red velvet

Wafer Paper Flower Cupcakes

| Featured, Weddings

A couple weekends ago, I made wafer paper flower cupcakes for a Sonoma wine country bachelorette party.


If Pinterest is any indicator, wafer paper flowers are becoming a trendy choice for weddings and events, and I can certainly see their popularity whenever I post a photo of them on Facebook. I’m happy to have the opportunity to gain more experience working with the medium, and I personally love the rustic and light feel of wafer paper flowers as well.


For this party, I made red velvet cupcakes filled with lemon curd and topped with cream cheese frosting, chocolate ganache cupcakes with buttercream, and white cupcakes with passion fruit curd filling and strawberry buttercream frosting.


A dozen of the cupcakes were topped with mix of standard and rolled roses, while half a dozen were simply frosted. The flowers sit a little tall on the cupcakes, so I might explore other sizes and positioning in the future, but otherwise I was pleased with the result. Happy bachelorette and congrats to the bride-to-be!


Photo credit: Sonia Nagala Chang

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Wedding | Congrats Stephanie & Michael!

| Featured, Weddings

(Photo credit for featured photo above: Sara Richardson Photography)
ETA: Updated with photos from wedding photographer(s). Also, the wedding was featured on Jet Fete Blog
Last weekend I had the honor (and challenge) of making the wedding desserts for my good friends Stephanie and Michael. I first accepted the honor of making the ~100 red velvet cupcakes. Then I found out the wedding was in Mexico. That’s when it became a challenge . . .

and you know I don’t back down from challenges!

Photo Credit: Sara Richardson Photography
Photo Credit: Sara Richardson Photography

I’m happy to report that everything went off without a hitch. We did a cupcake taste test a couple months in advance, experimenting with a combination of fillings (e.g. lemon curd, chocolate ganache, cheesecake), frostings (plain cream cheese frosting, lemon cream cheese frosting, ginger white pepper cream cheese frosting) and decorations. After it became apparent that bride and groom (and participating wedding party taste testers) had drastically different taste preferences, we settled upon two cupcakes: (1) red velvet with lemon curd filling, lemon cream cheese frosting and white pearl sprinkles, and (2) red velvet with dark chocolate ganache filling, plain cream cheese frosting and chocolate curls.

Photo Credit: Sara Richardson Photography

As a surprise, I also made a 6″ topper cake, which was alternating layers of red velvet cake and cheesecake, covered with cream cheese frosting. The idea was to use this either for the cutting ceremony, or for the couple to take home and freeze as a 1-year anniversary cake.

I went back and forth about what to prepare ahead of time, and what to do once in Mexico, but at the last minute after a trial run, I decided to bake the cupcakes and frost them ahead of time. The cake was made in advance and frozen. The cupcakes were baked the night before I traveled, refrigerated and then frosted right before I barely made it on my flight. The 84 cupcakes + 1 6″ cake were just the right amount to fit into two cardboard boxes that were each the dimension of carry-on luggage. As soon as we got to Mexico, they went into the hotel refrigerator.

The morning of the wedding, we transported these to the wedding villa for decoration and setup. Unfortunately, we lost about 6 cupcakes due to mishandling by hotel staff, but everything else held up! The gumpaste sunflowers I made for the topper cake had some breakage issues, but I sacrificed one petal to use as gumpaste glue the night before the wedding to make some repairs.

I breathed a sigh of relief when the cake was finally cut, and the cupcakes were gobbled up. Whew! Exciting and so much fun!

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Red Velvet Ginger Cream Cheese Cupcakes – An Improved Red Velvet Recipe

| Uncategorized

As I mentioned in my prior red velvet cupcake post, I hoped to come up with an oil-based recipe that I could recommend. With this recipe below — mission accomplished!

From my experience, oil-based cakes, as compared to butter cakes, have a better texture and more moistness, at least for cupcakes. Butter cakes are a little denser (and drier?) and seem to work better for layered cakes.

This red velvet cake is topped with ginger-white pepper cream cheese, candied ginger and chocolate shavings. My mom had recently been to some fancy restaurant and was raving to me about a red velvet doughnut dessert she had eaten, with a ginger-pepper-chocolate cream cheese filling that had a kick to it. I took that as a challenge to come up with a cupcake version 🙂

Red Velvet Cake

Makes 22-24 cupcakes

  • 2 ½ cups flour
  • 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons red food coloring


  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Whisk flour, sugar, baking soda and salt in medium bowl. 
  3. Mix cocoa with food coloring in small bowl until smooth paste forms. 
  4. Mix buttermilk, oil, vinegar, vanilla and eggs in stand mixer.
  5. Add half of flour mixture and beat on medium-low speed until just incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add remainder of flour mixture, scraping down side of bowl.
  6. Add cocoa mixture and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated about 30 seconds. Use a rubber spatula to scrape sides and bottom of bowl to make sure red color is evenly distributed.
  7. Scoop into lined cupcake pans and bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, about 18-20 minutes.

Ginger Pepper Cream Cheese Frosting

Makes about 3 cups

  • ¾ cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 8 oz. (1 package) cream cheese, softened 
  • 2 teaspoon ground ginger (+/- to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon white pepper (+/- to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3 cups powdered sugar (+/- to taste)


  1. Beat butter and cream cheese until smooth.
  2. Add sugar one cup at a time and beat on low speed until incorporated.
  3. Add vanilla, ginger and pepper and increase speed until frosting is fluffy. Note: the amount of spices noted above results in a mild kick. Add more for stronger flavor, or mix in a ginger syrup or chopped crystallized/candied ginger.
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