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After a hard drive failure and dropping my brand new iphone into the toilet, I can’t believe I finally finished this novella of my base recipe.  It has pictures.  It has FAQs.  It has awesome.  It’s on etsy.  It was the easiest way I could find to get this to you.  The bad news is after they take their cut then Paypal takes their cut, well, lets just say I’m not making much on the sale price.

Beyond Buttercream’s Base Recipe and over 20 variations

Cover art 2

Beyond Buttercream Recipies

Thank you all!  And let me know if you see typos.  I rushed this out under the most crazy of circumstances.

Jen

Question… help please!!!

As many of you know, I have pulled down my extremely popular cake recipe and would like to sell it.  I gave been getting a ton of emails asking when I’m selling it and essentially to hurry the hell up!

Hahahaha I know, right?

Except I’m out of my depth here.  First I have no idea how to sell something online, and second, I have no idea how much to price it at.  I mean, the original was posted in 2010, and countless hours went into perfecting it and coming up with all the variations.  So how much is that worth?

So you tell me… how much would YOU pay for this recipe?

3 different scenarios – Lets say how much would you pay for just the recipe, pay for the 24 variations, then pay for both?

Or I could go another way … asking for a donation if you use the recipe and love it.  But what if that backfires and nobody donates?   What are your thoughts?

This is not a monetized blog.  There are no ads or pop ups.  But if I go the route of asking for donations, that’s the logical next step.

Please post in the comments below!

UPDATE 2/8:   In the midst of working on this, my entire hard drive died.  DEAD.   So it put me behind with everything.  Also, I don’t have a Paypal account so opening one has made me want to blow my brains out especially trying to do it from my ipad.  I have a loaner laptop and thank god everything I need to finish this project I have a back up of.  Right now I’m 15 pages with 25 variations with FAQs and color photos of the actual cake variation that I make.  So I’m starting to call this my novella :D  I promise this IS my top priority but if I sell ANYTHING I’m all about making sure it’s perfect and that YOU will be happy with it.  

Sugar Flower Supplies

I love making flowers.  Seriously.  Love it.  It’s an expensive love to get into, I’ll tell you that – no doubt about it.  So finding a reliable source for cutters and veiners is essential.  I mean, if you have a consultation with a bride and she has her heart set on covering the cake with a certain type of orchid, it’s really helpful to know right where to go online to buy the cutter you’ll need – and it’s a real bummer to buy something online, finally getting it, and it sucks.  So I wanted to tell you all about one of my go-to sources – Sunflower Sugar Art!  And guess what?  They are running a sale right now!  Use the code “HOLIDAY” for 30% off (until December 2nd, 2012).

Thanks for letting me share the discount code, Pilar!

You May Have Noticed…

Hello all,

Regular readers may have noticed a few things:

1.)  Where the hell have I been?

2.)  What happened to all your old blog posts???

First, I have been extremely busy this past wedding season.  Although I find it very easy to pop a quick status update to my Facebook Page, putting together blog posts has fallen by the wayside.

Second, of my 50+ blog posts over the past several years, I’ve decided to remove all but a few.  Why?  Well, I have grown as a baker, decorator and writer.  Some of my older work is just that – old, and some of those really old posts are, well, really old and really suckie.  Others are poorly written and I had a lot of content nobody cares about – not even me.  And honestly, some of my opinions have changed since writing some of those posts.  I have finally discovered who Beyond Buttercream really is – and who I want my online persona to be.  And such is the glory of the internet – I can change it just by hitting that little ‘delete’ button.

Don’t fear… I get a lot of traffic here for my white cake recipe and my Swiss meringue recipe tutorial, so I’ve kept those up for now, and the posts that I have been linked to by other really big awesome blogs also stay up.  But you’ll be happy to know I plan on updating my white cake and my SMBC posts to include alterations and adjustments made by you, my readers, and consolidating your comments and questions so new people will no longer have to read thru hundreds of comments to find answers.

I have a lot of cakes in the oven, so to speak, and lots of upcoming plans for 2013 that I will be sharing with you, including more recipes, tutorials, and even some videos – with much higher production values then me and my crappy point-and-shoot have ever been able to capture in the past (not Craftsy, but I wish!).

More to come soon kids!  In the meantime, happy baking!

