The Cupcake Scoop

Boy.  All you sweet readers sure do make a girl feel good!  Thanks for all your wonderful wedding wishes.  As promised, and because several of you have asked, I thought I’d give you the low-down on the rehearsal dinner cupcakes.  (And before we begin, can I just say how awesome blogland is?  I had LOTS of wonderful tips and hints from many of you during the wedding planning process.  Miss Jean, Nanette, and several of you had invaluable advice for me, a first-time MOG.  And if it hadn’t been for an e-mail early on from Ms. Farmhouse detailing all the things she did for her son’s rehearsal dinner, it would have never occurred to me to have flowers and favors.  I thought you just arranged for a place to eat and you were done with it.  So, thanks to all of you who provided such great advice!)

For 6 or 8 months now, I’ve been using the Magnolia recipe for cupcakes.  But the last two times I made them they were terribly dry — and the last time, when the quilty peeps and I met Sharon and Carol in Chicago, I almost had to choke those dry ol’ cupcakes down (sorry girls!)  So, I decided that recipe would never do for TheFirstChild — everything must be perfect, right?  For three weeks, I experimented with different recipes.  I tried an old staple from my childhood, but it had 1/4 t. of lemon extract and the first thing SweetiePie said when she tasted it was “Does that have lemon in it?”  (How the heck could she tell with only 1/4 t.???)  The Cake Bible by Rose Levy Beranbaum had a nice white cake recipe, but there just seemed to be a little something missing.

I was ready to try a white cake mix and call it good but then an awesome comment appeared from Brigitte Noblog.  I’d mentioned cupcakes in my post and she got all excited and spent a lot of time typing out the Magnolia Vanilla Cupcake recipe, not realizing that I’d used that recipe before.  So I e-mailed Brigitte and told her, yes, but they’re so dry.  And she replied, yes backatcha, but there’s no matching that Magnolia vanilla flavor.  Well, that got me thinking and I knew she was right (thank you Brigette!), so I decided to bite the bullet and use the Magnolia recipe anyway.  I watched those babies like a hawk and yanked them from the oven the minute they looked done.  Then I frosted them, packaged them and crossed my fingers all the way to Dayton that day.  Eureka!  They were moist and just right!  They were even decent the next day.  I must have baked them too long in my previous efforts.


So — the details and why you’re here  (sorry for the recycled picture!):

The Cake:  Magnolia Vanilla Cupcake Recipe

The Icing:  Magnolia Vanilla Icing. I used a giant Wilton cake tip.  I’m not at home to look up the tip size, but The Happy Valley Quilter mentioned to me that she uses tip #1B.  It’s a similar tip and I think I like her tip even more than mine.

The Pick:  I printed a pictures of the newlyweds, ran them through my little xyron sticker machine and then punched them out with a 2″ punch.  I also punched 2″ circles out of the black and white paper that you see in the bottom of the cupcake box.  Then I stuck the picture circle to the black and white circle with a toothpick between them.

The Clear Plastic Box: A 4x4x4 acetate box purchased from These come in packs of 50, which was just right for what I needed.

The Cupcake Insert:  I knew if I was going to transport those cupcakes, there must be something to hold them in place in those boxes.  Several people (I think maybe Kairle and Kim?) sent me a link to these inserts.  They come 100 to a box, in white.  I used a spray adhesive and attached SweetiePie’s chosen black and white paper to the inserts.  The down side of the inserts is that you can’t see the bottom of the cupcake, but it’s worth it for the frosting to not be smashed all over the side of your box when you reach your destination.

The Ties:  3/4″ wide black satin ribbon, which I ran out of and ended up using two strands of 1/8″ wide black satin ribbon on some of the boxes.  I also printed out the little wedding logos and punched them out with the 2″ punch and attached them with the ribbon.

Making cupcakes is addictive and these were SO fun.  They were a HUGE hit too — people just whipped out their forks and ate them straight out of the box.  I had a bunch of compliments (especially from those rowdy groomsmen) and I heard at least two people at the end of the night say, “Hey, someone took my cupcake”.  Now, that’s a compliment!


23 Thoughts on “The Cupcake Scoop

  1. You did a great job Anna!!! Thanks for letting us all in on your secrets. Now if someone could talk my BOYS into getting married maybe I can use some of your ideas!!!! LOL!!!!
    Boo’s stuck in Vegas and his plane is delayed for an hour and a half at least. He wont get in till after midnight now.

  2. Wow, I’j the first person to comment it must be because you are posting in the wee hours. You are supposed to be wiped out from all the wedding activity.

    Thanks you, thank you, for sharing your cupcake expertise. My daughters are cupcake lovers as well so I will make sure to send them your way. Hugs and Kisses, Kim

  3. Erin on May 23, 2008 at 2:32 am said:


    Thanks for the “cupcake recipe and box info.” You did a fabulous job and everything that I saw looked wonderful.

    I’m so excited to try the cupcakes and look into those boxes! That would be great for Christmas gifts too!

