Cupcake Friday Project

A one-woman test kitchen meets nano-bakery

Cupcake Friday Project turns 1!

Cupcake Friday Project turns 1 years old!
Wow, it’s already been a year. Back on Friday, Jan. 28 2011, Cupcake Friday Project was born. It’s funny to look back on what I wrote a year ago:

Today I brought cupcakes to work, partly because I baked for my Geek Girl Dinner Group, and partly because I reneged on my offer to bring in a lemon tart this past Monday in belated celebration of National Pie Day (yes, I know a tart isn’t quite a pie). Some of my coworkers spent a majority of the week teasing me about the missing pie, so I knew if I shoved cupcakes under their noses, they’d relent.

This morning I mucked through Philadelphia snow, ice and slush in combat boots and my husband’s tuxedo jacket with tails, with a dozen lemon-limoncello cupcakes with lemon curd filling and limoncello cream cheese frosting in tow. I delivered the cakes with a smile and many faces lit up with joy and sugary anticipation. Standing around the office, I joked about some of them becoming my taste-testing guinea pigs. And an idea was born.

Cupcake Fridays: My goal, in preparation of opening a bakery in the next 2-5 years, is to bake cupcakes at least 2 Fridays out of every month in an effort to hone my skill and create a library of recipes. Mainly cupcake recipes, but I’m sure a sprinkling of cookies, muffins and other confections won’t be turned down.

Who knew that bringing in some Lemon Limoncello cupcakes would lead to this. In the past 365 days I have:

  • Baked cupcakes for 33 Fridays;
  • Brought in cookies 3 Fridays and made cherry hand pies another Friday, resulting in bringing in goodies for 37 Fridays;
  • Created approximately 38 different cupcake recipes;
  • Featured 3 different cupcake recipes and one cookie recipe from 4 guest bakers
  • Delivered 7 special orders, ranging from 4 cupcakes to 48, as well as one order for Sea Monkeys Maria and Taylor that included cookies, shortbread toffee and my selections for the ultimate cupcake decorating kit;
  • Participated in 2 cupcake baking contests;
  • Designed a cupcake recipe for The Bruery;
  • Provided 79 assorted mini cupcakes and 57 cookies as the treat sponsor for GameLoop Philly in 2011;
  • Made cake balls 2 times, 1 time resulting in Jonathan Coulton having very sticky fingers;
  • Swapped boxes of cupcakes for other goods at the second Philly Food Swap;
  • Reviewed 44 different bakery cupcakes and 9 books; and
  • Wrote 183 posts (an average of 3.5 a week) and received more than 600 comments!

So, wow.

It’s been amazing, it’s been tough, and there have been days I wanted to throw a batch of cupcakes out the nearest window I can find. But it’s all part of the learning process. And lucky for me, I have 10-12 dedicated taste testers who donate regularly–keeping my butter and flour coffers from running dry–and give me their honest opinions. Without them, I wouldn’t have a Project. They keep me accountable, even though I’m pretty sure they wouldn’t draw and quarter me if I failed to bring in cupcakes on a day I said I would … I hope.

And there’s Ray who cheers me on and encourages experimentation and science in the kitchen. There’s my guest bakers who send me recipes and photos when I know I’m too busy; the folks on Twitter who comment on my photos and postings; and my lovely band of Sea Monkeys from the original JoCoCruiseCrazy who cheer me on. It’s the Facebook Fans who, surprisingly, I only know like 15 percent (Who are you guys?) who hit a “Like” button and add my cupcakes to their feeds.

Bottom line: THANK YOU.

What will the next 365 days bring? I have some exciting ideas up my sleeves, with my #1 idea being 52 different cupcakes in 2012. So far, I have managed 4, right on target. I’ll also be entering whatever baking competitions I can find. I’ll be filling special orders (I have 3 lined up so far! Keep’em coming!)

And maybe the biggest announcement … I have begun an apprenticeship at a local bakery! But more on that later.

This little blog has turned 1, and is gaining traction in the baking world 1 recipe at a time. And I’m stoked to be at the helm.

 

 

5 Comments

  1. Wahoo! Happy Birthday Cupcake Friday Project!!! :)

  2. Congratulations on 1 year!

    And, thank you for the celebration cupcake today. Although it was too bad about the chocolate chips sinking, it was a nice gooey layer of chocolatey goodness. The frosting, as usual, superb.

  3. Congrats! Happy Birthday to the only thing motivating me to come in on Fridays!

  4. Thank you for sharing your recipes with us! I so enjoy the blog and am so excited to hear about the apprenticeship.

  5. Congratulations on your one-year anniversary and on your apprenticeship! And thank you for the surprise celebratory cupcakes this morning. I’m not ashamed to admit that I dived into that frosting!

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