Jen

Making cake is an expensive hobby. Extremely expensive. There are so many tools, gadgets, colors, dusts, cutters, and do-dads it’s overwhelming. And the more specialty the stuff is, the higher the price tag. If you do this as a profession (or addiction), you are constantly buying buying buygin, and it can get seriously out of control.

Just like anything, there are high priced tools, cutters, veiners, etc. that you can spend thousands on at the cake store.  The thing is, some of it is stuff that’s repackaged and marked up or you can just as easily use something cheap in place of that super expensive specialty item. That’s where hacks come in.

A “hack” is repurposing something for something else that it wasn’t designed for. I have a few cake hacks I want to share.

Bubbles in Fondant:
There is no purchased tool that exists and is marketed for popping those pesky fondant air bubbles. A lot of people use straight pins. I don’t. First, straight pins are not marketed as a food product so they aren’t exactly sanitary, they are also dangerous. I actually rolled a straight pin into my fondant once because I was in a hurry, set the pin down on the counter, forgot, set a ball of fondant on top of it, and rolled away. Talk about a close call!

My Hack:

I use hypodermic needles. Yes, the kind you get when you have diabetes. Let’s face it, everyone knows someone with diabetes – ask them for a few of their needles. The needles themselves are tiny, it’s much harder to loose track of them, and they are sterile. They work wonderfully and you can’t see the pin prick on your fondant at all.

The Cheapest Flower Veiners You’ll Ever Use

If you are in to making sugar flowers, you quickly realize that there is not only a special cutter for every single flower; there are also special silicone veiners for them. The cutters are generally pretty spendy, but good veiners are crazy expensive. Certain flowers have certain characteristics, and if you are a true naturalist and want a 100% botanically correct flower, you probably want to spend the money on the veiner. But if you are like me and are perfectly happy to have the flower look 95% botanically correct, you are perfectly happy with short cuts. And boy, do I have one for you.

My Hack:

Dried corn husks. Like what they make tamales in? Some only are a little rippled. Some are a lot. You can flatten them out a bit if you need to. They are marketed as food so they are sanitary and you can buy a crapton for less then a buck. I have an all-purpose silicone veiner that I paid $80 for that is mostly retired in favor of the deep groves and veins that I can get using a dried corn husk.

Another cheap veiner? Viva paper towel. Flowers like magnolias, white orchids, and roses have some texture, but not much. Sure, you can buy silicone veiners, but they are really unnecessary for those of us that just want “close enough”. Just dust a Viva with some cornstarch and press your petal into it. It leaves a very natural surface on the petal and makes them more realistic. The microscopic grooves also help the petal to grab and retain colored dusts.

What about you? What hacks do you use when making cakes?

Real orchids

Real orchids on buttercream cake

Most couples have a general idea of what they want in terms of a cake design (most, not all!) and at consultations a lot of times I’m told right off the bat “the florist said they’ll just stick some flowers on the cake”.

First, no florist has permission to touch my cake.  I completely respect my fellow vendors and I know they work their butt off, but I’d never presume to rearrange their flowers, they have no business willy nilly sticking stems and leaves onto my creations.  Florists do not have a food handler’s permit or a SafeServ certification.  In short, they are not licensed or qualified to handle food.

But after a particularly bad experience I had very recently, I feel I need to start vocalizing some bigger picture things.

If the cake is supposed to have fresh flowers on it, I get them when I deliver the cake.  Never once in the 3 years of making wedding cakes have I seen these flowers given any special treatment like they will be going on a food product – I’ve been handed stems picked up off the floor, pulled out of the trunks of filthy cars, or wrapped in ratty mold-smelling old newspaper.  These stems are always untreated, meaning they still have thorns, dead petals, extra foliage, roots, dirt, debris, and so forth on them.  And in a very recent cake experience, they were crammed in a box, wilted to hell, and bug infested.  When I said to the florist, “What the hell?  I can’t use these on a cake!”  She said, “why not?”  Then grabbed one of the flowers, blew on it in the DIRECTION OF THE CAKE and started laying them out on the cake table.  I presume this was her scientific way to remove the little critters scurrying around on the buds.

