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Friday, March 23, 2012

[awesome] cupcakes

These are the cupcakes that I made for our youth group dessert auction fundraiser.

- Pillsbury cupcake mix $1.10 on sale at Kroger
- Eggs $0.99 on sale at Kroger
- Oil borrowed from my neighbor because I ran out
- Whipped white icing $1.69 on sale at Kroger
- Plain white icing $1.20 on sale at Kroger
- Cupcake liners I had a bunch on hand, about $1-3 each, I always buy them on sale or clearance at Kroger, Joann, Michael's, etc.
- Cupcake pan plenty in stock at my house
- Variety of decorations $0.10-0.80 each at the Bulk Food/Candy store
- Disposable Aluminum cake pans $1 for 3 from Dollar Tree
- Plastic tray (for rainbow cupcakes) $1 at Dollar Tree


I made 1 batch of white cake cupcakes came out to 22 cupcakes. I made sets of 3, 4, or 8 cupcakes and decorated each set differently.

I followed the baking directions on the cupcake box. I always mix wet ingredients first and let the eggs get fluffy then I add in the cake mix.

I let the cupcakes cool, then I iced them and added embellishments (details below)

[Over the Rainbow]

I made the rainbow cupcakes last (all out of one batch of cake mix). I scooped batter into a measuring cup and added food coloring (one color at a time) until I got the color I wanted (about 5-10 drops of each color). I layered the different colors (in color order) one at a time. I didn't worry about making every layer the same or perfect.

yellow batter

first layer

green and blue layers

purple and red layers

baked cupcake in the pan

full view
(you can see my 1950's gold fleck counter top)

[mostly] finish product
half of the cupcakes had spiral whipped icing with rainbow sprinkles
half of the cupcakes had blue icing with "Sour Rainbow Tracks" cut into 2 1/2in long pieces then stuffed into white whipped frosting to hold it up and it looks like fluffy little clouds

[Butterfly garden]

I purchased gummy-butterflies from the bulk store I put them on top of dyed yellow coconut to make it look like the middle of a flower. I then put the cupcake inside of an inside-out Wilton(R) cupcake purple flower liner. I piped purple antennae onto cupcakes.

[Cherry Berry]

Whipped white icing with gummy strawberries or cherries on top. I sprinkled little rainbow balls to help make them a little more fun. You can see the napkin liner I put inside of each aluminum tray I got from the dollar store to dress up the containers.

[Under the sea]

To give the cupcakes a swirled effect I put in a few tablespoons of batter, then I added blue food dye to the cupcakes, then added a few more tablespoons of batter (you get the idea) stirring with a toothpick.

After the cupcakes came out of the oven.

Finished product. Blue icing swirled to make "waves" (I used a knife and I pulled up to make the little peaks) Then I added gummy sea life Swedish fish and a gummy shark from the bulk store. The sand is crushed gray-ham crackers (as my Oma says).

Dessert Auction Fundraiser

Our youth group puts on an annual dessert auction to help send middle school and high school teens to summer camp. My husband and I are the high school youth leaders at our church. Two of our good friends work with the middle school group. Between the two groups we have about 20 students ages 11-19.

[How it works]
We try to make the auction as simple as possible. We try each year to limit the number of desserts by having a sign up sheet, but it never works. Teens earn 100% profit from the desserts that they make themselves to sell at the auction. The profit from other desserts that are donated from other church members goes into a general fund and is divided evenly between the teens that work the auction.

This year I did a "rainbow" theme for the decor. I purchased 2 black tablecloths for $1 ea, 1 rainbow tablecloth for $3, and 2 brightly colored tablecloths, $1 ea. After our evening church service we set up 3 long tables in the middle of our fellowship hall (black, rainbow, black) then put on 5 cylindrical vases running the length of the tables. Each vase was filled "Easter" basket straw (one of each color: pink, orange, yellow, green, blue). I made signs for the different types of desserts and placed them into the colored vases (like a cupcake topper). Categories were brownies, cupcakes, pies, specialty desserts, and cookies. Looking back I should have added a "cake" category.

[Going, going, gone!]
The auction usually lasts about 1.5-2 hours. People are pretty spent by the end of the event, so we try to move quickly. I choose a dessert off of the display table then students show off each dessert around the fellowship hall for about 2 minutes before we bring it to the front to auction off. We start each dessert at $5. We make it kinda cutesy and give everyone a homemade auction paddle (numbered small paper plates taped on to thick Popsicle sticks). My husband is the MC of the event, he points to people as they bid on each dessert. When someone wins an item we have one adult at the head table writing down who bought the dessert and for how much. The dessert is then delivered to the winner by the student who walked it around the hall. Since we are hoping people will buy multiple items we wait until the end of the event to ask people to settle their "tab." Desserts usually sell for $5-$20. There are a few "special" desserts for a super-awesome-baker that go for a lot more. Super-awesome-baker's Cheesecake $70, Cookies $50, and her cake $45. We made about $1200 this year!

[My donations]
I was going to add in the cupcakes I made, but it's a lot. So check for another post on the cute cupcakes I made.

If you host a dessert auction fundraiser I would love to know what you did to make it successful!