Playing with legos, playmobile, doing puzzles at the cottage, staying up late playing “Go-Fish” in the dim light of our camping lanterns (sorry Dad, that’s why the batteries needed constant replacing), spending hours in the summer creating towns and elaborate roadways in the sand of our beloved sandbox and in the winter months, fashioning slick tobogganing runs and jumps for the sleds, are just a few of the things I think of when I think of Thomas, my older brother, and our time growing up together.
We both enjoyed reading and could often be found with our noses stuck in a Nancy Drew (me) or The Hardy Boys (Thomas) book and we later became quite competitive with our grades, always happy to come home and show our parents when we got A’s. Fighting over who had to wash the dishes and who had to dry (drying was the
coveted preferred of the two), was a nightly occurrence, but other than that I can’t remember us being cross with one another, although maybe I’m sure Mom and Dad remember it differently.
An extremely good role model, Thomas paved the way for my younger brother and I, striving to get good grades to get into his University of choice and then excelling in the world of business. His adventurous nature eventually manifested itself into his career as well, when his full time job became working with Arctic Kingdom, the premier provider of Arctic Expeditions.
Fast forward to October 25th, 2014, the wedding day of Thomas and Lisa, a day where I couldn’t have felt happier to see these two beautiful people wed. Lisa, a picture of grace and beauty, radiant in her golden gown, and Thomas, whose expression of joy looking at his bride beside him I won’t forget. I can see how wonderful they are for each other, how they complement one another, and how equipped they both are to travel their new journey together.
Lisa and Thomas – I’m so happy for you both, and wish you all the best in your new adventures together!
Thank you to Hamstra Photography for the beautiful photos of Lisa and Thomas!
For the wedding I made a cupcake tower filled with cupcakes of four different flavours. You can click on the links below to find the recipes if you like:
Red Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Icing (recipes at the end of the post).
Because I was pressed for time to make all the cupcakes, decorate them and set them up at the venue, there aren’t a lot of photos, so all I have of the red velvet cupcakes is the photo of them, below, on the tray before assembling the cake tier. Over the cream cheese icing on each cupcake is a circle of fondant and gum paste decorations. The bows were made using the largest cutter of this JEM Bow Cutters Set and the letters were made using FMM Alphabet Tappits. A how-to on using the tappit cutters can be found here.
Lisa chose a gold and ivory theme, and loved the damask, filigree and various gold cupcake wrappers we saw on Pinterest.
If you’d like them too, you can find them here:
Arranging them ahead at home to play around with which liners I would use, helped save time for set-up on the day of.
Lisa and Thomas’ invite was of a chalkboard theme so I made similar cupcake flags to label each type of cupcake and make it easier for guests to find the flavour they preferred.
The hydrangeas were made of gum paste using this hydrangea flower cutter and veiner set and were made in advance.
I love using mattress foam to let the hydrangea sugar past flowers dry and for transporting to the venue – I kept them on the foam sitting on a baking tray and lightly wrapped in plastic wrap.
I didn’t manage to get many photos, but I also made some dogwood sugar paste flowers using cutters and veining mats from Sugar Delites Sugar Art & Supplies. A little more info. on tutorials and equipment I used to make the dogwood flowers themselves can be found here.
I’m still working on practicing my gum paste roses, but I found this tutorial by Cakes by Francesca on emrldsky’s YouTube channel quite helpful – my favorite way to make large roses so far.
The adorable i do cupcake flag is made by Laurel of Go Against the Grain on Etsy.
Notes – Red Velvet Cupcakes
- Use the best quality ingredients you can for the best flavour, especially the cocoa powder.
- If you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can substitute by making your own. There are many recipes available on line; here’s one with excellent reviews overall.
- If you prefer metric measurements, you can find my baking conversions here.
- Be careful not to over bake the cupcakes… bake them just until the middle isn’t wet anymore (you can check with a toothpick, skewer etc.)
Happy baking and decorating to you!
Red Velvet Cupcakes and Cream Cheese Icing
Red Velvet Cupcakes
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 cup unsweetened natural cocoa powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 1 oz Wilton red (no taste) food gel coloring or 1 bottle
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 cup buttermilk
- 1 tsp baking soda
- 1 tbsp white vinegar
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Line your muffin tin with 24 regular sized baking cups.
- In a small bowl, mix the flour, cocoa and salt and set aside. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until mixed. Slowly add the eggs; beat 1 to 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the red food color and vanilla and mix slowly until incorporated.
- Stir the vinegar into the buttermilk.
- On low speed, beat in 1/2 of the flour mixture just until mixed, then beat in 1/2 of the buttermilk mixture until mixed. Repeat beating in flour mixture alternately with the buttermilk just until mixed. Beat in the baking soda until mixed. Spoon about 1/4 cup of the batter into the cups.
- Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cupcake comes out clean. Remove cupcakes from pan, cool completely and ice.
Cream Cheese Icing Recipe
- 1/2 lb cream cheese, softened or room temperature
- 1/2 lb unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 lb icing sugar (confectioner's sugar), sifted
- 1 tsp white food gel coloring (optional)
- Cream the cream cheese, butter, and vanilla in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment.
- Slowly add the icing sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add 1 tsp white food gel coloring and mix until incorporated.
- Once cupcakes have cooled, ice as desired.