Cake commissions are one of my most loved and most hated things. I love making something inspired by the ideas of someone else, of taking a concept and running with it. But it's also terrifying. I'm the worst decision maker in the world and want to double-check every tiny aspect with the person, which is difficult as half the time the person wanting the cake doesn't even know what fondant is. I spend the whole time fretting about doing it wrong.
This cupcake tier was commissioned for a 21st birthday party. The brief was for fondant covered mudcake cupcakes, coloured hot pink and white with 21s and playboy bunnies.
I was provided the cupcake tier in advance for the purpose of getting the cake dimensions right, but it really helped drive the creative process, too. I started thinking about the image as a whole, rather than individual cupcakes. I used polkadot patty pans to match the tier.
The tier featured an alternating procession of cupcakes. Half of the cupcakes were domed, and half of them flat, to give guests an option. Some people don't like a lot of buttercream on their cupcakes, whilst others like a heap of the stuff, so I wanted there to be a choice.
The bottom tier featured flat white cupcakes with pink bunnies, alternated with pink domed cupcakes with white 21s.
The second tier was naturally the opposite: white domed cupcakes and pink flat ones.
I embossed the fondant on all the cupcakes using the same design. I made the numbers and letters on the domed cupcakes stand up for something a little different. These were going to be viewed more side on, rather than top down, so it was both a quirky and functional aspect of the design. All the domed cupcakes got a collar of blossoms.
For the bunnies, I'd meant to get a custom cutter done for the order, but forgot. So I ended up cutting the bunnies by hand, hoping the symbol would still be recognisable. I gave them 3D bows, which ended up consuming more room than the 2D one on the logo usually does.
The cupcakes on the top tier were all domed and all pink, with the words "Happy 21st Birthday" atop them in the same fashion as the 21s. The top tier didn't alternate due to circular fashion of the words: I wanted it to flow.
My biggest challenge with these cupcakes was not going overboard. I'm really bad at the less-is-more thing, and sometimes I have a terrible habit of overcrowding a cake. I kept feeling like there wasn't enough things on the cupcakes, but any addition I thought of felt like it was going to crowd it. So I let it be.
As happens with commissions, I wasn't there to see the reaction of the birthday girl, but I'm told she loved it.