Geoffrey and I recently hosted a couples wedding shower for our good friends Jamie and Todd. I love to entertain, and I often use the same format when creating my party theme. It's pretty simple - I just pick two of the guest-of-honor's favorite things and plan everything around that. For the soon-to-be Mr. and Mrs, the Cupcakes & Cocktails theme was born! I find that this is an easy, yet personal approach to party planning. For Geoffrey's last birthday, we hosted an afternoon BBQ with the theme 'Bourbon & Brats'.
I must say that planning a menu around cupcakes is much more fun than bratwurst. I loved testing out friends and families favorite cake and cupcake recipes! The biggest hit at the party came from my brother's wife, Katie. Her recipe for cinnamon toast cupcakes was quite the crowd pleaser. Only one hiccup - on party day the icing application did not go as planned. *Note to self- there is no good substitute for a pastry bag. Zip lock baggies with a hole cut in the corner do not pipe icing well...no matter how good it may look in your head! Due to the icing snaffu, I renamed these "Cinnamon Bun" cupcakes, but I actually think they are pretty cute as is!
Of course I will be scrapping this fun event, and used Cookbookin' recipe cards and papers for both mine and Jamie's album. I hope you enjoy the Cinnamon Bun cupcakes as much as we did!
Cinnamon Bun Cupcakes
1 (18 1/4 ounce) package yellow cake mix
1 (3 1/3 ounce) package vanilla instant pudding mix
1 1/4 cups whole milk
3/4 cup vegetable oil
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
Place baking rack in center of oven and preheat to 350ºF. Line cupcake pans with liners and spray top of pan with cooking spray. Place cake mix, pudding mix, milk, oil, eggs and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. Blend with mixer on low for 30 seconds. Scrape down sides of bowl and increase to medium for 1-1/2 to 2 minutes. Spoon 1/3 cup of batter into each liner (about 3/4 full). Place pan(s) in oven on middle rack. Bake cupcakes till they are golden brown, (about 18 to 22 minutes). Cool on wire racks for 5 minutes. Slowly and carefully turn pan on it's side and remove cupcakes. Cool 15 minutes and frost with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting. I used the swirl "technique" (Ha!) pictured to make the cupcakes look like little cinnamon buns and topped with cinnamon spinkles.