  4. I think I will give that recipe a go. They just look so beautiful in their boxes. Little sister is on school holiday today and has a friend coming over I think we might be making cupcakes!

  5. You did a wonderful job on those favors, Anna! You really put a lot of work into them, and it shows. Thank you for sharing the details!


  6. thanks Anna, you have just cost me £10 as I just had to order the book your recipe came from! I was amazed that they had it here in the UK….The presentation of those cupcakes was second to none, I love your work!

  7. Jewels on May 23, 2008 at 7:05 am said:

    What attention to detail! I love everything. Would like to be eating one of the cupcakes at this moment. You are amazing. Next, why not open a Bakery? We need a really good one here. Hey you could be a Wedding Planner! Smooch, Jewels

  8. Thanks Anna for all the info regarding these delectable bites of goodness. You did a great job on putting it all together – the perfect Anna touch. As always your creativity blows me away. First weekend without any wedding stuff swirling around the brain – enjoy it and hope you can put your feet up.

    BIG HUGS – Karen

  9. noblog brigette on May 23, 2008 at 11:03 am said:

    i want to have a party just to make those cupcakes like you did!!
    great job on everything. i’m amazed at all you did, the xyron stickers, the paper laminating of the holders…. they were amazing. magnolia couldn’t have done a better job!!

  10. Valerie on May 23, 2008 at 11:39 am said:

    They are so beautiful. That had to be a lot of work! I love the print and the monogram tag.

  11. So when are you quitting your day job and Opening “Anna’s Cupcakes”?

  12. Miss Jean on May 23, 2008 at 3:27 pm said:

    Has anyone mentioned how beautiful the frosting is? What a wonderful presentation? I’m so glad you had a great time. I hate to say it, but I told you so! Arent’ weddings the best?!!!

  13. They look like expensive cupcakes from Sprinkles! Seriously good. My neighbor is a chef and she’s been doing tons of experimenting lately with cake receipes and cupcakes. I am one of her taste testers! You’ve gotta love a good cupcake. Yours looks so yummy. The other day she used Ina Garten’s chocolate cake receipe and I thought I had died and gone to heaven. Yum.

  14. Anna,

    You, my dear, are a wonderful example of how great Blogland is! Thank you for sharing your fun ideas with us. I don’t think I’ll be making such outstanding cupcakes as you this week, but I do intend to make my SIL his favorite dessert as a “groom’s cake — turtle cheesecake. I am going to call the Groom’s Mom and ask her if I may bring anything to help her with the Rehearsal Dinner (backyard BBQ) and if she says yes, I might try your cupcakes or if I’m too swamped, perhaps I’ll just bring chips and pop!

    Anyway, I do intend to use the recipe you shared here. I’ll bet that you were right on target with the “overbaking” thing. I have found that even with boxed cake mixes, when I make cupcakes, I only bake MAX 13-15 min. instead of the 18-20 that is recommended on the box, and they turn out moist.

    Happy Wedding Afterglow!

  15. Anna, you are amazing!! I bet your SweetiePie loves the heck out of you! Thanks for all the info on the cupcakes, will have to try this recipe, that frosting looks divine!

  16. Wow, flowers and favors, huh? 20 years ago when we (and all our friends) were getting married I sure never got an amazing cupcake (or anything else) at a rehearsal dinner, lol. Good thing I have the internet to keep me in the know!! Seriously though, those cupcakes look amazing. What attention to detail!! When I was reading about people eating them my first thought was WHAT? They ate them? They look too amazing to eat!! ; )
    ps. that ivarest worked wonders for me(for the poison ivy) – i’m going to make sure we’ve always got some on hand.

  17. I know I’ve disappeared for a while, but I just had to stop by and send a big congratulations on the wedding. You are so amazing! Those cupcakes are divine! Bea-u-ti-ful!

  18. You’re a genius! Unbelievable how much logistics and brain power can go into getting a cupcake to look a and taste the way it’s supposed to and then getting it to where it should be in one piece. They look SO professional. Cupcake baker to the stars – your new career, perhaps? :-)

    And don’t you just LOVE the internet?

  19. That is, hands down, the cutest and more thoughtful favor I have ever seen at a rehearsal dinner or wedding.

    And believe, me, friend, I have been to and IN a LOT of rehearsal dinners and weddings.

    I’m glad all your hard work and, frankly, skill, was appreciated and enjoyed.

  20. Hey, thanks for the specifics. ;) BTW, this will make you laugh….my machine does 3 fonts. So, I hate to tell you that I doubt I can be much help telling you the script. Luckily for me, I really like it! :)

  21. I need to print this out for when my oldest gets married…thanks Anna :)

  22. Congratulations on your son’s wedding!
    The cupcakes look amazing!

  23. Such a wonderful idea, and I’m glad you stuck with the Magnolia cupcake recipe – they truly are the yummiest!
    I have a fork in hand – where’s my cupcake? LOL!!

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