624 cupcakes + a road trip + a rockin’ concert!
Due to request from friends, thought I’d take a moment to share the story of this past weekend. :) Sorry, no cupcake recipes included, but I promise to post them soon!
About a month ago, as we were beginning to gear up for an upcoming CD release concert at work, my boss approached me with an “inspired” idea. Being a big fan of the blog, and of the cupcakes I occasionally bring in to work, he thought it could be fun to introduce the church to my recipes and have “Gimme Some Oven” cupcakes for everyone who attended the concert! (Make that…the 500 people we expected to attend.)
Indeed. This should have been the moment when I told him he was crazy, and realistically thought through what a massive endeavor this would be, and politely encouraged him to hire a caterer… :)
But oh no. I believe my words were, “You’re right – that could be fun!”
One months….hours of planning/coordinating…a road trip to Wichita…12 hours working…6 amazing helpers…a road trip back to KC….an amazing concert…and 624 cupcakes later……………
I can say with 100% certainty that I never, ever will be a caterer. But in the midst of the whole, crazy, and mostly tiring adventure…there was plenty of “fun” to be had. :) Here are a few glimpses into the weekend…
On Thursday, the adventure began when my coworker, Laura, and I made the biggest grocery trip ever to Sams and our local grocery store to buy ingredients.
My little Civic was absolutely PACKED! After a long day, and two evening rehearsals, I made the 3-hour drive home to Wichita and arrived at 12:45am. My car was already beginning to smell like a bakery. :)
The next morning, my parents and I woke up and got right to work! Thankfully we were able to use the kitchen at their church, which is massive and well-stocked with every pot, pan, and utensil you can imagine! There’s even an entire drawer devoted to zillions of ice-cream scoops (which came in handy later!). But best of all…it is the home of two industrial convection ovens. Hal-le-lu-jah. :)
Here was a quick snapshot of some of the ingredients laid out beforehand. (Not pictured are the…um…TWELVE pounds of butter in the fridge. Yikes!)
The first job was, of course, mixing and baking the actual cupcakes. Thankfully, another caterer was working in the kitchen that morning who gave us some helpful hints about mixing the batter, which size of ice-cream scoop to use in scooping the batter into the cups, and — most importantly — the time and temperature needed to bake these zillion cupcakes in the convection ovens! Needless to say, she kind of saved the day for my little family of amateur large-scale bakers!
We all shared jobs throughout the morning, but Mom emerged as the Pro-Batter-Scooper. And Dad was the Master Dishwasher.
I, on the other hand, spent my morning with the coolest mixer ever. :) Made in the 1930’s, this bad boy could whip up batter like you wouldn’t believe. Made my beloved little Kitchen Aid from home look like a little toy…
We baked 1…2…3…4…….26….of these trays!
My Grandma even stopped by to help for a bit. She found her calling as the Queen of Cupcake Transferal, moving all of these guys from hot pans to these cute little cupcake carriers.
We did, of course, manage to slip away and visit two of our favorite local restaurants during the day — Saigon for lunch (my favorite Vietnamese restaurant in the world!), and Frida’s for dinner. Still have yet to find any Mexican food in KC that comes close to their amazing tacos, queso, elote, and of course — this salsa bar featuring 9 salsas, plus all sorts of extra toppings. Delish!!
After everything was baked and about half of the frosting mixed, we decided to move the show back to my parents’ house for some frosting fun with friends. The mountain of cupcakes waiting to be frosted seemed a little ominous. But once we found our rhythm whipping the frosting, filling the bags, piping it onto the cupcakes, and then sealing up the finished cupcake carriers…we were on a roll!
This was my parents’ attempt to capture the “sugar cloud” on my end of the kitchen, as I worked my way through our (25 lb!) bag of powdered sugar. Looking a little tired…about 9 hours in….
Thankfully, the frosting phase provided plenty of comic relief for the evening, as everyone tried their hand at frosting at least a few cupcakes. This one was Dad’s first attempt. :)
(But believe it or not, I should point out that he actually got pretty good at it!)
After about 12 hours, WE FINALLY FINISHED!!!!!!!!!!! Behold, cupcakes galore. :)
My parents are the best!
Caught a few more zzzz’s, and then woke up early to get back to work in time for our Saturday morning concert rehearsal. Ended up trading cars with the ‘rents, because we were pretty sure all of these cupcakes upon cupcakes (more not pictured) wouldn’t quite fit in my tiny Civic for the drive back to KC.
Spent about 6 hours that afternoon in rehearsals, and then we had our usual Saturday evening worship service. And then afterwards….concert time!!!
I was buzzing around getting things ready and forgot to snap the “before” pics of the beautiful cupcake tables that my coworker set up. But here was a glimpse of the crowd streaming through the doors, ready for the concert…and a cupcake! :)
Needless to say, I learned that people REALLY love cupcakes. I’d say that the first 400 disappeared in about 10 minutes. Chocolate ended up being the favorite, but the strawberry lemonade came in as a close second. (But the vanilla caramel was actually my favorite!)
Thankfully, though, they were all very well-received. Only a few dozen remained by the end of the night. (We’d actually only planned to make 500, but went ahead and baked up the extra batter — glad we did!)
But most importantly, the concert was fantastic. :) So proud of Lance and the new album, and the musicians and all of their hard work, and especially for the wonderfully supportive crowd. I’m a pretty lucky duck to get to know such great people.
So cheers to great evenings, great art, great cupcakes, and most of all — all of the GREAT friends and family who helped make the cupcake-a-thon a success! You’re my heroes!!!