Horrified, I stopped her and told her I’d take care of it.  I took all the flowers meant for the cake to a bathroom sink (which is also completely unsanitary but it was my only option) to try and wash and dry them as best as I could.  2/3rd of those flowers went in the trash and I ended up taking flowers from the centerpieces (and wash them!) to use.  I wrapped each stem in non-toxic floral tape so they wouldn’t seep any sap into the cake and I attached each to a toothpick so I could anchor them on the cake.  This ringamarole took an hour longer for me to do then it should have.  I gladly did it, but it left me wondering:  why doesn’t anyone seem to care about how gross these flowers are?  Why am I always looked at like I am a loon when I deliver the cake then spend another 40 minutes wrapping stems instead of just jabbing them in and getting on with my day?

Think about it:  if a server dropped your french fries on the floor but served them to you anyway, would you still eat them?  If you found little bugs crawling in your salad would you still eat it after the waitress blew on it to make the bugs go away?  Or… what if you found out that the salad you were eating hasn’t even been washed from the field where it was grown in human waste, sprayed with cancer-causing chemicals in 50% higher doses as what is acceptable to the FDA on a food product, picked by individuals not following food handling practices (because, you know, they aren’t handling food), crammed in a filthy box and shipped straight to the restaurant to be tossed onto a plate?  You’d freak out.

And yet – couples are regularly told to use fresh flowers on the cake to save a few bucks.  Google it – I got over 2 million articles.

And if the reality of the above isn’t enough to gross you out, some of the most popular wedding flowers staples like calla lilies, hydrangea, carnations, and tulips are toxic and considered poisonous – and this season’s hot flowers like the ranunculus and many species of succulents can cause mouth blisters, vomiting and actually be fatal.  To say that these flowers and plants should NEVER come in contact with food is an understatement.

I know what you are thinking:  “Jen, you exaggerate!  My Florist would never suggest a toxic flower for my cake!”  Yeah they do.  ALL.  THE.  TIME.  And what’s worse, I’ve also seen several cake sketches made by my competitors that have these toxic flowers all over them.  I feel like I’m being underhanded pointing out to potential clients that if they choose to go with the other baker, make sure they don’t cover the cake with something that can give their guests diarrhea, but I can’t help it.

So what am I suggesting you do?  Well, if you really want fresh flowers on your cake, you should at least insist that they are organic.  That takes care of the pesticide issue, but contrary to what you may think, that doesn’t mean the flowers are food safe.  Unless you get edible flowers grown specifically to be eaten, organic flowers are still considered a decoration, not food.  It still means different growing conditions from what farmers would use if they were growing spinach, and different government guidelines on how they are handled.  It means unsanitary field workers, unsanitary shipping and unsanitary packaging.  And have you seen the cost of organic flowers???

The art of making sugar flowers is not something that every baker or cake artist attempts to learn or has a knack for, but what we make is food safe.  No bugs.  No poop.  No dirt from the field.  No cancer-causing chemicals.  Depending on the flower, they aren’t much more costly then getting real flowers and they are wonderful keepsakes.  They are also  gorgeous.

Just wanted people to know.

Sugarpaste Peony

Sugarpaste Peony. Beautiful, right?

Oh, by the way?  If you are stopping by my blog and think I’m awesome (or even if you just think I’m OK), can you take a moment to VOTE to help me win a grant from Chase Finance and Living Social?  I need 250 Facebook votes to be considered.  Please click on this link, search for Beyond Buttercream, California, San Francisco and VOTE!  Thank you!

UPDATE #1:  I got an email from one of my past brides wanting to know if the story above was her cake.  I didn’t write this post to “out” any vendor – simply to draw attention to how flowers are actually handled behind the scenes based on my experience.  One of the things that sets me apart from other bakers and bakeries is that I have extremely high quality standards.  When I say I use high quality, name brand ingredients, and have an extremely high attention to detail, I mean it and live it.  I really, really do.  I know many caterers and other bakers that advertise that they do, but have seen them use the cheapest ingredients they can get their hands on and call it “gourmet”.

I would never, ever, ever ever ever permit the use of anything on one of my cakes that I would not eat myself.  Ever.  If you were one of my past brides and I just freaked you out, I assure you I took just as much care making sure your flowers were as clean and as food safe as I could before using them.

Rant: “Salted Caramel”

Even the President has gone crazy for Salted Caramels

Even the President has gone crazy for Salted Caramels

OK people, we need to have a heart to heart.  There is a trend right now with “Salted Caramel”.  Look!  Salted caramel cake!  Oh boy!  Salted caramel mocha!  Wow!  Salted caramel ice cream! Sigh.

