For a while now I have been thinking about cupcakes in a jar. I think that it is a nice idea, you can give the client more cupcake, they can seal it if they don’t want to eat the entire cupcake in one sitting, it transports a lot easier and you can make it very pretty. While hunting recipes I came across an awesome idea: Caramel Popcorn cupcakes.

So I decided that I want to attempt the jars and the caramel popcorn. For the jars I thought that I should try plastic instead of glass since it will be a lot cheaper. I found some jars at the plastic shop that I thought would work nicely and some wooden spoons. Since it was a test run I only bought three.

I made my standard vanilla cupcake recipe for the base and added some caramel chips to tie in the caramel flavour and I used butter this time instead of margarine. Simple enough. The dough is a lot stickier than the red velvet so it was difficult to scoop out in even portions. I was making dinner (a massive 1.3kg T-Bone and some oven-baked potatoes) while I was baking so while I was waiting for the potatoes to finish with the oven I was watching Two Broke Girls. I think the show is what inspired me to start with cupcakes. They always have these beautiful cupcakes on the show.

So halfway through baking my first batch of cupcakes, I realised that the oven was still on grill for the potatoes. I really need a neon sign above the stove that tells me what setting the oven is on. I don’t think it messed up the cupcakes too badly. Some of them are just a little more baked than I would have liked, but not a train smash. After they cooled I tried putting them in the jars. They were bigger than the jars so I kind of had to mush them in. I did a layer of cupcake, layer of icing, layer of cupcake, layer of icing with some popcorn on top. Looking from the side, it looks terrible.😀 It appears mushing them in is not the way to go. Something that I noticed some people do is make a sheet cake and just cut out pieces with a cookie cutter. I think this might be a better approach and I definitely need jars with a bigger opening. Well this was a test run, I expected a bit of a learning curve. For the other cupcakes, I did the cream cheese frosting of the red velvet again, but I bought two bars of salted caramel from Woolworths and melted it. I then added it to the icing. I did a bit of a miscalculation with the icing sugar. For some reason I thought 5 cups are 1kg of icing, it turns out it is 1.25kg, so I didn’t have enough icing sugar to make it as stiff as the red velvet. I used my round tip for the piping and just did spirals. Then I placed a few pieces of popcorn on top.

Last week I bought another tupperware container, so my storage issue seems to be resolved. Since I baked them on Saturday, I had some great sunlight to work with throughout the day on Sunday. I had the idea that I can use tablecloths as a backdrop. I took the photos with two of the lenses and played around with the light. I realised that my sheets might be blocking too much light, so I might have to look for something a bit thinner. I still haven’t found a good way to use the tripod, but luckily my future father in-law said I could borrow his longer one, so I look forward to being able to use it. My mother also said that I could borrow her mixer, so when I get it, no more mixing everything by hand! Yay!

I am enjoying the process of playing around with everything and figuring it out. There are still so many things I have to learn and figure out. I definitely want to work on the photography a bit more and getting my little studio just right. I also need to look for an idea for next week’s cupcakes. Yesterday, I also decided that I want to create a logo for My Baked Goods. Don’t really feel comfortable using something that I didn’t create. You never know what copyright issues might pop up. I have also started looking at the accounting of it all, trying to keep track of what my expenses and income for the cupcakes are, mostly so that I know if I am making a loss on the cupcakes. Since I am still making mistakes, I tend to break even or make a loss, but hopefully when I start figuring everything out, I can make a tiny profit.

This venture is quite the journey and I am excited to see where it goes.

Published by Nadia Hoffmann