As the last guests trickled out the doors and into the night, staff and volunteers looked around the room with awe. We had just pulled off our very first Cupcakes & Cocktails fundraiser! Equal parts exhausted and sugar-facilitated enthused, we began to clean up and discuss the highlights of the event.
For some, it was the spirit of competition brought on by the cupcake contest. For others, it was the warm conversation shared with community members. For me, it was the incredible spread of cupcakes. I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, and baked goods don’t generally excite me. The spread at Cupcakes & Cocktails, however, was different. Every table seemed illuminated with expertly-applied frosting, inventive flavors, and on occasion, the option of a vegan treat. To my left, cardamom cream cheese frosting sat gallantly atop carrot cake while on my right, rich ganache seemed to smother the Black Forest cupcake. Needless to say, by the time we were announcing the winner for the evening, I was experiencing a full-fledged sugar high.
After finally coming down (read: crashing) from all the sugar, I began to worry about my own baking talent, or lack thereof. Fortunately, the cupcake contestants were generous enough to provide us with their recipes so that we can attempt to recreate the magic in our own kitchens.
As the second annual Cupcakes & Cocktails approaches, consider entering this year’s cupcake contest! The event is on April 12, and competition entries are due April 1. If you need some inspiration to get the creative juices flowing, check out this recipe for the Fuzzy Navel Cupcake, runner-up of last year’s competition, by Nancee Merritt…
Fuzzy Navel Cupcake by Nancee Merritt
3 cups cake flour
2 cups sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
½ cup orange juice
1 cup peach schnapps
2/3 cup butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
1 Tblsp orange zest
Place all ingredients in large mixing bowl. Blend 30 seconds on low speed. Beat 3 minutes on high speed, scraping bowl as you mix. Pour into 24 paper lined muffin tins. Bake at 350 for approximately 20 minutes.
4 cups of confectioner’s sugar
½ lb butter
1 Tbsp orange zest
2 Tbsp peach schnapps
1 tsp almond extract
Beat all together till smooth. Top with crushed “Peach Buds” candies (can be purchased at A Southern Season).
I wish you the best of luck in your baking endeavors. Visit ocrcc.org/cupcakes to enter the cupcake competition, purchase admission tickets, and enter the drawing to win a Baker’s Dozen Date Nights.
I’ll see you on April 12 for Cupcakes & Cocktails!
Alex Stewart is our Administrative Services Coordinator. She manages our office and provides integral program support.