Food Network Version
When I got my May issue of Food Network Magazine, with the above picture on it, I knew I had to make it for the wedding shower I was hosting in May. I thought it looked pretty easy and so cute! My original plan was to make one for each of the six tables. My mom, however, talked me down to one for the food table instead.
I can't tell you how grateful I am that my mom talked me into only doing one. This was a lot more work than it looked like it would be. I ended up with everyone involved including my Dad and husband. It started easy enough with me making a batch of cupcakes and sticking the foam and dowel into the pot. Then I put in all these little toothpicks to hold cupcakes. You would not believe how hard it was to get toothpicks into a foam ball. Felt like it took forever and when I was done my Dad said, "you know the directions say to put three per cupcake." So now I had to go back and add two more toothpicks to everything I had done.
Once the cupcakes were cooled and frosted I started to load them onto the centerpiece. This was when I realized I didn't have even close to enough cupcakes so I stopped what I was doing to start another batch. I also ran out of frosting, go figure!
Now on to day two (because I lost my patience on day one) I continued loading cupcakes onto the toothpicks only to discover it was NEXT TO IMPOSSIBLE to get them on and not mess up the frosting. At that point I abandoned the frosted ones and started loading the un-frosted ones and figured I would frost them afterwards.
I finally got the topiary covered in cupcakes and then...it tipped over! I was lucky enough to catch it. This is when I had to get my Dad involved again to make it stand back up.
I tried to frost all the little cupcakes but do you know how hard it is to frost an upside down cupcake and have the frosting stay put?? You can kind of tell from the picture that I had to just frost what I thought would be most noticeable.
I ended with a very heavy, very fragile, half decent looking cupcake centerpiece. I had to entrust my husband to carry it across the street to the shower and we shoved it in a corner so no one would see the back wasn't finished.
Next time I see something that looks "super easy" in a magazine I will give it some more thought before diving in. When real people do things they see in magazines it is never as easy as it looks.