Gross.  Seriously people?  GROSS. This trend has been driving me batshit.

“Salted caramel” is NOT supposed to just be salt-y caramel.  Salted caramel is divine.  Salt-y caramel is disgusting!  What’s the difference?  Well, it seems this all started in France, where a famous candy store started sprinkling fleur de sel on their caramels.  The fad took hold and now every idiot from Starbucks to Wal Mart is adding a ton of salt to their caramel-flavored stuff and is selling to it the masses like it’s some gourmet flavor that has recently been invented.  Ug.    Call it “Salted Caramel” or “Salted Chocolate” and people are snatching it up and handing over fistfulls of cash.

OK, the soap box is out – and here you go… Salted caramel is regular caramel that has rock salt, fleur de sel, or another non-processed salt added at the end either on top as a finishing salt or it is folded in past the stage where the salt can dissolve and incorporate fully into the item.  You have to use specific types of salts that do not melt or dissolve so they remain in large crystals.  You do NOT want it to effect the overall composition of your treat and make it salty.

Why?  When your teeth bite into a crystal of salt while a sweet thing is in your mouth, it gives a jolt to your palate intensifying whatever you are eating.    It’s a trick on your taste buds and pleasure receptors.  This is an experience that does not happen with a big’ole spoonfull of table salt added to super sweet Criscocream icing, table salt added to the fake caramel syrup in your caramel mocha, or the table salt that Wal Mart is throwing in their cheap-ass ice cream.

PS – I’ve always had a salted chocolate cake on my menu, only I called it “Dark Chocolate Fleur De Sel” because I actually spend the money on imported fleur de sel from France.  But as a test, I changed the name of the cake to “Salted Dark Chocolate” and left the cupcakes called “Dark Chocolate Fleur De Sel” in February, just to see if people would respond better to the words.  Same recipe, same cake presentation, same cupcakes.  Guess what my #1 seller was last month?

Fleur De Sel... I mean Salted Dark Chocolate :D

Fleur De Sel... I mean Salted Dark Chocolate :D

Yup.  It’s a damn tasty cake, but still, I was very surprised at how many I sold just by changing the name.  So OK, I’m not above riding a fad to sell my cake, so I am permanently changing the name of both the cake and cupcakes.  AND… as an added bonus, introducing…

Salted Caramel

Salted Caramel Cupcakes - Devil's food cake with a salted caramel Swiss meringue buttercream made with imported fleur de sel.

I’ll get straight to it – it’s Valentines day.  Some if you are going to be adventurous and attempt to make your loved one a fancy dinner at home.  Some of you are going to be spending the evening alone eating take-out and watching porn.  Whatever, chances are the thought of making anything tasty for dessert is frightening, too much work, or not worth it.  Well, have I got a recipe for you!

Molten Chocolate Cake.  From scratch.  Made with crap you probably already have in your house right now.  In under 2 minutes.  In the MICROWAVE.  That’s right, the microwave.  Sounds like a stoner’s delight, but trust me, this cake is restaurant quality, and once you make this you will never need another recipe to get a quick chocolate fix again.

Molten Chocolate Cake (makes 1 serving, only make one at a time)

3 tbsp. flour

3 tbsp. packed brown sugar

3 tbsp. coco powder (unsweetened)

3 tbsp. oil

3 tbsp. water

Pinch of salt

1 piece of chocolate (milk, bittersweet, white, whatever.)

Ingredients

Easy to remember - 3 tablespoons of everything

Throw all ingredients in a bowl except the piece of chocolate and mix with a spoon until smooth.

Pour into a microwave ramekin (or a coffee mug if you don’t have one).  Tap the ramekin on the table to settle the batter and smooth out the top.  Microwave on high for 1 minute 30 seconds.  DO NOT OVER-NUKE.  You’ll know it when you smell it.

1 minute 30 seconds later!

1 minute 30 seconds later!

Your ramekin will be HOT so use mitts to take it out.  Break your chocolate into pieces and immediately stuff it in the center of your cake.   The heat of the cake will melt your chocolate.

Melty Chocolate

Melty Chocolate

Then get all fancy schmancy and dust with some powdered sugar and garnish with some whipped cream, vanilla ice cream, or some chocolate dipped strawberries (yeah, I really just had these “laying around”).

