Ever since I saw the Wilton giant cupcake pan floating around the universe, I instantly wanted one- even BEFORE I started making cakes. I just thought that would make the coolest birthday cakes for my kids…and then I saw the price tag. WHAT??? Do people pay that much money for a cake pan? It turns out, not really. If you have one, you probably got it as a gift, right? Well, I didn’t buy one. (Some things just CAN’T be reasonably explained away to my husband, and I’d much rather save all my guilt up for a new pair of fantastic boots.)
Hadn’t thought about that pan for a long time, even after I officially launched my business. But, last winter, some close friends of ours whom we have grown to LOVE since we met (who should be repenting this very moment, and I’m sure are missing us so much they can barely stand it) up and moved to Austrailia. They couldn’t take much with them, and lo and behold, my friend had one of those giant cupcake pans! (Pretty sure it was a gift.) She handed it to me and I think I actually shrieked…out loud. (And Jill, if you think that makes your leaving any better, it doesn’t…much!!)
I was so excited to try it out, and did so a few months later. OK, I just want to say here, very delicately, that Wilton has some really great products out there. Their giant cupcake pan in NOT one of them. I was deceived. I quickly found out that if I wanted my end result to NOT look as if I planted it in front of my two year old and said, “Do your worst!”, I was going to have to get creative. I’m not going to expound on all of the problems of the pan. Let’s just say… I got creative.
Incidentally, I’ve been told that the new silicone version of the pan is FANTASTIC, and I’m planning on investing in one soon, as it’s not nearly as expensive as this Wilton one! Plus, it’s in separated into two separate pans… HUGE bonus!!
See the silicone giant cupcake pan, HERE!!
(This pan, the Wilton version, is the one I used.)
Bake your cakes in both sides of the pan. (You can do this one at a time if you want to make sure one doesn’t bake faster than the other and dry the other out since they are differently shaped pans and may have different cooking times!)
Cool and clean the pan well.
Melt and pour candy melts into the “liner” part of the pan, brushing it up the walls of the pan to make sure all spots are covered.
Let it set in the refrigerator for about ten minutes, and then repeat the process with another coat or two to make sure it’s very stable when you remove it from the pan and fill it with cake.
Gently slide the candy melt liner out of the pan (which should happen very easily after you remove it from the fridge!)
Then trim the edge of the cake you baked in that part of the pan so you can easily insert it into the newly formed candy melt liner. (You can add buttercream around the candy melts first if you’d like, or even torte the cake and add filling in between the layers, put the cake together and then trim it so it fits inside of the liner.)
Bottom done… check. Now the top.
When I finally set the top baked portion of the cupcake in front of me to decorate, I just stared at it for a while. It was kind of like I had “caker’s block”. How on EARTH was I supposed to make this look nice? It was so flat and ugly, and nothing at all looking like the most delicious part of a cupcake (if you’re a sugar junkie, that is). It needed a make over…BADLY.
SOOOO, I went with an idea.
Again, hopefully the pictures will be helpful here, but basically I added a layer of buttercream to the top of the cake first, and then I made a rope of fondant to be swirled around the buttercreamed top of the cupcake.
Then I added a layer of fondant over top, gently smoothing it down to show the swirl formation.
Then airbrushed the tye dye colors onto the fondant (my first attempt at tye dye, btw…not just on cake either).
Before I could set the top (cupcake frosting) onto the bottom (cupcake “liner”,) I had to put in some bubble tea straw supports, so as to not wind up with a very flat, smushed, giant cupcake.
(Make sure, of course, that the top cake (cupcake frosting) is on a carboard round before you place it on top of the bottom cake (cupcake liner) with the straws in it.
I put supports into the present cake, underneath the cupcake, as well.
Sorry for the atrocious photo. This was before I learned how to snap a good shot (and the importance of it)!
The present needed a pretty bow.
And loopy bows are pretty easy to make!
Cut some strips of gumpaste, fold them over a paper towel roll, glue the ends together and snip them to form a point (easier to fit them together later) and let them dry, overnight preferrably, so definitely make these ahead of time.
I airbrushed them once they were dry to get the vibrant colors more easily.
You can attach them to the cake, when it’s time, with a little buttercream.
After popping the decorations on, gluing a matching ribbon around the edge of the board, and snapping some pictures, I was done.
Now comes the part where I wish I was Jeannie in that old sitcom I Dream of Jeannie (no laughing you younger, much cooler generation who have never heard of it) so I could just wrinkle my nose and have the thing instantly delivered to it’s destination… instead of switching on the flashers, turning off the music, and praying my brains out the entire car ride there.
Yes, Jeannie definitely had a good thing going. Heck, being stuck in a bottle with a pink velvet couch ALL to myself never sounded so good. (Just wouldn’t tell the kids about the whole “rubbing the bottle” to summon me part.)