You’ve probably heard the expression “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” or “like mother, like daughter”!
Well I can assure you that does not describe my mother and my sister & I when it comes to our cake decorating skills! But have no fear these pretty strawberry cupcakes require no special talent.
When we were growing up my mom was always decorating cakes for family and friends. Be it birthday cakes, shower cakes, or any other occasion that came up, my Mom was the go to girl. My favorite were the wedding cakes.
This post contains affiliate links to make it easier for you to find the products and tools I have used for this recipe. If you make a purchase through the links I may be paid a small commission however the cost to you doesn’t change!
I couldn’t have been prouder of the masterpiece she made for my wedding, circa 1986. I wish the picture wasn’t so washed out. It really was vibrant with the white background, pink roses, purple violets, white satin ribbon and pearls. It as exactly what I envisioned, right down to the cake topper floral arrangement in a brandy snifter from our crystal pattern. Pinwheel. Good times!
Not long after we were married, my sister and I decided to hone what was sure to be our God given talent of cake decorating. We signed up for a beginner class with the very same teacher who taught our mom so many years before. We couldn’t wait to make our mom proud.
Marion, our instructor, was a master. She taught my mom well and was a respected authority in our area. As I recall, we breezed through the first lesson. Icing the cake. Pretty straight forward stuff. Not too difficult. I knew I had this down and couldn’t wait until the next lesson.
We came into week two excited and confident, if not a bit too giddy. We were going to learn how to make those gorgeous roses that mom made look so easy. Just a toothpick and an icing bag was all it took. We were quick to learn
it was impossible it was not so easy. At least not for the two of us!
What we lacked in skill, we made up for in humor! We laughed and giggled the entire lesson. I mean, really cracking up with laughter at ourselves and our total lack of skill, when we had watched Mom do it a thousand times. Not a single rose turned out looking even remotely like those all our classmates were making, and we ate way more icing than we should have.
At the end of class Marion gently suggested that maybe cake decorating wasn’t our thing and perhaps we should forgo the rest of the classes. My dream of creating beautiful cakes like Mom was crushed! But, she was so right. There was no way I was going to pull together a decent rose and I sure as heck knew I didn’t have the patience or desire to do the required practicing at home.
Years went by and my mom retired from her cake decorating hobby. Then suddenly our girls were going to school. That meant bake sales, Halloween parties, and of course Valentine’s Day parties. I made my fair share of cupcakes and treats for all those occasions. The baking part was not the problem. It was the decorating that always tripped me up.
Somewhere along the line I discovered the Wilton 1M decorating tip! It actually makes it look like I know how to decorate. At least when it comes to cupcakes!
These fresh strawberry cupcakes look all fancy like, but took only seconds to decorate each one. Embellished with a simple abstract chocolate heart gives it that Valentine’s touch.
They were simple to make using a boxed cake mix. About a half cup of strawberries cut in little pieces added to the batter make them seem a bit more homemade.
I used the icing recipe found here but adapted it a bit by adding an additional 3/4 cup confectioners sugar and the juice of 1 cup of frozen strawberries sprinkled with 1 teaspoon of sugar and microwaved for 1 min 30 seconds.
For the chocolate hearts, melt 1/2 cup milk chocolate chips over a double boiler. I really love this double boiler insert that turns any smaller saucepan into a double boiler, the perfect size for melting small amounts of chocolate. Drizzle melted chocolate into random heart shapes on a piece of wax paper placed over a cutting board. Chill until firm.
Not to shabby for someone who was kicked out of cake decorating class. You will never see a wedding cake coming out of my kitchen, and I still can’t even make a rose, but I think I make my mom proud just the same!
Until next time…