’ll only eat the icing on one famous and expensive cupcake bakeshop but won’t ever go for the cake for some reason. So it was really a pleasure to see her going for the cake too!
The cute thing had one little hand curled up while she was eating and Youngest Sister noticed she saved and was clutching the cupcake decors! When she opened her hands to show me three tiny sugar stars, that made it all worth it.
Oh….btw, when we delivered the cakes, we did it in a parking lot somewhere in Fort Bonifacio. When we met up, we both opened our car trunks and did the exchange. On the way back, Spouse, Youngest Sister and I laughed afterwards at how ridiculous it must have seemed…almost like a crack cocaine transaction…or maybe sugar crystals ….