Nom Nom
Nom Nom

Voila!  Happy Valentines Day!

Edited:  Yeah, originally posted with some stupid spelling errors that I hope I fixed.  That’s what I get for rushing :D

(Jen’s note: This one has some naughty and crass words in it in my attempt to use humor and sarcasm relating a stressful situation. It’s how I deal with stuff in real life and pretty close to how I talk.  I hope you forgive me.)

I had this small cake to deliver Saturday at about 5pm.

Devil's Food Cake, dark chocolate buttercream filling, dark chocolate ganache

Devil's Food Cake, dark chocolate buttercream filling, dark chocolate ganache, fleur de sel, sugar lotus flowers

As I’m putting it in my car I realized the floorboard of the passenger side had smutz on the rug because (of course) I forgot to get the van cleaned earlier. Being super picky about making sure nothing nasty gets on my cake, I went against my better judgment and put the cake on the passenger seat. It’s only a little cake, I told myself, it’ll be fine! I mean, I could have put it in the skid-proof cargo area, but that seemed silly, such a small cake in the cargo area. So I decided to take a chance.

Traffic was terrible. Terrible. San Francisco doesn’t have “freeways” to get across town, it’s all surface streets and whoever planned them needs a good flogging. It didn’t help that I was coming from a very heavy tourist area and trying to get to an even heavier tourist area, and although I thought I gave myself time, traffic was not moving and I knew I was running late. I HATE being late.

One thing we DO have going for us here is a very funky web of side streets and alleys that we can sometimes use to bypass horrible intersections and slow streets.

Alley

Alley. It starts by going under the San Francisco Chronicle building and takes you straight to one of the worst areas in SF - the 6th Street Corridor.

These allies, although mostly lined with apartments and businesses, can be sketchy. But whatever, I’m a city girl, and I had a cake to deliver, so I weaved thru oncoming traffic and managed to hook a left onto Minna to get to the 6th Street corridor. If you don’t know the area, it’s heavy drugs, lots of homeless, and seriously crazy people hanging out in front of half-way houses, needle exchanges, SROs, liquor stores and porn shops. You know, totally normal.

I notice on my left is a crazy-looking middle aged white dude riding a very janky bicycle on the sidewalk next to me, but he is holding onto a very nice, very shiny bike, peddling like crazy and constantly looking over his shoulder. I also noticed the bolt cutters he had strapped to his very janky bike so I knew he just stole the very shiny bike… and I was observing his get-a-way.

And because karma’s a bitch, I hit him. Actually, he hit me.

Replay it in my head: he was riding on the “sidewalk”, which in this alley is not much of a sidewalk, and he was riding as fast as he could, trying to also hold onto a 2nd bike. I am not sure what he hit to eat shit, if he was attempting to dodge and weave thru all the garbage and junkies on the ground, or if he was just completely drugged-out, but he hit something, flew off his bike and bounced off my fender. I, of course, slammed on my brakes and freaked the hell out.

I sat there astonished as this dude immediately jumped back on his bike, grabbed the other bike, told me “sorry” and peddled his butt off fleeing the scene. I’m like, wait, what? I didn’t know what to do. The dude left! Like in a freakin movie! He didn’t seem injured, I was maybe going 10 mph and he was actually going faster then me. Do I call the police? Do I get out of the car? He was gone around a corner before I could even blink. And although there were probably 20 people hanging about and milling around in this very popular drug alley, not a single one was even looking at me or seemed to have noticed that Mr. Bike Thief just bounced off my fender doing 10mph! In fact, the very non-action of the universe after such a thing happened made me second-guess that it happened at all.

Huh. Allrighty then. I took a deep breath, realized I was causing a traffic jam of cars behind me, and went on my way.

That’s when I realized my pretty little cake had gone flying off the passenger seat when I slammed on my breaks. If it had been an all-buttercream cake it would have been completely ruined. But it was ganache, and although it had some cracking, it was fixable. And miracle of miracles, I grabbed a few spare sugar lotus flowers “just in case” on my way out of the shop which saved my butt because the ones on the cake were broken.

Once the cake was safely at the venue I inspected the van and yeah, it totally did happen. There is no damage, but there is a “clean spot” on my otherwise dirty van that Mr. Bike Thief cleaned with his shirt. Or face. Whatever.

