Keep Calm and Bake On

Well, I got married! So there's that!

As is the case with just about every bride I've ever met, the last few weeks before the wedding got a little… shall we say… hectic? Sure, hectic works. Almost immediately after Matt and I got engaged and set our wedding date, I submitted my vacation days form to my bosses at work for the entire week of the wedding. I knew that no matter how much I planned ahead, I would need those few days to finish up details and such. When the time came, there were sort of a lot of details left. Like, a lot.

The last major project that I intended to complete the week of the wedding was my homemade cupcakes. Since the wedding was a Friday, I committed to an entire day of baking on Wednesday. Because we live in a New York-sized apartment with a smaller than average New York-sized oven, I asked my soon-to-be aunt and uncle-in-law if I could borrow their kitchen/air conditioning for the day. It's July, after all, and baking all day long in an apartment with a window unit not close to the kitchen may have left Matt a widow before we even said I do. Graciously, they accepted, and thank heavens for that because whoaaaa was it hot!

As I've written about before, I knew baking my own wedding cupcakes, while a great budget-friendly alternative to a traditional wedding cake, would be a challenge – particularly to execute the week of our nuptials. So I definitely spent a little extra time planning for the great wedding bake-off. I made lists of things I'd need to bring along — pans, Kitchen Aid mixer, cupcake liners — as well as a master list of ingredients for the massive shopping trip the weekend prior to the baking. The planning paid off fairly well, and I only had to ask my loving fiance to go to the supermarket for more baking powder once! (He returned, by the way, with six cans of it. He showed me.)

About a week before I narrowed down the recipe selection to a classic vanilla with chocolate fudge frosting and a classic chocolate cupcake with Oreo frosting. My favorite cupcake is red velvet, which can be made an number of ways, so I made a small patch of two recipes that I liked and did a blind taste test of sorts for my coworkers as well as Matt's. The cupcakes were completely gone within a few hours, so I think they went over pretty well.

baking my own wedding cupcakes

Mmm… cake batter.

When it came time to do the baking itself, it was actually an enormous stress-reliever for me during such a crazy week. Since it's something I really enjoy, I actually felt fairly relaxed (but I did have a raging lower backache by hour five or so). I baked six dozen cupcakes (plus several extras of each flavor for tasting), and surprisingly, managed not to consume most of the raw batter before it made it into the tins!

baking my own wedding cupcakes

I bake, Matt frosts.

One of the things that I actually remember about my wedding day is that people were raving about my cupcakes. Honestly, I think most people believed that I would cave and go to a bakery for them because of the other stresses of wedding planning. But I prevailed! My Oreo frosting got especially high marks, and it's incredibly easy to make…

You'll Need (frosts about 2 1/2-3 dozen cupcakes):

  • the delicious centers of one package of Double Stuff Oreos (my good friend Derek took on the job of separating the creme from the cookies and I think he enjoyed this task!)
  • 1 cup room temperature unsalted butter (I prefer whipped butter because it's very easy to work with)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla
  • 1 box of powdered sugar
  • 2-3 tablespoons of whole milk
  • a pinch of salt (anything but sea salt works best)

Cream the Oreo centers with the butter until well mixed, then add in vanilla and salt. On low speed, add in the powered sugar slowly. This is guaranteed to make a giant mess. Embrace it. When well mixed, add in the milk, one tablespoon at a time. Depending on the consistency you prefer, you may need two or more tablespooons (I believe I used all three). Taste. It will be incredibly delicious. Save some for the cupcakes! Happy baking!

baking my own wedding cupcakes

The Oreo cupcakes were, indeed, as good as they looked.

Next post from me…. the wedding reveal!

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