This sweet piece was done for Illustration Friday, where this week's theme is "subtract".
Like, OMG! CakeSpy is one of Gourmet's favorite food sites! There are simply no words that can express how honored your little Cake Gumshoes feel.
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Are your cupcakes looking frumpy? Class 'em up with these fancy cupcake liner jackets by Bella Cupcake Couture.
St. Patrick's day may be over, but the ultimate symbol of green excess is still available through the end of the month. No, we're not talking about green beer--we're talking about that green monster of a cold confection, the Shamrock Shake.
- A massive handful of green shamrock sprinkles (no, you may not substitute non-shamrock shaped green sprinkles)
- 4 ounces or so milk (we used soymilk--yes, we see the incongruity in this)
- A healthy scoop of ice cream
- Small handful of ice cubes
When we recently did a cupcake street art installation in Seattle, we had no idea that it would garner such a reaction--we've gotten so much love and support, and the project was even featured on KCRW's Good Food!
Since then, we've received numerous emails from artists, crafters and bakers interested in spreading the sweetness in their own cities. We love this idea.
- Spread sweetness throughout your neighborhood or city by making up a batch of sweet (but not delicious) cakes--here's a tutorial on how we made ours--and leave them in unexpected spots for others to discover, with the idea that this will brighten people's day.
- Help us document the project! Most importantly, take pictures! Send them--and your stories--to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll write about your experiences!
- Spread the word! Put the CakeSpy URL (or your own, if applicable) on the back of the little affixed flags, so that people can read about the project if they are the lucky ones who find the cakes out on the street.
Whether you're taking these to the streets as part of a sweet art installation or just want to decorate a room, these cupcakes are not delicious, but they sure are sweet. Keep in mind that this is more of a field guide; feel free to make alterations to suit them to your fancy.
Here's how we made ours:
You will need:
- Plaster of Paris (available at most hardware stores or Target-type places with a hardware or home section)
- Paint to dye the plaster (we used crafter acrylic paint--the type that is less thick)
- Cupcake cups (we used the silicone kind, but the paper kind work as well)
For the cake part: Mix plaster and water (usually 1 part each, but adjust to a pourable but thick consistency). You can mix up whatever quantity you'd like; generally we will do about 3-4 cups' worth at a time; with 4 ounce cupcake-cups, this will make about 8 or so cupcakes. Add a small bit of water-soluble paint (like a watery acrylic or gouache) in the color that you want the bottom part to be, and mix until the color is to the point you like it. Pour into the cups til they level off at the top.
For the frosting: Do the same plaster mix, but with whatever color you'd like for the frosting (we like pink best--so red paint). You can do slightly less, maybe 2/3 the amount that you used for the cake. Make this "batter" a little bit thicker though (by adding a little more plaster) so that it won't drip off of the sides when applied.
Using a spoon, gently put a spoonful on top of each cupcake, adding another spoonful to get a gentle "tiered" effect on the frosting, which will kind of melt into a pleasing cupcake frosting-y shape.
Optional for if you'd like to add messages: While still wet, insert toothpicks into center of frosting so that it will dry with the toothpick in. You can have the flags attached now or attach them later.
Let them set overnight or until they're hard and dry.
11:11 makes totally sweet cake and baked good-themed checkbook and passport covers, notebooks and yes--even condom holders.
NY Cupcakes in Bellevue is under new ownership--we hear the cakes have improved too!
They fly through the air with the greatest of ease: Portland's Saint Cupcake is now shipping customizable cupcake kits.
Boston's Taste Coffee House shares their recipe for a creamy & rich Affogato Shake.
Indian Curry and Pistachio brittle? You had us at hello, Morning Glory Confections.
Curio Confections is opening soon in Seattle--just look at their tantalizing menu!
CakeSpy reader Kathy has made us obsessed with cotton candy cupcakes--has anyone ever tried them (or does anyone have a recipe to share)?
Hoosier Mama has an awesome name and awesome looking pies in Chicago.
In Seattle, Immortal Dog proves that dogs deserve delicious cookies too.
S&M meets sugar, with a spikey torture dessert pedestal by LASdesigns.
Don't forget: learn about the sweeter side of business at the upcoming CRAVEbusiness SHOP Symposium this Sunday!
This week's Illustration Friday theme is Legendary, and what characters could be more memorable than that snarky British duo Eddy and Patsy from Absolutely Fabulous? As cupcakes, their boozy fillings would be nothing short of legendary!
Running CakeSpy.com is certainly a fun job: drawing pictures of (and writing about) cake and baked goods all day--what could be sweeter? But have you ever wondered exactly how a cake and baked good related website can actually make money? Or how on earth such a niche business can survive in such a harsh economy?
Our Head Spy Jessie is going to be weighing in on the art of selling cupcake-themed products and the life of a professional Cake Gumshoe at the upcoming CRAVEbusiness SHOP Symposium on March 23 at the Seattle Design Center, as part of two of the day's events: "Start-Up Stars: Entrepreneurs Who Are Making it Happen" in which several business owners will talk about building a business in a tough economy, followed by a "Live Think Tank" in which we will talk generally about ideas and thoughts on transforming and building businesses.
SHOP Symposium / 09 is dedicated to celebrating, inspiring and educating independent business owners of all stripes. The only conference of its kind, this one-day event teaches practical skills, offers wise encouragement, and builds camaraderie. Whether you sell shoes or facials, travel getaway or graphic design, we invite you to join us. Bring your questions, your frustrations, your fears, and your hopes. Prepare to be inspired.
This is bittersweet news indeed: we learned today that the Seattle P-I will run its last print edition tomorrow. Although the online version will continue (including CakeSpy Seattle, to the best of our knowledge), we will certainly miss the tactile enjoyment of unfolding a paper along with breakfast coffee (and cake, natch).
The P-I has been so supportive of CakeSpy since the start, having featured our artwork and quotes from our Spies on numerous occasions; rest assured, dear paper, you will be missed!
For sweet Seattle musings, visit CakeSpy Seattle.
When it comes to pie's place in pop culture, one reference seems to stand out above any other: Agent Dale Cooper's love of good cherry pie and a "damn fine cup of coffee" in the strange little hamlet called Twin Peaks.
Also mentioned: George's Bakery & Deli, 127 W. North Bend Way, North Bend, WA, (425) 888-0632; online at UrbanSpoon.