So, why do I tell this story besides to share that I totally just hit someone with my car on Saturday? After the shock wore off I realized that I just got LUCKY. L-U-C-K-Y. If he was a normal person, I’d be all kinds of screwed right now. As I sat stunned in my car practically hyperventilating because I could have just killed someone, I couldn’t help but to keep running thru a checklist of all my insurance coverage and wondering if it would have been enough to cover something like that. So lesson #1, I need to call my Farmer’s Agent to make sure I have a ton of insurance and that my van is completely covered… because you never know when the fist of mighty Zeus might smack down another meth-filled junkie in process of stealing a bike making him eat shit and bounce off your fender. This is San Francisco. It could happen, is all I’m sayin.

And my pretty little cake… it would have been completely fine and would have totally survived the abrupt stop if it had been on the floorboard of the passenger seat or in my skid-proofed cargo area. So Lesson #2, never put a cake on the seat, no matter what.

And finally, I never would have put a cake on the seat if my freakin van was clean enough to put a cake on the floorboard in the first place. So lesson #3, make sure the van is washed if I know I have to make a delivery, even if it was just raining.

So yeah, that happened.

Oh, and before you think I’m a really horrible person, I did call the police after I delivered the cake. They were completely NOT interested in the whole I-hit-him-he-hit-me with the car thing after hearing where the incident took place. Apparently it’s not a pedestrian hit-and-run when the pedestrian flees the scene and there were no injuries. Yay, I guess. However, the officer on the phone took the generic description I had of what Mr. Bounce-Off-My-Fender looked like along with the shiny bike he was fleeing with, apparently that was something worthy of reporting, which made me feel a lot better about the entire situation.

So, if you had a baby blue fancy bike jacked from the 5th and Mission area, I’m sorry but you probably are not getting it back. But if it makes you feel better, I totally hit that dick with my car for you.

You’re welcome.

Georgetown Cupcakes, home of the show “DC Cupcakes”, just broke the world record making the world’s largest cupcake.  TLC aired an hour-long special about it last week.  This is not a review on how I feel about the show, although I rarely watch it because it drives me up the wall (and this special was no exception), but I tuned in about 1/2 way thru because I caught wind that for 24 hours after that episode was aired, there was a promo code to get 40% off  cupcakes, and they ship all over the US.  With the promo code, shipping was practically free.  W00t!  I have no plans of ever being in the vicinity of Georgetown Cupcakes’ storefront and I’m a sucker for sales, so I figured, what the hell? I’ve blown $33 bucks on much stupider stuff, might as well order some.

But honestly, I was major curious how they ship.  I mean yeah, I wanted to taste their cupcakes but I REALLY wanted to see how they do their packaging, because as any professional baker will tell you, figuring out perfect packaging is like searching for the Lost Ark, and just when you think you have it all figured out you see a competitor come up with something way cool.  But also, there is lots of misinformation in the cake world about what you really need in order to ship baked goods.  I’ve read people say you need special kitchens, special permits, special nutritional labels, and pay special interstate taxes.  I’ve never found any documentation to back this up and the owners of my commercial kitchen says you don’t need any of that, but I figured, if there WAS something special, famed Georgetown Cupcakes would most certainly have it.

They ship via Federal Express overnight, and here is breakdown of what I got:

The Outer Box

The Outer Box

The main box reminded me of a large folding shoebox made of super heavy cardboard.  It is super-branded, covered in pink with Georgetown Cupcakes’ signature black design pattern covering the entire box.  NO mistake of what’s in it and where it came from.  The only label on this box is the Fedex sticker.

Mylar envelope

Mylar envelope

Open the box and you see this – a padded Mylar envelope that is mostly sealed.  There is a card (tucked into the top of the envelope) that explains that the cupcakes were baked the prior day, shipped frozen, and to leave them out for 3 hours to defrost.  It had no nutritional info nor did it have an ingredients label, but did have the standard “food allergy” warning.  I don’t think that is a legal requirement, I think it’s done for liability purposes (but I could be wrong).

Inside the envelope

Inside the Envelope

Another box with this single ice pack.  Not dry ice, but a simple cheap gel coolant pack.  (reusable!)

The Inner Box

The Inner Box

A better photo of the inner box, made of the same super-thick cardboard as the outer box.  Other then the logo on top, there is no other label on it.

Finally, cupcakes in sight!

Finally, cupcakes in sight!

