This past weekend was spent just outside of New York City with friends and family celebrating my sister and her husband's wedding. My gift to the happy couple was their wedding cupcakes which I baked in the groom's mom's kitchen in the days before the ceremony.
Originally, I hadn't planned on making the cupcakes since the wedding was out of town, but there was a mix up with the venue that left the couple cakeless and I was happy to have an excuse to design a pretty cupcake tower for them. My plan was to decorate the majority of the cupcakes with a simple flower and sugar pearls, then add a small amount of elaborately decorated accent cupcakes to make the tower more interesting.
I considered completely covering the accent cupcakes in sugar pearls and mini flowers, or using icing to pipe roses onto them while the rest of the cupcakes got plain swirls. Eventually, I settled on giant peonies made of gumpaste after seeing the flower choices for Vanessa's bouquet.
For the peonies, I turned to the wonderful tutorial at Cake Journal for guidance as well as a number of Youtube videos for tips on shaping the petals. The first peony I made took a ridiculous amount of time and I had focused so much on making the edges of the petal thin and delicate that there was no way it would survive the flight to NYC. In fact, I chipped it a number of times just moving it to a safe spot to dry. Later, I dropped it which sort of solved the issue of how to transport it.