Now we finally see some cupcakes, 12 of them in a super thick, plastic clamshell container.  I ordered a variety pack and pretty much chose at random.

Inside the Clamshell

Inside the Clamshell (from top left to right):  Strawberry,  red velvet, lemon berry, carrot, toasted marshmallow fudge, salted caramel, milk chocolate birthday, chocolate2, chocolate salted caramel, toffee crunch, vanilla, and lemon blossom

As if the packaging wasn’t enough, they have lollypop sticks inserted in each cupcake, I assume to keep them from hitting the top of the clamshell if the box is dropped or something.  I don;t see how that could have effected anything because these girls were frozen solid when I opened this box.

My over-all impression: I know cake is fragile, but it’s not THAT fragile.  The San Francisco hippie in me shakes my head at the waist of paper and resources that went into all this packaging.  Is it necessary?  Could they reduce some of it?  I think so.  I mean, these aren’t Faberge eggs, they’re cupcakes for crying out loud!

Oh, how did we like them, you may be asking?

Um, well...

Um, well…

Just to clarify, I got these to examine the packaging and to taste something that I normally wouldn’t, but the plan never was for my husband and I to actually eat these.  Please understand, I have cake available 24/7, so it’s not very often that we would eat, say, a whole one of MY cupcakes, let alone a whole dozen of Georgetown Cupcakes.  This is a pic of them today right before they go out to the trash to give you an idea of what we liked.  I believe these are the exact cupcakes that people wait in massive lines for and that nothing in flavor or texture was lost due to shipping. Hubbie liked the cream cheese frosting so that’s why you see the frosting missing off one, but honestly this just isn’t our type of cake… it’s too sweet for us.  But comparing these to say, SusieCakes or other cupcakes of the same fame that I’ve had, these are good, and I appreciate their price point (as opposed to SusieCakes, $3.00 for failed scratch cake with fake frosting from a can.  A can!  But hey, I guess it IS pretty genius to fill a failed sunken cupcake with frosting, turn it into a marketing ploy and call them “frosting filled!”).  Anyway, I really felt these Georgetown Cupcakes are priced appropriately and even though we didn’t eat all of them, I felt I got my money’s worth.

Gotta Try:  Toffee Crunch.  I swiped just frosting.  Meh.  I nibbled just cake.  Meh.  I took a bite putting it all together, and it was the tastiest of the bunch.  The flavors really worked well with each other.  2nd runner up was the Carrot cake.  Kind of a mystery to me, it seemed like a butter cake when most carrot cakes are oil-based.  Makes me want to experiment.  And with the cream cheese frosting (that hubbie ate all of), it was good.

Pass on:  Both salted caramels.  I know these are “fad” flavors, but if you are going to call something “salted caramel”, I want to taste salt AND caramel, and the chocolate needs to be rich and dark to work.

Completely gross:  Both lemon flavors.  100% artificial flavor.  They top them with those fake gummy lemons and manage to make the entire cupcake taste like it.  Complete mystery how they do it, but one I’m not willing to try and figure out.  Also, if I would have known they added so much pink food color to the frosting of the lemon berry cupcake, I never would have ordered it.  Bleach.

So there you go!

Have you had Georgetown Cupcakes?  What’s your favorite flavor?  Post a comment!

UPDATE 5/27/13:  I’m not sure which blog/website/Facebook etc has started to send traffic to this post, so thank you.  But guess what?  Crappy comments about how wasteful I am won’t be approved for public view and I have a little button called “delete” as soon as you try and post one, just so you know, in case you want to save yourself some time being petty, mean and douchbag-y.  Seriously, if me tossing this box of cupcakes was so offensive to you, guess what?  I throw food away every single day.  In fact, tons of perfectly good food is tossed in the US every day just because it isn’t pretty enough for you to buy it.  And just so you know, because some of you seem to be completely clueless, homeless shelters are NOT going to happily accept a 1/2 eaten box of cupcakes.  They won’t even take a NEW box of cupcakes.  If you’ve ever actually tried to take food to a homeless shelter, you would know that they will only take HEALTHY, NUTRITIOUS food to feed to people that can’t feed themselves.  And these cupcakes, kids, are as far from healthy and nutritious as one could get.  I know – I actually MAKE healthy(er) cupcakes and cake, and regularly donate to charities and shelters around San Francisco.

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